See Inside the 2019 Breakthrough Prize Gala

The 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Mountain View, November 4th, 2018. Photo: Getty Images

Recipients of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize were celebrated recently at a glittering awards ceremony held at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View.

Often called the “Oscars of Science”, the 7th annual event brought together luminaries in the science and tech communities, alongside celebrities, athletes, musicians and dozens of current and prior Breakthrough Prize laureates for a festive celebration of science.

Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan
Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan

Photo: Getty Images

A combined total of $22 million was awarded during the evening, in recognition of groundbreaking, research achievements in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics.

Each Breakthrough Prize is $3 million, the largest individual monetary prize in science.

Zach Bogue, Marissa Mayer, Thandie Newton
Zach Bogue, Marissa Mayer, Thandie Newton

Photo: Getty Images

Acclaimed actor, producer and philanthropist Pierce Brosnan guided the program, which featured performances by Academy Award winner and four-time Grammy Award winner Lionel Richie and Chinese Music Sensation G.E.M..

Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan

Photo: Getty Images

There were also presentations from Orlando Bloom, Ron Howard, Rachel McAdams, Julianne Moore, Thandie Newton, Lupita Nyong’o, and Eddie Redmayne.

Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie

Photo: Getty Images

A highlight of the evening was a tribute to the late astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, which featured statements by Eddie Redmayne and Hawking’s daughter, Lucy Hawking.

Eddie Redmayne, Yuri Milner, Lucy Hawking
Eddie Redmayne, Yuri Milner, Lucy Hawking

Photo: Getty Images

Hawking inspired the theme of the evening — “Look up” – based on a quote in his final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions:

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri Milner
Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri Milner

Photo: Getty Images

Prize recipients included Dr. Frank Bennett, Adrian R. Krainer, Angelika Amon, Xiaowei Zhuang, Zhijian “James” Chen, Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Charles Kane, Eugene Mele, Vincent Lafforgue, Brian Metzger, Rana Adhikari, Lisa Barsotti, Matthew Evans, Daniel Harlow, Daniel L. Jafferis, Aron Wall, Chenyang Xu, Karim Adiprasito, June Huh, Kaisa Matomäki, Maksym Radziwill.

Anne Wojcicki, Janet Wojcicki, Susan Wojcicki
Anne Wojcicki, Janet Wojcicki, Susan Wojcicki

Photo: Getty Images


“Every year I am inspired by the Breakthrough Prize laureates and the deep insights that are made possible by pure curiosity-driven research,” said Breakthrough Prize co-founder, Anne Wojcicki.

“This year is particularly special, with the special recognition of Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s groundbreaking contributions at a time when women were underrepresented and unrecognized,” she added.

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom

Photo: Getty Images

Additionally, a “Breakthrough Junior Challenge” prize was awarded to 16-year old Samay Godika of India. He’ll receive $250,000 in educational prizes, which his science teacher will receive $50,000, and his school, the National Public School, in Koramangala, will receive a new science laboratory valued at $100,000 designed by and in partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Aaron Levie, Joelle Emerson
Box Co-Founder and CEO Aaron Levie with Joelle Emerson

Photo: Getty Images

Directed and produced by Don Mischer was broadcast live on National Geographic TV on November 4th.

See more photos from the spectacular event below!

Lupita Nyong'o in Oscar de la Renta
Lupita Nyong’o in Oscar de la Renta

Photo: Getty Images

Nicole Shanahan and Sergey Brin
Nicole Shanahan and Sergey Brin

Photo: Getty Images

Isabelle Boemeke and Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb
Isabelle Boemeke and Joe Gebbia, co-founder of Airbnb

Photo: Getty Images

Karolina Kurkova
Karolina Kurkova

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Nicolas Berggruen
Nicolas Berggruen

Photo: Getty Images

Thandie Newton in Schiaparelli
Thandie Newton in Schiaparelli

Photo: Getty Images

Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer

Photo: Getty Images

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Julia Milner, Yuri Milner
Julia Milner, Yuri Milner

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Nikesh Arora, Ayesha Thapar
Nikesh Arora, Ayesha Thapar

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Nathan Blecharczyk, Elizabeth Morey Blecharczyk
Nathan Blecharczyk, Elizabeth Morey Blecharczyk

Photo: Getty Images

Andrea Willms and Philipp Schindler, Google's SVP & Chief Business Officer
Andrea Willms and Philipp Schindler, Google’s SVP & Chief Business Officer

Photo: Getty Images

Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey

Photo: Getty Images

Lachy Groom, Sam Altman
Lachy Groom, Sam Altman

Photo: Getty Images

Kara McCullough
Kara McCullough

Photo: Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg

Photo: Getty Images

Juliet de Baubigny, Ron Meyer, Vivi Nevo
Juliet de Baubigny, NBC Universal’s vice chairman Ron Meyer, and Vivi Nevo

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, David Siegel
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, David Siegel

Photo: Getty Images

Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong and Raline Shah
Coinbase co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong and Raline Shah

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

David Morris, Naomi Gleit, Facebook's VP of Social Good
David Morris, Naomi Gleit, Facebook’s VP of Social Good

Photo: Getty Images

Radhika Jones
Radhika Jones

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Haim Saban, Cheryl Saban
Haim Saban, Cheryl Saban

Photo: Getty Images

Anne Wojcicki
Anne Wojcicki

Photo: Getty Images

Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani
Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani

Photo: Getty Images

Julia Milner
Julia Milner

Photo: Getty Images

Irina Grishin, Dmitry Grishin, the co-founder and Chairman of Mail.Ru
Irina Grishin, Dmitry Grishin, the co-founder and Chairman of Mail.Ru

Photo: Getty Images

Robinhood co-founder and co-CEO Vladimir Tenev and Celina Tenev
Robinhood co-founder and co-CEO Vladimir Tenev and Celina Tenev

Photo: Getty Images

Wendi Deng Murdoch
Wendi Deng Murdoch

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Jim Breyer
Jim Breyer

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Rachel McAdams in Rami Kadi
Rachel McAdams in Rami Kadi

Photo: Getty Images

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Photo: Getty Images

Lily Collins
Lily Collins

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Hans Ulrich Obrist, Yana Peel
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Yana Peel

Photo: Getty Images

Charlotte Bottger, Ijad Madisch
Charlotte Bottger, Ijad Madisch

Photo: Getty Images

Bernard Tyson, Denise Bradley Tyson
Bernard Tyson, Denise Bradley Tyson

Photo: Getty Images

Jessica Taneja, Hemant Taneja
Jessica Taneja, Hemant Taneja

Photo: Getty Images

Jessica Lessin and Sam Lessin
Jessica Lessin, Sam Lessin

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Jessica Sittig, Aaron Sittig
Jessica Sittig, Aaron Sittig

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Kathy Gong
Kathy Gong

Photo: Getty Images

Bloomberg's Olivia Zaleski and Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen
Bloomberg’s Olivia Zaleski and Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Dan Schulman
Paypal CEO Dan Schulman

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Ron Howard
Ron Howard

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Leonid Solovyev, Elena Ziskind
Leonid Solovyev, Elena Ziskind

Photo: Drew Altizer Photography

Edward Zuckerberg and Karen Zuckerberg
Edward Zuckerberg and Karen Zuckerberg

Photo: Getty Images

Dr. Edward Witten
Dr. Edward Witten

Photo: Getty Images