Breakthrough Prizes Awards $22 million to Top Scientists

The red carpet rolled out Sunday night in Silicon Valley, and while there were plenty of celebrities on hand, the real stars were scientists.

The sixth annual Breakthrough Prizes, known as "the Oscars of science," took place at NASA Ames in Mountain View, celebrating achievements in math, science and medicine.

Morgan Freeman hosted the ceremony, and he was joined by many other stars, including Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Wiz Khalifa and Kerry Washington.

Twelve men and women were honored for their work with a total of $22 million in prize money.

Co-founder of the ceremony, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said the goal is to bring awareness to scientific and innovative achievements, which "shape our future."

“The world needs their inspiration and their reminder that, even though it doesn’t always feel that way, we are making steady progress toward building a better future for everyone," he said.

Each Breakthrough Prize came with a $3 million check, and the New Horizon winners took home $100,000 each.

More than 11,000 entries from 178 countries were received in the 2017 installment of the global competition.

The awards show aired live on the National Geographic channel.

The 2018 Breakthrough Prizes winners:

  • Life Sciences: Joanne Chory, Don W. Cleveland, Kazutoshi Mori, Kim Nasmyth, and Peter Walter
  • Fundamental Physics: Charles L. Bennett, Gary Hinshaw, Norman Jarosik, Lyman Page Jr., David N. Spergel, and the WMAP Science Team
  • Mathematics: Christopher Hacon and James McKernan
  • New Horizons in Physics: Christopher Hirata, Douglas Stanford, and Andrea Young
  • New Horizons in Mathematics: Aaron Naber, Maryna Viazovska, Zhiwei Yun, and Wei Zhang
  • Third Annual International Breakthrough Junior Challenge: Hillary Diane Andales
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