About the Breakthrough Prize

The Breakthrough Prizes, the world’s largest science award, honor important, primarily recent, achievements in the categories of fundamental physics, life sciences and mathematics.

The prizes were founded by Silicon Valley innovators Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Yuri Milner and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.

For the fifth year, the 2017 Breakthrough Prizes will honor top scientists, handing out up to five prizes in Life Sciences, one in Fundamental Physics and one in Mathematics. One of that Life Sciences award will be given specifically for work contributing to the understanding of Parkinson’s disease and neurodegenerative disorders. The 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics will recognize an individual(s) who has made profound contributions to human knowledge of the Universe - theoretical, mathematical or experimental.

Every year, committees of prior laureates choose the winners from candidates nominated in a process that is online and open to the public. Laureates receive $3 million each in prize money. In addition, up to six New Horizons Prizes, each for $100,000, are awarded to promising early career researchers in the fields of Fundamental Physics and Mathematics.

Breakthrough Prize 2016 winners lined up on stage at the award ceremony
Breakthrough Prize 2016 winners gather on stage during the award ceremony at NASA's Hangar 1 in Mountain View. Photo courtesy of Breakthrough Prize Foundation

The new Laureates are announced during a televised award gala designed to celebrate their achievements and inspire the next generation of scientists. The gala is followed each year by a day of academic symposia and panel discussions.

In 2016, UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley and Stanford University will be hosting the academic symposium and panel discussions on UCSF's Mission Bay campus.



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