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Stars line out to cheer on Breakthrough scientists

IT was a night when beauty met brains.

The world's greatest scientists were honoured for work which has broken ground at a lavish ceremony in California.

Over 60 biologists, physicists and mathematicians shared prizes worth $36m for their work at the Breakthrough awards.

Eleven of the scientists who won Breakthrough awards received $3m each, more than twice the cash value of the Nobel prize.

COMEDIAN

The event was held at Hangar One, a former airship station run by Nasa in Silicon Valley, and was hosted by comedian Seth MacFarlane. Actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Diaz, Kate Beckinsale joined the likes of Facebook-founder Mark Zuckerberg at the high-profile gig.

Yuri Milner, a Russian entrepreneur who made $1bn through internet firm investments, established the first Breakthrough prize in 2012. Milner has since joined forces with Zuckerberg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Jack Ma, China's richest man, to fund prizes in maths and life sciences.

The aim of the awards is to elevate science practitioners to rock-star status in a celebrity-obsessed society. Most Nobel prizes are awarded to researchers nearing the end of their career, the Breakthrough prizes target younger scientists.

hnews@herald.ie


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