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Nov 2, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Let’s face it: the words 'research' and 'glamorous' don’t usually go together. However, that may change soon -- at least if the Breakthrough Prize has anything to say about it. Here’s a closer look at this $3 million Silicon Valley-funded award aimed at raising the profile -- and prestige -- of science, as recently reported by France 24.

About the Breakthrough Prize

“The disciplines that ask the biggest questions and find the deepest explanations are the fundamental sciences. The Breakthrough Prizes honor important, primarily recent, achievements in the categories of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics,” says the Breakthrough Prize's website.  This year's prizes add up to a total of $22 million for advancements in treatments for the leading genetic cause of infant death, super-resolution imaging, discovering a new kind of electronic materials, and other significant achievements.

In addition to being the world’s most generous science prize, the Breakthrough Prize also offers laureates the opportunity to attend a glitzy televised awards ceremony designed to celebrate their achievements while inspiring the next generation of young scientists.

This Year’s Event

The “star-studded” seventh annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony will be broadcast live on National Geographic and live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. In addition to feting the main prize winners, the ceremony will also reveal the winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual global competition which seeks to inspire creative thinking about science among students between the ages of 13 and 18.

Former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, will host the ceremony, which will also feature on-stage presenters including Orlando Bloom, Ron Howard, Julianne Moore, Thandie Newton, Lupita Nyong'o and Zoe Saldana. The “Oscars of Science” will also pay tribute to the late, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking. And, to top it off, people will be Dancing on the Ceiling to a performance from Lionel Richie and Chinese music sensation G.E.M. will also be singing. 

Learn more about studying science.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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