Hollywood Rallies to Honor Scientists and Scientific Achievement Grammy-Winning Artist John Legend to Perform at Ninth Breakthrough Prize Ceremony

Kristen Bell, Leslie Odom Jr., and Chris Pine Join All-Star Lineup of Presenters, including Previously Announced Magnus Carlsen, Lily Collins, Danny DeVito, Robert Downey Jr., Gal Gadot, Mae Jemison, Brie Larson, Edward Norton, Lauren Ridloff, and Chloé Zhao.

Ceremony Hosted by James Corden.

LOS ANGELES – April 12, 2023 – Hollywood luminaries and prominent leaders of the business community and academia will gather in full force to celebrate science and scientific achievement at the ninth Breakthrough Prize ceremony, with Grammy-winning artist John Legend newly announced to perform live at the event on Saturday, April 15, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Hosted by actor and Emmy Award winner James Corden, the ceremony will feature appearances by Kristen Bell, Leslie Odom Jr., and Chris Pine, who are joining an all-star lineup of presenters, including the previously announced Magnus Carlsen, Lily Collins, Danny DeVito, Robert Downey Jr., Gal Gadot, Mae Jemison, Brie Larson, Edward Norton, Lauren Ridloff, and Chloé Zhao. Singer-songwriter Chris Isaak will perform at the event’s official afterparty.

The special event will bring together stars of stage, screen, and sport to honor the world’s leading scientists whose work fuels modern day scientific achievement. The Breakthrough Prize celebrates the research achievements of the world’s top scientists, awarding more than $15 million in prizes annually. Each Breakthrough Prize is $3 million and presented in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics. Additionally, each year New Horizons Prizes in Physics and Mathematics ($100,000) are awarded to early-career researchers, as well as the Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize ($50,000) that recognizes women mathematicians who have recently completed PhDs and produced important results.

This year’s Breakthrough Prize ceremony will be the first staged since 2019 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will spotlight a select grouping of Breakthrough Prize laureates, representative of winners from the three previous years (2021, 2022 and 2023). Eleven winners of the principal $3 million prizes will be joined by the 2023 winners of the Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prize and by three recent winners of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, global science-video competition for students 13-18 sponsored by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

Laureates to receive their accolades amid the glitter and glamor of a gala awards show attended by Hollywood stars of stage and screen, include: Shankar Balasubramanian (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Charles H. Bennett (Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics), Gilles Brassard (Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics), Katalin Karikó (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Jeffery W. Kelly (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), David Klenerman (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Yuk Ming Dennis Lo (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Pascal Mayer (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences), Peter W. Shor (Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics), Daniel A. Spielman (Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics), and Drew Weissman (Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences). Maggie Miller, Jinyoung Park and Vera Traub (Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers in Math Prize winners) and Breakthrough Junior Challenge winners Noor Haideri (2022), Amber Kwok (2021), and Maryam Tsegaye (2020) will also be honored during the show.

Don Mischer Productions

The ceremony will be produced by Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare and directed by Don Mischer. Don Mischer Productions is an internationally acclaimed production company for television and live events, which has consistently produced programs that share the best of the human experience, whether it be the work of our most acclaimed artists or the celebration of our greatest international events. DMP is always at the forefront of their craft, with an eye to innovate and advance the art form.

Some of their marquee productions include the Academy Awards; Super Bowl halftime shows (Prince, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, among others); We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial; The Emmy Awards; The Billboard Music Awards; and the Opening Ceremonies of both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games. Other productions include Seth Rogen's Hilarity For Charity; Rock The Troops with Dwayne Johnson; and the Taking The Stage: the Opening Celebration for the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.

About Breakthrough Prize

Known popularly as the “Oscars® of Science,” the Breakthrough Prize recognizes the research achievements of the world’s top scientists, awarding approximately $15 million annually in prizes. Each prize is $3 million and presented in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics. In addition, up to three New Horizons in Physics Prizes ($100,000), up to three New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes ($100,000), and up to three Maryam Mirzakhani New Frontiers Prizes ($50,000) are given out to early-career researchers each year. Laureates attend a gala award ceremony designed to celebrate their achievements and inspire the next generation of scientists. The Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Julia and Yuri Milner, and Anne Wojcicki and have been sponsored by foundations established by them. Selection Committees composed of previous Breakthrough Prize laureates in each field choose the winners. Information on the Breakthrough Prize is available at breakthroughprize.org.

About the Breakthrough Prize Foundation

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is a charitable foundation founded by science philanthropist and technology investor, Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, dedicated to advancing fundamental knowledge, celebrating scientific achievement, and utilizing scientific and technological innovations to improve people’s lives and inspire future generations. The Foundation’s programs include the Breakthrough Prize, which recognizes the world’s top scientists in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics; the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual global video competition for students to inspire creative scientific thinking; and the Breakthrough Initiatives, a suite of science programs investigating the fundamental questions of life in the Universe. Most recently, other philanthropic activities of Julia and Yuri Milner have included humanitarian efforts both in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

Information on the Breakthrough Initiative is available at breakthroughinitiatives.org
Information on the Breakthrough Junior Challenge at breakthroughjuniorchallenge.org
Information on Yuri Milner at yurimilner.com


For Breakthrough Prize:

Alice McGillion / 212-843-8039 / AMcGillion@Rubenstein.com
Kristen Bothwell / 212-843-9227 / Kbothwell@Rubenstein.com