Over the weekend, Silicon Valley hosted the annual Breakthrough Prize award ceremony. The Prize, established in 2013 and backed by Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook’s CEO) and Sergey Brin (Google co-founder), awards huge cash prizes to the year’s top scientists and their breakthrough discoveries.
This year, the ceremony had a fantastic celebrity turnout (which included Seth MacFarlane, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Redmayne) and glitzed up the ceremony to resemble the Oscars instead of a stiff scholarly ceremony.
Unfortunately, our society reverse celebrities more than scientists. The Breakthrough Prize allows us to put the time, energy, glitz, and glamour that a film award show receives into a ceremony celebrating the biggest scientific breakthroughs of our time. Scientists are (finally) being recognized and properly compensated for the tremendously hard work they contribute to society. I also love that actors (such as Cumberbatch who is playing Alan Turing and Redmayne who is playing Stephen Hawking) are stepping out to raise awareness of the ceremony and support the nominees.