Tech tycoons, boffins and celebs all rubbed shoulders at a lavish ceremony at NASA’s Hangar One on Sunday night, where the wealthy board led by Yuri Milner heaped millions on scientists for breakthroughs in life sciences, maths and fundamental physics.
The Prizes are given out by a panel of tech giants and the award ceremony is swarming with celebrities! This idea is awesome for so many reasons… but mostly because it awards scientists in a manner that is fitting for their contributions to society. Why shouldn’t scientists be awarded large cash prizes amongst celebrities?!? If their science can lead to treatments or cures for diseases that affect hundreds, thousands, or millions of people around the world? Not only does this award ceremony make science a bit more alluring and sexy, the awardees include many scientists doing basic science research, including C. elegans biology (Shout out to Gary Ruvkun and Victor Ambros!)!
The 2015 Advocacy Award winners are ABC’s “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts; Michael Milken, founder of the Milken Institute and FasterCures; Dr. Kenneth Olden, Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment, U.S. EPA; David Van Andel, Chairman and CEO, and Dr. George Vande Woude, Founding Scientific Director, Van Andel Research Institute; and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).
“These exceptional leaders have advanced scientific discovery and innovation through their determination to improve the health of individuals worldwide,” said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. “Their work has paved the way for others who are committed to ensuring that we save lives and sustain our nation’s global competitiveness with robust support for research.”