- Press Release
- Jan 28, 2023
Science luminaries speak at Breakthrough Symposium – Livestream available
Winners of 2019 Breakthrough Prize Will Lead Discussions on Cutting-Edge Research with Inspiring TED-Style Talks
WHAT: The 2019 Breakthrough Prize Symposium, held the day after the Breakthrough
Prize Awards ceremony, will feature both current and former laureates leading TED-style talks on cutting-edge science research initiatives and the significance and future of scientific discovery.
Topics include abnormal chromosomes and their role in cancer and potential use as a therapeutic target; exploring radio bursts and what’s going on in the stars; algebraic geometry and the Langlands Program; and discussing RNA splicing as a target for the next generation of precision medicines.
Dr. Jennifer Doudna, 2015 Breakthrough Prize Laureate and leader in the CRISPR revolution, will present “Recoding Life: The Future of Genome Editing.”
The event will conclude with three cross-disciplinary panel discussions between laureates past and present, about broad philosophical subjects around science and technology. The topics of this year’s discussions include: ‘Is there (intelligent) life in the Universe?’; ‘What are the limits of science?’; and ‘Is time travel possible?’.
For a detailed schedule of the program, visit https://
WHEN: Monday, November 5, 2018
Pauley Ballroom, MLK Student Union
Breakthrough Prize Laureate Talks
9:30AM – 5:00PM PST
Evening Cross-Disciplinary Panel
5:30PM – 7:00 PM PST
BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE LAUREATE TALKS
(9:30AM – 5:00PM PST)
10:30 AM – Abnormal Chromosome Number: it’s Role in Cancer and Potential as a Therapeutic
Angelika Amon, 2019 Laureate
10:55 AM – Envisaging the Emergence of Quantum Topological Matter
Charles Kane, 2019 Laureate
11:20 AM – Recoding Life: The Future of Genome Editing
Jennifer Doudna, 2015 Laureate
11:45 AM – Some Open Problems in Algebraic Geometry and the Langlands Program
Vincent Lafforgue, 2019 Laureate
12:10 PM – RNA Splicing as a Target for the Next Generation of Precision Medicines
Adrian R. Krainer, 2019 Laureate
1:35 PM – Biomaterials and How They Will Change our Lives
Robert Langer, 2014 Laureate
2:00 PM – Imaging the Invisible in Living Organisms –– Current State of the Art and Future
Xiaowei Zhuang, 2019 Laureate
2:25 PM – The Winding Road from Topological Insulators
Gene Mele, 2019 Laureate
2:50 PM – Inflammation 2030 – Modern Disease Caused by an Old Flame
James Chen, 2019 Laureate
3:45 PM – Seeking a Computer-free Proof of the 4-Color Theorem
Ian Agol, 2016 Laureate
4:10 PM – Genetic Medicines: Present and Future
Frank Bennett, 2019 Laureate
5:00 PM – Radio Bursts! What’s Going on Amongst the Stars?
Jocelyn Bell Burnell, 2018 Laureate
BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE PANEL DISCUSSIONS
(5:30 – 7:00PM PST)
Is there (intelligent) life in the Universe?
Featuring Jocelyn Bell, Astronomy, 2018 Laureate; John Hardy, Neuroscience, 2017 Laureate; and Kim Nasmyth, Molecular Biology, 2018 Laureate
Astronomers have been looking for life beyond Earth for decades, but have so far found nothing. But the recent discovery that almost all stars probably host planets may have changed the game. How likely are we to find primitive life? How hard is it to get from cells to brains? And why have we not seen evidence of civilizations?
What are the limits of science?
Featuring Andrei Linde, Theoretical Physics, Cosmology – 2012 Laureate; Gary Ruvkun, Molecular Biology, Genetics, 2015 Laureate; and Xiaowei Zhuang, Biophysics, 2019 Laureate
Science has shown us a universe more and more distant from our familiar world: at microscopic and cosmic scales, at the dawn of time and remote stages of evolutionary history. But is this process limitless? What are the furthest and smallest physical and biological objects we can see? Can we ever know what happened at the moment of the Big Bang? And how far back can we retrace the origin of life on Earth?
Is time travel possible?
Nima Arkani-Hamed, Theoretical Physics, 2012 Laureate; Daniel Harlow, Theoretical Physics, 2019 Laureate; Daniel Jafferis, Theoretical Physics, 2019 Laureate; and Aron Wall, Theoretical Physics, 2019 Laureate
Time travel is a staple of science fiction, but how does mainstream science see it? Is it forbidden by the laws of physics? And if not, could it ever be a practical possibility? And do scientists even agree about what time is?
MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: All events are free and open to the media, but seating is limited. Please RSVP to Kristen Bothwell /[email protected] / 212-843-9227; or Emily Gest / [email protected] / 917-690-7823.
The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences honors transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life. The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics honors the world’s best mathematicians who have contributed to major advances in the field. The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics recognizes major insights into the deepest questions of the Universe.
For more information on the Breakthrough Prize, visit https://