Hollywood Meets Silicon Valley: Innovators Awarded for Breakthroughs

Hollywood Meets Silicon Valley: Innovators Awarded for Breakthroughs
Colorful, One Might Say
Two Men at the Top of Their Games
Emcee of the Show
Zuck and Wife
Google Him Please
Two of the Prize Winners
OK to Tweet About This Matchup
Beauty and the Musk
Knows IT From the Inside Out
Fresh From Re-Election
Mrs. Jobs Makes an Appearance
She Did One Song, but Made It Count
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Hollywood Meets Silicon Valley: Innovators Awarded for Breakthroughs

By Chris Preimesberger

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Colorful, One Might Say

The Breakthrough Prizes staging team did a marvelous job on the huge hangar for the event. The greenhouse-style structure inside (at bottom) seated about 500 guests, including such non-technical folks as former Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel, movie producer Harvey Weinstein and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. The overall color of the building changed frequently.

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Two Men at the Top of Their Games

Caterer Thomas Keller of The French Laundry (right) meets Nobel Laureate James Watson backstage in the press room work area before the event. Watson was one of four people to win the Nobel in 1953 in physiology or medicine for their determination of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

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Emcee of the Show

Singer, writer and television producer Seth MacFarlane was the emcee and was very smooth at his job. (He's emceed the Oscars previously.) But some of his Hollywood-type humor was lost on the very scientific crowd he was addressing. For example: "This is a great event, and I'm glad to be here with you tonight. But this will be different from, say, emceeing the Oscars, because we won't be hearing too many references to God tonight." Crickets. Nonetheless, MacFarlane was a wonderful host.

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Zuck and Wife

Co-hosts Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan pose for the cameras on the red carpet prior to the dinner and show.

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Google Him Please

Google co-founder Sergei Brin, whose office is only a short walk from the NASA Ames Federal Airfield, where Hangar One (and several Google company jets) are located, makes his appearance on the carpet.

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Two of the Prize Winners

Emmanuelle Charpentier of France (left) and Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley were co-winners in life sciences for their discovery of using bacterial immunity in a process to edit genomes. The process has wide-ranging uses across biology and medicine.

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OK to Tweet About This Matchup

Actress Cameron Diaz, well-known for movies that include "There's Something About Mary, "The Holiday" and "My Best Friend's Wedding," meets up with new friend Dick Costolo of Twitter to present one of the awards. Diaz revealed that she is an avid user of Twitter.

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Beauty and the Musk

Actress Kate Beckinsale ("Pearl Harbor," "The Aviator") joined Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk to hand out one of the $3 million Breakthrough Prizes.

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Knows IT From the Inside Out

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who served as a presenter at the event, is deeply involved in the history of IT: He portrayed computer science pioneer Alan Turing in "The Imitation Game."

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Fresh From Re-Election

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a vocal supporter and virtual evangelist for the IT business in Silicon Valley and the rest of the state, was a presenter along with his wife, Jennifer Siebel. He was re-elected to office Nov. 4.

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Mrs. Jobs Makes an Appearance

Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs and co-founder of Terravera, served as one of the presenters.

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She Did One Song, but Made It Count

Singer Christina Aguilera, most recently a cast member on NBC's "The Voice," came out and sang the ballad "Beautiful" and received a ringing ovation for her work.

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