Russian-born entrepreneur Yuri Milner made headlines last week when he announced the $3 million dollar BreakThrough Prize in Life Sciences. Awarded annually for the past 11 years, this prize will recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. Also involved in this remarkable new effort at rewarding scientific innovation are tech notables such as Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan and Art Levinson.
Expect him to talk more about the Breakthrough Prize in the special Vanity Fair Presents Yuri Milner and Bethany McLean session at SXSW Interactive on Saturday, March 9 at 9:30 am in Exhibit Hall 5 of the Austin Convention Center. In this session, Milner will also discuss his savvy internet and social media investments that include companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, AirBnb, as well as his funding of YCombinator backed companies through YC VC.
Interviewing Milner at SXSW will be Bethany McLean, who is an author and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Co-written with New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, her most current book is titled All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis. Previously, she authored Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron. McLean is also a columnist for Reuters, a contributor at CNBC, and a visiting scholar at New York University.