gbrumfiel writes "Billionaire Internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner has spontaneously awarded $3 million prizes to nine prominent theoretical physicists. The new Fundamental Physics Prize dwarfs awards like the Nobel, which this year is estimated to be worth some $1.2 million (and that's before it's split by up to three winners). It's so much money that some theorists fear it could distort the field. Milner says that his only purpose for the new prize was to promote the field, which he studied in the 1980s: 'The intention was to say that science is as important as a shares rating on Wall Street,' he told Nature."
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