American intellectual and literary editor of The New Republic Leon Wieseltier, University of Cambridge historian Prof. Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, and preventative medicine specialists Prof. Cynthia Kenyon and Prof. Gary Ruvkun are among the winners of the 2013 Dan David Prize, which annually awards three prizes of $1 million each. The prizes are granted for "proven, exceptional and distinct excellence in the sciences, arts and humanities that have made an outstanding contribution to humanity."
The laureates, who donate 10% of their prize money towards 20 doctoral and postdoctoral Tel Aviv University scholarships, will be honored at a ceremony at the university on June 9, 2013 during the University's International Board of Governors Meeting from June 6-10.
The Dan David Prize is named for the late international businessman and philanthropist Dan David. Its international headquarters are located at Tel Aviv University. Each year the International Board chooses one field within the three time dimensions of Past (highlighting fields that expand knowledge of former times), Present (recognizing achievements that shape and enrich contemporary society) and Future (focusing on breakthroughs that hold great promise for the improvement of our world). Following a review process by independent Review Committees comprised of renowned scholars and professionals, the International Board then chooses the laureates for each field.
The 2013 Dan David Prize laureates are:
Past -- In the field of "Classics, the Modern Legacy of the Ancient World": Prof. Sir Geoffrey Lloyd of the Needham Research Institute and the University of Cambridge, for his work on the subject of Greek science as a major field in the history of classical philosophy, illuminating the roots of modern science.
Present -- Sharing the prize in the field of "Ideas, Public Intellectuals and Contemporary Philosophers": Prof. Michel Serres of Stanford University and Université de Paris, one of the most important modern French philosophers, for his intimate knowledge of the western tradition in philosophy and science and for his discussion of a vast range of current questions, and Mr. Leon Wieseltier, American intellectual and philosopher and Literary Editor of The New Republic, a foremost writer and thinker who confronts and engages with central issues of our times, setting the standard for serious cultural discussion in the United States.
Future -- Sharing the prize in the field of "Preventative Medicine": Prof. Esther Duflo, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an economist noted for her work on social conditions and strategies related to the alleviation of poverty which deals directly with prevention of disease; and Dr. Alfred Sommer of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for his unexpected and striking discovery in demonstrating that vitamin A has the power to save children's lives.
The Dan David Prize, the culmination of the philanthropic effort of the late businessman Dan David, has been headquartered at Tel Aviv University since its establishment in 2000. "Very important to the prize is the underlying philosophy. It's an idea that recognizes the importance of the time dimension and the interplay between time dimensions, past present and future," says Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, Chairman of the Dan David Foundation. "Dan David's family - his widow Gabriella and his son Ariel - my colleagues on the foundation and I are delighted by the smooth and effective collaboration between Tel Aviv University and by the excellent fashion in which the prize is managed and administered here. I'm looking forward to many more years of such collaboration and such great choices."
Watch the video announcement of this year's laureates here:
For more information on the Dan David Prize and this year's laureates, visit the Web site for the awards:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University supports Israel's leading, most comprehensive and most sought-after center of higher learning. Independently ranked 94th among the world's top universities for the impact of its research, TAU's innovations and discoveries are cited more often by the global scientific community than all but 10 other universities.
Internationally recognized for the scope and groundbreaking nature of its research and scholarship, Tel Aviv University consistently produces work with profound implications for the future.