BOG 2018: Dan David Prize Award Ceremony

Nine outstanding laureates across three categories were honored for their diverse achievements at the 17th annual Dan David Prize Award Ceremony
27 May 2018
From left to right: Prof. Carlo Croce; Prof. Mary-Claire King; Prof. Evelyn Fox Keller; Prof. Bert Vogelstein; Prof. Ezekiel Emanuel; Prof. Lorraine Daston; Prof. Simon Schaffer; Baroness Mary Warnock; Prof. Jonathan Glover. Credit: Israel Hadari

The international award, endowed by the Dan David Foundation in 2001 and headquartered at Tel Aviv University, recognizes and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms. It aims to foster universal values of excellence, creativity, justice, democracy and progress and to promote the scientific, technological and humanistic achievements that advance and improve our world. Prize money is granted annually in the fields chosen for three time dimensions – past, present and future. This year, recipients shared $1 million in prize money for each dimension, 10% of which went to scholarships for students in Israel and abroad.


Speaking of the late founder of the Prize, Dan David – a TAU Honorary Doctor, benefactor and friend – Prof. Joseph Klafter, Tel Aviv University President, said, “For all his life, Dan David was a living, breathing exemplar of a core value at Tel Aviv University – the emphasis on interdisciplinary studies. His curiosity was boundless and not only did he glory in the interconnectedness of all intellectual effort, but he also believed in the interconnectedness of time.”


“In the three fields selected for this year, our nine laureates have succeeded because they broke disciplinary and chronological boundaries. I think that crossing mental boundaries and revealing unpredictable connections captures the essence of the Dan David Prize,” continued Prof. Klafter.


This year’s laureates in the Past: “History of Science” were Prof. Lorraine Daston of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Prof. Evelyn Fox Keller of MIT and Prof. Simon Schaffer of Cambridge University. According to Prof. Klafter, these professors “have demonstrated that one cannot understand the evolution of science divorced from its political, economic, cultural and even gender contexts. These interconnections deeply influence how scientific investigation is both performed and perceived.”


In the Present category, which this year was dedicated to “Bioethics,” the winners were Baroness Mary Warnock, Prof. Jonathan Glover of King’s College London and Prof. Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania. “These three laureates have explored ethical issues involved in creating life, prolonging life and ending life,” explained Prof. Klafter. “Their seminal works draw on the life sciences, biotechnology, medicine, politics, law and philosophy, and describe the inter-relationships between them.”


Those individuals honored in the Future: “Personalized Medicine” category were Prof. Carlo Croce of Ohio State University, Prof. Mary-Claire King of the University of Washington Seattle and a TAU Honorary Doctor, and Prof. Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “We honor tonight three cancer pioneers,” concluded Prof. Klafter. “Drawing on genetics, molecular biology, virology, immunology and evolutionary medicine, their groundbreaking research has opened the door to individualized diagnosis, prevention and therapy.”


Ariel David, son of the late Dan David and Director of the Dan David Foundation, congratulated the laureates, emphasized the importance of this year’s categories and spoke of his late father, who passed away almost seven years ago, as a man with a “passion for the sciences and the humanities, a cunning business sense and a generous philanthropic spirit.”


Also in attendance at the ceremony, which was held at the Miriam and Adolfo Smolarz Auditorium, were Mrs. Gabriela David, a TAU Honorary Doctor and widow of Dan David; Prof. Jacob A. Frenkel, Chairman of the Board of Governors; Prof. Itamar Rabinovich, former TAU President and chairman of the Dan David Foundation, and many others.


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