Dan David Prize

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Dan David Prize
Awarded forOutstanding work in the study of the human past.
Presented byThe Dan David Foundation
Reward(s)US$3,000,000 (Nine US$300,000 Prizes and one US$300,000 Fellowship)
First awarded2002; 21 years ago (2002)
Jimmy Wales accepting the Dan David Prize at Tel Aviv University, 2015

The Dan David Prize is an international group of awards that recognize and support outstanding contributions to the study of history and other disciplines that shed light on the human past.[1] Nine prizes of $300,000 are awarded each year to outstanding early- and mid-career scholars and practitioners in the historical disciplines.[2] The Prize has an annual purse of $3 million, making it the largest history award in the world,[3][4] including $300,000 funding an international postdoctoral fellowship program at Tel Aviv University, where the Prize is headquartered. The Prize is endowed by the Dan David Foundation.[5]

Until 2021 the Prize comprised 3 annual prizes of $1 million[6] for innovative and interdisciplinary research in three time dimensions: Past, Present and Future. Prize laureates donated 10 percent of their prize money to doctoral scholarships for outstanding Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholarships in their own field from around the world.

In September 2021, the Dan David Prize announced that it would shift its focus to support the work of historians, art historians, archaeologists, digital humanists, curators, documentary filmmakers[2] and all those who deepen our knowledge and understanding of the past.


The Dan David Foundation was founded in 2000 with a $100 million endowment by Romanian-born Israeli businessman and philanthropist Dan David.[7]

Laureates include cellist Yo-Yo Ma (2006), Israeli author Amos Oz (2008), U.S. Vice President Al Gore (2008), Canadian author Margaret Atwood (2010), French economist Esther Duflo, and immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci (2021).[8]

In 2016, Catherine Hall of University College London rejected the Dan David Prize. Her prize money was donated to fund scholarships at Tel Aviv University.[9]

Transition to new focus[edit]

The Dan David Prize was founded with the goal of rewarding and encouraging innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms.[10]

Each year, three prizes of $1 million were awarded in rotating fields to those who made outstanding contributions to humanity.  

In anticipation of the Prize’s 20th anniversary in 2021, the Dan David Prize refocused in a new direction, citing the decline of global investment in the humanities and the relative scarcity of major prizes in the humanities. The redesigned prize[11] focuses on supporting outstanding research in the historical disciplines and celebrating scholars and practitioners whose work illuminates the human past and enriches public debate with a deeper understanding of history.

The Prize announced that starting in 2022 it would award up to nine prizes of $300,000 each year to early- and mid-career scholars and practitioners around the world[12] to recognize significant achievements in the study of the past and support the winners’ future endeavours. From 2022, there will no longer be a distinction between three prize categories.

Winners (from 2022)[edit]

From 2022 recipients of the Prize were called winners rather than laureates. The first cohort of Prize winners was announced on March 1, 2022.[13]

Year Winner Field
2022 Mirjam Brusius Visual and material culture in global and colonial contexts
Bartow Elmore Environmental history of global capitalism
Tyrone McKinley Freeman History of African-American philanthropy
Verena Krebs Medieval Ethiopia and cross-cultural encounters
Efthymia Nikita Bioarchaeology of the Mediterranean
Nana Oforiatta Ayim Curator, writer, artist and art historian centering African heritage
Kristina Richardson Medieval Islamic world and the Roma
Natalia Romik Architect and public historian who works to preserve the memory of Jewish life in Eastern Europe
Kimberly Welch Legal history of the antebellum South
2023 Saheed Aderinto Social and cultural historian of modern Africa, deploying unusual lenses and categories like sexuality, childhood, guns, animals and music for understanding the Nigerian past
Ana Antic Historian of psychiatry and twentieth-century Europe, exploring issues of politics, violence and mental health
Karma Ben Johanan Intellectual historian of inter-religious encounters, focusing on Catholic–Jewish interactions
Elise K. Burton Historian of science, race and nationalism in the modern Middle East, focusing on genetics, physical anthropology, and evolutionary biology
Adam Clulow Global historian of Europe and East Asia, deploying video games and virtual reality for popularising history
Krista Goff Historian using oral history and everyday sources in understanding experiences of understudied ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union.
Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers Historian exploring women’s social, economic and legal relationships to enslaved people and to the slave trade in the trans-Atlantic world.
Anita Radini “Archaeologist of dirt” analyzing the tiny remains of dust that collect in dental plaque, for learning about the work lives and environments of people in the past
Chao Tayiana Maina Public historian using digital technologies to capture and preserve previously hidden or suppressed historical narratives in Kenya.

Laureates (2002–2021)[edit]

Year Theme Laureate
2002 PastHistory Warburg Library
PresentTechnology, Information and Society Daniel Hillis
FutureLife sciences Sydney Brenner, John Sulston, Robert Waterston
2003 PastPaleoanthropology Michel Brunet
PresentPrint & electronic media James Nachtwey,[14] Frederick Wiseman[15]
Futurecosmology & astronomy John Bahcall
2004 PastCities: Historical legacy Rome, Istanbul, Jerusalem
PresentLeadership: Changing our World Klaus Schwab
FutureBrain sciences Robert Wurtz, Amiram Grinvald, William Newsome
2005 Past- Archaeology Graeme Barker, Israel Finkelstein
Present – The Performing Arts: Film, Theater, Dance, Music Peter Brook
FutureMaterials science Robert Langer, George Whitesides, C.N.R. Rao
2006 PastMusic Yo-Yo Ma
PresentJournalism Magdi Allam, Monica Gonzalez, Adam Michnik, Goenawan Mohamad
FutureTreatment of cancer John Mendelsohn, Joseph Schlessinger
2007 PastHistorians Jacques Le Goff
PresentContemporary Music[disambiguation needed] Pascal Dusapin, Zubin Mehta
FutureQuest for Energy James E. Hansen, Jerry Olson, Sarah Kurtz
2008 Past – Creative Rendering of the Past Amos Oz, Tom Stoppard, Atom Egoyan
PresentSocial Responsibility Al Gore[16]
FutureGeosciences Ellen Mosley-Thompson & Lonnie Thompson, Geoffrey Eglinton
2009 PastAstrophysics – History of the Universe Paolo de Bernardis, Andrew E. Lange, Paul Richards[17]
PresentLeadership Tony Blair[17]
Future – Global Public Health Robert Gallo[17]
2010 Past – March Towards Democracy Giorgio Napolitano
PresentLiterature: Rendition of the 20th Century Margaret Atwood, Amitav Ghosh
FutureComputers and Telecommunications Leonard Kleinrock, Gordon E. Moore, Michael O. Rabin
2011 PastEvolution Marcus Feldman
PresentCinema and Society Coen Brothers[18]
FutureAgeing: Facing the Challenge Cynthia Kenyon, Gary Ruvkun
2012 PastHistory/Biography Robert Conquest, Sir Martin Gilbert
PresentPlastic Arts William Kentridge
FutureGenome Research David Botstein, Eric Lander, J. Craig Venter
2013 PastClassics, the Modern Legacy of the Ancient World Sir Geoffrey Lloyd
Present – Ideas, Public Intellectuals and Contemporary Philosophers Michel Serres, Leon Wieseltier
FuturePreventive Medicine Esther Duflo, Alfred Sommer
2014 Past – History and Memory Krzysztof Czyzewski, Pierre Nora, Saul Friedländer
Present – Combating Memory Loss John A. Hardy, Peter St. George-Hyslop, Brenda Milner
FutureArtificial Intelligence, The Digital Mind Marvin Minsky
2015 Past – Retrieving the Past: Historians and their Sources Peter Brown, Alessandro Portelli
Present – The Information Revolution Jimmy Wales
Future – Bioinformatics Cyrus Chothia, David Haussler, Michael Waterman
2016 Past – Social History – New Directions Inga Clendinnen, Arlette Farge
Present – Combatting Poverty Anthony B. Atkinson, Francois Bourguignon, James J. Heckman
Future – Nanoscience Paul Alivisatos, Chad Mirkin, John Pendry
2017 Past – Archeology and Natural Sciences Svante Pääbo, David Reich
Present – Literature Jamaica Kincaid, A. B. Yehoshua
Future – Astronomy Neil Gehrels, Shrinivas Kulkarni, Andrzej Udalski
2018 Past – History of Science Lorraine Daston, Evelyn Fox Keller, Simon Schaffer
Present – Bioethics Ezekiel Emanuel, Jonathan Glover, Mary Warnock
Future – Personalized Medicine Carlo M. Croce, Mary-Claire King, Bert Vogelstein
2019 Past – Macro History Kenneth Pomeranz, Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Present – Defending Democracy Michael Ignatieff, Reporters Without Borders
Future – Combatting Climate Change Christiana Figueres
2020 Past – Cultural Preservation and Revival Lonnie G. Bunch III, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
Present – Gender Equality Gita Sen, Debora Diniz
Future – Artificial Intelligence Demis Hassabis, Amnon Shashua
2021 Past – History of Health and Medicine Alison Bashford, Katharine Park, Keith Wailoo
Present – Public Health Anthony Fauci
Future – Molecular Medicine Zelig Eshhar, Carl June, Steven Rosenberg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dan David Prize". Dan David Prize. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b "The Prize". Dan David Prize. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  3. ^ Prize, Dan David. "Dan David Prize Relaunches as the Largest History Prize in the World". WFMZ.com. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  4. ^ "Dan David Prize relaunches, now the world's largest history award". The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Dan David Foundation". www.dandavid.org. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  6. ^ Lonas, Lexi (15 February 2021). "Fauci wins $1 million Israeli prize for 'defending science'". The Hill. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  7. ^ "The true worth of Dan David – Haaretz – Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  8. ^ Stolberg, Sheryl Gay (16 February 2021). "Covid-19: Biden Suggests All Americans Could Be Offered Vaccines by August". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  9. ^ Prominent Feminist Historian Rejects Israeli Academic Award, Haaretz, 22 May 2016; UK historian declines Israeli prize, citing conflict with Palestinians, Times of Israel, 22 May 2016; Haggai Matar: Famed feminist British historian refuses prestigious Israeli award, +972 Magazine, 22 May 2016; [1], TimesHigherEducation, 23 May 2016.
  10. ^ "The Prize 2001 – 2021". Dan David Prize. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  11. ^ "The Prize". Dan David Prize. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Nominate". Dan David Prize. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  13. ^ "A new MacArthur-style 'genius grant' for history names its first winners". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  14. ^ "2003 Present – Print & Electronic Media: James Nachtwey". Tel Aviv University. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Laureates 2003". Tel Aviv University. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  16. ^ Al Gore – Present 2008 Laureate – Dan David Prize, TAU Archived 3 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ a b c "Laureates 2009". Dan David Prize. Archived from the original on 11 March 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  18. ^ "Coen brothers win $1m Dan David Prize". BBC News. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 17 May 2011. The pair were given the Dan David Prize – awarded to people who have made 'an outstanding contribution to humanity' – at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

External links[edit]