Dan David Prize

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Dan David Prize
Awarded for outstanding contribution in the fields of science, technology, culture or social welfare
Country Israel
Presented by The Dan David Foundation
First awarded 2002
Official website http://www.dandavidprize.org
Jimmy Wales Accepting the Dan David Prize at the Tel Aviv University, 2015

The Dan David Prize grants annually three prizes of US$1 million each for outstanding achievement. Fields are chosen for Past, Present and Future.

The Dan David Prize is awarded for innovative and interdisciplinary research. Prize laureates donate 10 percent of their prize money to doctoral scholarships for outstanding Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholarships for outstanding researchers in their own field from around the world.[1]


The Dan David Foundation was founded in 2000 with a $100 million endowment by Romanian-born Israeli businessman and philanthropist Dan David.[2] The Founding Director was Professor Gad Barzilai. The foundation and Tel Aviv University award the prizes. The first awards ceremony took place at Tel Aviv University on May 2002.

In 2016, Catherine Hall of University College London rejected the Dan David Prize. She said: “This was an independent political choice, undertaken after many discussions with those who are deeply involved with the politics of Israel-Palestine.” The British Committee for Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) described her move as “a significant endorsement of the campaign to end ties with Israeli institutions.”[3]


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,[4] Frederick Wiseman[5]
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 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[6]
FutureGeosciences Ellen Mosley-Thompson & Lonnie Thompson, Geoffrey Eglinton
2009 PastAstrophysics – History of the Universe Paolo de Bernardis, Andrew E. Lange, Paul Richards[7]
PresentLeadership Tony Blair[7]
Future – Global Public Health Robert Gallo[7]
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[8]
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 Friedlander
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


  1. ^ The Dan David Prize
  2. ^ "The true worth of Dan David – Haaretz – Israel News". Haaretz. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  3. ^ 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; BDS Victory: Feminist Historian Refuses $300,000 Israeli Prize, TeleSUR, 22 May 2016.
  4. ^ "2003 Present – Print & Electronic Media: James Nachtwey". Tel Aviv University. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Laureates 2003". Tel Aviv University. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Al Gore – Present 2008 Laureate – Dan David Prize, TAU Archived May 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  7. ^ a b c "Laureates 2009". Dan David Prize. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  8. ^ "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. 

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