Former British PM receives $1-million prize for "determination in helping to engineer agreements."
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICHPublished: MAY 18, 2009 03:34Advertisement
Checks of $1 million each were presented at Tel Aviv University on Sunday night to Quartet envoy and former British prime minister Tony Blair, AIDS virus co-discoverer Prof. Robert Gallo and Prof. Paulo de Bernardis, a leading physicist at the University La Sapienza in Rome, as winners of the Dan David Prize.
TAU president Prof. Zvi Galil, who is also chairman of the Dan David Prize board, stated in his speech that "the work of this year's laureates illustrate the innovative and creative advancement of human knowledge and of the importance of supporting such outstanding achievements.
"The review committees succeeded in identifying the leaders and innovations in their fields, past, present and future. We must understand the past and act in the present to achieve a better future," said Galil.
De Bernardis, an experimental astrophysicist, was cited for his contribution for the "Past Time Dimension in the Field of Cosmology," Blair for his contribution in the "Present Time Dimension in the field of Leadership," and Gallo for his contribution in the "Future Time Dimension in the field of Global Public Health."
President Shimon Peres presented the prizes on campus along with Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, Dan David, who established the prize, and Galil.
The prize has been awarded since 2002 to individuals or institutions with proven, exceptional and distinct excellence in the sciences, arts, humanities, who have made an outstanding contribution to humanity in each of the three time dimensions.
As in past years, the laureates donate 10 percent of their prize money to outstanding doctoral and post-doctoral students in the chosen fields.
Scholarship recipients will join the Scholars Forum on the Dan David Prize Web site, providing an opportunity for exchange of ideas and dialogue on topics of interest.
The Dan David Prize seeks to impact on the next generation of leaders and involves high school pupils through the "Name Your Hero" essay competition.
Pupils submit essays proposing candidates they consider worthy of the Dan David Prize, and selected teenagers participate in an advanced TAU writing workshops. This year's competition grants three first-place winners NIS 10,000 each, six second-place winners NIS 5,000 each and 12 third-place winners NIS 2,500 each.
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