A total of $3 million will be shared in May by five laureates of the
international Dan David Prize, named after the international businessman and
philanthropist and headquartered at Tel Aviv University.
The names of the
winners, who include leading lights in the fields of evolution, ageing and
cinema, were disclosed on Tuesday.
The laureates were grouped according
to Past, Present and Future Dimensions.
Prof. Marcus Feldman of Stanford
University will receive his award for Past on the basis of his work in animal
and plant evolution. His work, said the judges’ panel, has led to highly focused
insights of cultural significance in different civilizations and not only
explores basic scientific topics, but investigates the societal consequences of
the conclusions he draws in terms of models of evolution.
Joel and Ethan
Coen of the US will receive the Present prize for their creative partnership,
unique in the history of filmmaking.
Their control over final cut of
their films, their grasp of film genres, black comedy, and their capacity to
bring narrative complexity to apparently simple plots have become hallmarks of
their films, said the judges. Among their films are Blood Simple, The Big
Lebowski, Fargo, No Country for Old Men and Barton Fink.
The Future prize
will be given to Prof. Cynthia Kenyon of the University of California at San
Francisco and Prof. Gary Ruvkun of Harvard Medical School.
described as “a visionary whose work has established that ageing is genetically
Ruvkun has researched an encoded hormone receptor similar to
“Kenyon’s pioneering work, and Ruvkun’s contributions give
good reason to think that life-span could be extended in man, and that the onset
of diseases of old-age could be delayed genetically or with drugs,” the jury
The laureates, who donate a tenth of their prize money towards 20
doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships, will be honored at a ceremony on May 15
at Tel Aviv University in the presence of the President Shimon
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who was awarded a Dan David
Prize last year but was unable to attend, will be at the May ceremony and will