Selected Fields 2005

Past - Archaeology

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Archaeology records and provides information about the human past. It has revealed fossil remains of human ancestors, of hominids, of Stone Age humans who learned to make simple stone tools, and of Homo sapiens, who appeared in Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years ago.

Archaeological research spans phenomena that are unique to humans - from human ancestors who were scavengers, through the development of agriculture and early domestication of animals about 10,000 years ago, to ancient civilizations centering on magnificent cities with large buildings and tombs, having roads and human-made waterways and the political and economic power to create and maintain these societies until their decline. It examines cultural phenomena such as monotheism, burial rituals or afterlife beliefs. Recording the development of such phenomena over thousands of years has added to our understanding of the development of the human intellect and spirit.

The study of archaeology has gone through various periods. Until the 1950s, it was concerned mainly with artifacts and cultural sequences. Increased use of radiocarbon dating and computers in the 1960s placed a major emphasis on environmental aspects and enabled a reconstruction of ancient ways of life and how past cultures developed, evolved and interacted with their surroundings. Present-day archaeology provides reliable information on familial, ethnic, gender, age group and social class interactions; on daily life; on beliefs and on value systems of past generations. Contemporary archaeology is focused on the conservation and management of the archaeological record. Cultural resource management efforts are invested to preserve, repair and repatriate artifacts and remains.

The Dan David prize recognizes the immense contribution of Archaeology in linking the present with the past, its practical and educational significance for modern societies and its important role in our appreciation of our common ancestry and the scope of human diversity. Therefore, the 2005 Dan David Prize in the Past Time Dimension will be granted to an individual or institution that, through archaeological research, has made a major and significant contribution to our understanding of the past and its impact on our present and future world.


Present - The Performing Arts Dance, Film, Music, Theater

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French philosopher Victor Cousin (1792-1867) maintained that "We must have religion for religion's sake, morality for morality's sake, as with art for art's sake. the beautiful cannot be the way to what is useful, or to what is good, or to what is holy; it leads only to itself". Whether or not we agree with this statement there cannot be any doubt that human civilization is very intimately linked with art in all its forms. Art is one of the manifestations of what differentiates us from the animals, what makes us human - this need to rise above the necessities of survival in order to create.

Art can be looked at as the impartment of truth through the senses. In performing arts, whether in drama, dance, music or cinema, this function is mediated through movement, sound, sight, and the combination thereof. The audience creates images, impressions and feelings and generates opinions from words, movements and tone sequences. Performing arts fulfill thus important and significant roles in shaping individuals and societies. Yet, We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth (John F. Kennedy).

In recognition of the immense and important influence of performing arts on many spheres of our life, the 2005 Dan David Prize in the Present Dimension will be granted to an individual or institution that has made significant contributions and fulfilled leadership roles in music, theater, dance or cinema and/or to their dissemination around the world.


Future - Materials Science

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Most of the technological innovations in contemporary life were due to major breakthroughs in the processing or application of materials. Pioneering studies involving polymers (plastics), ceramics, metals and semiconductors as well as combinations of materials (composites) led to the development of the automobile, of television, and of sophisticated integrated circuits in satellites and computers.

Materials Science encompasses the study and control of material structure and properties. It seeks to discover the fundamental principles that govern the wide-ranging behaviors of materials, and it applies these discoveries in developing technologies that meet human needs. An immense body of knowledge in nano-chemistry, physics, electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering and nano-biology constantly leads to the creation and commercialization of new types of advanced materials, thus affecting quality of life, industrial competitiveness, and global environment.

The 2005 Dan David Prize in the Future Time Dimension will be granted to an individual or individuals that made breakthrough, innovative discoveries in one or more of the areas of chemical and electrochemical materials, electronic and optical materials, biomaterials as well as in the understanding of nanoscale phenomena and materials.