Selected Fields 2006

Past - Preserving Cultural Heritage: Individuals' Contributions

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Heritage is legacy from the past, lived by today, and passed on to future generations. Cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.

Culture, as heritage, includes both "built" aspects of culture such as buildings, monuments, and objects, as well as "living" heritage embodied in values, beliefs, social practices, language, arts and handicrafts, literature, poetry and performing arts. "World heritage" is a relatively modern concept encompassing common elements to all cultures throughout time.

Industry, technology and modernization in general, have led to the destruction of material culture. Much of our cultural heritage, whether historic sites and buildings, collections of documents and books, archives of films and tape, or the skills and techniques of artisans, is at serious risk of being lost. Many countries and global organizations have implemented policies and legislation in order to preserve cultural heritage in the face of political and economic pressures.

The 2006 Dan David Prize, whose underlying concept is the interaction between the time dimensions - past, present and future - will honor an individual (or individuals) who has made outstanding and creative contributions in illuminating heritages and traditions within and between different cultures; in studying the evolution of ideas and traditions; in investigating how new creations arose from the diversity of these traditions; and who is dedicated to the preserving of cultural heritages in any of its forms


Present - Journalists of Print Media

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Freedom of speech and freedom of information are amongst the bulwarks of a democratic society. In an increasingly complex world, journalists who can master subjects and communicate effectively to the general public are an invaluable resource to the public and crucial to the best functioning of a democracy.

The quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined. As historian Richard Reeves answered a student who asked him to define real news: "Real news is the news you and I need to keep our freedoms."

In this age of faster and better communication, new media technology is bringing information to life. We are witness to an increasing trend from established ink-on-paper newspapers to electronic publishing.

Today's journalists have an increasingly difficult task in maintaining media quality, pluralism and diversity in the wake of greater corporate and political dominance over media and information services. We expect journalists not to subscribe to any given political viewpoint, to resist pressure of any kind. Journalists should promote human rights, democracy and pluralism; encourage freedom of political and cultural expression; be opposed to discrimination of any kind and condemn the use of media as propaganda or to promote intolerance and conflict; and constitute a catalyst for positive change.

The 2006 Dan David Prize in the Present Time Dimension will be awarded to a journalist who, guided by these values and with utmost integrity and perseverance, has contributed to the field of journalism as a whole and has had a significant impact on today's society and world.


Future - Cancer Therapy

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A better understanding of the causes of cancer development and its progression has been achieved in recent years. Prevention efforts such as tobacco control and early diagnosis will have a significant impact on cancer-related mortality. Quality of life for cancer survivors has improved dramatically. However, the challenging goal of cancer elimination has yet to be met.

The term 'cancer therapy' is used collectively for modalities that aim to improve the lives of cancer patients by controlling and curing cancer.

In addition to the more established treatment modalities such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, an enormous worldwide effort is being made to develop additional approaches to the treatment of cancer patients. Promising findings in the basic sciences are translated into clinical research. New agents with a potential to destroy cancer cells or to modify the responses of the patient are being identified. Biologic characteristics of cancer cells that may serve as targets for anti-cancer therapy and can be clinically exploited are being discovered every day. Terms such as gene-therapy, biological therapy or targeted therapy have become household expressions.

The 2006 Dan David Prize, for the Future Time Dimension, will honor an individual (or individuals) who has made outstanding contributions in the field of Cancer Therapy.