Selected Fields 2008

Past - Creative Rendering of the Past Literature, Theater, Film


The presentation of history involves a critical sorting and arranging of facts. Creative rendering of the past takes these facts and creates from them an artistic truth.

The artistic portrayer of history may take the liberty of altering evidence in order to portray himself and his view of the world, to establish a clear connection between life and history, and make the past bear fruit for the present and future.

As wrote Benedetto Croce, "A sense of the present is the truest characteristic of all living history, as opposed to a mere chronicle". Many imaginary legends, epics, dramas etc. have in many cases had a greater influence in the long run than the chronicled facts written down by historians.

The 2008 Dan David Prize for the Past Time Dimension will be awarded to an individual (or individuals) who have made a period of history come alive either by literature, theater or film.

Present - Social Responsibility with Particular Emphasis on the Environment


The 2007 Dan David Prize laureate, Dr. James Hansen said, in his address during the prize award ceremony the following: "Civilization developed in a time of stable climate and stable sea level. Earth was warm enough to keep ice sheets off North America and Europe, cool enough to keep ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica. Burning all fossil fuels assuredly will cause cataclysms on West Antarctica and Greenland, large sea level rise, shifting of climatic zones, and extermination of many of our fellow creatures on Earth". Desertification, poverty and starvation are only some consequences of this disaster.

Prompt sensible actions are needed to avoid the imminent danger of global warming to our planet as portrayed so vividly by Dr. Hansen.

A concerted effort by international leaders can provide long-term standards, policies and solutions, which will enable the transition from carbon-emitting fossil fuels to innovative clean, renewable energy and significantly address the attendant issues of conservation, recycling, the ozone layer, air and water quality and endangered species.

The 2008 Dan David Prize in the Present Time Dimension will be awarded to an individual or institution that has manifested social responsibility and strong leadership in creating an awareness of and proposing/implementing solutions to the catastrophe facing our environment.

Future - Geosciences


The geosciences address all issues relating to Earth Systems, including the solid Earth, oceans, and atmosphere. The major applications of the geosciences are: exploration and development of natural resources (oil, gas, coal, minerals, construction aggregate, water, soil), preservation of the natural environment, restoration from environmental damage, mitigation of geohazards such as Earthquakes and landslides, and several categories of exploratory research.

Though much has been learned about the Earth through geosciences, much more is yet to be discovered, especially as new problems face society, such as global climate change, advances in technology, and exhaustion of energy and raw material supplies.

Geoscientists explore the depths of the oceans and the core of the earth to the outer reaches of space. The issues addressed by them include trends in global warming and questions such as: How and where should we dispose of industrial wastes? How can we satisfy society's growing demands for energy, yet conserve natural resources?

Geoscientists discover and develop supplies of fossil fuels, groundwater, construction materials and mineral ores. They study geohazards such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, and landslides and the mitigation of geohazards. Their findings impact policies for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety, and welfare.

The 2008 Dan David Prize for the Future Time Dimension will be awarded to an individual or organization that has provided seminal, innovative and crucial findings in the field of geosciences.