Selected Fields 2010

Past - March Towards Democracy

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The spread of democracy has spanned over two thousand years, from the Greeks and Romans to the birth of modern day democracies, transforming the lives of ordinary citizens and affecting social and political change. Democratic principles hold universal appeal, upholding a broad range of fundamental human rights: freedom of speech and expression, free access to information, a free press, the right to vote, and the election of and participation in representative governing bodies and leaders.

The 20th century bore witness to two world wars and the defeat of aristocracies and oligarchies, the downfall of fascism, the collapse of Soviet-style communism, and the gradual disappearance of military dictatorships. The increase in the number of countries possessing the basic political institutions of representative democracy increased significantly, giving rise to increased economic well-being and greater political stability.

The 2010 Dan David Prize for the Past Time Dimension will be awarded to an individual(s) who has greatly contributed to the enhancement of ordinary lives through an unfaltering commitment to democratic change, fostering fundamental rights and ensuring greater stability among nations.


Present - Literature, Rendition of the 20th Century

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The twentieth century was marked by turbulent events, revolutionary scientific discoveries, and dramatic technological innovations. All of these left an indelible mark on the concept of self that had evolved since the Enlightenment. As literature has always reflected seismic changes in humanity's self-perception, twentieth century writers produced an unprecedented diversity of literary styles in order to convey the modernist shift in humanity's understanding of itself. The first half of the twentieth century saw the introduction and highlighting of experimental literary techniques such as stream of consciousness, multi-perspective, metafiction, and self-reflexivity. Writers in the decades after World War II found themselves grappling with the harsh realities of two world wars, the Great Depression, and totalitarian regimes on the one hand, and with national, ethnic, racial, and gender liberation movements on the other. With these artistic and historical legacies, they created extraordinary works of literature.

Writers have played a crucial role not only by chronicling these momentous changes, but also by offering imaginative arenas for redefining the concepts that have reshaped contemporary man and woman. The universalist autonomous self of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gave way to the multiple self of the new century. In daring and at times provocative works, writers have rendered the unsettling effects of twentieth century life, from the public world of politics to the private world of family, intimacy, and the psyche-- and to the intersection of all of these spheres.

The 2010 Dan David Prize for the Present Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding author whose work provides vivid, compelling, and groundbreaking depictions of 20th century life, rousing public discussion and inspiring fellow writers.


Future - Computers and Telecommunications

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The humble beginnings of computerized technology and telecommunications in the 1960's gave rise to today's fast-paced and dynamically advancing global network of information technology.

The enormous influence these systems have had on individual lives, corporations, science communities and political institutions is immeasurable. Global tracking devices use satellite technology to scour the skies for weather disturbances and simultaneously guide drivers to destinations over the globe. Computerized search engines provide massive amounts of instantaneous information to government bodies, researchers and consumers alike. Cell phones, iPods, laptops and pc's have diverse applications from music downloads to video conferencing, from photo sharing to downloading entertainment, from text messaging to transferring files and updating the latest breaking news. Social networking, chats, blogs and micro blogs are flourishing. Networks that serve the computer and cell phone industries are today merging, as the distinction between the supporting technologies are disappearing.

Today's brilliant minds designing the hardware and software products for the future will bring yet untold technological innovations that will impact generations to come.

The 2010 Dan David Prize for the Future Time Dimension will be awarded to an individual(s) who has pioneered groundbreaking advances in the field of telecommunications and computers.