Selected Fields 2013

Past- Classics, The Modern Legacy Of The Ancient World

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The ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome witnessed the birth of democracy and, to some extent, of representative government. The famous Greek and Roman philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Seneca greatly influenced thought and the advancement of ideas. They made enduring contributions, for instance to the role of ethics in modern life.

Euclid’s rules of geometry and the theory of right triangles, ascribed to Pythagoras, propelled mathematics forward reaching far into modern science. Hippocrates, the greatest Greek physician of the 5th - 4th century B.C.E., professionalized the field of medicine. The Hippocratic Oath, a code of ethics has been used and adopted to modern versions that suit the profession in the 21st century.

The great literary works ascribed to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, have been read ever since their creation in classical Greece , more than two-and-a-half millennia ago. They are studied and interpreted for their significance and influence on ancient and modern society.

The legal systems, social practices and military strategies of ancient Rome have significance for modern day business, politics and academia. Modern generals study the campaigns ancient commanders such as Alexander and Julius Caesar, while historians investigate the comparative development of the Roman Republic and of modern states.

Studying the classics not only broadens perspectives, but provides a link to the ancient history of humankind and ensures that this heritage is not lost.

The 2013 Dan David Prize for the Past Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding classicist whose work has greatly advanced our knowledge of the ancient world shedding light on the significance and influence for modern times.

Present - Ideas, Public Intellectuals And Contemporary Philosophers

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Intellectuals and philosophers think, write, talk and form ideas about reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, language and society, aspiring to understand human nature, the world that surrounds us, and our relationship to it and to one another. The capacity to create and articulate such ideas is considered to be an essential and defining feature of humankind.

Philosophy’s profound relevance to human self-understanding and conduct charges intellectuals with a special responsibility to make their ideas public and address current affairs. Like other academic disciplines, most philosophy is highly professional, theoretical, and is addressed to other philosophers. Intellectuals are therefore engaged in a constant balancing act between their professional and public responsibilities; between further developing their ideas within their professional field, and a commitment to rendering them more broadly accessible in the public sphere.

While intellectual life has been increasingly specialized and academized, a ‘public intellectual’ is an individual who succeeds in rising above the confines of her or his field of expertise, to speak to a wide audience about a large array of pressing public issues.

The 2013 Dan David Prize for the Present Time Dimension in the field of Ideas: Public Intellectuals and Contemporary Philosophers, will be awarded to an individual who acts as a social critic, who analyzes the historical and social patterns that give rise to public issues and has a powerful impact on public opinion and action.

Future - Preventive Medicine

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Preventive medicine focuses on the promotion and maintenance of good health and well-being, with the goal of preventing disease and disability in individuals, communities and specific populations.

Activities within the domain of preventive medicine include identification of disease initiators, epidemiology, environmental and occupational medicine, evaluation of health services and management of health care organizations, and targeting public health policies. Extensive research in identifying genetic and environmental risk factors for disease is a major endeavor in this field.

Advances in preventive medicine depend on defining guidelines for suitable diets and life styles, advanced diagnostic technologies and early detection of disease, development of vaccines against infectious agents and some cancers as well as on understanding stem cell biology.

The 2013 Dan David Prize for the Future Time Dimension will be awarded to an individual(s) who has pioneered groundbreaking advances in the field of preventive medicine.