Selected Fields 2015

Past - Retrieving the Past: Historians and Their Sources


Historians have as their task to craft narratives that explain, illuminate, and uncover the origins and impact of events in the past. Many of the world’s most acclaimed histories are those that  have meaningfully synthesized prior understandings of the past, breathing fresh life into them via new approaches and frames that cast them in a new or clearer narrative light.

However, ultimately underlying every solid work of history is the exacting work of uncovering historical sources, reading them properly and interpreting them effectively. From archival documents, to the remnants of past material culture, to images – these and other sources constitute the foundational basis of primary historical study.

The 2015 Dan David Prize in the Past Time Dimension recognizes the work of a historian who has made use of unique, rare, unusual or hitherto unknown sources in the pursuit of teaching us new pasts.

Present - The Information Revolution

present-2015The information revolution began with the invention of the integrated circuit or computer chip in the second half of the 20th have revolutionized our lives and led to the development of advanced information technology which can collect, store, process, analyze and transmit information in all forms (text, graphics, audio, video) making it available and accessible to millions worldwide.

Individuals, corporations, political institutions and countries have more channels of communication through these superhighways of information than ever before in history, affecting personal freedoms, global economies, societies and technologies and giving rise to issues of information regulation and the responsible dissemination of data.

The amount of information is expanding exponentially, greatly impacting daily life and giving rise to virtual social networks, long distance banking, electronic management of medical information and e-learning systems that can manage vast amounts of data and lead to new means of interaction between individuals and the environment becoming necessary for societies to prosper.

The 2015 Dan David Prize for the Present Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding individual or organization that has made groundbreaking advances in the field of Information Revolution.


Future - Bioinformatics

future-2015Bioinformatics is a field in which mathematics, statistics, and computer algorithms are harnessed towards novel biological discoveries. Bioinformatics methodologies have revolutionized biology, by making it more quantitative and less descriptive. Furthermore, bioinformatics methods, software tools, and databases allow obtaining insights from huge increase in available biological data, such as genomes, expression data and protein structures.

Bioinformatics plays an important role in many fields of biology, including genetics, genomics, evolution, metabolomics, and structural biology. Bioinformatics tools help analyze and catalogue biological pathways, networks, and processes and provide models and predictions to how biological system function and how they evolved. Bioinformaticians often use simulations to mimic biological processes in-silico.

The primary goal of bioinformatics is to increase the understanding of biological processes, focusing on developing and applying computationally intensive techniques such as pattern recognition, data mining, machine learning algorithms and visualization. These techniques are then harnessed towards answering biological questions which cannot be tackled by traditional approaches. Bioinformatics research tools are now common practice in any bioscience laboratory and the impact of bioinformatics on medicine, ecology, and cell biology is expected to increase in the very near future. 

The 2015 Dan David Prize for the Future Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding individual or organization that has made a major contribution to the field of Bioinformatics and continues to significantly advance this field.