Selected Fields 2016

Past - Social History - New Directions

pastSocial history began as a move away from the study of prominent individuals, polities and elites, towards the recovery of other groups and social structures.

Historians have long mapped and recovered social formations—such as class and gender-- and the experiences and lives of various social groups. The history of societies, however, has undergone significant changes since the rise of social history in the 1960s and 1970s, as social historians have sought to transform history into a science: applying the approaches of the social sciences, and focusing on such formations and structures as capital and labor,  on such processes as modernization, urbanization, industrialization, and family formation, and on social movements.

Gradually, these histories have become more plural and varied, with a broadened interest in marginalized groups and exploring the histories of women, and later gender, the family, children, youth and old age, the urban poor and criminal and the rural poor, and examining the inter-relations between societies and states—from democratic welfare states to and dictatorships and other authoritative states.

Throughout these shifts in research agendas and methodologies, and the evolution from social history to the multiple researches that make up today’s pluralized “New Social History”, the work of social historians has been characterized by a commitment to the study of social marginalization and exclusion; and of social inequalities across time and place, in the labor force, in gender, in families, ages and race.

The 2016 Dan David Prize in the Past Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding individual or organization whose ongoing, groundbreaking research is making a significant contribution to the field of Social History.

Present - Combatting Poverty

presentPoverty numbers worldwide stand at about 800 million people - one out of every nine people in the world.  Women and children comprise 60 percent of the hungry, resulting in a high percentage of deaths due to poor nutrition and lack of proper health care.

Disease, hunger, and lack of access to food and clean water, compounded with little if any access to education and medical services, renders whole populations powerless, with ongoing insecurities and virtually no ability to climb out and stay out of poverty. Matters of urgency include the provision of comprehensive health care facilities, including education and information on health and parenthood, food self-sufficiency and sustainable agriculture, accessibility to clean water and sanitation, and primary education.

Sustainable development must be achieved at every level of society. Local organizations, women's groups and non-governmental organizations are important sources of innovation and action and have a strong interest and proven ability to promote sustainable livelihoods.

Recent, ongoing and recurrent crises reflect the depth of human suffering and the inadequacy of programs to move poor countries and populations to a more stable development pattern. This environment creates an urgency for thinking about the social dimensions of development and highlights the uncertainties in the global economy. The struggle against poverty is the shared responsibility of all countries the world over.

The 2016 Dan David Prize in the Present Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding individual or organization whose achievements are making a significant impact in the fight to eradicate poverty.

Future - Nanoscience

futureThe field of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology is defined by the length-scale of several nanometers (nm). It is this particular length scale that makes many diverse disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering converge. The field of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology has accordingly positioned itself in the last two decades as a major driving force for many novel and often highly interdisciplinary explorations.

Precise imaging and manipulation techniques were and still are a major driving force in nanoscience. New techniques now allow researchers to image and manipulate systems with atomistic precision, enhancing mankind's understanding of physical, chemical and biological processes.  

New synthesis methods are extremely successful at yielding new materials that offer advances in mechanical, catalytical, optical, and many other material properties. These new materials are explored for an ever-growing range of applications.

New phenomena in light manipulating is revolutionizing optics, opening new opportunities in holography, lens design and more. Atomistic modeling is expanding scientific horizons in understanding and designing revolutionary materials.  The development of nano meter sized drug carriers is promising to fundamentally alter drug delivery systems towards safer and more efficacious drugs.

Nanoscience is rightfully considered by many as one of the important research fields in the 21st century.

The 2016 Dan David Prize in the Future Time Dimension will be awarded to an outstanding individual or organization who has significantly contributed to the development of the field of Nanoscience and its multifaceted applications in medicine, material sciences and technologies.