British PM Tony Blair and AIDS Researcher Robert Gallo Among 2009 Dan David Prize Winners Thursday, May 21, 2009
Three $1 million prizes awarded for achievement
Israeli President Shimon Peres, TAU President Prof. Zvi Galil, and Dan David
Six 2009 Dan David Prize laureates, including AIDS researcher Robert C. Gallo of the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore, MD, and former Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair, were recognized for their impact on the world at a ceremony held May 18 at Tel Aviv University. Israeli President Shimon Peres gave the keynote address.
The Dan David Prize annually awards three prizes of $1 million each for achievements with an outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social impact on our world. The Prize is headquartered at TAU and named after international entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan David.
The Dan David Prize covers three time dimensions — Past, Present and Future — that represent realms of human achievement. Each year the International Board, chaired by TAU President Prof. Zvi Galil, chooses one field within each time dimension. Following a review process by independent Review Commitees comprised of renowned scholars and professionals, the International Board then chooses the laureates for each field.
The Past Time Dimension in the Field of Astrophysics: The History of the Universe
Paolo de Bernardis (University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy), Andrew Lange (California Institute of Technology, USA) and Paul Richards (University of California at Berkeley, USA) shared the $1 million prize for their discoveries concerning the geometry and composition of the universe, which provided the first undisputed evidence that the universe is flat.
The Present Time Dimension in the Field of Leadership
Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, was honored for his exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict.
The Future Time Dimension on the Field of Global Public Health
Robert C. Gallo received the $1 million prize in honor of his research of the HIV and T cell leukemia viruses, and especially for the development of a robust and simple blood test to detect the HIV virus, which has had enormous impact for the epidemiology of the AIDS pandemic.
Prof. Zvi Galil, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, Chairperson of TAU Executive Council Dr. Liora Meridor and Tony Blair
At the ceremony, Prof. Galil, said, "The work of this year's laureates illustrate the innovative and creative advancement of human knowledge and of the importance of supporting such outstanding achievements."
The Dan David Prize was founded by Dan David, the president of Format Ltd., Dedem Automatica Srl, and Photo-Me International Plc, which own 90% of the world's automatic photo booths. He is an active supporter of many philanthropic projects in fields as varied as archaeology, medicine and film. "I created the prize to devote some of my fortune to rewarding and furthering the work of the eminent figures who have increased our knowledge of past, improved our present and helped us forge a better future," he says.