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Al Gore and Tom Stoppard among 2008 Dan David Prize Winners at TAU

The seven 2008 Dan David Prize laureates, including Al Gore and Sir Tom Stoppard, were recognized for their impact on the world at a ceremony held May 19 at Tel Aviv University. Israeli President Shimon Peres gave the keynote address.

Laureates were selected based on their activities in the three time dimensions of past, present and future.

Al Gore: Our Present Responsibility to the Environment

Gore received the $1 million prize for his present work in Social Responsibility with Particular Emphasis on the Environment, due to his contribution to creating greater worldwide awareness of global climate change. Accepting the prize, Gore called on those concerned about the environment to demand that politicians to make a change to renewable sources of energy, such as solar power. What we need, Gore said, is sufficient political will. But as the people of Israel know, sufficient political will is a renewable resource.

Honoring the Creative Rendering of the Past

Sharing the $1 million prize in the field of Creative Rendering of the Past Literature, Theater, Film are filmmaker Atom Egoyan, author Amos Oz and playwright Stoppard.

Oz (Arad, Israel) was honored for his works emphasizing the individual and exploring conflicts between nations.

Stoppard (London) was recognized for his portrayal of the search for meaning while displaying dazzling theatricality and genius for laughter.

Egoyan (Toronto) was noted for his exploration of the human impact of historical events and the nature of truth and its representation through art.

Climate Change and Saving the Future

Three geoscientists were recognized with the $1 million Dan David Prize for their research affecting the future:

  • Geoffrey Eglinton (University of Bristol, United Kingdom) for his studies of organic chemical fossils, which reveal the climates of ancient worlds and the implications for tomorrow.

  • Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie G. Thompson, (Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio) for their separate and joint efforts in studying the geological and environmental records in ice cores and how these records assist in predicting future geological events.

Climate change is one of todays most pressing issues and recognizing four of the seven winners in this area helps bring additional focus on the crisis, said Mr. Dan David, who founded the prize. As we look toward saving our future, we cannot forget our past, and that past as portrayed in the arts is especially forceful thus our prize for the past focuses on this area.

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 Tel Aviv University and is named after international entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan David.


Contact: George Hunka
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

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