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Al Gore, Tom Stoppard and Amos Oz Are 2008 Dan David Prize winners

The Dan David Prize, which annually awards three prizes of $1 million each for outstanding achievement, announced the names of its 2008 laureates on February 12. The laureates, who donate 10% of their prize money towards 20 Tel Aviv University doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships, will be honored at a ceremony on May 19, 2008, at Tel Aviv University in the presence of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres.

Accepting the award, Vice President Gore noted that he would contribute all of his prize money to continuing environmental efforts around the globe. I am happy and pleased to announce that my wife Tipper and I will be donating not only 10 per cent but 100 per cent of all of the Dan David Award to those involved in non-profit activity arousing public opinion in the U.S. and worldwide to solve the climate crises, he said. This entire award will help bring millions of people to a new realization of why we must urgently solve the greatest challenge confronting us today: the climate challenge.

Prize is the Brainchild of International Businessman and Philanthropist

The Dan David Prize is named after international businessman and philanthropist Dan David. It is headquartered at Tel Aviv University, whose President, Prof. Zvi Galil, serves as Chairman of its Board. The Dan David Foundation provides all of the funds for the prize; the board selects the annual laureates.

The Dan David Prize is unique in choosing to recognize fields of human endeavor that change from year to year, permitting the vision of the award to remain responsive to the times.

Artists and Scientists Also Recognized

The 2008 laureates, who are selected in the Past, Present and Future Time Dimensions, are:

Past Sharing the prize in the field of "Creative Rendering of the Past Literature, Theater, Film":

  • Amos Oz (Arad, Israel) for portraying historical events while emphasizing the individual, and for his personal exploration of the tragic conflict between two nations.
  • Tom Stoppard (London, Britain) for being a master playwright whose plays demonstrate farcical cleverness alongside profound humanity and faith in goodness, beauty and love.
  • Atom Egoyan (Canada) for his superb modernist filmmaking which explores Armenian history and culture.

Present In the field of "Social Responsibility with Particular Emphasis on the Environment":

  • Al Gore (former Vice President of the United States) for his multiple contributions to creating greater worldwide awareness of the disastrous effects that mans energy consumption has on the environment.

Future Sharing the prize in the field of "Geosciences":

  • Ellen Moseley-Thompson and Lonnie G. Thompson (Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA), jointly, for their separate and joint efforts in studying the geological and environmental records in ice cores.
  • Geoffrey Eglinton (University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom) for his studies of organic chemical fossils, which revealed the inhabitants and climates of ancient worlds.

"The constellation of laureates is particularly meaningful at this time," said Mr. David on the announcement of the 2008 winners. "On the one hand, great creators depicting historical events in literature, theater and film; on the other eminent scientists whose research predicts environmental disaster if we do not act; and in between a man working to promote awareness of this prediction and its remedies so that human history will continue to be told for generations to come."

Acknowledging both the prize and the university, Gore said, Thank you for your countrys leadership for so many years on the environment. This prize and the Israeli people have served as a beacon of light and hope. May I also commend you for making so many awards to young people who are the future leaders of our world. The doctoral students of today, for example, are developing the expertise to guide all of us into a future that is worthy of our children and our childrens children.


Contact: George Hunka
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

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