Leon Wieseltier, noted writer and literary editor of The New Republic, is one of five recipients of the 2013 Dan David Prize, the foundation committee announced.
The names of the winners were released in a press conference by Professor Joseph Klafter, the president of Tel Aviv University and chairman of Dan David Prize board, and Dan David Foundation chairman, Professor Itamar Rabinovich.
The late entrepreneur and philanthropist Dan David established the foundation and annual prize in 2002 to recognize and encourage “innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms,” according to the foundation website.
The prize is a joint international enterprise, endowed by the foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University.
Every year, winners of the prize are determined for each of the three time dimensions — past. present and future — with $1 million awarded to each time dimension.
Wieseltier, whose book Kaddish won the 1998 National Jewish Book Award, and French philosopher Michel Serres, were both laureates in the present dimension, recognizing achievements that shape and enrich modern society today.
Economist Esther Duflo and physician Alfred Sommer shared the prize for the “future” dimension, for breakthroughs that hold great promise for the world’s improvement. British historian Geoffrey Lloyd was awarded the prize for his achievements in fields that expand knowledge of former times.
Previous notable Dan David Prize laureates include British historian Sir Martin Gilbert, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director for Life, Zubin Mehta, and American film makers Ethan and Joel Coen.
This year’s awards ceremony will be held at Tel Aviv University on June 9.