Press Release

Dan David Prize goes to Three Experts in Time-Domain Astronomy

By SpaceRef Editor
February 9, 2017
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The internationally renowned Dan David Prize, headquartered at Tel Aviv University, annually awards three prizes of US$1 million each to outstanding figures whose work represents remarkable achievement in selected fields within the three Time Dimensions — Past, Present and Future. This year’s fields are Archaeology & Natural Sciences, Literature and Astronomy.

The Dan David Prize is proud to announce that USA astrophysicists Prof. Neil Gehrels and Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni, and Polish astronomer and astrophysicist Prof. Andrzej Udalski, are the 2017 laureates in the Future Time Dimension in the field of Astronomy.

Prof. Neil Gehrels, of Maryland, specializes in the field of gamma-ray astronomy and is the principal investigator of NASA’s Swift Gamma Ray Burst Mission, a robotic spacecraft observatory launched in 2004. Under his leadership, Swift has discovered more than a thousand gamma-ray bursts and has transmitted data on their properties, distances, and environments, expanding the field well beyond its previous borders. (It was with great sorrow that we heard of the passing of Prof. Gehrels on 6 February. The Dan David Prize joins the Astronomy world in mourning. It is an honor to include him in the Dan David Prize Community of laureates.)

Prof. Shrinivas Kulkarni is a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. A leading figure in time-domain astrophysics across the electromagnetic spectrum, he built and conducted the Palomar Transient Factory, a large-area survey of the night sky in search of variable and transient phenomena. The survey has turned up thousands of stellar explosions, transforming our knowledge of the transient sky.

Prof. Andrzej Udalski is Director of the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw. He is a pioneer in the field of time-domain astronomy, exploring the variable sky in the Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies. Through his work in gravitational microlensing he has discovered and characterized more than a half million variable stars. These discoveries are essential for understanding the formation of planetary systems.

Prof. Gehrels, Prof. Kulkarni, and Prof. Udalski, along with 4 other Prize winners will be honored at the 2017 Dan David Prize Award Ceremony to be held at Tel Aviv University on May 21, 2017.

Michal Marmary
Public Relations Officer, Dan David Prize
[email protected]
+972 8-936-4424, +972 54-661-0602

The Dan David Prize is named after the late Mr. Dan David, an international businessman and philanthropist whose vision is the driving force behind the international Dan David Prize. His aim was to reward those who have made a lasting impact on society and to help young students and entrepreneurs become the scholars and leaders of the future. The prestigious Prize, which stands in the forefront of the world’s awards, is presented to individuals and institutions with proven exceptional, distinct excellence in the sciences, arts, and humanities, and whose work has made an outstanding contribution to human kind.

Previous Dan David Prize Laureates include cellist Yo-Yo Ma (2006); Prof. Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus (2009); novelist Margaret Atwood (2010); filmmaker brothers Ethan and Joel Coen (2011); philosopher Leon Wieseltier (2013); and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales (2015).

SpaceRef staff editor.