Philosophers Awarded $1 Million Prizes for Work in Bioethics and History of Science

Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute), Ezekiel Emanuel (University of Pennsylvania), Jonathan Glover (Kings College London), Evelyn Fox Keller (MIT), Simon Schaffer (Cambridge), and Mary Warnock (Oxford) are each winners of the 2018 Dan David Prizes, an international award endowed by the Dan David Foundation.

Each prize is $1 million. Its purpose is to recognize and encourage “innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms. It aims to foster universal values of excellence, creativity, justice, democracy and progress and to promote the scientific, technological and humanistic achievements that advance and improve our world.” They are awarded to “individuals or institutions with proven, exceptional, distinct excellence in the sciences, arts, humanities, public service and business, that have made and continue to make an outstanding contribution to humanity on the basis of merit, without discrimination of gender, race, religion, nationality, or political affiliation.”

The Dan David Foundation selects three fields each year to recognize, one each to be associated with the past, present, and future. This year’s “present” field is bioethics, for which it recognized Emanuel, Glover, and Warnock.

Daston, Keller, and Schaffer were recognized for their work in the history of science, the field associated with the “past” category.

The “future” category this year is personalized medicine.

An interesting feature of the prize is that its recipients are required to give a portion of it away: “Dan David Prize laureates donate 10% of their prize money to postgraduate students in their respective fields, thereby contributing to the community and fostering a new generation of scholars.”

More information about the prize is here.

(Note: not all of the scholars mentioned here have appointments in departments of philosophy.)


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