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Wolf Prize Awarded to Outstanding Thinkers

June 3, 2014

“Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curse among the nations, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing.  Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.”  (Zechariah 8:13)

Israeli President Shimon Peres -Gary Ruvkun-American molecular biologist-professor of genetics-Wolf Awards

Israeli President Shimon Peres congratulates Gary Ruvkun, American molecular biologist and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, during the Wolf Awards at the Knesset (Israeli parliament).

In a special ceremony on Sunday at the Knesset Building (Israel´s Parliament), in Jerusalem, nine exceptional thinkers from five countries were awarded the Wolf Prize in honor of their “unique contribution to mankind and friendly relations among peoples … irrespective of nationality, race, color, religion, sex or political views.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres presented the highly prestigious international award, which has been granted in Israel since 1978 by the Wolf Foundation.

The recipients of the prize represent the fields of science, medicine, agriculture, mathematics and the arts.

Peres told the winners that their contributions were of tremendous benefit to humanity.

Referring to the Jewish concept of Tikun HaOlam (Repairing the World), he told them that they help fix the world and provide necessary healing and hope.  He said he was proud to be part of groundbreaking global science without borders, to lead in innovations and developments, through science and technology, that help eradicate poverty and hunger, and to encourage education.

Education Minister Shai Piron

Education Minister Shai Piron

Education Minister Shai Piron also referred to Tikun Olam, saying that the nine recipients were joining the “prestigious family encompassing the best minds in the world.  From Jerusalem, the center of the world, we call on you to continue your research and spread your knowledge to build another story to repair a broken world.”  (JPost)

The Wolf Prize in physics now has the reputation of identifying future winners of the Nobel Prize.  Between 1978 and 2010, 14 winners went on to win the Nobel Prize.

Over 33 Wolf Prize recipients have gone on to win the Nobel Prize in medicine, physics and chemistry.  (China Times)

Each of the five prizes is worth $100,000 and multiple winners in a category share the prize.

This year’s recipients are as follows:

Professor Jorge Dubcovsky, wheat geneticist, of the University of California (US)
Professor Joachim Messing, director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University (US)
Professor Leif Andersson, scholar in the genomic and molecular study of domestic animals (Sweden)

Professor and President of Academia Sinica (Chinese Research Academy) Chi-Huey Wong (Taiwan)

Princeton Professor Clive Sarnak (US)

Israeli Professor Nahum Sonenberg of McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
Professor Victor Ambros of University of Massachusetts Medical School (US)
Professor Gary Ruvkun of Harvard Medical School (US)

Olafur Eliasson (Denmark)

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