American intellectual and literary editor of The New Republic Leon Wieseltier and University of Cambridge historian Prof. Sir Geoffrey Lloyd are among the winners of the 2013 Dan David Prize, the foundation announced.

Professor Joseph Klafter, president of Tel Aviv University and chairman of Dan David Prize board, and Dan David Foundation chairman, Professor Itamar Rabinovich, named the five laureates at a press conference recently.

Named for the late international businessman and philanthropist Dan David, the prize is endowed by the foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University.

Each year the International Board chooses one field within the three time dimensions of Past (highlighting fields that expand knowledge of former times), Present (recognizing achievements that shape and enrich contemporary society) and Future (focusing on breakthroughs that hold great promise for the improvement of our world).

The prizes are granted for “proven, exceptional and distinct excellence in the sciences, arts and humanities that have made an outstanding contribution to humanity.”

The 2013 Dan David Prize laureates are:

Past — Prof. Sir Geoffrey Lloyd of the Needham Research Institute and the University of Cambridge, for his work on the subject of Greek science as a major field in the history of classical philosophy, illuminating the roots of modern science.

Present — Prof. Michel Serres of Stanford University and Université de Paris, one of the most important modern French philosophers, for his intimate knowledge of the western tradition in philosophy and science and for his discussion of a vast range of current questions, and Mr. Leon Wieseltier, American intellectual and philosopher and Literary Editor of The New Republic, a foremost writer and thinker who confronts and engages with central issues of our times.

Future —Prof. Esther Duflo, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an economist noted for her work on social conditions and strategies related to the alleviation of poverty which deals directly with prevention of disease; and Dr. Alfred Sommer of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for his discovery in demonstrating that vitamin A has the power to save children’s lives.

The laureates, who donate 10 percent of their prize money towards 20 doctoral and postdoctoral Tel Aviv University scholarships, will be honored at a ceremony at the university on June 9, 2013.