Each year the Dan David Foundation awards three prizes of $1 million each to individuals or institutions that have made remarkable contributions in three categories: past, present, and future. This year, the winners of the “future” prize will include A. Paul Alivisatos, founding editor of Nano Letters, and Chad Mirkin, Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Both researchers also serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of ACS Nano.
While the foundation’s “past” prize honors those who have improved our knowledge of days gone by and the “present” prize recognizes those who increase our understanding of today’s world, the “future” prize is given for work that will fuel further advancements in years to come. Alivisatos was honored for his pioneering work in nanotechnology, including being the first to synthesize semiconductor nanocrystals for use as fluorescent probes. The foundation recognized Mirkin for his work developing methods to control the architecture of molecules and materials at the nanoscale and using these structures in analytical tools with broad applications.
The award comes with an unusual stipulation. Recipients of the Dan David Foundation awards donate 10% of their winnings to graduate students in their fields in order to ensure the prize helps fund the next wave of breakthroughs.
The prize is the second major award of 2016 for Alivisatos who was announced to be the recipient of the 2016 National Medal of Science in January.