For his phenomenal and remarkable contribution to the world in the field of astronomy, Indian scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni has been awarded the coveted Dan David prize.
Teaching planetary science and astrophysics at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Kulkarni has contributed exceptionally to astrophysics. To facilitate research of the stars and planetary objects, Prof Kulkarni has helped build the super large space known as Palomar Transient Factory. The survey conducted here under the guidance of Professor Kulkarni has helped enrichment of the knowledge of scientists across the world in the domain of transient sky.
Dan David prize was initiated by Mr. Dan David, a philanthropist who wanted something of this kind which is more than just an academic and institutional felicitation to the contributors of the world in the domain of humanity, science, music and art. The winner of the prize is conferred with prize money of $1 million which is presented by the Dan David foundation at the Tel Aviv University. Every edition is divided into three categories i.e. Past, Present and Future, where past category award includes fields like history, paleontology, archaeology, etc., the Present includes arts, economics, etc. and the Future includes the people who research on the innovation in the filed of natural science which can help better the human race in the coming times.
Professor Kulkarni has achieved this price in the category ‘Future’ along with Neil Gehrels of NASA and Andrej Udalski of the University of Warsaw for their immense contribution in the domain of astrophysics and astronomy. Professor Kulkarni is the fourth Indian to receive this award. Before him it has been achieved by a very prominent writer/author Amitav Ghosh, music composer Zubin Mehta and a very eminent scientist and chemist Professor CNR Rao.
The unique concept about the Dan David prize is that the recipients of this award have to donate 10 percent of their prize money to the young researchers of their domain in terms of scholarships at the graduate, post-graduate and doctorate level.