Shrinivas Kulkarni has won the esteemed Dan David Prize for his contribution in the field of astronomy. Kulkarni is a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. He is a one of the eminent, leading figures in the time-domain astrophysics across the electromagnetic spectrum who built and conducted the Palomar Transient Factory, a large-area survey of the night sky in search of variable and transient phenomena.This survey has unearthed thousands of stellar explosions, and has transformed our knowledge of the transient sky. With this honour, Kulkarni will join other Indian Dan David Prize laureates, including author Amitav Ghosh, music conductor Zubin Mehta and renowned chemist CNR Rao. The honour will be presented to him at a festive awards ceremony in Tel Aviv University on May 21, in the presence of the laureates.
Three Dan David prizes of USD 1 million each are given every year in the categories of ‘Past’, ‘Present’ and ‘Future’ to people around the world who have made outstanding contributions to humanity in the fields of science, humanity, or through their work in civil society.The recipients in the ‘Past’ category are generally drawn from the field of history, archaeology, palaeontology, biography, etc.; the ‘Present’ from arts, media, policy, economics, etc.; and the ‘Future’ from one of the exact or natural sciences.
The prize, now in its 16th year, was established by the late Dan David, an international businessman and philanthropist who envisioned a project that would extend beyond traditional academic categorisations.In order to encourage and raise new generations of scholars, the laureates obligatorily have to donate 10 per cent of their prize money towards scholarships for graduate or post-graduate researchers in their respective fields.