The Foundation, created by Israeli inventor and businessman Dan David, presents three awards each year for achievements relating to the past, present and future in areas of science, technology and culture. Now in its sixth year, the prizes are funded and administered in cooperation with Tel Aviv University and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.
Mehta and Dusapin are being honored in the "present" category and will share a $1 million award. Last year, cellist Yo-Yo Ma was honored in the "past" category for his work with the Silk Road Project, which he founded and continues to direct.
The 2007 winner of the "past" category is French historian Jacques le Goff, who receives $1 million; the "future" prize has been awarded to three scientists in the field of energy: Sarah Kurtz, Jerry Olson and James Hansen, who will share $1 million.
All the laureates must donate one-tenth of their prize money to outstanding doctoral students in their respective areas.