Future of Life Award
The Future of Life Award is an annual award given to an individual who has done uniquely heroic acts in the service of human survival. The award is presented by the Future of Life Institute.
Nature of the award
The award is given to an individual who, without receiving much recognition at the time, has helped make today dramatically better than it may otherwise have been. The award consists of a $50,000 prize and plaque handed out at an annual ceremony on a date relevant to the contribution of the laureate.
History of the award
The inaugural Future of Life Award was presented in 2017 to the late Soviet Submarine officer Vasili Arkhipov, who single-handedly prevented a Soviet nuclear attack during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. “Vasili Arkhipov saved the world,’’ Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University, told the Boston Globe in 2002, following a conference in which the details of the situation were explored. Archipov's award was presented posthumously to his daughter and grandson at a ceremony in London on October 27, 2017, which may have been the 55th anniversary of WWIII without his intervention.
The 2018 Future of Life Award was presented in New York to the surviving children of Stanislav Petrov at a ceremony in New York on September 26, 1918, on the 35th anniversary of the day he help avert an accidental nuclear war.
The 2019 Future of Life Award was presented to Harvard biologist Matthew Meselson for his unparalleled contributions to the Biological Weapons Convention that banned bioweapons. The ceremony was held in Boulder, Colorado, near his birthplace, on the eve of the 47th anniversary of the treaty. Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “Thanks in significant part to Matthew Meselson’s tireless work, the world came together and banned biological weapons, ensuring that the ever more powerful science of biology helps rather than harms humankind.”
|2017||for heroically helping avert a potentially cataclysmic nuclear war on October 27 1962 by preventing a nuclear torpedo attack on the U.S. Navy||Nuclear Weapons||Russia||London|
|2018||Stanislav Petrov||the man who helped avert an all-out nuclear exchange between Russia and the U.S. on September 26, 1983||Nuclear Weapons||Russia||New York|
|2019||Matthew Meselson||for his unparalleled contributions to the Biological Weapons Convention, ensuring that the ever more powerful science of biology helps rather than harms humankind||Biological Weapons||USA||Boulder|
In the media
- Moody, Oliver (October 27, 2017). "Soviet officer Vasili Arkhipov, who averted nuclear war, is honoured". The Times.
- Davis, Nicola (October 27, 2017). "Soviet submarine officer who averted nuclear war honoured with prize". The Guardian.
- "Dr. Matthew Meselson Wins 2019 Future of Life Award". YouTube. April 9, 2019.
- Piper, Kelsey (April 9, 2019). "The man who stopped America's biological weapons program". Vox.
- Future Of Life Award: Unsung Hero Search
- $50,000 Award to Stanislav Petrov for helping avert WWIII
- Dr. Matthew Meselson Wins 2019 Future of Life Award
- 55 Years After Preventing Nuclear Attack, Arkhipov Honored
- The Future of Life Award is a new prize
- Soviet submarine officer who averted nuclear war honoured new 'Future of Life' prize
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