Linus Pauling’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1954
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a great honor to be chosen as the recipient of a Nobel Prize; not only a great honor, but a great pleasure, and, speaking not only for myself but also for my wife and our children, I thank all of you.
I have found that it is always a great pleasure to come to Sweden. I feel at home in Sweden: even though there may be a snow-covered landscape about us, instead of the green (or sometimes brown) hills of southern California, nevertheless I feel, emanating from the Swedish people, the radiations of sympathy, of homologous character, so strongly as almost to cause me to consider myself to be a Swede.
I remember my first close connection with Sweden. During the period 1923 to 1925 I became well acquainted with Dr. Albert Björkeson, who, as a young physicist, spent two years carrying on research in the Norman Bridge Laboratories of the California Institute of Technology. I collaborated with him on a piece of scientific work, and through him I learned something about your wonderful country.
Then in 1947 my wife and I were privileged to visit here, in the beautiful city of Stockholm, and even to participate in a banquet held for the International Congress of Cytology, in this room. And last year, in 1953, we were happy to be able to come again to Sweden – and I had the pleasure and honor of being allowed to speak in the Concert House, on a scientific subject in which I am deeply interested – the stochastic method (that is, how to make good guesses – the word is from the Greek stocastikoV, apt to divine the truth by conjecture) and the structure of proteins. Ever since these earlier visits, my wife and I have hoped that we could see the Concert House and this beautiful Town Hall, a wonderful example of the best in modern architecture, again, and we thank you for the privilege of being here on this occasion.
I hope that it will not be thought that I am any less an American citizen if I say that from now on I shall consider myself to be an honorary Swede.
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.