Stanford Moore’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1972
Mr. Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Christian B. Anfinsen, William H. Stein, and I have the honor of co-authoring the response of three chemists to your toast on this memorable occasion.
This ceremony and the intellectual aura associated with the Nobel Prizes have grown from the wisdom of a practical chemist who wrote a remarkable will. In dedicating his estate to the honoring of endeavors that benefit mankind, Alfred Nobel expressed a lifelong concern that is even more timely in 1972 than it was in his lifetime. Over the years, two of the fields, which he named Chemistry and Medicine, have grown closer in their pursuit of the progress which he envisioned. The interrelationship of the awards that your Committees have made this year in Physiology or Medicine and in Chemistry illustrates the mutual reinforcement among disciplines that is increasing man’s understanding of man. Gerald Edelman and Rodney Porter and we have studied the properties of proteins from different approaches. Man’s health and well-being depends upon, among many things, the proper functioning of the myriad proteins that participate in the intricate synergisms of living systems.
And in stimulating progress in the broadest terms, Dr. Nobel had the vision to stress the international role of research. We find that one of the most rewarding features of being scientists these days as Professor von Euler mentioned in his opening address this afternoon, is the common bond which the search for truth provides to scholars of many tongues and many heritages. In the long run, that spirit will inevitably have a constructive effect on the benefits which man can derive from knowledge of himself and his environment.
The Nobel Prizes focus world-wide attention on these goals in a vigorous yet intellectual style that is a credit to the Swedish scientists and administrators who host these ceremonies on December 10th in Stockholm. All three of the scientists in Chemistry welcome, with deep respect and enjoyment, the opportunity to share the honors today.
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.