William Lipscomb’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1976
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The award this year of the Nobel Prize in chemistry for research in pure inorganic chemistry is an important event. It is a reminder that we know even now considerably less about most of the chemical elements than we know of the chemistry of carbon or the chemistry of processes underlying life itself. It is also a reminder that the inorganic area characterized by these other elements is now being incorporated into organic chemistry and biochemistry.
On this occasion in which intellectual achievement is given its highest recognition, those of us who are being honored should remind ourselves that we are tall only because we stand on the shoulders of others: those who have gone before us showing the way, those who worked with us as our colleagues, those who supported our research giving us funds, and those who have honored us, including you, most of all.
Finally, I take special recognition of the truly international nature of science. As a personal note, I take pleasure in recalling the remarkable association that I have had with many other research groups in different countries throughout the world.
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.