Jens C. Skou

Banquet speech

Jens C. Skou’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1997

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of Professor Boyer, Dr. Walker and myself, I would like to express how grateful we are for the great honour the Nobel Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has bestowed upon us by awarding us the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

It is impressive that the Nobel Foundation now for almost hundred years has been able to maintain the Nobel Prize as the most rewarding a scientist can achieve. It cannot only be due to the size of the prize, which is substantial, but also to the thoroughness behind the decisions, and because the prize ceremony is surrounded by such festivity that it attracts worldwide attention.

The Nobel Prizes and the ceremony around the awards puts focus not only on the work done by the Prize-Winners, but arouses in the public a more general interest in science, and gives us scientists a very important opportunity to tell what science is and the importance of science.

The unique prestige connected with the Prize also gives the laureates an unusual opportunity to be heard and thereby influence the public view on science and not least to influence the decision makers for the benefit of science and society.

This is perhaps the most rewarding and important aspect of the Nobel Prizes, and as far as I understand, it is also in agreement with Alfred Nobel’s intentions.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1997, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1998

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1997

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