John A. Pople’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, 10 December 1998.
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highness, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this occasion I have much to celebrate.
I rejoice in the opportunities I have had in many diverse branches of science over the past fifty years. Starting in mathematics, using fundamental principles of physics, aided by developing power of computer science I have seen the expansion of theory in many branches of chemistry and biology. Increasingly, science is being unified.
I rejoice in the magnificent group of students who have aided me over the years, without whose brilliance and dedication, little could have been possible. They have come from far afield. I am honoured by the presence of some tonight, including two who have made the longest journey from Australia and New Zealand to be with us at this ceremony.
I rejoice in the large community of quantum chemists, to which I belong. Over the years, we have worked closely together, freely exchanging ideas and inspiration. It is a great delight to me that a scientific career can lead to so many friendships among people from so many nations.
Finally, I rejoice in this occasion, this magnificent celebration of human culture. Over the past century, the Nobel Foundation has fashioned a unique focus for so many diverse, impressive achievements. I join this class of Nobel laureates with much humility.
For all of this, I am deeply grateful.