Interview with William E. Moerner

“I’m incredibly happy about the recognition of the field”

Telephone interview with William Moerner following the announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 8 October 2014. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Chief Scientific Officer of Nobel Media.

[William Moerner] Hello

[Adam Smith] Hello, this is Adam Smith calling from, the website of the Nobel Prize in Stockholm.

[WM] Oh, hello.

[AS] Congratulations on the award of the Nobel Prize.

[WM] Thanks, thank you very much. I’m just totally thrilled.

[AS] Well, first of all, you’re in Brazil I gather?

[WM] That’s right, I’m at a conference.

[AS] How did you hear the news of the award?

[WM] I heard the news when my wife called me at about 7am this morning, Brazil time, because she’d been called by the Associated Press, and so that’s how I heard.

[AS] What was your first reaction on hearing from her that you’d been awarded the prize?

[WM] Ah, well I was just incredibly excited and thrilled, and of course your heart races, and you say “Oh, can this be? Can this be?”  My life .. [unclear] .. has been recognised, I’m incredibly fortunate. And so I had that feeling of “Oh, what do I do now?” because you have to decide am I going to this meeting, do I have to get on a plane and fly to California. So there’s lots of things that all of sudden change when you get such exciting news and I’m incredibly happy about the recognition of the field, especially of all the workers and all the scientists at many places around the world who have contributed to the effort.

[AS] Are you going to change your programme for the day or are you just going to go to the conference as usual?   

[WM] I can’t go to the meeting right now. It’s much better to talk to people like you and try to explain what’s so exciting about this development.

[AS] Really a great pleasure to speak to you, thank you very much.

[WM] Thank you.

[AS] Have a good day. Bye bye.

[WM] Bye.

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MLA style: Interview with William E. Moerner. Nobel Media AB 2020. Sat. 25 Jan 2020. <>

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