Carolyn Bertozzi

Banquet speech

Carolyn R. Bertozzi’s speech at the Nobel Prize banquet, 10 December 2022.

Your Majesties,
Your Royal Highnesses,
Dear Laureates,
Ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of Profs. Morten Meldal, Barry Sharpless and myself, we thank the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the Nobel Foundation for this magnificent honor.  We are indebted to our students, postdoctoral fellows and staff for their contributions that are embodied in this prize, and the enduring support of our families and friends.

Chemists are dreamers.  We think up new molecules and bring them to life.  Throughout our careers, the three of us have sought to create molecules that help us understand biology and improve human health.  Along the way, we realized that our chemistry toolkit was too limited.  Our dreams of creating complex molecules and probing biology with chemical tools were impossible to make reality.

Click and bioorthogonal chemistries transformed our field by liberating chemists from old constraints.  Click chemistry gave us freedom to build molecules of unprecedented complexity.  Bioorthgonal chemistry gave us freedom to study them within living systems.  The ultimate power of our new chemistries lies their simplicity.  They democratize chemistry for the non-chemist.

So tonight, lets raise a toast to simplicity, to freedom, and to life.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 2022

To cite this section
MLA style: Carolyn R. Bertozzi – Banquet speech. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2024. Thu. 20 Jun 2024. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Nobel Prizes and laureates

Eleven laureates were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2023, for achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. Their work and discoveries range from effective mRNA vaccines and attosecond physics to fighting against the oppression of women.

See them all presented here.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.