Thomas H. Weller’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1954
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Professor Enders, Professor Robbins and I first would express our deep appreciation and pleasure upon receiving this greatest of honors in the field of Physiology and Medicine.
The significance of this award, however, we believe extends further than the recognition of our own observations on the propagation of the poliomyelitis viruses in tissue culture. Indirectly, it honors the many contributions of our predecessors which made our own investigations possible. For example, the discovery of the antibiotics previously recognized here, renders the tissue culture technique applicable in ways that were hitherto inconceivable.
It has been a source of great satisfaction to us that our investigations on the poliomyelitis viruses have appeared to arouse a renewed and expanded interest in the adaption of the culture method to the analysis of many aspects of viral infections of both man and animals. Thus in Sweden as well as in many other countries new viruses are being revealed and new procedures for the study of those long recognized are being developed. These current observations emphasize the fact that broad fields for research still lie open.
It can scarcely be doubted that this award in accordance with the purposes of its founder, Alfred Nobel, will greatly encourage the active exploration of the many problems remaining for solution in the realm of the infectious diseases.
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