Edward Tatum

Banquet speech

Edward Tatum’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1958

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is my honor to speak for Professor Beadle and myself.

It is fitting that we should speak as one, for in the investigations judged important by the Nobel Committee we worked as one.

As biologists and geneticists we know that what every man is and does is the product of many factors, both hereditary and environmental.

Whatever inborn potentialities we have, we received from our parents.

For what we have been able to do in developing and making use of these potentialities, we are grateful for our homes, for our teachers and fellow students, for our inspired and inspiring colleagues, for access to the knowledge and wisdom of those who preceded us, and for time and the best of laboratory facilities to develop our ideas.

If we have been able to expose an additional bit of the mystery, beauty, and order that lie within each tiny cell of which every living creature is composed, we are profoundly thankful for the circumstances that have made it possible.

It is in this spirit that we humbly accept this highest of all scientific honors. For this as well as for the magnificent hospitality you have shown us here, we and our families are deeply grateful.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1958, Editor Göran Liljestrand, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1959

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1958


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