Alfred D. Hershey

Banquet speech

Alfred D. Hershey’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1969

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

After the announcement of the awards in Physiology or Medicine I received some mail from strangers. One man wrote: “I thank God for your prize. Do you?” I didn’t answer his question but I thought about it. “Sir,” I might have replied, “we speak different languages but we share similar sentiments.”

Actually, my correspondent’s language is better than mine. He can put his sentiment into words. I can only point out a curious fact. Year after year the Nobel Awards bring a moment of happiness not only to the recipients, not only to colleagues and friends of the recipients, but even to strangers. One reason for this must be that humans love truth and justice, and rejoice in ceremonies that honor those qualities. For that sentiment we should indeed thank God.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1969, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1970

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1969

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