Howard M. Temin’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1975
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Fellow Laureates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Renato Dulbecco, David Baltimore, and I thank you for the great honor you have given to us. This prize is also an honor for our families, for our institutions, and for the citizens of the United States of America, whose tax dollars and private contributions have supported our work. The U.S. government does support productive projects as well as, unfortunately, some destructive ones.
This prize is an honor for all virologists, especially molecular virologists and those working with tumor viruses, for although the Nobel prize is awarded to individuals, we realize that science is a communal effort – what we have accomplished has rested on the achievements of others, and the future and practical significance of our work will also be determined by the achievements of others.
However, we also realize that our work has not yet led to prevention or curing of human cancer. We are, in fact, outraged that the one major measure available to prevent much cancer, namely, the cessation of cigarette smoking, has not been more widely adopted.
Furthermore, we realize how fortunate we have been to live in a country at a time and in a social class that has enabled us to realize our potential. We know that for many others this has not been possible.
Finally, although science can be applied both for constructive and destructive purposes, we hope that science will be in the future, as are these Nobel Prizes, only for peaceful purposes. Thank you!