Baruch S. Blumberg

Banquet speech

Baruch S. Blumberg’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1976

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen:

My colleague and friend, Carleton Gajdusek, and I wish to thank the Nobel Committee for their gracious and generous hospitality. We have a special debt for I believe the size of our respective parties has established a record for the numbers invited, and I must therefore apologize to those who could not attend because of this.

The large number is a reflection, in part, of the size of our families, and for this it is difficult to provide further comment. In another part it is due to the large number of people who have worked with us to accomplish our research: microbiologists, physicians, anthropologists, chemists, field workers. In clinical research, which is honored by our awards, many workers are needed since it encompasses many disciplines, and since the sensitivities and medical needs of our subjects must be attended to as part of any observations made. The ethics of human concerns are indivisibly bound with scientific observations; human values and science cannot be separated.

Nor can basic and applied research be readily separated, for, as we have learned from our own research, apparently esoteric observations made in distant and different cultures can lead to the prevention of disease and the preservation of life.

There is an additional reward which occasionally is granted to scientists, a reward sometimes shared by artists, writers and others. We may sometimes be offered a glimpse of the wonderful order of nature which defines and guides all of our lives.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1976, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1977

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1976


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