Roger Guillemin

Banquet speech

Roger Guillemin’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1977

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Speaking in the name of my colleagues, Rosalyn Yalow and Andrew Schally, may I express to you our gratitude for the honor you are doing all of us in ennobling this ceremony by your royal presence.

A few days ago, thinking ahead about what I would say on this rather unique occasion, I was listening to the voice of Albert Camus in the Nobel Lecture he gave 20 years ago. Camus gave a moving description of what he considered to be the mission of an artist, a writer as he was and also of his understanding of the role of the artist in his responsibility to society.

I was as surprised as moved to realize that what Camus was describing were my own views of the scientist in his ethics of science and his role to society. Yes, the commitments are the same for the scientist as they are for the artist, when both are worthy of the name. That must already have been in the mind of Alfred Nobel who chose to associate literature and Science in his legacy. Please see us here tonight, as the representatives of modern medicine either as an art or as a science or better still, as both art and science.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1977, Editor Wilhelm Odelberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1978

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1977


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