Joseph E. Murray

Banquet speech

Joseph E. Murray’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1990

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of Dr. Thomas and myself I thank you for this honor. Your recognition of our work on terminally ill patients sends a world-wide message to clinical scientists that their research is just as significant as that of fundamental scientists whose work forms the background of all advances. Let us continue to shorten the distance from the laboratory to the bedside.

This year’s award also pays tribute to the hundreds of thousands of patients now living healthy meaningful lives as a result of successful transplantation of solid organs and dissociated marrow cells. We are indebted to many of those patients for their unselfishly joining in the research effort.

There are two other areas of transplantation in which The Nobel Foundation has been involved. By establishing and maintaining consistent high standards of excellence in all of your awards over the past 90 years, you have been a unique vital force in the transplantation of ideas which has created what a naturalist theologian has termed a “noosphere”, that broad stream of knowledge encircling and enveloping the world, analogous to earth’s lifegiving atmosphere.

Finally, on a more personal note The Nobel Foundation has successfully transplanted some 28 members of our respective families across the Atlantic Ocean and allowed all of us, from ages of 75 years to four months, to be part of this unforgettable, elegant week of friendship, hospitality, kindness and good-will. This transplant operation has been, I assure you, completely successful.

Again, on behalf of our families, the medical institutions which have nurtured us, and especially in behalf of our patients, we thank you.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1990, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1991

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1990


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