Martin Rodbell

Banquet speech

Martin Rodbell’s speech at the Nobel Banquet, December 10, 1994

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Life, like the first blooming, emerges tantalizing to the curious:
Why, How, When, Where;
Interlocked questions arising from the mysterious
encompassing matters quite serious.
What, for example, is signal transduction?
Haven’t you heard, the computer chips proclaim,
Surely it’s all in the silicon, that’s been all along their refrain.
But is life really built on sand
slipping and sliding down its slippery slope
moving 30 degrees toward eternity, with limited scope.
Enter the letter G, lucky seven in the alphabet
the starting point for everything surely profound
remember God, Gustav – V and VI prior crowned
and now Carl Gustav, whom we gather here to celebrate.
Gilman and Rodbell are delighted to communicate
with receptors dancing to our tuning forks,
Proclaiming all hail to the Swedish Majesties
for giving us the Gustav G
and to Nobel our Gratitude
for the opportunity to express also our homage
to Nature’s use of GTP.
Hail to our friends and colleagues,
to our families, to this hall filled with nobility
Borne on the winds of Nobelwisdom
Signal Transduction which, in inciting whispers between cells,
lends this evening for those still awake
what surely binds us all in this most felicitous state.
Tack, Tack, we say to all before it becomes too late.

From Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1994, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1995

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1994

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