Transcript of the telephone interview with Professor Barry Marshall after the announcement of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine by science writer Joanna Rose, 3 October 2005.
– Hello. Barry Marshall here.
– Hello, Barry. This is Joanna Rose from the Nobel Foundation. I’m making a recording for our Web pages.
– Oh, great!
– Congratulations to the Prize.
– Thank you.
– Did you expect it?
– I think … Well, Robin and I often have a beer …
– …down by the riverside at this time of year. But it’s more of a joke, and I think… Of course, it’s funny how things like this are such a surprise, but … I mean, of course, we would always dream about winning the Nobel, but we never really thought we’d … A thing like this, we could say it was an important discovery, but there are so many important things in medicine these days that … I could say that, if we never had won it, it wouldn’t necessarily be a disappointment. It’s just that there are so many other good discoveries out there, and hard workers.
– What does it mean for your work, do you think, now – from now on?
– I think my work’ll be a little bit disrupted. [laughter] But I think there some very exciting projects that I’m doing at the moment, and I think that I have to continue on with those, because that’s where the future of my … That’s where my interest is at the moment; I love doing this work. So it will just create some extra activities for me! So, I’m not sure what’ll happen. I think I’ll just have to float in the breeze, I guess … and see what happens.
– Your colleague, Robin Warren, he mentioned to me that nobody really believed you in this at the beginning.
– Well, it’s so entrenched that ulcers are caused by stress; and so, even now in the movies in Hollywood you still see people developing ulcers from stress. But I think most … Well, I suppose people that are educated haven’t heard about these bacteria that cause ulcers. But … it’s not as exciting as it was a few years ago, because so many people now are being cured and you don’t know people with ulcers any more. It’s becoming a rare disease in modern countries, Western countries. But, of course, in a lot of countries it’s still very common.
– When did you realise that you’d been awarded the Prize?
– Well, when we received a call from Sweden about an hour ago.
– So now you’re celebrating?
– Well, we’re not … We’re being very careful – we’re just having one glass of beer at the moment. And I don’t want to appear on television, intoxicated. Dr Warren and I, we’re very moderate in our activities and, usually, one beer is enough to keep us cheerful.
– For how many years did you make the jokes about the Prize?
– Oh … Well, the first time we … We first had a publication in the Lancet in 1984 …’83 or … it might have been ’83, and we made a joke then: we thought we’d probably win the Prize in 1986. [laughter]
– So it’s just 19 years later – it’s lost it’s kick!
– 19 years later! [more laughter] So we still enjoy it very much, and I visited Sweden a couple of years ago and I’m just looking forward to visiting again so much and showing my wife all the wonderful things we saw there.
– Well, you are so much welcome here. Hope to see you here in December. Thank you very much.
– Oh, yes. Thank you.
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