Hideki Yukawa

Banquet speech

Hideki Yukawa’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1949

The Nobel-Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences gave a great benefit not only to myself, but also to all the Japanese, because they were all extremely rejoiced by the decision of the Academy and they were very much encouraged by it on their way of reconstruction of Japan as a peaceful and cultural country.

Prior to the speech, Carl Skottsberg, President of the Royal Academy of Sciences, addressed the laureate: “Hideki Yukawa, your brain is your laboratory, paper and pen your instruments. Your speculative mind dwells in the loftiest regions of thinking, where few of us can follow you. Your fellow-workers in atomic research recognize the high intrinsic value of what you have done, and that’s the reason why you are here today, the first Japanese to receive a Nobel prize. You have told us already what this means, not only to you personally, but also to scientific life in Japan, an enlivening stimulation in these days of great distress. We can understand this. And are you not the very best example of the importance of science in bringing nations and races together? Not many years ago Japan and the United States stood against each other, armed to the teeth, bent upon destruction. Today you work happily in the midst of American colleagues.”

From Les Prix Nobel en 1949, Editor Arne Holmberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1950

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1949


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