Julian Schwinger’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1965
Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen
No words of mine can adequately acknowledge the unbounded courtesy and hospitality that my wife and I have been accorded during this remarkable occasion. But I should like to comment briefly on the welcome recognition of the work done independently by Japanese and American scientists during and immediately after the great conflict that racked these two nations more than twenty years ago. Who can estimate how much farther physics might be today had world events permitted direct contact and unimpeded research, instead of the reality of those agonizing years. I need not dwell on the total intellectual as well as physical destruction that future conflagrations might bring. It is a bitter irony that man’s curiosity, and his hard-won control over nature, should be turned against man. One must bow before the wisdom of Alfred Nobel, who saw clearly that contributions to the sciences and to literature needed to be supplemented by positive actions for peace. Let us hope that the proud nations of the earth can profit from the great example of our host country, for
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