Nobel Dinner Speach 1999

Description: Nobel Dinner Speach 99

Your Royal Highness
Honored Nobel Laureates
Ladies and gentlemen

Inger and I would like to welcome you to this evening’s dinner in honor of the American recipents of the Nobel Prize. We are especially pleased to be able to welcome two of last year’s winners: Professor Robert Furchgott and Professor Horst Störmer who received the awards for medicine and physics respectively.

Three hours ago the guests rose from the table at the Nobel Banquet in the Stockholm City Hall, the scene of an unforgettable evening for many of us who are here tonight.

2 For more than forty years now, this house – the residence of the Consul General in New York – has been the scene of the annual dinner in honor of the American Nobel Laureates. And no country can count as many recipients of the Nobel prize as the United States.

3 This is the last Nobel dinner of the millenium – the Nobel Prizes were first awarded 1901. At that turn of century Sweden was in a midst of a formative period of very rapid modernization och economic growth – as it is today, Sweden being the second most celluraised country of the world and the country were most people surf on the internet.

Its worth to remember that Alfred Nobel made his fortune – not in Sweden, but in Russia. Globalization, we would call it today. He lived parts of his life in Petersburg. His father had a weapon factory in Petersburg – and Petersburg of the late 19 century by the way was built by Swedish arcitects. Nobel had a large oil business in Baku which was the most profitable part of his operations.

4 At that time Sweden had its face toward the East. That came of course to a halt with the communist take-over in Russia.
Now – depending on the development in the democratic Russia – it might once again be possible for Sweden and Stockholm to become the economic center in the Baltic area – as it was for Alfred Nobel.

Well, Inger and I are newcommers to New York and we are happy to have the opportunity to keep this tradition of a New York Nobel Dinner going.

5  And we think there are few better ideas than to celebrate those who are the cleverest and most inventive.

I therefore want to start this dinner with a toast for the here present 17 nobel prize lauretes.