This week, Natalia and I had the extraordinary honor of welcoming nine American Nobel Prize winners to Sweden. Each of these Americans has made a key benefit to the human condition. To honor them, we hosted a reception in which we invited over 200 Swedes, Americans and friends from around the world to salute their contribution to scientific progress.
In my remarks at the reception, I specifically invoked the fact that both America and Sweden are immigrant rich as a shared value and a key to our success.
Here is the text of my remarks:
FULL TEXT OF REMARKS
Your excellencies, Nobel Laureates, Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you all for joining us today to honor American recipients of the 2013 Nobel Prizes.
This reception is the U.S. Embassy’s way of celebrating the accomplishments, the creativity, the scholarship, of the nine Americans who have won Nobel Prizes this year.
Before I continue, I would like to ask all of you to join me in a moment of silence to recognize one of the most courageous, inspirational and greatest leaders, and Nobel laureates, of our time and, in fact of any time, Nelson Mandela.
(moment of silence)
Like those here who will receive the Nobel Prize, Nelson Mandela’s dedication to improving humanity embodied the principles of the Nobel Prize. I would like to take just a few minutes to salute each individually.
Sharing the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: James Rothman, Randy Schekman, and Thomas Südhof.
Sharing the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel.
The 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics is shared by Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, and Robert Shiller.
The American prize-winners have illuminated scientists’ understanding of how cells operate in the brain; enabled the simulation and modeling of complex sub-atomic-scale chemical reactions; and reshaped the way economists understand market prices and “bubbles.”
The results of this research are not just for the benefit of Americans; it is to the benefit of all of humankind.
Each of you is an inspiration to us. Each of you has made a key benefit to the human condition.
Congratulations to you today. We are so proud of you. (Applause)
It is a huge honor for Natalia and me to open our home and pay tribute to your hard work, your life long quest, your accomplishments and deserved success.
As U.S. Ambassador to Sweden for the past two years, it is such a profound honor for me to meet and welcome the incredible Americans who have won the Nobel Prize, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner who visited us in September, President Barack Obama.
Quite appropriately, President Obama’s visit to Sweden emphasized great science. The Embassy offered many scenarios to the President regarding how he would spend his time in Sweden.
But on his first visit to this land of Nobel, the President insisted on focusing on the science and innovation coming out of Sweden that can better the human condition. Hence the President’s visit to Sweden’s KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology.
And it is a particular honor to welcome you to Sweden at this time.
There is a great synchronicity between our two countries. Sweden and America have always been friends, but today we are more than that. We share not only common values, but also an awareness of shared responsibilities for humanity’s future.
We share a consciousness of how science and innovation can address the challenges of our time.
Both of our countries see the value of global engagement, and welcoming others to our lands. Sweden is one of the most generous countries in the world in terms of development aid, and has opened its doors to literally hundreds of thousands of political asylees.
America is a country in which historically our national identity derives in part from the fact that our founding fathers were forced to move to America and become Americans.
That immigrant experience informs our political culture and our consciousness, as President Obama puts it, makes America an “immigrant rich” society.
It is significant that about one third of all U.S. Nobel laureates have been immigrants to America, and that America is proud to be a country of immigrants.
Four of nine of this year’s laureates are born elsewhere. That is something to celebrate.
The Nobel Foundation, and by extension the Nobel Prizes, remind us that both Sweden and America share a vision of global cooperation in which talent has no borders.
Please join me as I raise my glass and offer a toast in honor of all our Nobel Prize laureates.