Rodbell wrote to thank Hoet for his hospitality during the Rodbells' recent visit to Europe. Hoet was a specialist in
internal medicine, long a champion of biomedical ethics, and at the time this letter was written, a Professor Emeritus in
the Faculty of Medicine at the Universite Catholique de Louvain.
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2 (129,717 Bytes)
1995-10-12 (October 12, 1995)
Hoet, Joseph J.
Courtesy of Martin Rodbell.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Dear Joseph and Pep: Finally, a few moments when I could sit down to my Macintosh and write to thank you for a wonderful few
days spent in your home and with your wonderful children. Since coming home we have been "on-the-run", so to speak,
giving lectures and attending a fantastic evening at Johns Hopkins last Saturday (October 11). I may have told you that a
group of some of my oldest acquaintances decided to honor me with a banquet held at the Faculty Club of Hopkins. Actually,
though it was to honor me for the "prize", in fact it was an excuse for everyone to spend an evening together after
at least 40 yrs and, in a few cases, 55 years, since we last saw one another. Two of them were school-mates from elementary
school to our entry at Johns Hopkins in 1943! Both have successful careers as scientist/mathematicians. We sat together at
dinner, somewhat stunned, as we talked about our lives. Actually, that is what everyone did that evening -- talk about our
lives. It was what one person called a "love-in" seeing us hug and kiss one another with greetings of affections that
could only mean remembrances of another era, long gone, when we were boys at college. A novel could be written about this
collective gathering of successful men gathered to celebrate, certainly for the only and last time, what is the epiphany of
our lives. Anyhow, that was the capstone of our return home from Holland and Belgium. It was fitting that we can share that
joy with you. Perhaps we can have our personal reunion someday, perhaps in Belgium but elsewhere as well.
I am still lecturing at least twice each week now. Starting November 1 we visit Spain beginning in Barcelona and traversing
from the North to the South, stopping at a few universities to give lectures. After returning we depart on Dec 1 (my birthday)
for Naples, Italy. This time for a special occasion -- celebration of an event that took place in Naples 150 yrs ago -- a
meeting of scientists from several disciplines (physics, chemistry, mathematics, philosophy) to try and bring together these
disciplines into something that resembles something greater than the sum. This time there will be again scientists from various
disciplines. I am designated to give the plenary lecture on a common theme relating again all of the disciplines. A difficult
task but I actually look forward to this occasion as a real challenge.
Well, my dear friends, it is with much warmth of feeling that we again express our thanks for your wonderful hospitality.
I hope we will have such an occasion again. In the meantime, much affection from us to you.