The Gairdner Foundation is a non-profit corporation devoted to the recognition of outstanding achievement in biomedical research
worldwide. Nirenberg won the award in 1967. In this first page of his draft he discusses the importance of scientific freedom
as an ideal to cherish.
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (57,141 Bytes)
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
Dr. Michener, Dr. [ . . . ], Mr. Gairdner, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen.
In ancient times in the Orient an artist always used an assumed name to sign the pictures he painted. The reason was that
the artist then could never either be rewarded or punished by others for his work -- the artist then would always be free
-- for no one, other than the artist, would know who to punish or who to reward. Now this is an interesting concept relevant
to art and science today.
Certainly the concepts of freedom and creation for the sake of creation are ideals to cherish. But on the other hand if enduring
beauty is the [ . . . ] to truth and most important [ . . . ] willingness of led individual to accept responsibilities of
his work, even good scientist [ . . . ] long and hard to validate his work, to check it, to take pride in his feelings or
workmanship. For his colleagues judge his scientific ability on the basis of what he creates or what he tries to create.
The basic values of the scientific community are simple and good. In essence, it is a devotion to truth, and to integrity
to one's craft.