Respected members of the jury and authorities present; colleagues from the scientific academy; loved ones present, general public. Thank you all for being here and accompanying me to receive this immense honor that is the National Science Award.
In his famous study on the origin of species and natural selection, that institution of biology that today is Charles Darwin explained that it is not the strongest or the most intelligent of species that survive, but the one that best survives. know how to adapt to changes. And that phrase, which any high school student in science can explain today, changed the way we understand history and time itself at the time. A phrase, moreover, that I stumbled upon many years ago, when the mystery of life began to reap its head in mine and I had not the slightest suspicion that one day it would be here, in front of you, celebrating the discovery of new and unsuspected fossil forms of life.
Fossils, as it is known, are the petrified remains of those species that, according to Darwin, did not know or could not adapt to a new natural environment, and were faced with the train of extinction. They are the trace in time of the losers, if you will, but also a metaphor for what I felt for a long time when I studied the fossils of primitive rodents in the National Museum, and I wondered why no one had noticed the obvious differences between Cenozoic marsupials.
There was a hole there that nobody was willing to recognize, because it forced us to rethink what we had until now taken for granted regarding the origin of mammals and of the human being himself. And faced with such a prospect, the most brilliant scientific minds preferred caution, silence, waiting. But in science, as in life, adaptation to changes is key to survival, and lo and behold, many years after I was encouraged to oppose them, we have finally been able to demonstrate that the hole exists, and that we must begin to rethinking what we already took for granted.
It is this critical, and above all self-critical, spirit that allowed modern science to answer our old questions. And it is to that same critical spirit, and to its founding fathers, such as Copernicus and Galileo, such as Francis Bacon and William Gilbert, to whom I would like to dedicate this award tonight, but not without first thanking deeply my students, who taught me to keep life alive. flame of curiosity and irreverence; to my colleagues González and Iñárritu, always ready to offer me a different point of view; and above all to my family, who have endured my obsession with primitive life for decades of love.
Thank you all. Goodnight.
Tips for a good thank you speech
If we want to write a speech of appreciation that goes beyond simply saying thanks, we must take into account the following recommendations:
- Brevity is a value. They say that the good is better if it is brief too. Enumerations, for example, although unavoidable when it comes to giving thanks, must be handled with care, understanding that it is always very difficult not to leave someone out. Generalizing can help.
- Be humble … but not so humble. A speech of gratitude is not a place for arrogance or for reckoning, but neither is it a place to detract from recognition or diminish one’s own effort.
- Go beyond thanks. Make sure that in your speech there is some kind of story: where you came from, how you got to this place, how the group was formed, or some key anecdote that illustrates the experience.
- To Caesar what is Caesar’s. If you receive an award on behalf of a group, design your speech to be representative. Mention others, give them their due recognition, and even ask them in advance to tell you who they would like to thank, and include them on your list. On the other hand, do not forget to thank the institutions, organizations or governments that have supported you and thanks to which you are wherever you are.
What is a speech?
Is named public speech or address the act of speaking in front of an audience, that is, of addressing in person, face to face, with an audience. Speeches have been a fundamental part of oratory and politics since ancient times, as in Ancient Rome, when the Roman Senate met for senators to share their thoughts and reflections with the rest. Today, speeches are an inescapable part of social life, especially on special occasions such as awards ceremonies, political rallies, scientific conferences or graduations.
- “Speech” on Wikipedia.
- “How to make an unforgettable thank you speech” in El trampolín.
- “How to Give the Perfect Thank You Speech in 5 Steps” in Vanity Fair.