As contemporary history reminds us we are human to the extent that we are able to chose between alternatives.
Now the master paid a number of visits to England and, as a Cambridge man, it is a source of pride that he taught there for a longer period than elsewhere in my country.
If we turn to palaeontology to tell us about our biological evolution it is to prehistory that we look for evidence of the evolution of specifically human patterns of behaviour.
One aspect of this is the way we have come during recent centuries to appreciate that the world and indeed the very universe in which we live have evolved over immense periods of time.
To be awarded a prize which takes its name from an illustrious Dutchman who at the same time was a great citizen of Europe and through his writings did so much to open up our modern world of sensibility and thought is indeed a most signal honour.