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Looking back on the Nobel lecture: Ben Feringa made an Honorary Citizen of Groningen

01 December 2016
Ben Feringa and Mayor Den Oudsten. Picture: Elmer Spaargaren

In a packed Martinikerk on Wednesday afternoon, Ben Feringa gave a captivating lecture on the development of molecular machines.In these beautiful surroundings, Professor Feringa spoke about the long road to the first nanocar, and the new vistas that have opened up after such a breakthrough. The Nobel Laureate was made an Honorary Citizen of Groningen by Mayor Den Oudsten. In addition, Feringa's research group was awarded the city's Medal of Honour. ‘This is an extraordinary honour’, Feringa said, visibly moved, ‘but the recognition awarded to my team as a whole is an even greater gift’.


When Feringa took the podium, the 1200 invitees greeted him with prolonged applause. ‘This is overwhelming,’ the laureate said. ‘I would like to thank the University for organizing this beautiful event. I thank the University and all of the colleagues with whom I have worked over the past thirty years. I thank my friends, my family, my wife and our children. A special thank you goes to my parents, who gave me the opportunity to go to school and to continue my studies at university, and who shared with me their love for the beauty of nature.’

Historical afternoon

In his concluding speech, Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken said that the ceremony had been ‘a historic afternoon for our proud University’. Addressing Feringa: ‘You have passed the test, and are now ready for Stockholm’. Feringa will give his official Nobel Prize lecture in Sweden on 8 December. The Nobel Prize award ceremony takes place on 10 December.

More information

The full Nobel lecture by Ben Feringa in the Martini church can be watched on our YouTube channel.

Last modified:17 September 2021 3.18 p.m.
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