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Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en los actos de inauguración del "Fellowship"

Cambridge, 08.02.2000

M

aster, Ladies and Gentlemen:

First, I should like to thank you Master, and your predecessor, Professor Alan Cuthbert for receiving me here today. I have much enjoyed my visit to the Cambridge Science Park and I should like to take this opportunity to thank also the Royal Society of Chemistry, Trinity College, originators of the Park, Brady Research and the Toshiba Research Centre for the enlightening and fascinating glimpses into their work, which I had this morning. I am pleased that Dr Robert Parker, Dr Robert Brady and Professor Michael Pepper from those organisations have been able to come here too and can hear my thanks. I was delighted to meet Mr Mark McDonnell, a Director of a Spanish company on the Science Park, Grupo Grifols, who specialise in blood plasma products.

You spoke, Master, of the links between Fitzwilliam and the Hispanic world. Well, I have found out (on some one fond out for me) that they are even more extensive than you said. The eminent archaeologist and authority on the Mayan civilisation, Sir Eric Thompson, much honoured in Mexico, was a member of this College. So is another distinguished Mexicanist, Professor Peter Ward, now Director of the Texas Institute for Latin-American Studies. And one of your three Nobel Laureates, Dr Cesar Milstein, the famous immunologist and an Honorary Fellow of the college, came originally from Argentina.

Spain recognised Sir Eric Thompson by awarding him the Grand Cross of the Order of Queen Isabella and I am proud that Dr Geoffrey Walker, whom you mentioned only briefly, is a Commander of that Order too, invested by my father the King, who is as you said, one of your Honorary Fellows. Geoffrey Waller is also a holder of the Catalan Cross of Saint George. So, our connections go on and on. I hope that this happy fact may continue for many years to come.

I now come to the main purpose of my visit here today. I am delighted to announce, though you all know about it, so it?s no surprise...! the foundation of a Prince of Asturias Research Fellowship, to be held here at Fitzwilliam College, which will enable researchers from Spain to experience and to participate in the excellence for which you are justly famous. I hope that those who hold the Fellowship will return to Spain enriched in knowledge and in the personal relationships for which Cambridge colleges are renowned, ready to contribute in a big way to Spain?s progress as a fast growing European partner, and also to strengthen and continue the tradition to which I have referred earlier. Of course, such an endeavour -as all that count- will cost money to bring about, so I feel compelled to call on those companies who also bridge our two countries together to support this exciting project. I believe it is really worth the effort! (Otherwise I would not be here today...).

In what ever the specific field, you cannot imagine how proud it makes me to offer my name to a research fellowship -for the 1st time! Its a wonderful feeling to support such initiatives specially when I understand the importance that tightening our scientific links has for our common future. As I once heard from a professor of mine. (I see it as investing ?to enlarge the shadow of our future).

Finally, I should like to thank the College for the honour done to me by creating me a Patron of the College. I know that is a rare distinction, but I wonder if you know that in Spanish the word patron usually means the boss, or the skipper of the boat? I do not think, Master, that you intended to surrender your position to me -perhaps I represent something of a tall order for you- so will simply say that I accept the title in its English and Fitzwilliam sense. Thank you very much. I wish you and the Fellows, including future Prince of Asturias Fellows, continued success in our long Anglo-Hispanic tradition.

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