Presentation Speech by Professor Carlos Ibáñez, Member of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute, Member of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, 10 December 2017
Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, Esteemed Nobel Laureates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Phileas Fogg, the main character in Jules Verne’s acclaimed novel Around the World in Eighty Days, could not have suffered from jet-lag during his trip, despite crossing multiple time zones. His body had plenty of time – more than 3 days per time zone – to get adjusted to the time differences encountered along his journey. Today, in the era of jet travel, we can cross several time zones in only a few hours; but our bodies suffer, as they struggle to adapt to the new time at our destination. Many of our foreign guests this evening are surely experiencing this now. Why can’t our physiology adapt more rapidly? What keeps it behind?