I wish to turn to Your Majesties first of all, to thank You for travelling from Japan to Sweden to participate in the celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the birth of a remarkable scientist and true personality. Your Majesties´ presence is a great honour for Sweden, for me, my Family, and for Uppsala.
Your Majesty´s deep interest in and knowledge of science and biology, our flora and fauna, is well known in Sweden. I also know that Your Majesty share my concern for the future of our world when it comes to the environment. Today, more than ever, we need strong visionaries like Carl von Linné. Visionaries who also have the courage, and the knowledge to explain to everyone what nature needs in order to survive.
During this year of celebrations, we pay tribute to the legacy of Carl von Linné, not only in Sweden but all over the world. His pupils travelled the seven seas, even to Japan. They were sent on risky expeditions and they were not always as successful as Carl Peter Thunberg. But most of them returned home with samples of interesting material that still is to be found in unique archives here in Uppsala and London.
The heritage that Carl von Linné and his students have left to the world is still very much alive and valid. But this year is not just about looking back. It is just as much about the future of science and the necessity of saving our natural heritage for the generations to come.
Carl von Linné explored Sweden and his followers the world with the aim of increasing knowledge, for the good of the individual as well as society.
In our own world, 300 years later, we also need inspiration to try to find out what is hiding behind the corner, to take on the impossible tasks. Science, research and development are vital to progress of our society. I am convinced that all of us having the opportunity to participate in today´s magnificent celebrations feel inspired to learn more, to let ourselves be curious. I hope that this year of Linné will serve its purpose, to make young and old, look for new challenges.
I am sure that the wings of history in this beautiful town inspire today´s students at the University of Uppsala, my own alma mater.
Tonight´s dinner was a wonderful conclusion of this long day of celebration of learning with Carl von Linné as the leading star. Let him continue to be so during the rest of this year as well as in the future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of everyone I wish to say thank you to our hosts for the warm hospitality with which we have been received in Uppsala today, from early morning until now, late at night.
Let me suggest that we all join in our gratitude in a toast of thanks to the great Carl von Linné.
Skål and thank you!