Wow.

I can’t say I’m honored, because that should be pretty self-inherent to any acceptance speech.

So I won’t be like every other speaker here and tell you how honored and grateful I am for this moment, because you should already know that it’s in me, that honor and gratitude. And if you don’t know that, then screw you.

I wish I could give you guys a long list of people I would like to thank so much for guiding me along the way to this point. I mean, it’s always wonderful when you hear those tearjerker stories about the parent, the teacher, the best friend, the mentor, that gave you a burst of insight or inspiration in your field of choice. But the only person I can successfully say got me here, accepting an award for new ways of gene splicing, is the person talking right now.

That’s right, me.

It’s definitely not my parents. They told me getting into cellular biology and genetics went so far against their plans for me that they weren’t sure if I was the same son they knew. That they would do their best to still love me despite not becoming a lawyer, but it wouldn’t be difficult for them to drop the pretensions and disinherit me on the spot.

How could it be my teachers, either? They were always telling me that genes were boring, that their were far more fascinating areas in science than looking at DNA and RNA.

I never had a mentor. By the point where I was ready to hit the real world of science, I had kept my social relationships down to myself because I couldn’t trust anyone else to not judge me for where I was going with my life. I found that microscopes provide just as good companionship sometimes as humans.

Which isn’t me trying to sound antisocial.

So there is no grocery list of wonderful heroes who put me here. Just me. I deserved this. Thank me. You don’t know how lucky you are from my discovery, how grateful your grandchildren will be that they can live a few extra years to spend at the retirement homes because of my work.

But if you can’t find it in your sorry selves to thank me, at least hear me out as I make this speech. It’s bound to be the last brilliant speech you’ll hear because this is the only time the Institute will think to award me anything after what I’ve said already here. The best thing I can do right now is to shut up.

I will refuse to even give away the money like everyone else does when they win. Not to my favorite charity (I don’t have one), not to some crowdsourced project, not to—well, you all get the point. I’m not ashamed to say that while I don’t need the money, I want it. Vindication.

Now go off and tell your children to win awards just like me, and they’ll do the opposite and live happy simple lives, and their funerals will be packed and no one will remember their names ten years afterwards. Or you could go the reverse route and see them despised in their day and lionized beyond their lifetime. Or they could become like me: neither.

You’re welcome.