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L. Montagnier: Address to World Summit 2017

Address to World Summit 2017, Seoul, Korea, February 1 to 5, 2017


We are a small spot in the universe. Science tells us that life emerged on this planet around 3.5 billion years ago. The first life forms were unicellular microorganisms, bacteria. All kinds of biochemical reactions, energy dependent, were found and recorded on a special memory code, DNA.

This first phase lasted at least 1 billion years, maybe 2 billion.

Unlike those who profess that life is a series of haphazard occurrences, I believe that life has a sense, a meaning, toward more organization, more sophistication, and more recently the appearance of consciousness and collective knowledge—science.

The second phase was pluricellular organisms involving over time development and differentiation. These pluricellular organisms are based on a more sophisticated cell, having a nucleus carrying the DNA with its regulated expression and, curiously, a degraded bacterium generating energy (ATP), forming the mitochondria in the cytoplasm.

This second phase, going from the Precambrian to Quaternary era (700 million years), saw an explosion of various organisms, from plants to vertebrates.

We humans emerged from this phase in the last few million years.

But in a still shorter period—about the last 10,000 years—there has appeared a third phase, the Anthropocene epoch, characterized by a new jump in life organization made by us humans. The capacity of high social interaction between individuals through language, and writing, has led to the storage and transmission from generation to generation of all knowledge acquisitions and inventions—science.

The present evolution within the last century up to the present time is defined by

  • A demographic explosion from 1 billion to 7 billion humans.
  • Science has led to the control of past epidemics largely due to the discovery of bacteria and viruses.
  • An explosion in the domain of quasi-instantaneous communication, by image and sound, through the entire planet.
  • An unprecedented memory of knowledge in the form of digital storage of data.

Unfortunately, we have to pay a price for this: changes in our environment, an increase in carbon dioxide, parasites in intensive agriculture, appearance of new epidemics and new diseases.

And, last but not least, an increased risk of wars, as historically man to man, hand to hand, and also economically, possibly resulting in generalized chaos.

The aging of the population is also a problem, and we must inverse the present trend of increased chronic diseases, which results in a decrease of aging in good health.

I believe we can control these diseases by an open-minded medicine with four pillars:

  • Prevention
  • Prediction
  • Personalization
  • Participation

It is also essential that health should always prevail over economy. This is not trivial, as serious distortions already have appeared.

The unification of science can meet the social and environmental challenges of our century.


Professor Luc Montagnier, Nobel Laureate in Physiology (2008), France

Prof. Luc Montagnier is a French virologist and joint recipient with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Harald zur Hausen of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). He is Founder and Director of Foundation Luc Montagnier. A long-time researcher at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, he currently works as a full-time professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

To go to the 2017 World Summit Conference Schedule, click here.