And so it became that the whole earth was of many languages, with no common speech. As people moved to Germany, they found a hill in Heidelberg and settled there.
They used steel and glass instead of stone, and cement for mortar to build their settlement. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a campus, with a tower of DNA that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
Then the Director General came down to see the campus and the tower the people were building. The Director General said, “If as one people speaking different languages they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and give them one language so they will understand each other even better.”
So the Director General gathered them there from over all the earth, and gave them the language of science and they finished building the campus and the tower. It is now called the Tower of ATC – because there people from the whole world gather to speak the universal language of science and do great things.*
We speak over 40 different languages at EMBL but we all speak the language of science. Happy International Mother Language Day (21 February)!
*The text was adapted from Genesis 11:1-8, New International Version.