A scientist is in a sense a learned small boy. There is something of the scientist in every small boy. Others must outgrow it. Scientists can stay that way all their lives.
In fact, death seems to have been a rather late invention in evolution. One can go a long way in evolution before encountering an authentic corpse.
So-called defense now absorbs sixty per cent of the national budget, and about twelve per cent of the Gross National Product.
The Vietnamese have a secret weapon. It’s their willingness to die beyond our willingness to kill. In effect, they’ve been saying, You can kill us, but you’ll have to kill a lot of us; you may have to kill all of us. And, thank heaven, we are not yet ready to do that.
I tell my students to try to know molecules, so well that when they have some question involving molecules, they can ask themselves, What would I do if I were that molecule?
There is nothing worth having that can he obtained by nuclear war – nothing material or ideological – no tradition that it can defend. It is utterly self-defeating.
You see, every creature alive on the earth today represents an unbroken line of life that stretches back to the first primitive organism to appear on this planet; and that is about three billion years.
As far as I know, the most conservative estimates of the number of Americans who would be killed in a major nuclear attack, with everything working as well as can be hoped and all foreseeable precautions taken, run to about fifty million.
The Nobel Prize is an honor unique in the world in having found its way into the hearts and minds of simple people everywhere. It casts a light of peace and reason upon us all; and for that I am especially grateful.
Science goes from question to question; big questions, and little, tentative answers. The questions as they age grow ever broader, the answers are seen to be more limited.
The thought that we’re in competition with Russians or with Chinese is all a mistake, and trivial. We are one species, with a world to win.
We’ve committed many war crimes in Vietnam – but I’ll tell you something interesting about that. We were committing war crimes in World War II, before the Nuremberg trials were held and the principle of war crimes was stated.
There’s life all over this universe, but the only life in the solar system is on earth, and in the whole universe we are the only men.
All War Departments are now Defense Departments. This is all part of the doubletalk of our time. The aggressor is always on the other side.
We have fallen in love with the body. That’s that thing that looks back at us from the mirror. That’s the repository of that lovely identity that you keep chasing all your life.
It would be a poor thing to be an atom in a universe without physicists, and physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an atom’s way of knowing about atoms.