Nobel Wisdom - 4

Great quotes from Nobel Laureates

By Vamshi Jandhyala in life

September 9, 2020


  1. When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land. – Desmond Tutu

  2. Asia is not going to be civilised after the methods of the West. There is too much Asia, and she is too old. –Rudyard Kipling

  3. The developing countries themselves must restructure their national psychologies in the direction of greater responsibility for their own fates. It is time they stopped blaming their misfortunes on colonialism and neo-colonialism. – Andrei Sakharov

  4. In the name of the Third World: Be not spectators to our miseries. – Naguib Mahfouz


  1. Once in Hawaii I was taken to see a Buddhist temple. In the temple a man said, “I am going to tell you something that you will never forget.” And then he said, “To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven. The same key opens the gates of hell.” – Richard Feynman

  2. Many believe that the new discoveries may lead either to immense progress or to equal catastrophe, to paradise or to hell. I, however, think that this earth will remain what it always was; a mixture of heaven and hell, a battlefield of angels and devils. – Max Born

  3. The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell. – Bertrand Russell

  4. Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside. – George Bernard Shaw

  5. If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew. – Albert Einstein

  6. Sweet is the land where one is born. It has no price. All other land is bitter. – Miguel Angel Asturias


  1. Ninety percent of politicians give the other ten percent a bad name. – Henry Kissinger

  2. Politicians think of the next election while statesmen think of the next generation. People elect the best politicians and then are astonished when they discover they have gotten poor statesmen. – Albert Szent-Györgyi

  3. To govern is to educate. A statesman is that person who tells people what people need to know. A politician is that person who tells people what people want to hear. – Oscar Ariás Sanchez

  4. No politician will worry much about anything that can’t be photographed. – George Stigler


  1. Governments never learn. Only people learn. – Milton Friedman

  2. Thank heavens we do not get all of the government that we are made to pay for. – Milton Friedman

  3. If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand. – Milton Friedman

  4. The most ineffective government agency is inherently the one most interested in concealing its performance from the public. – Jimmy Carter

  5. Governments need enemies to frighten their people with, frightened people being more easy to lead. – Albert Szent-Györgyi

  6. When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer “Present” or “Not guilty.” – Theodore Roosevelt

  7. The more the state “plans,” the more difficult planning becomes for the individual. – Friedrich von Hayek

  8. Competition as far as possible, planning as far as necessary. – Willy Brandt

  9. Not only does absolute power corrupt absolutely; it delays fantastically. – George Stigler


  1. Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. – Winston Churchill

  2. There’s nothing more secure than a democratic, accountable, and participatory form of government. – Wole Soyinka

  3. The mistakes made by a democracy in a whole generation do not compare with the mistakes that can be made by a dictatorship in a single day. – Anwar al-Sadat

  4. It is better to be a total failure in democracy than a martyr or the creme de la creme in tyranny. – Joseph Brodsky

  5. Democratic principles do not flourish on empty stomachs. – George C. Marshall

  6. No substantial famine has ever occurred in any independent and democratic country with a relatively free press. – Amartya Sen

  7. Building democracy as an imposition from abroad is a form of imperialism. – Lech Walesa

  8. It is very difficult to maintain a genuinely democratic political system in a society where there is a high degree of illiteracy; where most people still live in rural poverty; where most people are uneducated and have little access to modern media. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to have a fully-fledged modern consumer economy without having democratic institutions. – F. W. de Klerk

  9. In dictatorships the beginning may seem easy, but tragedy awaits inescapably at the end. – Giorgos Seferis


  1. All modern revolutions have ended in a reinforcement of the power of the State. – Albert Camus

  2. What is a rebel? A man who says no. – Albert Camus

  3. A love affair, a career, a revolution: these are ventures on which one embarks without knowing their outcome. – Jean-Paul Sartre

  4. Research in applied science leads to reforms, research in pure science leads to revolutions, and revolutions, whether political or industrial, are exceedingly profitable things if you are on the winning side. – J. J. Thomson

  5. No matter how valid the ideas that inspire a party, no matter how wise its program, no matter how strong the initial support from the people, sooner or later there will be an inevitable degeneration of a revolutionary party into a conservative party. – Mikhail Gorbachev

  6. I renounce revolution as a means of solving problems. – Mikhail Gorbachev


  1. The difference between the revolutionary and the terrorist lies in the reason for which he fights. – Yasser Arafat

  2. If those vested with authority and power practice injustice, resort to torture and killing, is it not inevitable that those who are the victims will react with similar methods? – Seán MacBride

  3. As long as the more powerful nations exploit the less powerful, they will be repaid by terrorism, hatred, and potential violence. Insofar as our policies are selfish or cynical or short-sighted, there will inevitably be a day of reckoning. – Jimmy Carter

  4. The first step towards the dethronement of terror is the deflation of its hypocritical self-righteousness. – Wole Soyinka


  1. So listen to me, children: Put on your marching shoes; don’cha get weary; though the path ahead may be dark and dreary; we’re walking for freedom, children.

    – Martin Luther King

  2. Freedom is not a philosophy, nor is it even an idea. It is a movement of consciousness that leads us, at certain moments, to utter one of two monosyllables: Yes or No. – Octavio Paz

  3. None who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free. – Pearl S. Buck

  4. Peace is indissolubly interwoven with the question of freedom, for peace without freedom is a mockery. – Albert Lutuli

  5. Nothing, not even the most sophisticated weapon, not even the most brutally efficient policy, no, nothing will stop people once they are determined to achieve their freedom and their right to humanness. – Desmond Tutu

  6. People are not free if they cannot decide where they wish to live; where they wish to work; where and how they wish to educate their children; where and how they wish to worship; what language they wish to speak; to what organisations they wish to belong; or what views they choose to hold. It is precisely because apartheid denied these basic freedoms that it was so unacceptable and had to be dismantled. – F. W. de Klerk

  7. A society that puts equality . . . ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality or freedom. – Milton Friedman

  8. Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. – Woodrow Wilson


  1. For me, justice is the first condition of humanity. – Wole Soyinka

  2. From the moment that the free-thinkers began to question the existence of God, the problem of justice became of primary importance. – Albert Camus

  3. God help us if our sense of fair play is not the strongest of all our feelings. – Bjornstjene Bjørnson

  4. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Martin Luther King

  5. Freedom without social justice is useless, and social justice is useless in the absence of individual freedoms. – Shirin Ebadi

  6. Any peace not built on justice and on the recognition of the rights of the peoples, would be a structure of sand which would crumble under the first blow. – Anwar al-Sadat

  7. Power alone is no guarantee of security . . . The only guarantee of security is justice. – Naguib Mahfouz

  8. The whole history of the world is summed up in the fact that, when nations are strong, they are not always just, and when they wish to be just, they are no longer strong. – Winston Churchill

  9. Even those who are fed up with morality ought to realize that it is better to suffer certain injustices than to commit them even to win wars. – Albert Camus


  1. No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. – Nelson Mandela


  1. You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. – George Bernard Shaw

  2. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism—how passionately I hate them! – Albert Einstein

  3. I love my country too much to be a nationalist. – Albert Camus

  4. The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife. – Theodore Roosevelt PEACE, 1906

  5. A scientist belongs to his country in times of war and to all mankind in times of peace. – Fritz Haber

  6. The state is primarily an organization for killing foreigners, that’s its main purpose. There are, of course, other things they do. They do a certain amount of educating, but in the course of educating you try very hard to make the young think it is a grand thing to kill foreigners. – Bertrand Russell


  1. There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch. – Milton Friedman

  2. Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property. – Milton Friedman

  3. Economists possess their full share of the common ability to invent and commit errors . . . perhaps their most common error is to believe other economists. – Joseph Stigler

  4. The single biggest misunderstanding built into the mentality of the popular culture is that one person’s gain is another person’s loss. – James Heckman

  5. The only information that is of value in a financial market is information that other people don’t have. – Herbert Simon

  6. Modern high-tech warfare is designed to remove physical contact: dropping bombs from 50,000 feet ensures that one does not “feel” what one does. Modern economic management is similar: from one’s luxury hotel, one can callously impose policies about which one would think twice if one knew the people whose lives one was destroying. – Joseph Stiglitz

  7. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. – Milton Friedman


  1. The sole aim of science is the glory of the human spirit. – Gerhard Herzberg

  2. Science is imagination in the service of the verifiable truth. – Gerald Edelman

  3. Let us be clear about it. What science can do, it will do, some time, somewhere, whatever obstacles may be put in its way. – Christian de Duve

  4. The scientific equations we seek are the poetry of nature. Chen Ning Yang

  5. If you thought that science was certain—well that is just an error on your part. – Richard Feynman

  6. Real science, as opposed to its entrepreneurial image, has a strict taboo against lying. We need this taboo to guard against wasting scarce and valuable resources, such as one’s life, on false leads. – Robert Laughlin

  7. I now regard my former belief in the superiority of science over other forms of human thought and behavior as a self-deception . . . In 19211 believed . . . that science produced an objective knowledge of the world, which is governed by deterministic laws. The scientific method seemed to me superior to other, more subjective ways of forming a picture of the world—philosophy, poetry and religion; and I even thought the unambiguous language of science to be a step towards a better understanding between human beings. In 1951 I believed in none of these things. – Max Born

  8. I think one could say that a certain modesty toward understanding nature is a precondition to the continued pursuit of science. – Subramanyan Chandrasekhar

  9. Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what no one else has thought. – Albert Szent-Györgyi

  10. I’m convinced that a controlled disrespect for authority is essential to a scientist. – Luis Alvarez

  11. Of course scientists have been told to be socially responsible. Of course, I think society ought to be scientifically responsible as well. – Sydney Brenner

  12. You don’t need to be bright to be a scientist, you just need to be persistent as hell. – Dudley Herschbach


  1. All science is either physics or stamp collecting. – Ernest Rutherford

  2. Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it. – Richard Feynman

  3. Physics is becoming so unbelievably complex that it is taking longer and longer to train a physicist. It is taking so long, in fact, to train a physicist to the place where he understands the nature of physical problems t that he is already too old to solve them. – Eugene Wigner

  4. We use the wave theory on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and the particle theory on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. – William Henry Bragg

  5. The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known, and vice versa. – Werner Heisenberg

  6. My ambition is to live to see all of physics reduced to a formula so elegant and simple that it will fit easily on the front of a T-shirt. – Leon Lederman

  7. When I was young I thought that physics was easy and relations with women difficult. Now it is just the other way around. – Wolfgang Pauli

  8. I was lucky enough to look over the good Lord’s shoulder while He was at work. – Werner Heisenberg


  1. We have sought for firm ground and found none. The deeper we penetrate, the more restless becomes the universe, and the vaguer and cloudier. – Max Born

  2. What we have found is evidence for the birth of the universe and its evolution . . . If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God. The order is so beautiful and the symmetry so beautiful that you think there is some design behind it. – George F. Smoot

  3. What really interests me is whether God had any choice in the creation of the world. – Albert Einstein

  4. For every one billion particles of antimatter there were one billion and one particles of matter. And when the mutual annihilation was complete, one billionth remained—and that’s our present universe. – Albert Einstein

  5. The very matter of the universe is transient. We’re fortunate enough to live in this period when there is matter. – Sheldon Glashow

  6. There is no rational reason to doubt that the universe has existed indefinitely, for an infinite time. It is only myth that attempts to say how the universe came to be, either four thousand or twenty billion years ago. – Hannes Aljvén

  7. Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star. Paul Dirac

  8. The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. – Steven Weinberg