Celebrating 17 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY™
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index E > Albert Einstein Quotes > Life

Thumbnail of Albert Einstein (source)
Albert Einstein
(14 Mar 1879 - 18 Apr 1955)

German-American physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.




All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
— Albert Einstein
'Moral Decay', Out of My Later Years (1937, 1995), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Freedom (57)  |  Science And Art (149)  |  Science And Religion (242)

Anyone who thinks science is trying to make human life easier or more pleasant is utterly mistaken.
— Albert Einstein
In 'Quotation Marks', New York Times (11 Oct 1931), XX2.
Science quotes on:  |  Anyone (8)  |  Ease (25)  |  Human (301)  |  Life (712)  |  Mistaken (3)  |  Pleasantness (3)  |  Science (1331)  |  Thinking (220)  |  Try (53)  |  Utterly (10)

For the rest of my life I will reflect on what light is.
— Albert Einstein
(1917). Quoted in Sidney Perkowitz, Empire of Light (1999), 69.
Science quotes on:  |  Light (204)  |  Thought (281)

I agree with Schopenhauer that one of the most powerful motives that attracts people to science and art is the longing to escape from everyday life.
— Albert Einstein
Quoted, without citation in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Feb 1959), 85. If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (9)  |  Attract (13)  |  Escape (24)  |  Everyday (10)  |  Life (712)  |  Longing (8)  |  Motive (20)  |  Person (87)  |  Powerful (36)  |  Arthur Schopenhauer (14)  |  Science And Art (149)

I believe with Schopenhauer that one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one’s own ever shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from personal life into the world of objective perception and thought; this desire may be compared with the townsman’s irresistible longing to escape from his noisy, cramped surroundings into the silence of high mountains, where the eye ranges freely through the still, pure air and fondly traces out the restful contours apparently built for eternity.
— Albert Einstein
Address at The Physical Society, Berlin (1918) for Max Planck’s 60th birthday, 'Principles of Research', collected in Essays in Science (1934) 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (129)  |  Apparently (6)  |  Belief (284)  |  Built (7)  |  Compared (7)  |  Contour (2)  |  Crudity (3)  |  Desire (81)  |  Dreariness (3)  |  Escape (24)  |  Eternity (31)  |  Everyday (10)  |  Eye (128)  |  Finely (2)  |  Freely (4)  |  High (30)  |  Hopelessness (4)  |  Irresistible (5)  |  Life (712)  |  Longing (8)  |  Motive (20)  |  Mountain (92)  |  Nature (841)  |  Noisy (2)  |  Objective (32)  |  Pain (71)  |  Perception (36)  |  Personal (26)  |  Pure (38)  |  Range (24)  |  Restful (2)  |  Arthur Schopenhauer (14)  |  Science And Art (149)  |  Shifting (3)  |  Silence (23)  |  Strongest (5)  |  Surrounding (10)  |  Tempered (2)  |  Thought (281)  |  Trace (23)  |  World (481)

I do not believe that a moral philosophy can ever be founded on a scientific basis. … The valuation of life and all its nobler expressions can only come out of the soul’s yearning toward its own destiny. Every attempt to reduce ethics to scientific formulas must fail. Of that I am perfectly convinced.
— Albert Einstein
In 'Science and God: A Dialogue', Forum and Century (June 1930), 83, 374. Einstein’s dialogue was with James Murphy and J.W.N. Sullivan. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 230. The book introduces this quote as Einstein’s reply when Murphy asked, in the authors’ words, “how far he thought modern science might be able to go toward establishing practical ideals of life on the ruins of religious ideals.”
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (67)  |  Belief (284)  |  Destiny (20)  |  Ethic (11)  |  Expression (66)  |  Failure (94)  |  Formula (43)  |  Life (712)  |  Moral (67)  |  Nobler (3)  |  Philosophy (180)  |  Reduction (32)  |  Science And Religion (242)  |  Soul (88)  |  Yearning (5)

I do not think words alone will solve humanity’s present problems. The sound of bombs drowns out men’s voices. In times of peace I have great faith in the communication of ideas among thinking men, but today, with brute force dominating so many millions of lives, I fear that the appeal to man’s intellect is fast becoming virtually meaningless.
— Albert Einstein
In 'I Am an American' (22 Jun 1940), Einstein Archives 29-092. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 470. It was during a radio broadcast for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, interviewed by a State Department Official. Einstein spoke following an examination on his application for American citizenship in Trenton, New Jersey. The attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war on Japan was still over a year in the future.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (20)  |  Bomb (10)  |  Brute (12)  |  Communication (53)  |  Drown (6)  |  Faith (101)  |  Fear (83)  |  Force (134)  |  Humanity (80)  |  Idea (378)  |  Intellect (149)  |  Life (712)  |  Meaningless (10)  |  Million (65)  |  Peace (45)  |  Problem (281)  |  Solve (14)  |  Sound (44)  |  Thinking (220)  |  Today (52)  |  Voice (29)  |  War (114)  |  Word (182)

If A is a success in life, I should say the formula is A = X + Y + Z, X being work and Y being play. … … [Z] is keeping your mouth shut.
— Albert Einstein
Reply to question about what Einstein considered “the best formula for success in life,” asked by S.J. Woolf in an interview at Einstein's home, published as 'Einstein’s Own Corner of Space’, New York Times (18 Aug 1929), Sunday Magazine, 1. Also stated in Carl Seelig, Albert Einstein: A Documentary Biography (1956), 54, as “A (Success) = X (Work) + Y (Play) + Z (Keep your mouth shut).
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (222)

It was my good fortune to be linked with Mme. Curie through twenty years of sublime and unclouded friendship. I came to admire her human grandeur to an ever growing degree. Her strength, her purity of will, her austerity toward herself, her objectivity, her incorruptible judgement— all these were of a kind seldom found joined in a single individual... The greatest scientific deed of her life—proving the existence of radioactive elements and isolating them—owes its accomplishment not merely to bold intuition but to a devotion and tenacity in execution under the most extreme hardships imaginable, such as the history of experimental science has not often witnessed.
— Albert Einstein
Out of My Later Years (1950), 227-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Marie Curie (29)  |  Radioactivity (24)

Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientist do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way the peace and security which he cannot find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience.
— Albert Einstein
Address at The Physical Society, Berlin (1918) for Max Planck’s 60th birthday, 'Principles of Research', collected in Essays in Science (1934, 2004) 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (93)  |  Construction (60)  |  Cosmos (31)  |  Emotional (2)  |  Experience (210)  |  Extent (16)  |  Fashion (19)  |  Intelligible (4)  |  Life (712)  |  Narrow (25)  |  Natural Scientist (2)  |  Overcome (5)  |  Painter (13)  |  Peace (45)  |  Personal (26)  |  Philosopher (110)  |  Picture (40)  |  Poet (50)  |  Science And Art (149)  |  Security (20)  |  Speculative (2)  |  Substitute (18)  |  Suit (5)  |  Try (53)  |  World (481)

My internal and external life depend so much on the work of others that I must make an extreme effort to give as much as I receive.
— Albert Einstein
Quoted, without citation, in Floyd Merrell, Unthinking Thinking: Jorge Luis Borges, Mathematics, and the New Physics, 241. Webmaster has not found any other source for this quote, and cautions doubt about its authenticity. If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Dependence (29)  |  Effort (72)  |  External (27)  |  Extreme (25)  |  Giving (11)  |  Internal (11)  |  Life (712)  |  Other (25)  |  Receive (25)  |  Work (330)

One of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.
— Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein and Walter Shropshire (ed.), The Joys of Research (1981), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Crudity (3)  |  Desire (81)  |  Dreariness (3)  |  Escape (24)  |  Everyday (10)  |  Hopeless (7)  |  Life (712)  |  Motive (20)  |  Pain (71)  |  Science And Art (149)

One should guard against preaching to the young man success in the customary sense as the aim in life. ... The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community.
— Albert Einstein
'On Education', address at the State University of New York, Albany (15 Oct 1936) in celebration of the Tercentenary of Higher Education in America, translation prepared by Lina Arronet. In Albert Einstein, The Einstein Reader (2006), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (38)  |  Community (43)  |  Customary (2)  |  Guard (8)  |  Important (73)  |  Knowledge (1003)  |  Life (712)  |  Motive (20)  |  Pleasure (88)  |  Preach (6)  |  Result (198)  |  School (68)  |  Sense (160)  |  Work (330)  |  Youth (52)

One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike—and yet is the most precious thing we have.
— Albert Einstein
Epigraph in Banesh Hoffmann and Helen Dukas, Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel (1972, 1973), vii.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (1331)

The efforts of most human-beings are consumed in the struggle for their daily bread, but most of those who are, either through fortune or some special gift, relieved of this struggle are largely absorbed in further improving their worldly lot. Beneath the effort directed toward the accumulation of worldly goods lies all too frequently the illusion that this is the most substantial and desirable end to be achieved; but there is, fortunately, a minority composed of those who recognize early in their lives that the most beautiful and satisfying experiences open to humankind are not derived from the outside, but are bound up with the development of the individual's own feeling, thinking and acting. The genuine artists, investigators and thinkers have always been persons of this kind. However inconspicuously the life of these individuals runs its course, none the less the fruits of their endeavors are the most valuable contributions which one generation can make to its successors.
— Albert Einstein
In letter (1 May 1935), Letters to the Editor, 'The Late Emmy Noether: Professor Einstein Writes in Appreciation of a Fellow-Mathematician', New York Times (4 May 1935), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Acting (5)  |  Artist (37)  |  Beautiful (47)  |  Bound (12)  |  Contribution (40)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Development (191)  |  Early (25)  |  Endeavor (17)  |  Experience (210)  |  Feeling (74)  |  Fortunately (6)  |  Fruit (57)  |  Generation (88)  |  Genuine (15)  |  Humankind (6)  |  Inconspicuous (2)  |  Individual (113)  |  Investigator (26)  |  Kind (53)  |  Life (712)  |  Minority (12)  |  Emmy Noether (6)  |  Outside (20)  |  Recognition (59)  |  Satisfaction (43)  |  Successor (5)  |  Thinker (10)  |  Thinking (220)  |  Value (119)

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.
— Albert Einstein
Recollection of a statement to William Miller, an editor, as quoted in Life magazine (2 May 1955). Cited in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (2008), 548.
Science quotes on:  |  Awe (18)  |  Contemplating (2)  |  Curiosity (78)  |  Eternity (31)  |  Existing (7)  |  Help (45)  |  Life (712)  |  Marvelous (9)  |  Mystery (101)  |  Reality (98)  |  Reason (248)  |  Structure (155)

Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier bring us so little happiness? ... The simple answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it.'
— Albert Einstein
Address to students of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California (16 Feb 1931). In New York Times (17 Feb 1931), p. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied Science (17)  |  Happiness (68)  |  Sensible (16)  |  Use (70)  |  Work (330)


See also:
  • 14 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Einstein's birth.
  • Albert Einstein - My Theory - The Times (1919).
  • Geometry and Experience - Address by Albert Einstein to the Prussian Academy of Sciences (27 Jan 1921).
  • Even Einstein's Little Universe Is Big Enough - New York Times article (2 Feb 1921).
  • Large color picture of Albert Einstein (850 x 1000 px).
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “God … integrates empirically” quote - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “Laws of mathematics refer to reality” quote
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “Laws of mathematics refer to reality” quote - with Large image (800 x 600 px).
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “God … integrates empirically” quote - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Mathematics…a product of human thought - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Mathematics…a product of human thought - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Politics is more difficult than physics” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Politics is more difficult than physics” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote The Lord God is subtle - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote The Lord God is subtle - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Imagination is more important than knowledge - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Imagination is more important than knowledge - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote A theory can be proved by experiment - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote A theory can be proved by experiment - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote That is relativity - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote That is relativity - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “One thing I have learned in a long life” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote One thing I have learned in a long life - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Why is the electron negative?” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Why is the electron negative?” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “The formulation of a problem is often far more essential than its solution” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “The formulation of a problem is often far more essential than its solution” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Our exalted technological progress” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Our exalted technological progress” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “There exists a passion for comprehension” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “There exists a passion for comprehension” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “An equation is for eternity” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “An equation is for eternity” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein, by Abraham Pais. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Albert Einstein.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

who invites your feedback

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.