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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > César Milstein Quotes

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César Milstein
(8 Oct 1927 - 24 Mar 2002)

Argentinian immunologist and molecular biologist.


Science Quotes by César Milstein (6 quotes)

Although the way ahead [for immunology] is full of pitfalls and difficulties, this is indeed an exhilarating prospect. There is no danger of a shortage of forthcoming excitement in the subject. Yet, as always, the highlights of tomorrow are the unpredictabilities of today.
— César Milstein
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 267.
Science quotes on:  |  Danger (116)  |  Difficulty (198)  |  Excitement (51)  |  Exhilaration (6)  |  Highlight (2)  |  Immunology (14)  |  Indeed (323)  |  Pitfall (2)  |  Prospect (30)  |  Shortage (5)  |  Subject (522)  |  Today (314)  |  Tomorrow (60)  |  Unpredictability (7)  |  Way (1216)

And yet in a funny way our lack of success led to our breakthrough; because, since we could not get a cell line off the shelf doing what we wanted, we were forced to construct it. And the original experiment ... developed into a method for the production of hybridomas ... [which] was of more importance than our original purpose.
— César Milstein
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 256-257.
Science quotes on:  |  Breakthrough (15)  |  Cell (138)  |  Construct (124)  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (424)  |  Doing (280)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Force (488)  |  Funny (11)  |  Hybridoma (2)  |  Importance (287)  |  Lack (119)  |  Lead (385)  |  Method (506)  |  More (2559)  |  Original (58)  |  Production (183)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Success (303)  |  Want (497)  |  Way (1216)

I learned what research was all about as a research student [with] Stoppani ... Max Perutz, and ... Fred Sanger... From them, I always received an unspoken message which in my imagination I translated as “Do good experiments, and don’t worry about the rest.”
— César Milstein
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 268.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Good (889)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Learn (632)  |  Learned (235)  |  Message (49)  |  Max Ferdinand Perutz (14)  |  Receive (114)  |  Research (677)  |  Rest (281)  |  Student (301)  |  Translation (21)  |  Worry (33)

The hybridoma technology was a by-product of basic research. Its success in practical applications is to a large extent the result of unexpected and unpredictable properties of the method. It thus represents another clear-cut example of the enormous practical impact of an investment in research which might not have been considered commercially worthwhile, or of immediate medical relevance. It resulted from esoteric speculations, for curiosity’s sake, only motivated by a desire to understand nature.
— César Milstein
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 267-268.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (242)  |  Basic (139)  |  Basic Research (14)  |  By-Product (7)  |  Clear-Cut (10)  |  Commercial (26)  |  Consider (416)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Cut (114)  |  Desire (204)  |  Enormous (41)  |  Esoteric (3)  |  Example (94)  |  Extent (139)  |  Hybridoma (2)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Impact (42)  |  Investment (13)  |  Large (394)  |  Medical (26)  |  Method (506)  |  Motivated (14)  |  Motivation (27)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Practical (200)  |  Product (160)  |  Property (169)  |  Relevance (17)  |  Represent (154)  |  Research (677)  |  Result (678)  |  Sake (58)  |  Speculation (126)  |  Success (303)  |  Technology (261)  |  Understand (607)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Unexpected (52)  |  Unpredictable (17)  |  Worthwhile (18)

We are at the beginning of a new era of immunochemistry, namely the production of “antibody based” molecules.
— César Milstein
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 266.
Science quotes on:  |  Antibody (6)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Era (51)  |  Immunochemistry (2)  |  Molecule (174)  |  New (1217)  |  Production (183)

What attracted me to immunology was that the whole thing seemed to revolve around a very simple experiment: take two different antibody molecules and compare their primary sequences. The secret of antibody diversity would emerge from that. Fortunately at the time I was sufficiently ignorant of the subject not to realise how naive I was being.
— César Milstein
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Antibody (6)  |  Attraction (56)  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Being (1278)  |  Compare (70)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Different (577)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Fortunately (8)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Immunology (14)  |  Molecule (174)  |  Naive (13)  |  Primary (80)  |  Realisation (4)  |  Revolve (25)  |  Secret (195)  |  Sequence (68)  |  Simple (406)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Subject (522)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)  |  Whole (738)


See also:
  • 8 Oct - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Milstein's birth.

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
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