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Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index H > Category: Hard Work

Hard Work Quotes (8 quotes)

After an honest day’s work a mathematician goes off duty. Mathematics is very hard work, and dons tend to be above average in health and vigor. Below a certain threshold a man cracks up; but above it, hard mental work makes for health and vigor (also—on much historical evidence throughout the ages—for longevity). I have noticed lately that when I am working really hard I wake around 5.30 a.m. ready and eager to start; if I am slack, I sleep till I am called.
In 'The Mathematician’s Art of Work' (1967), collected in Béla Bollobás (ed.), Littlewood’s Miscellany (1986), 195.
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I am a great believer in Luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.
In Listen to This (1922), VII. The quote is often seen, despite having no known source, attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Historians of Jefferson have stated that neither these words nor variants exist in his written works. The proverbial relation between diligence and good luck dates back to the late 16th century.
Science quotes on:  |  Believer (11)  |  Good Luck (3)  |  Seem (143)

I never come across one of Laplace’s “Thus it plainly appears” without feeling sure that I have hours of hard work before me to fill up the chasm and find out and show how it plainly appears.
In Florian Cajori, Teaching and History of Mathematics in the United States (1896), 104.
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I never did anything worth doing entirely by accident and none of my inventions came about totally by accident. They came about by hard work.
…...
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I never found it easy. People say I was lucky twice but I resent that. We stuck with [cimetidine] for four years with no progress until we eventually succeeded. It was not luck, it was bloody hard work.
[Rejecting that drug discovery was easier in the past.]
Quoted in Andrew Jack, "An Acute Talent for Innovation", Financial Times (1 Feb 2009).
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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it.
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~~[Misattributed - NOT by Jefferson]~~ I am a great believer in Luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.
This wording of the quote was written down by Coleman Cox in Listen to This (1922), VII. The quote is often seen, despite having no known source, attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Historians of Jefferson have stated that neither these words nor variants exist in his written works. Included here to provide it together the notice of misattribution. Also see the Coleman Cox Quotes page on this website.
Science quotes on:  |  Believer (11)  |  Good Luck (3)  |  Thomas Jefferson (64)  |  Misattributed (4)  |  Seem (143)

~~[No known source]~~ There is no substitute for hard work.
One of those scurrilous Edison-sounding quotes in common circulation, but no source has been identified for this wording. It might be a writer’s summary of Edison’s other known comments on work ethic. Webmaster believes it is proverbial, in general circulation before Edison’s time, and should be better attributed to “Anonymous” and not to Edison. The aphorism was used in 1882 by John S. Kennedy in a letter to George Stephen, quoted in Joseph Gilpin Pyle, 'James J. Hill’s Rules of Business Success', The World's Work: A History of Our Time (1917), 33, 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Substitute (28)


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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