Celebrating 17 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Environmental extremists ... wouldn’t let you build a house unless it looked like a bird’s nest.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index N > Category: Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize Quotes (20 quotes)

Ihre Arbeit ist gekrönt worden mit dem Nobel Preis für Otto Hahn.
Her work has been crowned by the Nobel Prize for Otto Hahn.
Said to observe that she did not herself receive recognition of her research.
Science quotes on:  |  Crown (13)  |  Otto Robert Frisch (5)  |  Research (400)  |  Work (283)

A Canadian newspaperman said yesterday that this is the President's “Easter egghead roll on the White House lawn.” I want to deny that!
[Welcoming Nobel Prize winners as his guests at a White House dinner.]
Remarks at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize Winners of the Western Hemisphere (29 Apr 1962). From John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online].
Science quotes on:  |  Easter (2)  |  White House (2)

Einstein, twenty-six years old, only three years away from crude privation, still a patent examiner, published in the Annalen der Physik in 1905 five papers on entirely different subjects. Three of them were among the greatest in the history of physics. One, very simple, gave the quantum explanation of the photoelectric effect—it was this work for which, sixteen years later, he was awarded the Nobel prize. Another dealt with the phenomenon of Brownian motion, the apparently erratic movement of tiny particles suspended in a liquid: Einstein showed that these movements satisfied a clear statistical law. This was like a conjuring trick, easy when explained: before it, decent scientists could still doubt the concrete existence of atoms and molecules: this paper was as near to a direct proof of their concreteness as a theoretician could give. The third paper was the special eory of relativity, which quietly amalgamated space, time, and matter into one fundamental unity. This last paper contains no references and quotes no authority. All of them are written in a style unlike any other theoretical physicist's. They contain very little mathematics. There is a good deal of verbal commentary. The conclusions, the bizarre conclusions, emerge as though with the greatest of ease: the reasoning is unbreakable. It looks as though he had reached the conclusions by pure thought, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others. To a surprisingly large extent, that is precisely what he had done.
Variety of Men (1966), 100-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (190)  |  Authority (31)  |  Bizarre (3)  |  Brownian Motion (2)  |  Commentary (2)  |  Conclusion (91)  |  Concreteness (3)  |  Conjuring (2)  |  Difference (167)  |  Doubt (80)  |  Ease (24)  |  Albert Einstein (202)  |  Emergence (19)  |  Existence (180)  |  Explanation (128)  |  Fundamental (76)  |  Law (334)  |  Liquid (20)  |  Listening (8)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Matter (176)  |  Molecule (98)  |  Motion (95)  |  Movement (40)  |  Paper (39)  |  Particle (59)  |  Patent (20)  |  Phenomenon (160)  |  Privation (4)  |  Proof (162)  |  Publication (81)  |  Quantum (8)  |  Reasoning (70)  |  Reference (13)  |  Space (89)  |  Statistics (106)  |  Subject (84)  |  Suspension (5)  |  Theorist (20)  |  Thought (237)  |  Time (252)  |  Trick (12)  |  Unity (29)

Hell, if I could explain it to the average person, it wouldn't have been worth the Nobel prize.
After being awarded a Nobel Prize, he was frequently asked to explain what he had done, and would would give this answer. As stated in Lee Dye, 'Nobel Physicist R.P. Feynman of Caltech Dies', Los Angeles Times (16 Feb 1988). About this answer, the articles also states that, “Feynman once said, claiming he was told that by a New York cab driver.”
Science quotes on:  |  Average (19)  |  Explanation (128)  |  Person (75)  |  Worth (45)

I wish I had my beta-blockers handy.
[Comment when told that he had won a Nobel prize, referring to the drug he discovered for the treatment of heart disease.]
As quoted in Obituary, The Times (24 Mar 2010)
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (209)  |  Wish (30)

In 1944 Erwin Schroedinger, stimulated intellectually by Max Delbruck, published a little book called What is life? It was an inspiration to the first of the molecular biologists, and has been, along with Delbruck himself, credited for directing the research during the next decade that solved the mystery of how 'like begat like.' Max was awarded this Prize in 1969, and rejoicing in it, he also lamented that the work for which he was honored before all the peoples of the world was not something which he felt he could share with more than a handful. Samuel Beckett's contributions to literature, being honored at the same time, seemed to Max somehow universally accessible to anyone. But not his. In his lecture here Max imagined his imprisonment in an ivory tower of science.
'The Polymerase Chain Reaction', Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1993). In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1991-1995 (1997), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (3)  |  Samuel Beckett (2)  |  Book (129)  |  Contribution (36)  |  Credit (11)  |  Decade (10)  |  Max Ludwig Henning Delbrόck (8)  |  Honour (22)  |  Inspiration (37)  |  Intellect (128)  |  Ivory Tower (3)  |  Lament (2)  |  Life (606)  |  Literature (46)  |  Mystery (87)  |  Publication (81)  |  Research (400)  |  Erwin Schrφdinger (28)  |  Share (17)  |  Simulation (4)  |  Work (283)

It can even be thought that radium could become very dangerous in criminal hands, and here the question can be raised whether mankind benefits from knowing the secrets of Nature, whether it is ready to profit from it or whether this knowledge will not be harmful for it. The example of the discoveries of Nobel is characteristic, as powerful explosives have enabled man to do wonderful work. They are also a terrible means of destruction in the hands of great criminals who lead the peoples towards war. I am one of those who believe with Nobel that mankind will derive more good than harm from the new discoveries.
'Radioactive Substances, Especially Radium', Nobel Lecture, 6 June 1905. In Nobel Lectures: Physics 1901-1921 (1967), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Alfred Bernhard Nobel (8)  |  Radium (17)  |  War (99)

My children have often asked me why I never received a Nobel Prize. I used to tell them it was because the Nobel committee couldn’t make up its mind which of my projects to recognize.
As quoted by Malcolm W. Browne, in '3 American Physicists Get Nobel for Landmark Work', New York Times (20 Oct 1988), B12. (Lederman was a co-winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Physics.)

On hearing the news [of being awarded a Nobel Prize], a friend who knows me only too well, sent me this laconic message: 'Blood, toil, sweat and tears always were a good mixture'.
Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1962).
Science quotes on:  |  Award (3)  |  Blood (71)  |  Friend (37)  |  Good (118)  |  Message (12)  |  Mixture (11)  |  News (8)  |  Sweat (10)  |  Tears (2)  |  Toil (8)

People ask me often [whether] the Nobel Prize [was] the thing you were aiming for all your life, and I say that would be crazy. Nobody would aim for a Nobel Prize because, if you didn’t get it, your whole life would be wasted. What we were aiming at was getting people well, and the satisfaction of that is much greater than any prize you can get.
Quoted in interview by Mary Ellen Avery (1997).
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (209)  |  Disease (197)

Physicist Isador Isaac Rabi, who won a Nobel Prize for inventing a technique that permitted scientists to probe the structure of atoms and molecules in the 1930s, attributed his success to the way his mother used to greet him when he came home from school each day. “Did you ask any good questions today, Isaac?” she would say.
Thomas J. Peters, Liberation Management: Necessary Disorganization for the Nanosecond Nineties (1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (31)  |  Atom (190)  |  Invention (222)  |  Molecule (98)  |  Mother (35)  |  Probe (5)  |  Question (202)  |  School (52)  |  Structure (136)  |  Success (144)  |  Technique (20)

The capital ... shall form a fund, the interest of which shall be distributed annually as prizes to those persons who shall have rendered humanity the best services during the past year. ... One-fifth to the person having made the most important discovery or invention in the science of physics, one-fifth to the person who has made the most eminent discovery or improvement in chemistry, one-fifth to the one having made the most important discovery with regard to physiology or medicine, one-fifth to the person who has produced the most distinguished idealistic work of literature, and one-fifth to the person who has worked the most or best for advancing the fraternization of all nations and for abolishing or diminishing the standing armies as well as for the forming or propagation of committees of peace.
From will (27 Nov 1895), in which he established the Nobel Prizes, as translated in U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Consular Reports, Issues 156-159 (1897), 331.
Science quotes on:  |  Annual (4)  |  Benefit (36)  |  Capital (11)  |  Confer (4)  |  Distribution (19)  |  Fund (5)  |  Humanity (59)  |  Interest (110)  |  Mankind (136)  |  Render (11)  |  Will (26)

The fact that Science walks forward on two feet, namely theory and experiment, is nowhere better illustrated than in the two fields for slight contributions to which you have done me the great honour of awarding the the Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 1923. Sometimes it is one foot that is put forward first, sometimes the other, but continuous progress is only made by the use of both—by theorizing and then testing, or by finding new relations in the process of experimenting and then bringing the theoretical foot up and pushing it on beyond, and so on in unending alterations.
'The Electron and the Light-quant from the Experimental Point of View', Nobel Lecture (23 May 1924). In Nobel Lectures: Physics 1922-1941 (1998), 54.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (19)  |  Beyond (23)  |  Continuous (12)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Honour (22)  |  Physics (203)  |  Process (144)  |  Progress (253)  |  Relation (65)  |  Science (1133)  |  Test (68)  |  Theory (446)  |  Unending (3)

The Nobel is a ticket to one's own funeral. No one has ever done anything after he got it.
As quoted in Eileen B. Simpson, Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir (1982), 173.
Science quotes on:  |  Funeral (3)  |  Ticket (2)

The Nobel Prize gives you an opportunity to make a fool of yourself in public.
Science quotes on:  |  Fool (45)  |  Opportunity (26)  |  Public (50)  |  Yourself (4)

The Nobel Prize is fine, but the drugs I've developed are rewards in themselves.
Quoted in the New York Times (18 Oct 1988).
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (222)

The prize is such an extraordinary honor. It might seem unfair, however, to reward a person for having so much pleasure over the years, asking the maize plant to solve specific problems and then watching its responses.
Quoted in the New York Times, 11 Oct 1983.
Science quotes on:  |  Genetics (82)  |  Pleasure (75)

When I received the Nobel Prize, the only big lump sum of money I have ever seen, I had to do something with it. The easiest way to drop this hot potato was to invest it, to buy shares. I knew that World War II was coming and I was afraid that if I had shares which rise in case of war, I would wish for war. So I asked my agent to buy shares which go down in the event of war. This he did. I lost my money and saved my soul.
In The Crazy Ape (1970), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (18)  |  Asking (23)  |  Buy (10)  |  Case (30)  |  Ease (24)  |  Fall (46)  |  Fear (64)  |  Invest (3)  |  Loss (55)  |  Lump (2)  |  Money (98)  |  Rise (21)  |  Save (18)  |  Share (17)  |  Soul (69)  |  War (99)  |  Wish (30)  |  World War II (7)

You have … been told that science grows like an organism. You have been told that, if we today see further than our predecessors, it is only because we stand on their shoulders. But this [Nobel Prize Presentation] is an occasion on which I should prefer to remember, not the giants upon whose shoulders we stood, but the friends with whom we stood arm in arm … colleagues in so much of my work.
From Nobel Banquet speech (10 Dec 1960).
Science quotes on:  |  Arm (11)  |  Colleague (16)  |  Friend (37)  |  Further (6)  |  Giant (20)  |  Growing (12)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (213)  |  Organism (90)  |  Predecessor (16)  |  Remembering (7)  |  Science (1133)  |  Seeing (48)  |  Shoulder (7)  |  Standing (11)  |  Work (283)

You too can win Nobel Prizes. Study diligently. Respect DNA. Don't smoke. Don't drink. Avoid women and politics. That's my formula.
As given in David Pratt, 'What makes a Nobel laureate?', Los Angeles Times (9 Oct 2013). Cited as the response to telegram of congratulations from Caltech students (Oct 1958) in David Pratt, The Impossible Takes Longer: The 1,000 Wisest Things Ever Said by Nobel Prize Laureates (2007), 10 and 178.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (26)  |  Autobiography (50)  |  Avoid (12)  |  Diligence (11)  |  DNA (61)  |  Drink (19)  |  Formula (40)  |  Politics (68)  |  Respect (30)  |  Smoke (10)  |  Study (233)  |  Win (9)  |  Woman (47)

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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
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.