John Charles Polanyi Quotes

Today Academies of Science use their influence around the world in support of human rights.

Our assessment of socio-economic worth is largely a sham. We scientists should not lend ourselves to it - though we routinely do. We should instead insist on applying the criterion of quality.

Discoveries that are anticipated are seldom the most valuable. ... It's the scientist free to pilot his vessel across hidden shoals into open seas who gives the best value.

In nation after nation democracy has taken the place of autocracy.

Scientists and scholars should constitute themselves as an international NGO of exceptional authority.

Authority in science exists to be questioned since heresy is the spring from which new ideas flow.

The time has come to underscore the fact that our and others' rights are contingent on our willingness to assert and defend them.

A new sense of shared international responsibility is unmistakable in the voices of the United Nations and its agencies and in the civil society of thousands of supra-national NGOs.

Science never gives up searching for truth since it never claims to have achieved it.

For scholarship - if it is to be scholarship - requires in addition to liberty that the truth take precedence over all sectarian interests including self-interest.

The applause is a celebration not only of the actors but also of the audience. It constitutes a shared moment of delight.

In education the appetite does indeed grow with eating. I have never known anyone to abandon study because they knew too much.

The eye searches for shapes. It searches for a beginning a middle and an end.

Individual scientists like myself - and many more conspicuous - pointed to the dangers of radioactive fallout over Canada if we were to launch nuclear weapons to intercept incoming bombers.

Instead in the absence of respect for human rights science and its offspring technology have been used in this century as brutal instruments for oppression.

For science must breathe the oxygen of freedom.

Nothing is more irredeemably irrelevant than bad science.

Science is a collection of stories linking characters worthy of notice.

Better to die in the pursuit of civilized values we believed than in a flight underground. We were offering a value system couched in the language of science.

Others think it the responsibility of scientists to coerce the rest of society because they have the power that derives from special knowledge.

Under this scientific and moral pressure the Canadian government conceded publicly that the use of these weapons in Vietnam was in their view a contravention of the Geneva Protocol.

It is this at its most basic that makes science a humane pursuit; it acknowledges the commonality of people's experience.

Though we explore in a culturally-conditioned way the reality we sketch is universal.

It takes a trained and discerning researcher to keep the goal in sight and to detect evidence of the creeping progress toward it.

Science exists moreover only as a journey toward troth. Stifle dissent and you end that journey.

Some dreamers demand that scientists only discover things that can be used for good.

Human dignity is better served by embracing knowledge.

When as we must often do we fear science we really fear ourselves. Human dignity is better served by embracing knowledge.

Young people ask me if this country is serious about science. They aren't thinking about the passport that they will hold but the country that they must rely on for support and encouragement.

Science is an enterprise that can only flourish if it puts the truth ahead of nationality ethnicity class and color.

Scientia is knowledge. It is only in the popular mind that it is equated with facts.

Idealism is the highest form of reason.

Though neglectful of their responsibility to protect science scientists are increasingly aware of their responsibility to society.

[Intellectual courage is] the quality that allows one to believe in one's judgement in the face of disappointment and widespread skepticism. Intellectual courage is even rarer than physical courage.

Even in the world of molecules the civilising influence of modest restraints is a cause for rejoicing.

The scientific and scholarly community is marked by the belief that the truth is to be found in all; none can claim it as their monopoly.

Science gives us a powerful vocabulary and it is impossible to produce a vocabulary with which one can only say nice things.

Reality is no less precious if it presents itself to someone else. All are discoverers and if we disenfranchise any all suffer.

If we treasure our own experience and regard it as real we must also treasure other people's experience.