Rita Levi-Montalcini “What you do you should do well”

Q: So I am also wondering what advice would you give young people now. Many young people are not interested in science, and it’s a very exciting time, as you mentioned.


Levi-Montalcini: I’d say, as I always say, that nothing is beautiful as to work on something scientific or social, to be very invested in what you do. I mean, not [to] be afraid, but knowing that you never will go ahead if you don’t do it very seriously and then, as you say, the important [thing] is to be very engaged. What you do you should do well. I will say that it is not as important as scientific or social [work] because I’m also working on social problems, as you know, in Africa. So it is important to know what it is important in life, not just only very simple and stupid things, like being beautiful and successful, this is nonsense.

I always say so, and I have many followers you know. I work here, and I am delighted because excellent people work here, Antonino Cattaneo, Pietro Calissano, I mean, many people, not too many, but some people still understand the importance of being invested in important problems, not in futility.

Source :


Rita Levi-Montalcini won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1986 with Stanley Cohen, decades after her groundbreaking work in Italy and the United States. The theory she developed was quite elegant and simple. Competition of nerve cells early in development for limited amounts of growth factors produces winners and losers. The winners are nerve cells that made the correct connections with their targets, and the losers undergo death, which explains the massive amount of programmed cell death that occurs in the peripheral nervous system.

Neil deGrasse Tyson:”if people learn something that empowers their decision making or their outlook on life, you can reignite the flames of curiosity”

Q: You talk a lot about the importance of curiosity. What’s the best way to promote it, especially in adults who may have lost some of the innate curiosity they had as children?


Neil : I think that if people learn something that empowers their decision making or their outlook on life, you can reignite the flames of curiosity. I try to do that in my Twitter stream. No one wants to be lectured to. Nobody wants to hear you dumb something down. So I toss out little biscuits of knowledge or wisdom or perspective. Just yesterday I tweeted, “The irresistible force beats the immovable object every time.” People asked why. The follow-up was, “Because a strong enough force will simply obliterate the immovable object, and you will no longer care about whether or not it moves.” That common philosophical conundrum has a physics answer. Another one is, “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” The answer is based in biology: The egg came first, but it was laid by a bird that was not a chicken. I try to make sure that the best of my tweets have you thinking in a new way.

Source : https://hbr.org/2016/01/neil-degrasse-tyson

Kip Thorne:”You need to love work or you should be doing something else”

Q:There’s a 300-year legacy of understanding gravity. What advice would you give to us young LIGO scientists to carry this legacy forward for at least another half century?
Thorne: [Laughs] I don’t think I have any one piece of advice. I have a general piece of advice: that to have a big impact on science requires a lot of intense work. You need to love work or you should be doing something else. It’s been a great joy to be involved in this quest but it’s not so much a joy of the ultimate success, which we have thanks to your generation, but it is the joy of the process.
To be successful both in science and in life, I think, in the modern era where technology is as advanced as it is, daily life is as comfortable as it is (for at least most people in the US), I think one should be doing something one is enthusiastic about but that also has some significant impact on others.
“Kip Thorne is one of the Winners of 2017 Physics Nobel prize.”
source : https://thewire.in/34072/its-your-generation-of-experimenters-that-makes-me-look-good-an-interview-with-kip-thorne/

Martin Hairer :”Researchers should follow their hearts, not fashion “

The Fields Medal is the highest accolade a mathematician can receive. As someone looking back from a high point in his career, what advice would you give to a young mathematician who was just starting out?


Prof. Martin Hairer : ‘The first thing they should honestly asses is what are the things that they like to do. I think they should really work on the things that they actually like and enjoy, and they shouldn’t try to just pick a subject because they have the impression that it is fashionable and that if it is fashionable they might be able to win a big prize.

‘At the end of the day there is a much greater chance that they will make some real progress if they think about something that is interesting to them. If you are generally interested in a problem then you always have it at the back of your mind, and that is the way you make progress on it. Whereas, if you work on it because you think you should work on a fashionable problem you wouldn’t actually always keep it at the back of your mind. Then it’s much less likely that you would make genuine progress on it.’

Source : https://horizon-magazine.eu/article/researchers-should-follow-their-hearts-not-fashion-2014-fields-medal-winner-prof-martin




Stephen Hawking : “my disability has been a help in a way. It has freed me from teaching or sitting on boring committees”

Q: People who use wheelchairs face many difficulties in leading a normal life. Having experienced difficulties yourself, what is your message to people who have to use wheelchairs?


Image source : Internet

Hawking : Although I was unfortunate enough to get motor neurone disease, I have been very fortunate in almost everything else. I was lucky to be working in theoretical physics, one of the few areas in which disability was not a serious handicap, and to hit the jackpot with my popular books. My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Theoretical physics is one of the few fields in which being disabled is no handicap. It’s all in the mind. I must admit, I do tend to drift off to thinking about physics or black holes when I get left behind in the conversation. In fact, my disability has been a help in a way. It has freed me from teaching or sitting on boring committees, and given me more time to think and do research.


Source :  http://elpais.com/elpais/2015/09/25/inenglish/1443171082_956639.html

Einstein :” imagination is far more important than knowledge”

Q: There’s been a lot of talk of late about the importance of knowledge. It is said that knowledge is the key to success and career advancement. In fact, even at school the idea of having the right kind of knowledge seems to form the bedrock of our education system. What are your thoughts about this?


image source : internet

Einstein: Without a doubt in my mind, imagination is far more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. Imagination is in fact everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. However, at the same time you must bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the works of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day hand it on to your children.

Source : http://blog.iqmatrix.com/albert-einstein



Carl Sagan : “governments generally are concerned with changing nothing”

Q :Do you think the future is going to be dangerous?


image source : internet

Sagan : Absolutely. The present is quite dangerous also, though. Let me give you an example. I think it’s clear that none of the forms of government that exist in any of the 200 or so countries on the earth today are applicable to the middle of the next century. Not a one. We have to get from here to there somehow. How can you do that without disturbing the here? The world is changing at an incredibly rapid pace. Human survival depends on dealing with those changes, but governments generally are concerned with changing nothing.

I think that any nation with a serious concern about the future would be busy inventing experimental communities to try, on a practical basis, to find the society that is going to work in the middle of the twenty-first century. I think the alternative communities of the Sixties were a premonition, a spontaneous recognition by a lot of people that society, by and large, wasn’t working, and that they had to see what else they could do. The larger society was unhappy with the idea of alternatives. The possibility of a better world is a rebuke. It says, “Why haven’t you worked to make that change?” Since very few of us manage to make any significant changes, we tend to resist that exhortation.

Source : http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-cosmos-19801225