Max Delbruck quotes

  • A strong feeling of adventure is animating those who are working on bacterial viruses, a feeling that they have a small part in the great drive towards a fundamental problem in biology.
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Strong #Adventure #Hard Work

  • The progress of science is tremendously disorderly, and the motivations that lead to this progress are tremendously varied, and the reasons why scientists go into science, the personal motivations, are tremendously varied. I have said ... that science is a haven for freaks, that people go into science because they are misfits, and that it is a sheltered place where they can spin their own yarn and have recognition, be tolerated and happy, and have approval for it.
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Motivation #Yarn #People

  • If you're too sloppy, then you never get reproducible results, then you never get reproducible results, and then you never can draw any conclusions; but if you are just a little sloppy, then when you see something startling, (...) you nail it down (...). So I called it the "Principle of Limited Sloppiness".
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Sloppiness #Littles #Principles

  • No amount of study of present forms [of life] would permit us to infer [the existence of] dinosaurs
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Inspirational #Dinosaurs #Study

  • The whole business was like a child's toy that you could buy at the dime store, all built in this wonderful way that you could explain in Life magazine so that really a five-year-old can understand what's going on...This was the greatest surprise for everyone.
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Children #Dna #Years

  • [Physicists] feel that the field of bacterial viruses is a fine playground for serious children who ask ambitious questions.
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Children #Ambitious #Viruses

  • Molecular genetics, our latest wonder, has taught us to spell out the connectivity of the tree of life in such palpable detail that we may say in plain words, "This riddle of life has been solved."
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Tree #Details #May

  • Any living cell carries with it the experience of a billion years of experimentation by its ancestors.
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Science #Cells #Years

  • The books of the great scientists are gathering dust on the shelves of learned libraries. ... While the artist's communication is linked forever with its original form, that of the scientist is modified, amplified, fused with the ideas and results of others and melts into the stream of knowledge and ideas which forms our culture. The scientist has in common with the artist only this: that he can find no better retreat from the world than his work and also no stronger link with the world than his work.
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Book #Communication #Hard Work

  • The particular thing about science is to combine that [the dreams of obtaining power] with a retreat from the world. Other people want to obtain power by going out into the world, but the scientist really wants to obtain power by retreating from the world.
    -- Max Delbruck

    #Dream #People #World