It's better to get mugged than to live a life of fear.
Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God's gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences.
A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.
If we had a reliable way to label our toys good and bad, it would be easy to regulate technology wisely. But we can rarely see far enough ahead to know which road leads to damnation.
(On the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration) The essential fact which emerges ... is that the three smallest and most active reservoirs (of carbon in the global carbon cycle), the atmosphere, the plants and the soil, are all of roughly the same size. This means that large human disturbance of any one of these reservoirs will have large effects on all three. We cannot hope either to understand or to manage the carbon in the atmosphere unless we understand and manage the trees and the soil too.
The question that will decide our destiny is not whether we shall expand into space. It is: shall we be one species or a million? A million species will not exhaust the ecological niches that are awaiting the arrival of intelligence.
The technologies which have had the most profound effects on human life are usually simple.
God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension.
You ask: what is the meaning or purpose of life? I can only answer with another question: do you think we are wise enough to read God's mind?
A good cause can become bad if we fight for it with means that are indiscriminatingly murderous. A bad cause can become good if enough people fight for it in a spirit of comradeship and self-sacrifice. In the end it is how you fight, as much as why...
I am acutely aware of the fact that the marriage between mathematics and physics, which was so enormously fruitful in past centuries, has recently ended in divorce.
There is a great satisfaction in building good tools for other people to use.
It is characteristic of all deep human problems that they are not to be approached without some humor and some bewilderment.
It's a welfare program for the industry, so it's hard to turn off.
The bottom line for mathematicians is that the architecture has to be right. In all the mathematics that I did, the essential point was to find the right architecture. It's like building a bridge. Once the main lines of the structure are right, then the details miraculously fit. The problem is the overall design.
For a physicist mathematics is not just a tool by means of which phenomena can be calculated, it is the main source of concepts and principles by means of which new theories can be created.
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Stephen Hawking - Werner Heisenberg - Richard P. Feynman - James Prescott Joule - J. Robert Oppenheimer - Ilya Prigogine - Hermann von Helmholtz - Chen Ning Yang - Brian Greene - Andrei Sakharov