It is our task, both in science and in society at large, to prove the conventional wisdom wrong and to make our unpredictable dreams come true
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.
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.
We must be careful not to discourage our twelve-year-olds by making them waste the best years of their lives preparing for examinations.
Many of the technologies that are now racing ahead most rapidly, replacing human workers in factories and offices with machines, making stockholders richer and workers poorer, are indeed tending to accentuate the existing inequalities in the distribution of wealth.
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.
Aviation is the branch of engineering that is least forgiving of mistakes.
We have no reason to think that climate change is harmful if you look at the world as a whole. Most places, in fact, are better off being warmer than being colder. And historically, the really bad times for the environment and for people have been the cold periods rather than the warm periods.
The biologists have essentially been pushed aside. Al Gore's just an opportunist. The person who is really responsible for this overestimate of global warming is Jim Hansen. He consistently exaggerates all the dangers.
I see a bright future for the biotechnology industry when it follows the path of the computer industry, the path that von Neumann failed to foresee, becoming small and domesticated rather than big and centralized.
The public knows that human beings are fallible. Only people blinded by ideology fall into the trap of believing in their own infallibility.
Successful technologies often begin as hobbies. Jacques Cousteau invented scuba diving because he enjoyed exploring caves. The Wright brothers invented flying as a relief from the monotony of their normal business of selling and repairing bicycles.
What the world needs is a small, compact, flexible fusion technology that could make electricity where and when it is needed. The existing fusion program is leading to a huge source of centralized power, at a price that nobody except a government can afford.
The pain of childbirth is not remembered. It's the child that's remembered.
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.
I don't believe in technological determinism, especially not in biology and medicine. We have strong laws to keep doctors from monkeying around with humans that will remain in place. It's simply not true that everything that is technologically possible gets done.
The world of science and the world of literature have much in common. Each is an international club, helping to tie mankind together across barriers of nationality, race and language. I have been doubly lucky, being accepted as a member of both.
Lucky individuals in each generation find technology appropriate to their needs.
The marketplace judges technologies by their practical effectiveness, by whether they succeed or fail to do the job they are designed to do.
The technologies that raise the fewest ethical problems are those that work on a human scale, brightening the lives of individual people.