What did Robert Oppenheimer say about scientists' drive to get results?
June 14, 2014 9:10 AM Subscribe
I read a while ago a quote from Oppenheimer that eloquently expressed the idea that once a scientist gets in his or her head the idea that a result is achievable, he or she will not be stopped until that result is achieved. He referred to the scientist, though the sense in which he meant the term might better map to what many consider an engineer.
posted by edw to Science & Nature (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Oppenheimer said or wrote this in the context of the Manhattan Project, I believe, providing perspective on the mind of a scientist that, say, was just exposed to the idea of the possibility of building an atom bomb when that scientist realizes that he or she possesses the skills to help make that happen. This quote—to me at least—captured a lot of what's admirable and dangerous about the rage to learn and do in a way that reminded me of Vonnegut's Player Piano.