Quotations From JEAN ROSTAND


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  • I think I am one of those who can manage not to take on a completely different appearance under their own glance.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. Carnets d'un Biologiste, p. 192, The Substance of Man (1962).
  • To say of men that they are bad is to say they are worse than we think we are, or worse than the ideal man whose image we have built up on the basis of a certain few.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. Carnets d'un Biologiste, p. 195, repr. In The Substance of Man (1962).
  • Far too often the choices reality proposes are such as to take away one's taste for choosing.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. repr. In The Substance of Man (1962). "A Biologist's Thoughts," ch. 10, Pensées d'un Biologiste (1939).
  • There are some persons we could not cut down to size without diminishing ourselves as well.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. Carnets d'un Biologiste, p. 193, The Substance of Man (1962).

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  • When a scientist is ahead of his times, it is often through misunderstanding of current, rather than intuition of future truth. In science there is never any error so gross that it won't one day, from some perspective, appear prophetic.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. repr. In The Substance of Man, "A Biologist's Thoughts," ch. 7 (1962). Pensées d'un Biologiste (1939).

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  • There are moments when very little truth would be enough to shape opinion. One might be hated at extremely low cost.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. repr. In The Substance of Man, "A Biologist's Thoughts," ch. 10 (1962). Pensées d'un Biologiste (1939).

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  • I should have no use for a paradise in which I should be deprived of the right to prefer hell.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. repr. In The Substance of Man, "A Biologist's Thoughts," ch. 10 (1962). Pensées d'un Biologiste (1939).
  • We must watch over our modesty in the presence of those who cannot understand its grounds.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. repr. In The Substance of Man, "A Biologist's Thoughts," ch. 8 (1962). Pensées d'un Biologiste (1939).
  • We are not naïve enough to ask for pure men; we ask merely for men whose impurity does not conflict with the obligations of their job.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. repr. In The Substance of Man, ch. 10, "A Biologist's Thoughts" (1962). Pensées d'un Biologiste (1939).
  • It is sometimes well for a blatant error to draw attention to overmodest truths.
    Jean Rostand (1894-1977), French biologist, writer. repr. In The Substance of Man, "A Biologist's Thoughts," ch. 7 (1962). Pensées d'un Biologiste (1939).

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