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Jonas Salk (1914 – 1995)


Medical researcher and author, the inventor of the Salk vaccine against Polio, and the founder of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Jonas Salk
When things get bad enough, then something happens to correct the course. And it's for that reason that I speak about evolution as an error-making and an error-correctiong process. And if we can be ever so much better ever so much slightly better at error correcting than at error making, then we'll make it.
Salk quotes
What is important is that we number one: Learn to live with each other. Number two: try to bring out the best in each other. The best from the best, and the best from those who, perhaps, might not have the same endowment. And so this bespeaks an entirely different philosophy a different way of life a different kind of relationship where the object is not to put down the other, but to raise up the other.
Salk
Risks, I like to say, always pay off. You learn what to do, or what not to do.




Salk Jonas quotes
Since whatever we do has to be part of a team, part of a community, we have to attempt to bring together those who have the same conviction, see the same things. Then it becomes a matter of time, when one or the other will prevail. Fortunately, there is all this diversity, and if not for that, problems would not be solved.
Salk Jonas
As a bio-philosopher as someone who draws upon the scriptures of nature, recognizing that we are the product of the process of evolution, and in a sense, we have become the process itself through the emergence and evolution of our consciousness, our awareness, our capacity to imagine and to anticipate the future and to choose from amongst alternatives.
Jonas Salk quotes
Young man, a great tragedy has befallen you. You have lost your anonymity.
Jonas Salk
Richard Heffner: You say "We can create ourselves and our future"
Salk: by shaping our selves not our cells thats the important distinction. We are shaping our cells, but we will not change our selves in the course of shaping our cells.
Salk Jonas quotes
I have the impression that the new generation of young people, are coming up on the scene with a sense "ancestorhood", and with more wisdom than was evident before. I think this comes about as a matter of necessity Almost as if there is something in us that is innate, something inherent in us, that is destined for a longer term, rather than a shorter term future.
Salk
I couldn't possibly have become a member of this institute if I hadn't founded it myself.
Salk Jonas
The idea of being constructive, creative, positive, in trying to bring out the best in one's own self and the best in others follows from what I've just been saying. Again, I repeat my belief in us, in ourselves, as the product of the process of evolution, and part of the process itself. I think of evolution as an error-making and error-correcting process, and we are constantly learning from experience. It's the need to dedicate one's self in that way, to one's own self, and to choose an activity or life that is of value not only to yourself but to others as well.
Jonas Salk
Now, some people might look at something and let it go by, because they don't recognize the pattern and the significance. It's the sensitivity to pattern recognition that seems to me to be of great importance. It's a matter of being able to find meaning, whether it's positive or negative, in whatever you encounter. It's like a journey. It's like finding the paths that will allow you to go forward, or that path that has a block that tells you to start over again or do something else.




Jonas Salk quotes
I have dreams, and I have nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.
Jonas Salk
Some people are constructive, if you like. Others are destructive. It's this diversity in humankind that results in some making positive contributions and some negative contributions. It's necessary to have enough who make positive contributions to overcome the problems of each age.
Salk quotes
Why did Mozart compose music?
Salk Jonas
Nothing happens quite by chance. It's a question of accretion of information and experience ... it's just chance that I happened to be here at this particular time when there was available and at my disposal the great experience of all the investigators who plodded along for a number of years.
Salk Jonas quotes
You can have a team of unconventional thinkers, as well as conventional thinkers. If you don't have the support of others you cannot achieve anything altogether on your own. It's like a cry in the wilderness. In each instance there were others who could see the same thing, and there were others who could not. It's an obvious difference we see in those who you might say have a bird's eye view, and those who have a worm's eye view. I've come to realize that we all have a different mind set, we all see things differently, and that's what the human condition is really all about.
Jonas Salk
I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.
Jonas Salk quotes
Neither wisdom nor good will is now dominant. Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.
Jonas Salk
He felt that he couldn't ask other parents to let him give this vaccine to their children if he wasn't willing to first try it on his own.
Salk Jonas
As a child I was not interested in science. I was merely interested in things human, the human side of nature, if you like, and I continue to be interested in that. That's what motivates me.


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