Jean Rostand

30 Oct 1894 // 4 Sep 1977
Biologist / Writer


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We are not naive enough to ask for pure men; we ask merely for men whose impurity does not conflict with the obligations of their job
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
We must watch over our modesty in the presence of those who cannot understand its grounds
To love an idea is to love it a little more than one should
There are certain moments when we might wish the future were built by men of the past
The nobility of a human being is strictly independent of that of his convictions
The least one can say of power is that a vocation for it is suspicious
The ideal, without doubt, varies, but its enemies, alas, are always the same
The divine is perhaps that quality in man which permits him to endure the lack of God
The books one has written in the past have two surprises in store: one couldn't write them again, and wouldn't want to
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."