If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years all life on earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.

— Jonas Salk

The most professional Jonas Salk quotes that are little-known but priceless

Good parents give their children Roots and Wings.

Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them.


It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It's my partner.


[Who owns the patent on this vaccine?] Well, the people, I would say.

There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?


Your dreams tell you what to do; your reason tells you how to do it.


I see the triumph of good over evil as a manifestation of the error-correcting process of evolution.


The most important question we must ask ourselves is, 'Are we being good ancestors?'


I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.


I think of the need for more wisdom in the world, to deal with the knowledge that we have. At one time we had wisdom, but little knowledge. Now we have a great deal of knowledge, but do we have enough wisdom to deal with that knowledge?


Eventually we'll realize that if we destroy the ecosystem, we destroy ourselves.


There is no such thing as failure, there's just giving up too soon.


When you inoculate children with a polio vaccine, you don't sleep well for two or three months.


Solutions come through evolution. They come through asking the right questions, because the answers pre-exist. It is the questions that we must define and discover. You don't invent the answer-you reveal the answer.


About Jonas Salk

Quotes 65 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

The mind, in addition to medicine, has powers to turn the immune system around.


I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.


Find the right questions. You don't invent the answers, you reveal the answers.


Reply when questioned on the safety of the polio vaccine he developed: It is safe, and you can't get safer than safe.


This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history;

it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man - if man is not enslaved by it.


Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.


There is a moment of conception and a moment of birth, but between them there is a long period of gestation.


The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.


What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question.


Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.


If all insects disappeared, all life on earth would perish.

If all humans disappeared, all life on earth would flourish.


I pictured myself as a virus or a cancer cell and tried to sense what it would be like.


Evolution favors the survival of the wisest.


It is said to await certainty is to await eternity.


Life is an error-making and an error-correctin g process, and nature in marking man's papers will grade him for wisdom as measured both by survival and by the quality of life of those who survive.


My ambition was to bring to bear on medicine a chemical approach.

I did that by chemical manipulation of viruses and chemical ways of thinking in biomedical research.


Charlotte's Web Life is magic, the way nature works seems to be quite magical.


I have had dreams, and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.


When I worked on the polio vaccine, I had a theory.

I guided each [experiment] by imagining myself in the phenomenon in which I was interested. The intuitive realm . . . the realm of the imagination guides my thinking.


The worst tragedy that could have befallen me was my success.

I knew right away that I was through - cast out.


In my view, art and the approach to life through art, using it as a vehicle for education and even for doing science is so vital that it is part of a great new revolution that is taking place. I believe we are entering a whole new epoch.


A good parent gives their child roots and wings.


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.


I think of evolution as an error-making and error-correcting process, and we are constantly learning from experience.


Life is an error-making and an error-correcting process.


I couldn't possibly have become a member of this Institute, you know, if I hadn't organized it myself.


The people - could you patent the sun ?


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.


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.


My life is pretty well at peace, and the profession is more of an avocation.

It's a calling, if you like, rather than a job. I do what I feel impelled to do, as an artist would.


I do what I feel impelled to do, as an artist would.

Scientists function in the same way. I see all these as creative activities, as all part of the process of discovery. Perhaps that's one of the characteristics of what I call the evolvers, any subset of the population who keep things moving in a positive, creative, constructive way, revealing the truth and beauty that exists in life and in nature.


I have come to recognize evolution not only as an active process that I am experiencing at the time, but as something I can guide by the choices I make.


I speak about universal evolution and teleological evolution, because I think the process of evolution reflects the wisdom of nature. I see the need for wisdom to become operative. We need to try to put all of these things together in what I call an evolutionary philosophy of our time.


What you see in living systems, and in genetic systems, is that the genes are already there, having arisen in the course of time, and when they are needed they become activated. If they had to be invented, the time would be too late.


It is courage based on confidence, not daring, and it is confidence based on experience.


My job is to help people see what I see.

If it's of value, fine. And, if it's not of value, then at least I've done what I can do.


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.