Feynman on Honors

 Posted by on 15 July 2009 at 1:01 pm  Ethics, Science
Jul 152009

Physicist Richard Feynman explains why he doesn’t like honors:

“I don’t like honors. I’m appreciated for the work that I did, and for people who appreciate it, and I notice that other physicists use my work. I don’t need anything else. I don’t think there’s any sense to anything else. I don’t see that it makes any point that someone in the Swedish Academy decides that this work is noble enough to receive a prize. I’ve already got the prize. The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it. Those are the real things. The honors are unreal to me. I don’t believe in honors. It bothers me, honors…”

This is a good gut-level response of a man who is a primary creator of value, as opposed to a second-hander.

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