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Dan Shechtman Quotes

Dan Shechtman

Dan Shechtman quotes: the Nobel Prize winner’s words of wisdom.

“Select a subject that interests you and make an effort to become an expert in that field. I promise you, if you make the effort, and you become an expert, you will have a wonderful career.”

“You have to have broad knowledge of what’s happening. You have to understand the world around you but on top of it, develop one peak of expertise. Become an expert in something you like.”

“Pay attention to details, especially surprising details that you don’t expect. And if you find something strange, don’t let it disappear. Study and find out what it is. So be like a Rottweiler: bite and don’t let go! Make sure you don’t make a mistake. But as an expert, trust yourself.”

“What is an expert? Somebody who can teach.”

“You will be so good that when you graduate, everyone will want to hire you.”

“If you want to succeed in your career, develop emotional intelligence. Learn to see the other and learn to relate to them. Learn to express your opinion and deliver your ideas eloquently.”

“Great discoveries are stumbled on. If you are clever enough you will work hard on a problem and elucidate the answer.”

“Read everything, familiarize yourself with the instrumentation and methodology so that when you see something different, you will realize and know that it is different.”

“Listen to other people, but if they talk nonsense, shut your ears. You have to be stubborn, not in a negative but in a positive sense. Persistent. That’s it.”

“A true friend is someone who accepts your past, supports your present and encourages your future.”

“Develop your social skills. Social skills are as important as intellectual skills for succeeding in life.”

“You see when you talk to me, you see my eyes. Many people when they talk to you, they don’t look at you. They look sideways, they preach to the wall; they talk to the wall, they talk to the sky. When I talk to someone, I always look at their eyes. That is a small part of social interactions. Another thing is that I listen. You tell me something, I try to remember things, to know who you are.”

“I always say that people are like peanut shells on the ocean: the waves will take them everywhere.”

“The good people look for challenges. When teaching becomes a prestigious profession, then you’ll get good people.”

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

“Sustainable development requires human ingenuity. People are the most important resource.”

“I think I can change things for the better in this country. I’m doing it now as well, in many areas, mostly in education, higher education and technological entrepreneurship.”

“I told myself, ‘I am teaching entrepreneurship, so I should be an entrepreneur myself.’ Being a professor is far easier than being an entrepreneur.”

“There are around 10,000 engineers and scientists in the country that took my class. And the class helped change the atmosphere in the country—from socialist and anti-entrepreneurial to capitalist and pro-entrepreneurship.”

“Category one is entrepreneurs who made it big-time, but who started out ‘bootstrapping.’ I was looking for role models that the students can identify with. The students want to see somebody who started in the kitchen, in the yard, in the garage and who made it big-time.”

“The second category… includes people who opened start-ups a couple of years ago and who are now struggling. Some have problems getting money, others have problems finding people to work with, others didn’t do the market survey properly and it turns out they made a product that is already made in Taiwan for one-tenth of the price.”

“We tell them which money not to touch. Never touch your own money. Never touch the money of your family. Don’t borrow from your grandmother because you will destroy your relationship with your family.”

“Do not have fear of failure. If you fail you get a scar, okay, but people will be even more prepared to invest in you, because you have been through the process, and hopefully you will not make the same mistake again.”

“Start-ups fail, most start-ups fail, but the question is: Okay, so you failed once—what do you do next? Give up, go to work for somebody, or say, ‘I rise again?’ It’s a shame on you, shame on your family, maybe a shame on your city—and therefore people are afraid of failure. Fear of failure is the major obstacle to innovation.”

“Technical universities also matter. Teach and introduce entrepreneurship courses in technical universities.”

“The dynamics of innovation these days to understand the concept of innovating innovation, let us look at what happened in the past. In the past innovation was done locally within the company; the arena of innovation is global now. You don’t look for innovators in your hometown or in your organization. You look for innovators around the world. And you go to places where innovating thrives, you look for the brightest minds and you ask them to tell us, what’s new?”

“I know humanity has periods of ups and downs and we are not in a good period now, because of economic problems. But hopefully we will climb again and hopefully the distribution of wealth in the world will be more just and more people will be able to enjoy a prosperity. But in order to do that, each country has to develop. And start-up companies, hi-tech companies, small companies that will grow—this will lead us to a better future.”

“Science is the ultimate tool to reveal the laws of nature, and the one word written on its banner is ‘truth.'”

“People should be interested in scientific advances because the body of knowledge generated by the scientific community improves our lives. Go back 100 years and see the difference, including life expectancy and life quality.”

“In the forefront of science, there is not much difference between religion and science. People harbor beliefs. That’s what happens when people believe something religiously.”

“A humble scientist is a good scientist. I think the main lesson that I have learned is that a good scientist is a humble scientist who is open-minded to listen to other scientists when they discover something.”

“I search for a problem to be solved or a need to be fulfilled.”

“My childhood dream was to study mechanical engineering. After reading The Mysterious Island (which I read 25 times as a boy), I thought that was the best thing a person could do. The engineer in the book knows mechanics and physics, and he creates a whole way of life on the island out of nothing. I wanted to be like that.”

“I fell in love with science and decided to continue for my Ph.D., and from there on, I was a scientist.”

“I know there is a stereotype that I am naive, but I know what I want, and I know what I’m doing to get there. ‘Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil.'”

“I am almost never affected by what other people think. I repeated my experiments. I was an expert in electron microscopy, and I knew that my experiments were correct. I said to the others: ‘If you want to prove me wrong, repeat my experiments. Show me what is wrong in my experiments. Don’t tell me it can’t be true just because of what you read in your books.'”

“I believed in my own work and carried on with determination.”

“The downsides to winning a Nobel Prize? The punishing schedule and living out of a suitcase are both mentally and physically stressful. But then again, because I feel like a missionary to promote education and science and technological entrepreneurship, for me, it’s one big celebration.”

“I am a proud Zionist. I can tell you about every blossom that grows in this land. I know the history and the Bible.”

“Let us advance science to create a better world for all.”

“Me as president would not be like anybody else as president. Everyone does the job differently.”

“Money may not buy happiness, but it’s better to cry in a Lamborghini.”

“I am a teacher. I like people to understand what I am talking about. I want people to understand what I’m talking about. I feel like I’m on a mission to advance the education of the younger generation, and by doing this to promote peace in the world. We live in a world full of serious—even dire—problems. We have to work hard to calm this world down and start working on doing good things.”

“I travel all over the world. I have endless invitations to many different places. I only accept a few, simply because, unlike an electron, I cannot be in two places at one time. And so… but I really try… let’s put it this way: I’m inspired to try to inspire young people.”

“Wherever I go in the world, I’m treated like royalty.”

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