William Lipscomb Quotes

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William N. Lipscomb, Jr.
Born (1919-12-09)December 9, 1919[1]
Cleveland, Ohio, US[1]
Died April 14, 2011(2011-04-14) (aged 91)[1]
Cambridge, Massachusetts, US[1]
Nationality American
Fields Nuclear magnetic resonance
Theoretical chemistry
Boron chemistry
Institutions University of Minnesota
Harvard University
Alma mater University of Kentucky
California Institute of Technology
Doctoral advisor Linus Pauling
Doctoral students Richard E. Dickerson
Roald Hoffmann
Russell M. Pitzer
Thomas A. Steitz
Donald Voet
Don C. Wiley
Irene Pepperberg
Dennis Marynick
David A. Dixon
John H. Hall
F. Peter Boer
Other notable students Martha L. Ludwig
Michael Rossmann
Raymond C. Stevens
Notable awards Peter Debye Award (1973)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1976)

I think the intuitive processes of discovery are the same, very much the same, in the arts as in the sciences.
William Lipscomb
A lot of people think the orchestra is playing and the conductor doesn’t do very much, but the conductor’s the person that gives shape to the music, gets the phrasing, and if he has really fine musicians in solo spots, the question is does he try to help them phrase, or does he let them go?
William Lipscomb
The problem is how do molecules react. Because if you want to transform a molecule into something useful or something you’re interested in, it helps a lot to understand the structure. That means you can explore much more complicated systems, much more complicated reactions.
William Lipscomb
When I was 11 years old, my mother bought me one of those chemistry sets, and I stayed with it.
William Lipscomb
The artist must ask you to think of the world in a different way, and sometimes it’s a more abstract way; sometimes it’s a completely different kind of colouring.
William Lipscomb
I learned from Linus Pauling it’s not a disgrace in science to publish something that’s wrong. What’s bad is to publish something that’s not very interesting.
William Lipscomb
Sometimes I get too wound up in my chemistry, but if you play chamber music, it’s impossible to think about chemistry.
William Lipscomb
For me, the creative process, first of all, requires a good nine hours of sleep a night. Second, it must not be pushed by the need to produce practical applications.
William Lipscomb
Suppose you want to be a great archeologist, and you join a successful archeologist as a student assistant, and he tells you where to dig. You dig up a marvelous discovery. Now I ask you, who should get the credit: the director or the digger?
William Lipscomb
There’s a lot of music in my life, and I found it a very important part of my life.
William Lipscomb