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John Charles Polanyi

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Born Wednesday 23 January 1929

Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: Canadian

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The time has come to underscore the fact that our and others' rights are contingent on our willingness to assert and defend them.

Words: time, come, underscore, fact, rights, contingent, willingness, assert, defend
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In nation after nation, democracy has taken the place of autocracy.

Words: nation, after, democracy, taken, place, autocracy
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For scholarship - if it is to be scholarship - requires, in addition to liberty, that the truth take precedence over all sectarian interests, including self-interest.

Words: scholarship, requires, addition, liberty, truth, take, precedence, over, all, sectarian, interests, including
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Scientists and scholars should constitute themselves as an international NGO of exceptional authority.

Words: scientists, scholars, constitute, international, NGO, exceptional, authority
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The scientific and scholarly community is marked by the belief that the truth is to be found in all; none can claim it as their monopoly.

Words: scientific, scholarly, community, marked, belief, truth, found, all, none, claim, monopoly
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Science exists, moreover, only as a journey toward troth. Stifle dissent and you end that journey.

Words: science, exists, moreover, journey, troth, stifle, dissent, end
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For science must breathe the oxygen of freedom.

Words: science, must, breathe, oxygen, freedom
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The respect for human rights, essential if we are to use technology wisely, is not something alien that must be grafted onto science. On the contrary, it is integral to science, as also to scholarship in general.

Words: respect, human, rights, essential, use, technology, wisely, something, alien, must, grafted, science, contrary, integral, also, scholarship, general
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What makes the Universal Declaration an epochal document is first of all its global impetus and secondly the breadth of its claims, a commitment to a new social contract, binding on all the Governments of the world.

Words: makes, universal, Declaration, epochal, document, first, all, global, impetus, secondly, breadth, claims, commitment, new, social, contract, binding, governments, world
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Today, Academies of Science use their influence around the world in support of human rights.

Words: today, academies, science, use, influence, around, world, support, human, rights
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Under this scientific and moral pressure, the Canadian government conceded publicly that the use of these weapons in Vietnam was, in their view, a contravention of the Geneva Protocol.

Words: under, scientific, moral, pressure, Canadian, government, conceded, publicly, use, weapons, Vietnam, view, contravention, Geneva, protocol
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Better to die in the pursuit of civilized values, we believed, than in a flight underground. We were offering a value system couched in the language of science.

Words: better, die, pursuit, civilized, values, believed, flight, underground, offering, value, system, couched, language, science
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Individual scientists like myself - and many more conspicuous - pointed to the dangers of radioactive fallout over Canada if we were to launch nuclear weapons to intercept incoming bombers.

Words: individual, scientists, more, conspicuous, pointed, dangers, radioactive, fallout, over, Canada, launch, nuclear, weapons, intercept, incoming, bombers
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In the late 1950s a major topic under discussion was whether Canada should acquire nuclear weapons.

Words: late, 1950s, major, topic, under, discussion, Canada, acquire, nuclear, weapons
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Others think it the responsibility of scientists to coerce the rest of society, because they have the power that derives from special knowledge.

Words: think, responsibility, scientists, coerce, rest, society, power, derives, special, knowledge
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Science gives us a powerful vocabulary, and it is impossible to produce a vocabulary with which one can only say nice things.

Words: science, gives, powerful, vocabulary, impossible, produce, one, say, nice, things
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Some dreamers demand that scientists only discover things that can be used for good.

Words: some, dreamers, demand, scientists, discover, things, used, good
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Though neglectful of their responsibility to protect science, scientists are increasingly aware of their responsibility to society.

Words: though, neglectful, responsibility, protect, science, scientists, increasingly, aware, society
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Our assessment of socio-economic worth is largely a sham. We scientists should not lend ourselves to it - though we routinely do. We should, instead, insist on applying the criterion of quality.

Words: assessment, socioeconomic, worth, largely, sham, scientists, lend, though, routinely, instead, insist, applying, criterion, quality
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If we treasure our own experience and regard it as real, we must also treasure other people's experience.

Words: treasure, own, experience, regard, real, must, also, other, peoples
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