Lab Girl Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
Lab Girl Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
42,997 ratings, 4.02 average rating, 6,421 reviews
Open Preview
Lab Girl Quotes Showing 1-30 of 336
“Science has taught me that everything is more complicated than we first assume, and that being able to derive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Working in the hospital teaches you that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the sick and the not sick. If you are not sick, shut up and help.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to
be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that
waited.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
tags: tin
“A CACTUS DOESN’T LIVE in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn’t killed it yet.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“I’m good at science because I’m not good at listening. I have been told that I am intelligent, and I have been told that I am simple-minded. I have been told that I am trying to do too much, and I have been told that what I have done amounts to very little. I have been told that I can’t do what I want to do because I am a woman, and I have been told that I have only been allowed to do what I have done because I am a woman. I have been told that I can have eternal life, and I have been told that I will burn myself out into an early death. I have been admonished for being too feminine and I have been distrusted for being too masculine. I have been warned that I am far too sensitive and I have been accused of being heartlessly callous. But I was told all of these things by people who can’t understand the present or see the future any better than I can. Such recurrent pronouncements have forced me to accept that because I am a female scientist, nobody knows what the hell I am, and it has given me the delicious freedom to make it up as I go along. I don’t take advice from my colleagues, and I try not to give it. When I am pressed, I resort to these two sentences: You shouldn’t take this job too seriously. Except for when you should. I”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Love and learning are similar in that they can never be wasted.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“He taught me that there is no shame in breaking something, only in not being able to fix it.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“I have learned that raising a child is essentially one long, slow agony of letting go.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“My true potential had more to do with my willingness to struggle than with my past and present circumstances.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Something so hard can be so easy if you just have a little help. In the right place, under the right conditions, you can finally stretch out into what you’re supposed to be.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“No risk is more terrifying than that taken by the first root. A lucky root will eventually find water, but its first job is to anchor -- to anchor an embryo and forever end its mobile phase, however passive that mobility was. Once the first root is extended, the plant will never again enjoy any hope (however feeble) of relocating to a place less cold, less dry, less dangerous. Indeed, it will face frost, drought, and greedy jaws without any possibility of flight. The tiny rootlet has only once chance to guess what the future years, decades -- even centuries -- will bring to the patch of soil where it sits. It assesses the light and humidity of the moment, refers to its programming, and quite literally takes the plunge.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Public and private organizations all over the world have studied the mechanics of sexism within science and have concluded that they are complex and multifactorial. In my own small experience, sexism has been something very simple: the cumulative weight of constantly being told that you can’t possibly be what you are.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Being paid to wonder seems like a heavy responsibility at times.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“America says it loves science, but it sure as hell doesn't want to pay for it.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“A seed is alive while it waits. Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the three-hundred-year-old oak tree that towers over it. Neither the seed nor the old oak is growing; they are both just waiting. Their waiting differs, however, in that the seed is waiting to flourish while the tree is only waiting to die.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Science has taught me that everything is more complicated than we first assume, and that being able to derive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life. It has also convinced me that carefully writing everything down is the only real defense we have against forgetting something important that once was and is no more, including the spruce tree that should have outlived me but did not.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“We love each other because we can't help it. We don't work at it and we don't sacrifice for it. It is easy and all the sweeter to me because it is so undeserved. I discover within a second context that when something just won't work, moving heaven and earth often won't make it work -- and similarly, there are some things that you just can't screw up. I know that I could live without him: I have my own work, my own mission, and my own money. But I don't want to. I really don't want to. We make plans: he will share his strength with me and I will share my imagination with him...”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
tags: love
“People don't know to make a leaf, but they know how to destroy one.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“The leaves of the world comprise countless billion elaborations of a single, simple machine designed for one job only – a job upon which hinges humankind. Leaves make sugar. Plants are the only things in the universe that can make sugar out of nonliving inorganic matter. All the sugar that you have ever eaten was first made within a leaf. Without a constant supply of glucose to your brain, you will die. Period. Under duress, your liver can make glucose out of protein or fat – but that protein or fat was originally constructed from a plant sugar within some other animal. It’s inescapable: at this very moment, within the synapses of your brain, leaves are fueling thoughts of leaves.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Along the way, we also managed to become adults without ceasing to be children.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“After scientists broke open the coat of a lotus seed (Nelumbo nucifera) and coddled the embryo into growth, they kept the empty husk. When they radiocarbon-dated this discarded outer shell, they discovered that their seedling had been waiting for them within a peat bog in China for no less than two thousand years. This tiny seed had stubbornly kept up the hope of its own future while entire human civilizations rose and fell. And then one day this little plant's yearning finally burst forth within a laboratory. I wonder where it is right now.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“My mother taught me that reading is a kind of work, and that every paragraph merits exertion, and in this way, I learned how to absorb difficult books. Soon after I went to kindergarten, however, I learned that reading difficult books also brings trouble. I was punished for reading ahead of the class, for being unwilling to speak and act "nicely." I didn't know why I simultaneously feared and adored my female teachers, but I did know that I needed their attention”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Plants are not like us. They are different in critical and fundamental ways. As I catalog the differences between plants and animals, the horizon stretches out before me faster than I can travel and forces me to acknowledge that perhaps I was destined to study plants for decades only in order to more fully appreciate that they are beings we can never truly understand. Only when we begin to grasp this deep otherness can we be sure we are no longer projecting ourselves onto plants. Finally we can begin to recognize what is actually happening.

Our world is falling apart quietly. Human civilization has reduced the plant, a four-million-year-old life form, into three things: food, medicine, and wood...”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“I wanted to be studying plant growth, but science for war will always pay better than science for knowledge.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“People are like plants: they grow toward the light.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“being able to derive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“discovery and mischief are two sides of the very same coin.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“My laboratory is like a church because it is where I figure out what I believe. The machines drone a gathering hymn as I enter. I know whom I’ll probably see, and I know how they’ll probably act. I know there’ll be silence; I know there’ll be music, a time to greet my friends, and a time to leave others to their contemplation. There are rituals that I follow, some I understand and some I don’t. Elevated to my best self, I strive to do each task correctly. My lab is a place to go on sacred days, as is a church. On holidays, when the rest of the world is closed, my lab is open. My lab is a refuge and an asylum. It is my retreat from the professional battlefield; it is the place where I coolly examine my wounds and repair my armor. And, just like church, because I grew up in it, it is not something from which I can ever really walk away. My”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl
“Every piece of wood in your house—from the windowsills to the furniture to the rafters—was once part of a living being, thriving in the open and pulsing with sap. If you look at these wooden objects across the grain, you might be able to trace out the boundaries of a couple of rings. The delicate shape of those lines tells you the story of a couple of years. If you know how to listen, each ring describes how the rain fell and the wind blew and the sun appeared every day at dawn.”
Hope Jahren, Lab Girl

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12