Last modified on 21 May 2013, at 14:50

John Polanyi

John Charles Polanyi (born January 23, 1929) is a Jewish-Hungarian-German-English-Canadian chemist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1986 for his experiments in understanding chemical processes better, and for his discoveries in reaction dynamics. Polányi was born of Hungarian parents; his father was Mihály Polányi, a natural scientist. He lives in Canada.


  • When, as we must often do, we fear science, we really fear ourselves. Human dignity is better served by embracing knowledge.
  • Even in the world of molecules the civilising influence of modest restraints is a cause for rejoicing.
  • Authority in science exists to be questioned, since heresy is the spring from which new ideas flow.
    • in an address delivered to the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression awards banquet. The Globe and Mail, November 27, 2004

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