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Rita Levi-Montalcini Quotes
At 20, I realized that I could not possibly adjust to a feminine role as conceived by my father and asked him permission to engage in a professional career. In eight months I filled my gaps in Latin, Greek and mathematics, graduated from high school, and entered medical school in Turin.
It is imperfection - not perfection - that is the end result of the program written into that formidably complex engine that is the human brain, and of the influences exerted upon us by the environment and whoever takes care of us during the long years of our physical, psychological and intellectual development.
If I had not been discriminated against or had not suffered persecution, I would never have received the Nobel Prize.
Above all, don't fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.
Progress depends on our brain. The most important part of our brain, that which is neocortical, must be used to help others and not just to make discoveries.
My life has been enriched by excellent human relations, work and interests. I have never felt lonely.
I say to the young, be happy that you were born in Italy because of the beauty of the human capital, both masculine and feminine, of this country... No other country has such human capital.
The four of us enjoyed a most wonderful family atmosphere filled with love and reciprocal devotion. Both parents were highly cultured and instilled in us their high appreciation of intellectual pursuit. It was, however, a typical Victorian style of life, all decisions being taken by the head of the family, the husband and father.
Babies did not attract me, and I was altogether without the maternal sense so highly developed in small and adolescent girls.
I should thank Mussolini for having declared me to be of an inferior race. This led me to the joy of working, not any more, unfortunately, in university institutes but in a bedroom.
My experience in childhood and adolescence of the subordinate role played by the female in a society run entirely by men had convinced me that I was not cut out to be a wife.
After centuries of dormancy, young women... can now look toward a future moulded by their own hands.
I told Mother of my decision to study medicine. She encouraged me to speak to Father... I began in a roundabout way... He listened, looking at me with that serious and penetrating gaze of his that caused me such trepidation, and asked whether I knew what I wanted to do.
At 100, I have a mind that is superior - thanks to experience - than when I was 20.
The instruments, glassware, and chemical reagents necessary for my project were the same as my 19th-century predecessors had.
A child from the age of 2 or 3 absorbs what is in the environment and what generates hatred for anyone perceived to be different.
The process for awarding Nobel prizes is so complex that it cannot be corrupted.
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