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Freeman Dyson

Theoretical Physicist and Author

Then there's the whole question of applying solar energy creatively to bring wealth to the poor countries, which I think is enormously promising. The poor countries of the world, by and large, are those that have the most sunlight as well as having the most poverty. Those two things could go very well together: that sunlight gives you the chance to produce wealth anywhere in the world where you have sunlight, and notably in the tropics. And while I don't see any reason why this genetic engineering shouldn't be used as a basis for all kinds of new industries -- production of food and fuel and chemicals, and all kinds of recycling of materials -- all these things could be done biologically much cheaper and with less disruption of the environment. So that's a hugely promising field. And that's of course highly unpopular in certain circles. There's very violent opposition to this kind of biotechnology. I think it will win through. One has to listen to the opposition. The opposition has good reasons for being worried about it.
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Freeman Dyson

Theoretical Physicist and Author

When I was 14 I suddenly had a kind of conversion to a new religion, which I called Cosmic Unity, in which all human beings were the same person. It was a kind of transmigration of souls, except instead of waiting until you were dead before transmigrating, you transmigrated all the time. So we were always just the same soul flitting around from one person to another. So it gave you a scientific justification for ethics. If the person that you are hurting is just yourself, then clearly it doesn't make sense. So that was what we were going to talk to Hitler about, I guess. So anyway, I started out then as an evangelist, at the age of 14, to try to make converts to this great new religion. And I wasn't very successful. I think I made one and a half converts all together, and so it only lasted for a few months. But in a way that defined my attitude, both to human problems and to religion in a way. I thought everybody goes through such a time of life when you start to take the problems of life and death seriously. That's the way it hit me.
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Sylvia Earle

Undersea Explorer

They say that in some countries such as Peru, they worship the sun because they only see it when the fog breaks, and they see the sun. I didn't exactly worship the ocean, but I really regarded it as a very special opportunity. I can remember, as we traveled across the pine barrens, we came to the sand dunes along the shore, before we could see or hear the ocean, I could smell it. And then hear it. And then finally, there it was, this great incredible expanse. And I can still feel that leap of enthusiasm, and real joy, at the prospect of finally getting out to the beach, and running around.
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Sylvia Earle

Undersea Explorer

Sylvia Earle: When asked as a child "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I didn't know exactly what to call it, but I did know that I wanted to do something that related to plants and animals. I think for a while I entertained the thought that maybe I wanted to be a veterinarian. I knew about veterinarians, and I loved cats and dogs and horses, and all the traditional kinds of creatures that human beings surround themselves with. But I was increasingly interested, fascinated, and really enchanted by the wild creatures. As I grew older and learned more about them, I think I determined that was the direction I would be taking.
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Michael Eisner

Entertainment Executive

Somehow, everything that I've been involved in and the people who I feel most strongly about are those that have the most common sense. It's not that difficult. What brings people down I find are the very human things. The lack of common sense, not the lack of understanding some arithmetic table, not the lack of understanding what exactly the information highway is. But the lack of understanding of why somebody is unhappy, or happy, or motivation.
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Michael Eisner

Entertainment Executive

Michael Eisner: When you're trying to create things that are new, you have to be prepared to be on the edge of risk. First of all, research will tell you, which I do not believe in at all, that people want what they saw yesterday, and that's fallacious. They don't know what they want. They want something new, and different, and unusual.
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