richard ernst quotes


I am not surprised that they show no intention to follow in my footsteps, although if I had a second chance myself, I would certainly try to repeat my present career.


Experiments were not attempted at that time, we did not believe in the usefulness of the concept anyway, and I finished my thesis in 1962 with a feeling like an artist balancing on a high rope without any interested spectators.


Thus, after finishing high school, I started with high expectations and enthusiasm to study chemistry at the famous Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.


In recent years, more and more of my time has become absorbed by administrative work for the research council of ETH-Z of which I am presently the president.


However, I survived and started to read all chemistry books that I could get a hand on, first some 19th century books from our home library that did not provide much reliable information, and then I emptied the rather extensive city library.


I became almost immediately fascinated by the possibilities of trying out all conceivable reactions with them, some leading to explosions, others to unbearable poisoning of the air in our house, frightening my parents.


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