Marie Curie...on idealists

Humanity, surely, needs practical men who make the best of their work for their own interests, without forgetting the general interest. But it also need dreamers, for whom the unselfish following of a purpose is so imperitive that it becomes impossible for them to devote much attention to their own material benefit. No doubt it could be said that those idealists do not deserve riches since they do not have the desire for them. It seems, however, that a society well organized ought to assure workers the means for efficient labor, in a life from which material care is excluded, so that this life may be freely devoted to the service of scientific research.

- Pierre Curie, 1923