David Pratt


Quotations from The Impossible Takes Longer:

“A fanatic is the one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”
Winston S. Churchill
Nobel Prize for Literature

“My ambition is to live to see all of physics reduced to a formula so elegant and simple that it will fit easily on the front of a T-shirt.”
Leon Lederman
Nobel Prize for Physics

“Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. Let us not speak well of it either. Let us not speak of it at all.”
Samuel Beckett
Nobel Prize for Literature

“Instead of telling girls to cover their hair, we should teach them to use their heads.”
Shirin Ebadi
Nobel Prize for Peace

Manuscript available

Formula for Genius

What Nobel Prize Winners Tell Us About Success

Since its inception in 1901, the Nobel Prize has been the hallmark of genius. The laureates are sought after for their views on the state of the world, international affairs, the meaning of life, love, and, above all, success.  A few have even offered practical advice on how to win the Nobel Prize.

David Pratt, who reads widely in several languages in the arts and sciences, has been studying Nobel laureates for decades.  In Formula For Genius, he probes their life experiences for clues that predict their success.

In climbing the ladder of achievement and wisdom, many Nobel winners had to overcome huge obstacles thrown up by professional, personal, or political adversity.

Pratt’s narrative sparkles with nuggets of biography and threaded with delightful descriptions of their prize-winning work, all informed by historical context. Wise and often funny, Pratt’s account of these fascinating people makes you think that you too may one day grasp the brass ring.


David Pratt has been collecting quotations since his youth. His book, The Impossible Takes Longer: The 1,000 Wisest Things Ever Said by Nobel Prize Laureates was enthusiastically received in the US and published in five additional countries to date.

Pratt, Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University, Canada, was educated at Oxford, Harvard, and Toronto. He has published five books, including two books of education. He lives Stratford, Ontario, Canada.