The game was that of continually inventing a possible world, or a piece of a possible world, and then of comparing it with the real world... a race without end... What mattered more than the answers were the questions... For me, this world of questions and the provisional, this chase after an answer that was always put off to the next day, all that was euphoric. I lived in the future... I had turned my anxiety into my profession.
In today’s vastly expanded scientific enterprise, obsessed with impact factors and competition, we will need much more night science to unveil the many mysteries that remain about the workings of organisms.
Contrary to what I once thought, scientific progress did not consist simply in observing, in accurately formulating experimental facts and drawing up a theory from them. It began with the invention of a possible world, or a fragment thereof, which was then compared by experimentation with the real world. And it was this constant dialogue between imagination and experiment that allowed one to form an increasingly fine-grained conception of what is called reality.
Myths and science fulfill a similar function: they both provide human beings with a representation of the world and of the forces that are supposed to govern it. They both fix the limits of what is considered as possible.