- Feynman's role in the Rogers Commission, investigating the 1986 Challenger disaster. As his wife put it, when he suggested that someone else could do the same job as well as he could:
Well, if you're not on the commission, then there will be twelve members in a little knot which will go from one place to the other, figure it out, and write a report. If you are on this thing, there will be eleven guys, in a knot, going around and looking and writing a report, and one guy, like a mosquito, running all over the place ... and you probably won't find anything. But if there is something interesting, if there's something strange about it, something like that, you'll find it, and it wouldn't have been found otherwise.
- His tabletop demonstration of what went wrong with ''Challenger''; "I believe that has some significance for our problem". (The best part is that it completely sums up Feynman's approach when it comes to explaining science to laypeople.)
- And the entirety of his appendix to the Rogers Commission "Personal Observations on the Reliability of the Shuttle": an appendix that almost did not get published, except for the tiny little fact that Feynman was not willing to compromise the truth for anyone. As he put it in his appendix:
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
- For extra points, he then included his appendix in his second memoir, making sure that everyone could know the truth with no possibility of a cover-up.
- "Then I understand EVVVVVERYTHING!!!"
- Oh, yeah, and the Nobel Prize, too.
- His famous rebuttal to the idea that science takes much of the wonder out of life:
I have a friend who's an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don't agree with. He'll hold up a flower and say, 'Look how beautiful it is,' and I'll agree. But then he'll say, 'I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull.' I think he's kind of nutty. [...] There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.