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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > James Burke Quotes

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James Burke
(22 Dec 1936 - )

Science historian best known for his 1979 TV series, Connections.


Science Quotes by James Burke (4 quotes)


Scientists are the true driving force of civilization.
— James Burke
As stated in Cosmic Search (Fall 1981), 3 No. 4, 18, which cites James Burke, Connections. It seems to be a paraphrase. Compare narration in TV program 'Yesterday, Tomorrow and You', episode 10 of Connections (1979): “The scientists and the technologists … are the true driving force of humanity.” If you know a primary source for the short form, please contact webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Civilization (90)  |  Scientist (237)

When you read a book, you hold another’s mind in your hands.
— James Burke
Appears, without citation, in Helen Grenat, Wisdom Through the Ages (1998), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)  |  Hand (34)  |  Hold (21)  |  Mind (272)  |  Read (32)

Why should we look to the past in order to prepare for the future? Because there is nowhere else to look.
— James Burke
In Connections (1978, 1979), 287.
Science quotes on:  |  Future (110)  |  Nowhere (8)  |  Past (42)  |  Preparation (22)

[T]he moment man first picked up a stone or a branch to use as a tool, he altered irrevocably the balance between him and his environment. From this point on, the way in which the world around him changed was different. It was no longer regular or predictable. New objects appeared that were not recognizable as a mutation of something that existed before, and as each one merged it altered the environment not for one season, but for ever.
— James Burke
from Introduction to Connections by James Burke, Macmillan (1978)


See also:
  • todayinsci icon 22 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Burke's birth.
  • todayinsci icon James Burke - context of quote “Scientists are the true driving force of civilization” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • todayinsci icon James Burke - context of quote “Scientists are the true driving force of civilization” - Large image (800 x 600 px)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
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John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
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