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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Louis Agassiz Quotes > Study

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Louis Agassiz
(28 May 1807 - 14 Dec 1873)

Swiss-American naturalist and geologist who published several volumes describing and classifying fossil fish. He is also known for significant work on glacier activity.


Louis Agassiz Quotes on Study (5 quotes)

>> Click for 39 Science Quotes by Louis Agassiz

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I have devoted my whole life to the study of Nature, and yet a single sentence may express all that I have done. I have shown that there is a correspondence between the succession of Fishes in geological times and the different stages of their growth in the egg,—this is all. It chanced to be a result that was found to apply to other groups and has led to other conclusions of a like nature.
— Louis Agassiz
In Methods of Study in Natural History (1863), 23.
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It is better to have a few forms well known than to teach a little about many hundred species. Better a dozen specimens thoroughly studied as the result of the first year’s work, than to have two thousand dollars’ worth of shells and corals bought from a curiosity-shop. The dozen animals would be your own.
— Louis Agassiz
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 147.
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The study of Nature is intercourse with the highest mind. You should never trifle with Nature. At her lowest her works are the works of the highest powers, the highest something in the universe, in whichever way we look at it… This is the charm of Study from Nature itself; she brings us back to absolute truth wherever we wander.
— Louis Agassiz
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 147. Last sentence included with the quote in Peter Haring Judd (ed.), Affection: Ninety Years of Family Letters, 1850s-1930s: Haring, White, Griggs, Judd Families of New York and Waterbury, Connecticut (206), 102, where it is also noted that this comes from what must have been one of his last lectures since Agassiz died shortly thereafter.
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When chemists have brought their knowledge out of their special laboratories into the laboratory of the world, where chemical combinations are and have been through all time going on in such vast proportions,—when physicists study the laws of moisture, of clouds and storms, in past periods as well as in the present,—when, in short, geologists and zoologists are chemists and physicists, and vice versa,—then we shall learn more of the changes the world has undergone than is possible now that they are separately studied.
— Louis Agassiz
Geological Sketches (1866), 73.
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You cannot do without one specialty. You must have some base-line to measure the work and attainments of others. For a general view of the subject, study the history of the sciences. Broad knowledge of all Nature has been the possession of no naturalist except Humboldt, and general relations constituted his specialty.
— Louis Agassiz
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 146.
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Louis Agassiz quote: Select such subjects that your pupils cannot walk out without seeing them. Train your pupils to be observer
Louis Agassiz quote: A laboratory of natural history is a sanctuary where nothing profane should be tolerated
Louis Agassiz quote: A man cannot be professor of zoölogy on one day and of chemistry on the next, and do good work in both. As

See also:
  • 28 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Agassiz's birth.
  • Louis Agassiz: A Life in Science, by Edward Lurie. - book suggestion.

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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