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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Sir William Bayliss Quotes

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Sir William Bayliss
(2 May 1860 - 27 Aug 1924)

English physiologist.

Science Quotes by Sir William Bayliss (2 quotes)

But at the same time, there must never be the least hesitation in giving up a position the moment it is shown to be untenable. It is not going too far to say that the greatness of a scientific investigator does not rest on the fact of his having never made a mistake, but rather on his readiness to admit that he has done so, whenever the contrary evidence is cogent enough.
— Sir William Bayliss
Principles of General Physiology (1915), x.xi.
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But, as Bacon has well pointed out, truth is more likely to come out of error, if this is clear and definite, than out of confusion, and my experience teaches me that it is better to hold a well-understood and intelligible opinion, even if it should turn out to be wrong, than to be content with a muddle-headed mixture of conflicting views, sometimes miscalled impartiality, and often no better than no opinion at all.
— Sir William Bayliss
Principles of General Physiology (1915), x.
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Quotes by others about Sir William Bayliss (1)

A true anecdote which illustrates his unworldly nature is of the instruction he received in 1922 to appear at Buckingham Palace to receive the accolade of the Order of Knighthood; he replied that as the date coincided with that of a meeting of the Physiological Society, he would be unable to attend.
Charles Lovatt Evans, Reminiscences of Bayliss and Starling (1964), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Anecdote (21)  |  Attend (65)  |  Instruction (91)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Order (632)  |  Physiological (62)  |  Receive (114)  |  Society (325)

See also:
  • 2 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Bayliss's birth.

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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