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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Martinus Willem Beijerinck Quotes

Thumbnail of Martinus Willem Beijerinck (source)
Martinus Willem Beijerinck
(16 Mar 1851 - 1 Jan 1931)

Dutch botanist.


Science Quotes by Martinus Willem Beijerinck (1 quote)

In its most primitive form, life is, therefore, no longer bound to the cell, the cell which possesses structure and which can be compared to a complex wheel-work, such as a watch which ceases to exist if it is stamped down in a mortar. No, in its primitive form life is like fire, like a flame borne by the living substance;—like a flame which appears in endless diversity and yet has specificity within it;—which can adopt the form of the organic world, of the lank grass-leaf and of the stem of the tree.
— Martinus Willem Beijerinck
Address given at the 1913 meeting of the Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen in Amsterdam. Trans. in G. Van Iterson, Jr, L. E. Den Dooren De Jong and A. J. Kluyver, Martinus Willem Beilerinck: His Life and Work (1940), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Bound (119)  |  Cease (79)  |  Cell (138)  |  Complex (188)  |  Diversity (73)  |  Down (455)  |  Endless (56)  |  Exist (444)  |  Fire (189)  |  Flame (41)  |  Form (960)  |  Grass (46)  |  Leaf (66)  |  Life (1799)  |  Living (491)  |  Most (1729)  |  Organic (158)  |  Primitive (75)  |  Stamp (36)  |  Stem (31)  |  Structure (346)  |  Substance (248)  |  Tree (246)  |  Watch (109)  |  Wheel (50)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1778)


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  • 16 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Beijerinck'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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