Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Elizabeth Blackwell Quotes

Thumbnail of Elizabeth Blackwell (source)
Elizabeth Blackwell
(3 Feb 1821 - 31 May 1910)

English-American physician who was the first woman in to earn an M.D. from a U.S. medical school.


Science Quotes by Elizabeth Blackwell (7 quotes)

Elizabeth Blackwell, old age, facing front, seated in chair turned to left, book held in lap
Elizabeth Blackwell, late in life. (source)
I felt more determined than ever to become a physician, and thus place a strong barrier between me and all ordinary marriage. I must have something to engross my thoughts, some object in life which will fill this vacuum, and prevent this sad wearing away of the heart.
— Elizabeth Blackwell
Entry from her early journal, stated in Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women (1895), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Barrier (19)  |  Determination (53)  |  Fill (35)  |  Life (917)  |  Marriage (31)  |  Physician (232)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Sadness (26)  |  Vacuum (29)

If the present arrangements of society will not admit of woman’s free development, then society must be remodelled, and adapted to the great wants of humanity.
— Elizabeth Blackwell
From letter (12 Aug 1848) to Emily Collins, reproduced in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, ‎Susan Brownell Anthony, ‎Matilda Joslyn Gage, History of Woman Suffrage (1881), Vol. 1, 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (18)  |  Admit (22)  |  Development (228)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Society (188)  |  Woman (94)

It is not easy to be a pioneer—but oh, it is fascinating! I would not trade one moment, even the worst moment, for all the riches in the world.
— Elizabeth Blackwell
As quoted, without citation, in Arlene J. Morris-Lipsman, Notable Women (1990), 70. The author dates this to “twenty years after her graduation,” [which was on 23 Jan 1849]. Please contact Webmaster if you know the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Easy (56)  |  Fascinating (17)  |  Moment (61)  |  Pioneer (23)  |  Riches (9)  |  Trade (24)  |  Worst (14)

My whole life is devoted unreservedly to the service of my sex. The study and practice of medicine is in my thought but one means to a great end, for which my very soul yearns with intensest passionate emotion, of which I have dreamed day and night, from my earliest childhood, for which I would offer up my life with triumphant thanksgiving, if martyrdom could secure that glorious end:— the true ennoblement of woman, the full harmonious development of her unknown nature, and the consequent redemption of the whole human race.
— Elizabeth Blackwell
From letter (12 Aug 1848) replying to Emily Collins, reproduced in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, ‎Susan Brownell Anthony and ‎Matilda Joslyn Gage, History of Woman Suffrage (1881), Vol. 1, 91. Blackwell was at the time a student at the medical college of Geneva, N.Y.
Science quotes on:  |  Childhood (23)  |  Development (228)  |  Devotion (24)  |  Dream (92)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Ennoblement (2)  |  Glorious (17)  |  Human Race (49)  |  Life (917)  |  Martyrdom (2)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Passionate (9)  |  Practice (67)  |  Redemption (3)  |  Service (54)  |  Soul (139)  |  Study (331)  |  Woman (94)  |  Yearn (8)

Our school education ignores, in a thousand ways, the rules of healthy development; and the results … are gained very generally at the cost of physical and mental health.
— Elizabeth Blackwell
Lecture (2 Dec 1959) delivered in Clinton Hall, New York City. Published in 'Medicine as a Profession for Women', The English Woman’s Journal (1 May 1860), 5, No. 27, 148. (Prepared together with Emily Blackwell.) The Blackwells recognized the connection between health and learning. They also wanted that teachers (of whom 90% were women) should “diffuse among women the physiological and sanitary knowledge which they will need.”
Science quotes on:  |  Cost (31)  |  Development (228)  |  Education (280)  |  Health (136)  |  Ignore (22)  |  Mental (57)  |  Physical (94)  |  Result (250)  |  Rule (135)  |  School (87)  |  Thousand (106)

The idea of winning a doctor’s degree gradually assumed the aspect of a great moral struggle, and the moral fight possessed immense attraction for me.
— Elizabeth Blackwell
In Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women (1895), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Attraction (32)  |  Degree (48)  |  Doctor (100)  |  Fight (37)  |  Idea (440)  |  Immense (28)  |  Moral (100)  |  PhD (7)  |  Struggle (60)  |  Win (25)

To her [Florence Nightingale] chiefly I owed the awakening to the fact that sanitation is the supreme goal of medicine its foundation and its crown.
— Elizabeth Blackwell
In Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women (1895), 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Awakening (4)  |  Crown (19)  |  Fact (609)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Goal (81)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Florence Nightingale (34)  |  Owing (3)  |  Sanitation (3)  |  Supreme (24)


See also:
  • 3 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Blackwell's birth.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell - biography as remembered by a fellow student in 1892.
  • 20 Jan - Elizabeth Blackwell U.S. 18 cent stamp issued (1974) and other events, births and death for that date.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell: America's First Woman M.D. - An annotated collection of documents and photos tracing her career by the National Library of Medicine.
  • Sympathy and Science: Women Physicians in American Medicine, by Regina Morantz-Sanchez. - book suggestion.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell: First Woman Physician, by Tristan Boyer Binns. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Elizabeth Blackwell.

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
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 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 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.