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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Herbert C. Brown Quotes

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Herbert C. Brown
(22 May 1912 - 19 Dec 2004)

English-American chemist who was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work with organoboranes.


Science Quotes by Herbert C. Brown (3 quotes)

Professor Brown: “Since this slide was made,” he opined, “My students have re-examined the errant points and I am happy to report that all fall close to the [straight] line.” Questioner: “Professor Brown, I am delighted that the points which fell off the line proved, on reinvestigation, to be in compliance. I wonder, however, if you have had your students reinvestigate all these points that previously fell on the line to find out how many no longer do so?”
— Herbert C. Brown
Quoted in D. A. Davenport, 'The Invective Effect', Chemtech, September 1987, 530.
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TO MY WIFE-who made the writing of my previous book a pleasure and writing of the present one a necessity.
— Herbert C. Brown
Boranes in Organic Chemistry (1972), dedication.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (394)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Pleasure (179)  |  Present (620)  |  Wife (41)  |  Writing (189)

Why did I decide to undertake my doctorate research in the exotic field of boron hydrides? As it happened, my girl friend, Sarah Baylen, soon to become my wife, presented me with a graduation gift, Alfred Stock's book, The Hydrides of Boron and Silicon. I read this book and became interested in the subject. How did it happen that she selected this particular book? This was the time of the Depression. None of us had much money. It appears she selected as her gift the most economical chemistry book ($2.06) available in the University of Chicago bookstore. Such are the developments that can shape a career.
— Herbert C. Brown
'From Little Acorns Through to Tall Oaks From Boranes Through Organoboranes', Nobel Lecture (8 Dec) 1979. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry, 1971-1980 (1993), 341.
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See also:
  • 22 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Brown'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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