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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Denis Burkitt Quotes

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Denis Burkitt
(28 Feb 1911 - 23 Mar 1993)

Irish surgeon and medical researcher who first identified Burkitt's lymphoma, and later championed the benefits of a high-fibre diet.

Science Quotes by Denis Burkitt (7 quotes)

America is a constipated nation.... If you pass small stools, you have to have large hospitals.
— Denis Burkitt
Science quotes on:  |  America (136)  |  Hospital (44)  |  Large (396)  |  Nation (203)  |  Pass (238)  |  Small (484)

Attitudes are more important than abilities
Motives are more important than methods
Character is more important than cleverness,
And the Heart takes precedence over the head.
— Denis Burkitt
when asked to autograph his book
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (83)  |  Character (252)  |  Cleverness (15)  |  Heart (235)  |  Method (517)  |  More (2559)  |  Motive (61)

Diseases can rarely be eliminated through early diagnosis or good treatment, but prevention can eliminate disease.
— Denis Burkitt
Science quotes on:  |  Diagnosis (65)  |  Disease (337)  |  Early (190)  |  Good (894)  |  Prevention (37)  |  Through (846)  |  Treatment (133)

If people are constantly falling off a cliff, you could place ambulances under the cliff or build a fence on the top of the cliff. We are placing all too many ambulances under the cliff.
— Denis Burkitt
Burkitt did not originate this idea; it is a paraphrase of lines from a poem (1895) by Joseph Malins, which ends: “Better put a strong fence ’round the top of the cliff/Than an ambulance down in the valley”. See 'The Ambulance Down in the Valley' (1895). Webmaster has not yet found a primary source for the wording in the paraphrase used by Burkitt. Can you help? Another early use of the metaphor is in 'The Efficient Human Machine', Scientific American (16 Oct 1915), 334.
Science quotes on:  |  Build (204)  |  Cliff (22)  |  Disease (337)  |  Fence (11)  |  People (1012)  |  Prevention (37)  |  Top (98)

The frying pan you should give to your enemy. Food should not be prepared in fat. Our bodies are adapted to a stone age diet of roots and vegetables.
— Denis Burkitt
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (70)  |  Adaptation (59)  |  Age (501)  |  Body (545)  |  Diet (56)  |  Enemy (83)  |  Fat (11)  |  Food (206)  |  Frying (2)  |  Root (121)  |  Stone (167)  |  Stone Age (13)  |  Vegetable (48)

The only way we are going to reduce disease, is to go backward to the diets and lifestyles of our ancestors.
— Denis Burkitt
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (61)  |  Diet (56)  |  Disease (337)  |  Reduce (97)  |  Way (1214)

Western doctors are like poor plumbers. They treat a splashing tube by cleaning up the water. These plumbers are extremely apt at drying up the water, constantly inventing new, expensive, and refined methods of drying up water. Somebody should teach them how to close the tap.
— Denis Burkitt
Science quotes on:  |  Cleaning (7)  |  Doctor (189)  |  Method (517)  |  New (1247)  |  Plumber (10)  |  Poor (138)  |  Prevention (37)  |  Teach (287)  |  Water (494)  |  Western (45)

See also:
  • 28 Feb - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Burkitt's birth.
  • Fiber Man: The Life Story of Dr Denis Burkitt, by Brian Kellock. - 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
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
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Ernest Rutherford
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Marcel Proust
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- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
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JJ Thomson
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- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
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Francis Bacon
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- 10 -
John Watson
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Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
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