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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Vannevar Bush Quotes

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Vannevar Bush
(11 Mar 1890 - 28 Jun 1974)

American electrical engineer.

Science Quotes by Vannevar Bush (6 quotes)

A nation which depends upon others for its new basic scientific knowledge will be slow in its industrial progress and weak in its competitive position in world trade, regardless of its mechanical skill.
— Vannevar Bush
Quoted by Edwin T. Layton, Jr., in 'American Ideologies of Science and Engineering', Technology and Culture (1976), 17, 689. As cited in Arie Leegwater, 'Technology and Science', Stephen V. Monsma (ed.), Responsible Technology: A Christian Perspective (1986), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (66)  |  Competitive (8)  |  Depend (90)  |  Industrial (13)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Mechanical (50)  |  Nation (134)  |  New (496)  |  Position (76)  |  Progress (368)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Skill (66)  |  Slow (56)  |  Trade (30)  |  Weak (44)  |  World (898)

Basic scientific research is scientific capital.
— Vannevar Bush
In 'Science - The Endless Frontier: A Report to the President' (Jul 1945), collected in John Dewey (ed.) and Julius A. Sigler (ed.), Science, Technology, and Society (1997), 13. Bush was the first director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development during World War II.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (66)  |  Capital (15)  |  Research (590)  |  Science (2067)

If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability.
— Vannevar Bush
Endless Horizons (1946), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (121)  |  Logic (260)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Physical World (12)  |  Probability (106)  |  Reasoning (100)  |  Understanding (325)

Publication has been extended far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record.
— Vannevar Bush
From article 'As We May Think', in Atlantic Magazine (Jul 1945). Bush was expressing concern that the vastly increasing body of research information and knowledge needed mechanical systems to store and effectively manage its retrieval.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (108)  |  Beyond (105)  |  Extend (44)  |  Far (154)  |  Present (176)  |  Publication (91)  |  Real (149)  |  Record (68)

Science can be interpreted effectively only for those who have more than the usual intelligence and innate curiosity. These will work hard if given the chance and if they find they acquire something by so doing.
— Vannevar Bush
(1940). Epigraph, without citation, in I. Bernard Cohen, Science, Servant of Man: A Layman's Primer for the Age of Science (1948), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (39)  |  Chance (160)  |  Curiosity (106)  |  Effective (30)  |  Find (408)  |  Hard (99)  |  Innate (9)  |  Intelligence (168)  |  Interpret (19)  |  Science (2067)  |  Work (635)

Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. Nearly all men of science, all men of learning for that matter, and men of simple ways too, have it in some form and in some degree. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission. If we abandon that mission under stress we shall abandon it forever, for stress will not cease. Knowledge for the sake of understanding, not merely to prevail, that is the essence of our being. None can define its limits, or set its ultimate boundaries.
— Vannevar Bush
Science is Not Enough (1967), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (48)  |  Being (41)  |  Boundary (38)  |  Cease (39)  |  Definition (192)  |  Essence (55)  |  Faith (157)  |  Forever (60)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Learning (177)  |  Limit (126)  |  Men Of Science (130)  |  Mission (16)  |  Prevail (17)  |  Privilege (26)  |  Science (2067)  |  Simple (178)  |  Stress (12)  |  Transcendence (2)  |  Ultimate (84)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Utility (33)

Quotes by others about Vannevar Bush (1)

Vannevar Bush has said that there is no more thrilling experience for a man than to be able to state that he has learned something no other person in the world has ever known before him. I have been lucky enough to be included in such an event.
From address to the 101st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, Gainesville, Florida (27 Dec 1958). Printed in 'An Account of the Discovery of Jupiter as a Radio Source', The Astronomical Journal (Mar 1959), 64, No. 2, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Experience (342)  |  Learned (24)  |  Lucky (12)  |  Thrill (19)

See also:
  • 11 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Bush'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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