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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index B > Richard Byrd Quotes

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Richard Byrd
(25 Oct 1888 - 11 Mar 1957)

American explorer, aviator and scientist who was the first man to fly over both of the Earth's poles (1926, 1929). During an Antarctic expedition, he organized scientific studies, surveying, and collection of meteorological and radiowave propagation data.


Science Quotes by Richard Byrd (5 quotes)

But why, it has been asked, did you go there [the Antarctic]? Of what use to civilization can this lifeless continent be? ... [Earlier] expeditions contributed something to the accumulating knowledge of the Antarctic ... that helps us thrust back further the physical and spiritual shadows enfolding our terrestrial existence. Is it not true that one of the strongest and most continuously sustained impulses working in civilization is that which leads to discovery? As long as any part of the world remains obscure, the curiosity of man must draw him there, as the lodestone draws the mariner's needle, until he comprehends its secret.
— Richard Byrd
In 'Hoover Presents Special Medal to Byrd...', New York Times (21 Jun 1930), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (30)  |  Antarctic (6)  |  Asking (23)  |  Civilization (175)  |  Comprehension (57)  |  Continent (52)  |  Contribution (60)  |  Curiosity (106)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Existence (299)  |  Expedition (4)  |  Going (6)  |  Impulse (33)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Lifeless (11)  |  Lodestone (6)  |  Mariner (8)  |  Obscurity (27)  |  Secret (131)  |  Shadow (52)  |  Terrestrial (24)  |  Use (76)  |  World (898)

Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used.
— Richard Byrd
In Alone (1938), 189.
Science quotes on:  |  Deep (124)  |  Dwelling (11)  |  Lifetime (28)  |  Resource (62)  |  Strength (81)  |  Well (14)

In Winter, [the Antarctic] is perhaps the dreariest of places. Our base, Little America, lay in a bowl of ice, near the edge of the Ross Ice Barrier. The temperature fell as low as 72 degrees below zero. One could actually hear one's breath freeze.
— Richard Byrd
In 'Hoover Presents Special Medal to Byrd...', New York Times (21 Jun 1930), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Antarctic (6)  |  Base (71)  |  Bowl (3)  |  Breath (32)  |  Coldness (2)  |  Dreariness (3)  |  Freezing (11)  |  Hearing (28)  |  Ice (33)  |  Temperature (47)  |  Winter (30)  |  Zero (19)

Patience is what you need in the Antarctic. Wait—Give wind and tide a chance to change.
— Richard Byrd
Muttered by Byrd onboard the ship Bear while locked in Antarctic ice. Recalled by George Dufek, 'Admiral Byrd's Greatest Discovery', This Week: The National Sunday Magazine (7 Jul 1959), as cited in Lisle A.Rose, Explorer: The Life of Richard E. Byrd (2008), 414.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (160)  |  Change (364)  |  Tide (24)  |  Wind (80)

We men who serve science serve only a reflection in a mirror.
— Richard Byrd
In Alone (1938), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Mirror (29)  |  Reflection (60)  |  Science (2067)  |  Serve (58)



Quotes by others about Richard Byrd (1)

The Pole moves from day to day. Perhaps if commander Byrd did not strike the exact spot with his flag the Pole will find the flag.
In 'Quotation Marks', New York Times (15 Dec 1929), XX4. Byrd made the first flight over the South Pole on 29 Nov 1929 and dropped a small American flag.
Science quotes on:  |  Flag (11)  |  Move (94)  |  Pole (18)  |  Spot (17)  |  Strike (40)


See also:
  • 25 Oct - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Byrd's birth.
  • The Last Explorer: The Adventures of Admiral Byrd, by Edwin P. Hoyt. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Admiral Richard Byrd.

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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