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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Nigel Calder Quotes

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Nigel Calder
(2 Dec 1931 - 25 Jun 2014)

English science writer and screenwriter who was a former editor of New Scientist, (1962-66) and has written scripts for broadcast documentaries on the BBC and other TV channels. His books cover diverse popular science subjects such as climate change, continental drift, the mind, subatomic physics, or Halley's comet.

Science Quotes by Nigel Calder (8 quotes)

Astronomy was big science but not as big as high-energy physics, devoted to the exploration of the micro-universe. Any thorough account of the universe would have to explain why nature had mass-produced particles of certain kinds, wherewith to build atoms, stars, planets and living things. Looking deeply into matter required the most elaborate instruments ever conceived and engineered for scientific purposes.
— Nigel Calder
In The Key to the Universe: Report on the New Physics (1977), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (245)  |  Elaborate (29)  |  Exploration (156)  |  High Energy Physics (3)  |  Particle (200)  |  Planet (381)  |  Star (448)

Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.
— Nigel Calder
In 'An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change', The Sunday Times (11 Feb 2007).
Science quotes on:  |  Antarctica (8)  |  Arctic (10)  |  Arrival (15)  |  Billion (98)  |  Bird (158)  |  Business (151)  |  California (9)  |  Climate Change (74)  |  Contrary (142)  |  Crop (26)  |  Early (190)  |  Ensure (27)  |  Enthusiasm (57)  |  Evidence (263)  |  Frost (14)  |  Global (37)  |  Headline (6)  |  Ice (56)  |  Iceberg (4)  |  Loss (112)  |  Migration (12)  |  Nest (23)  |  Ocean (207)  |  Penguin (4)  |  Recent (77)  |  Sea (321)  |  Spring (136)  |  Symptom (36)  |  Tell (341)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Warming (24)  |  Winter (44)  |  Year (939)

Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system.
— Nigel Calder
Quoted in Tom Harper, 'Scientists threatened for "climate denial",' The Telegraph (11 Mar 2007).
Science quotes on:  |  Climate Change (74)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Albert Einstein (615)  |  Funding (19)  |  Government (113)  |  Present (625)  |  Scientist (856)  |  System (539)  |  Trying (144)  |  Unanimity (4)

In a sense human flesh is made of stardust. Every atom in the human body, excluding only the primordial hydrogen atoms, was fashioned in stars that formed, grew old and exploded most violently before the Sun and Earth came into being.
— Nigel Calder
In The Key to the Universe: Report on the New Physics (1977), 32-33.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (377)  |  Earth (1034)  |  Explode (15)  |  Flesh (28)  |  Human (1491)  |  Hydrogen (78)  |  Primordial (14)  |  Star (448)  |  Stardust (4)  |  Sun (402)

One of my complaints is that you’ve got far more scientists than ever before but the pace of discovery has not increased. Why? Because they’re all busy just filling in the details of what they think is the standard story. And the youngsters, the people with different ideas have just as big a fight as ever and normally it takes decades for science to correct itself. But science does correct itself and that’s the reason why science is such a glorious thing for our species.
— Nigel Calder
From transcript of Interview (16 Aug 2007) by Robyn Williams, 'InConversation', Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Science quotes on:  |  Busy (30)  |  Complaint (12)  |  Correct (91)  |  Decade (62)  |  Detail (148)  |  Different (581)  |  Discovery (818)  |  Fight (44)  |  Glorious (49)  |  Idea (861)  |  Increase (219)  |  Mankind (351)  |  Pace (15)  |  Reason (757)  |  Scientist (856)  |  Species (419)  |  Standard (59)  |  Story (119)  |  Young (238)

Physics was always the master-science. The behaviour of matter and energy, which was its theme, underlay all action in the world. In time astronomy, chemistry, geology and even biology became extensions of physics. Moreover, its discoveries found ready application, whether in calculating the tides, creating television or releasing nuclear energy. For better or worse, physics made a noise in the world. But the abiding reason for its special status was that it posed the deepest questions to nature.
— Nigel Calder
In The Key to the Universe: Report on the New Physics (1977), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (253)  |  Astronomy (245)  |  Better Or Worse (2)  |  Biology (225)  |  Calculate (56)  |  Chemistry (365)  |  Discovery (818)  |  Extension (60)  |  Matter (810)  |  Nature (1973)  |  Nuclear Energy (17)  |  Physics (550)  |  Question (640)  |  Reason (757)  |  Special (187)  |  Status (35)  |  Television (33)  |  Tide (36)

Stellar explosions did remarkable things to the nuclei of atoms. The medieval alchemists had tried to change one chemical element into another, especially hoping to make gold. Their successors in the twentieth century could say why their efforts were in vain. The essential character of an element was fixed by the number of protons (positively charged particles) in the nucleus of each of its atoms. You could transmute an element only by reaching into the nucleus itself, which the alchemists had no means of doing. But stars were playing the alchemist all the time.
— Nigel Calder
In The Key to the Universe: A Report on the New Physics (1977), 33-35.
Science quotes on:  |  20th Century (38)  |  Alchemist (23)  |  Atom (377)  |  Character (252)  |  Element (317)  |  Essential (203)  |  Explosion (48)  |  Gold (99)  |  Nucleus (54)  |  Proton (23)  |  Star (448)  |  Transmute (5)

The explosions [of dying stars] scattered the heavy elements as a fine dust through space. By the time it made the Sun, the primordial gas of the Milky Way was sufficiently enriched with heavier elements for rocky planets like the Earth to form. And from the rocks atoms escaped for eventual incorporation in living things: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur for all living tissue; calcium for bones and teeth; sodium and potassium for the workings of nerves and brains; the iron colouring blood red… and so on. No other conclusion of modern research testifies more clearly to mankind’s intimate connections with the universe at large and with the cosmic forces at work among the stars.
— Nigel Calder
In The Key to the Universe: A Report on the New Physics (1977), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (377)  |  Blood (142)  |  Bone (100)  |  Brain (277)  |  Calcium (8)  |  Carbon (67)  |  Conclusion (259)  |  Connection (170)  |  Dust (67)  |  Earth (1034)  |  Element (317)  |  Enrich (26)  |  Explosion (48)  |  Form (967)  |  Gas (86)  |  Intimate (18)  |  Iron (98)  |  Life (1830)  |  Living Things (7)  |  Mankind (351)  |  Milky Way (28)  |  Nerve (82)  |  Nitrogen (30)  |  Oxygen (72)  |  Phosphorus (18)  |  Planet (381)  |  Potassium (12)  |  Primordial (14)  |  Red (37)  |  Research (734)  |  Rock (169)  |  Scatter (7)  |  Sodium (15)  |  Space (510)  |  Star (448)  |  Sulphur (19)  |  Sun (402)  |  Testify (6)  |  Tissue (47)  |  Tooth (31)  |  Universe (883)


See also:

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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