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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Alexis Carrel Quotes

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Alexis Carrel
(28 Jun 1873 - 5 Nov 1944)

French-American surgeon and biologist.


Science Quotes by Alexis Carrel (3 quotes)

It seems that the increased number of scientific workers, their being split up into groups whose studies are limited to a small subject, and over-specialization have brought about a shrinking of intelligence. There is no doubt that the quality of any human group decreases when the number of the individuals composing this group increases beyond certain limits... The best way to increase the intelligence of scientists would be to decrease their number.
— Alexis Carrel
Man the Unknown (1935), 48-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Men Of Science (97)

Science has to be understood in its broadest sense, as a method for apprehending all observable reality, and not merely as an instrument for acquiring specialized knowledge.
— Alexis Carrel
In Alfred Armand Montapert, Words of Wisdom to Live By: An Encyclopedia of Wisdom in Condensed Form (1986), 217, without citation. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquiring (5)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Method (154)  |  Observation (418)  |  Reality (140)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Specialized (4)  |  Understanding (317)

There is a strange disparity between the sciences of inert matter and those of life. Astronomy, mechanics, and physics are based on concepts which can be expressed, tersely and elegantly, in mathematical language. They have built up a universe as harmonious as the monuments of ancient Greece. They weave about it a magnificent texture of calculations and hypotheses. They search for reality beyond the realm of common thought up to unutterable abstractions consisting only of equations of symbols. Such is not the position of biological sciences. Those who investigate the phenomena of life are as if lost in an inextricable jungle, in the midst of a magic forest, whose countless trees unceasingly change their place and their shape. They are crushed under a mass of facts, which they can describe but are incapable of defining in algebraic equations.
— Alexis Carrel
Man the Unknown (1935), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Biology (150)  |  Equation (69)  |  Fact (609)  |  Forest (88)  |  Magic (67)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Physics (301)


See also:
  • 28 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Carrel'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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