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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index F > Walter Fletcher Quotes

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Walter Fletcher
(21 Jul 1873 - 7 Jun 1933)

English physiologist and administrator who began his career as an academic at Cambridge where he researched the biochemistry of muscle contraction. Then, in 1914, he accepted the post as the first secretary of the Medical Research Council (originally known as the Medical Research Committee).

Science Quotes by Walter Fletcher (2 quotes)

It amounts to a truism to say that progress in the practical arts of medicine in any of its branches, whether preventive or curative, only comes from the growth of accurate knowledge as it accumulates in the laboratories and studies of the various sciences.
— Walter Fletcher
From Norman Lockyer Lecture delivered before the British Science Guild (19 Nov 1929), 'Medical Research: The Tree and the Fruit', in The British Medical Journal (30 Nov 1929), Vol. 2, No. 3595, 995.
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We find it a law of our state of being that where only observation can be made the growth of knowledge creeps; where experiment can be made knowledge leaps forward.
— Walter Fletcher
From Norman Lockyer Lecture delivered before the British Science Guild (19 Nov 1929), 'Medical Research: The Tree and the Fruit', in The British Medical Journal (30 Nov 1929), Vol. 2, No. 3595, 995. Fletcher introduces this statement as a “truism,” without mention of any prior person saying it. Yet it is very similar to a quote often seen, perhaps incorrectly, as a quote attributed to Michael Faraday: “A natural law regulates the advance of science. Where only observation can be made, the growth of knowledge creeps; where laboratory experiments can be carried on, knowledge leaps forward.” Webmaster has found no instance of this quote being made prior to 1929, which raises the suspicion that Faraday did not originate it — else why is it not easily found in his written work or quoted in a book in all the years since his time? If you know a primary source linking it to Faraday, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1276)  |  Creep (15)  |  Experiment (736)  |  Find (1014)  |  Forward (104)  |  Growth (200)  |  Knowledge (1647)  |  Law (913)  |  Leap (57)  |  Natural Law (46)  |  Observation (593)  |  State (505)

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  • 21 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Fletcher'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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