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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index F > R. Buckminster Fuller Quotes

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R. Buckminster Fuller
(12 Jul 1895 - 1 Jul 1983)

American engineer, inventor, architect and philosopher.


Science Quotes by R. Buckminster Fuller (12 quotes)

Dare to be naďve.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
Motto for Synergetics: Explorations for the Geometry of Thinking (1975), xix.
Science quotes on:  |  Imagination (209)  |  Motivation (21)  |  Naive (8)

Don’t fight forces, use them.
[His motto of the early thirties.]
— R. Buckminster Fuller
In Shelter 2 (May 1932), 2 No. 4, 36, and (Nov 1932) No. 5, 108. Cited in Richard Buckminster Fuller, Joachim Krausse (ed.) and Claude Lichtenstein (ed.), Your Private Sky: Discourse (2001), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Fight (37)  |  Force (194)  |  Motto (22)  |  Use (70)

How much does your building weigh?
A question often used to challenge architects to consider how efficiently materials were used for the space enclosed.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
In Thomas T. K. Zung, Buckminster Fuller (2002), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (35)  |  Technology (199)

I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
Statement made in 1974, quoted in People magazine. In Thomas T. K. Zung, Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millenium (2002), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Genius (186)

I look for what needs to be done. … After all, that’s how the universe designs itself.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
In Christian Science Monitor (3 Nov 1964).
Science quotes on:  |  Design (92)  |  Need (211)  |  Universe (563)

Nature never “fails.” Nature complies with its own laws. Nature is the law. When Man lacks understanding of Nature’s laws and a Man-contrived structure buckles unexpectedly, it does not fail. It only demonstrates that Man did not understand Nature’s laws and behaviors. Nothing failed. Man’s knowledge or estimating was inadequate.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
In "How Little I Know", in Saturday Review (12 Nov 1966), 152. Excerpted in Buckminster Fuller and Answar Dil, Humans in Universe (1983), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (49)  |  Buckle (4)  |  Compliance (3)  |  Contrive (4)  |  Demonstrate (25)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Estimate (19)  |  Fail (34)  |  Failure (118)  |  Inadequate (13)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Lack (52)  |  Law (418)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Structure (191)  |  Understand (189)  |  Unexpected (26)

Realistic thinking accrues only after mistake making, which is the cosmic wisdom's most cogent way of teaching each of us how to carry on.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
In Buckminster Fuller and Answar Dil, Humans in Universe (1983), 218.
Science quotes on:  |  Accrue (2)  |  Carry (35)  |  Cogent (2)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  Make (23)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Realistic (3)  |  Teach (102)  |  Think (205)  |  Wisdom (151)

The National Science Foundation asked the great “breakthrough” scientists what they felt to be the most dominantly favorable factor in their educational experience. The answer was almost uniformly, “Intimate association with a great, inspiring teacher.”
— R. Buckminster Fuller
In "How Little I Know", in Saturday Review (12 Nov 1966), 152. Excerpted in Buckminster Fuller and Answar Dil, Humans in Universe (1983), 70.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Association (15)  |  Breakthrough (13)  |  Dominant (11)  |  Educational (6)  |  Experience (268)  |  Factor (34)  |  Favorable (7)  |  Great (300)  |  Inspire (35)  |  Intimate (11)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Uniform (14)

We speak erroneously of “artificial” materials, “synthetics”, and so forth. The basis for this erroneous terminology is the notion that Nature has made certain things which we call natural, and everything else is “man-made”, ergo artificial. But what one learns in chemistry is that Nature wrote all the rules of structuring; man does not invent chemical structuring rules; he only discovers the rules. All the chemist can do is find out what Nature permits, and any substances that are thus developed or discovered are inherently natural. It is very important to remember that.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
From 'The Comprehensive Man', Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure (1963), 75-76.
Science quotes on:  |  Artificial (26)  |  Basis (60)  |  Chemical (72)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Development (228)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Error (230)  |  Find (248)  |  Importance (183)  |  Inherent (27)  |  Invention (283)  |  Learning (174)  |  Man-Made (4)  |  Material (124)  |  Natural (128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Notion (32)  |  Permit (20)  |  Remember (53)  |  Rule (135)  |  Structure (191)  |  Substance (73)  |  Synthetic (12)  |  Terminology (7)  |  Writing (72)

What the scientists have always found by physical experiment was an a priori orderliness of nature, or Universe always operating at an elegance level that made the discovering scientist’s working hypotheses seem crude by comparison. The discovered reality made the scientists’ exploratory work seem relatively disorderly.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
As quoted by L.L. Larison Cudmore in The Center of Life: A Natural History of the Cell (1977), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (16)  |  Crude (14)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Disorder (19)  |  Elegance (20)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Find (248)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Operating (4)  |  Orderliness (5)  |  Physical (94)  |  Reality (140)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Universe (563)

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty … but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
Quoted in David J. Darling, The Universal Book of Mathematics (2004). 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Problem (362)  |  Solution (168)

World Game finds that 60 percent of all the jobs in the U.S.A. are not producing any real wealth—i.e., real life support. They are in fear-underwriting industries or are checking-on-other-checkers, etc.
— R. Buckminster Fuller
In Critical Path (1982), 223. - Google Books Result https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0312174918 - 1982 - ‎History
Science quotes on:  |  Check (16)  |  Checker (2)  |  Fear (113)  |  Industry (91)  |  Job (33)  |  Produce (63)  |  Real (95)  |  U.S.A. (6)  |  Wealth (50)



Quotes by others about R. Buckminster Fuller (2)

The amoeba had the architectural ideas of R. Buckminster Fuller before there was anyone around capable of having an idea.
In The Center of Life: A Natural History of the Cell (1977), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Architecture (35)  |  Capability (35)  |  Idea (440)

In design, people like Buckminster Fuller amazed me at the levels at which he could think. He could think molecularly. And he could think at the almost galactic scale. And the idea that somebody could actually talk about molecules and talk about buildings and structures and talk about space just amazed me. As I get older–I’ll be 60 next year–what I’ve discovered is that I find myself in those three realms too.
In interview with Kerry A. Dolan, 'William McDonough On Cradle-to-Cradle Design', Forbes (4 Aug 2010)
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (34)  |  Age (137)  |  Amazement (9)  |  Building (51)  |  Design (92)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Find (248)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Idea (440)  |  Level (51)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Myself (22)  |  Realm (40)  |  Scale (49)  |  Space (154)  |  Structure (191)  |  Talk (61)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Three (10)


See also:
  • 12 Jul - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Fuller'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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