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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > Lawrence Joseph Henderson Quotes

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Lawrence Joseph Henderson
(30 Jun 1878 - 10 Feb 1942)

American physiologist and biochemist.

Science Quotes by Lawrence Joseph Henderson (7 quotes)

A … difference between most system-building in the social sciences and systems of thought and classification of the natural sciences is to be seen in their evolution. In the natural sciences both theories and descriptive systems grow by adaptation to the increasing knowledge and experience of the scientists. In the social sciences, systems often issue fully formed from the mind of one man. Then they may be much discussed if they attract attention, but progressive adaptive modification as a result of the concerted efforts of great numbers of men is rare.
— Lawrence Joseph Henderson
The Study of Man (1941), 19-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  System (181)  |  Theory (661)

But weightier still are the contentment which comes from work well done, the sense of the value of science for its own sake, insatiable curiosity, and, above all, the pleasure of masterly performance and of the chase. These are the effective forces which move the scientist. The first condition for the progress of science is to bring them into play.
— Lawrence Joseph Henderson
from his preface to Claude Bernard's 'Experimental Medicine'
Science quotes on:  |  Bring (78)  |  Chase (13)  |  Condition (144)  |  Contentment (11)  |  Curiosity (103)  |  Effective (28)  |  First (285)  |  Force (235)  |  Insatiable (6)  |  Masterly (2)  |  Move (88)  |  Performance (31)  |  Play (98)  |  Pleasure (122)  |  Progress Of Science (27)  |  Sake (21)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Sense (300)  |  Value (223)  |  Work (589)

Darwinian fitness is compounded of a mutual relationship between the organism and the environment. Of this, fitness of environment is quite as essential a component as the fitness which arises in the process of organic evolution; and in fundamental characteristics the actual environment is the fittest possible abode of life.
— Lawrence Joseph Henderson
His thesis for the book stated at the beginning of The Fitness of the Environment (1913), Preface, v.
Science quotes on:  |  Abode (2)  |  Actual (42)  |  Arise (41)  |  Characteristic (90)  |  Component (16)  |  Darwinian (9)  |  Environment (159)  |  Essential (110)  |  Evolution (523)  |  Fitness (9)  |  Fundamental (146)  |  Life (1071)  |  Mutual (26)  |  Organic (52)  |  Organism (146)  |  Possible (138)  |  Process (244)  |  Relationship (67)

Historically the most striking result of Kant's labors was the rapid separation of the thinkers of his own nation and, though less completely, of the world, into two parties;—the philosophers and the scientists.
— Lawrence Joseph Henderson
The Order of Nature: An Essay (1917), 69.
Science quotes on:  |  Immanuel Kant (49)  |  Philosopher (157)  |  Scientist (499)

I have always had the feeling that organic chemistry is a very peculiar science, that organic chemists are unlike other men, and there are few occupations that give more satisfactions [sic] than masterly experimentation along the old lines of this highly specialised science.
— Lawrence Joseph Henderson
Henderson's memories, unpublished typescript, 85-6, Harvard University Archives 4450.7.2. Quoted in J. S. Fruton, Contrasts in Scientific Style (1990), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Occupation (37)  |  Organic Chemistry (33)

Science owes more to the steam engine than the steam engine owes to science.
— Lawrence Joseph Henderson
Attributed (1917 ?). The quote means that whereas the steam engine was developed with little use of scientific theory, the machine spurred great advances in science including the ideas of entropy and thermodynamics that were not previously suggested by nature. The quote appears in various books without source citation, for example, in Charles Coulston Gillispie, The Edge of Objectivity: An Essay in the History of Scientific Ideas (1960), 357. If you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (1939)  |  Steam Engine (42)

The concept of an independent system is a pure creation of the imagination. For no material system is or can ever be perfectly isolated from the rest of the world. Nevertheless it completes the mathematician’s “blank form of a universe” without which his investigations are impossible. It enables him to introduce into his geometrical space, not only masses and configurations, but also physical structure and chemical composition. Just as Newton first conclusively showed that this is a world of masses, so Willard Gibbs first revealed it as a world of systems.
— Lawrence Joseph Henderson
The Order of Nature: An Essay (1917), 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Gibbs_Willard (3)  |  System (181)

Quotes by others about Lawrence Joseph Henderson (1)

Somewhere between 1900 and 1912 in this country, according to one sober medical scientist [Henderson] a random patient, with a random disease, consulting a doctor chosen at random had, for the first time in the history of mankind, a better than fifty-fifty chance of profiting from the encounter.
Quoted in New England Journal of Medicine (1964), 270, 449.
Science quotes on:  |  Disease (269)  |  Patient (123)  |  Physician (238)

See also:
  • 30 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Henderson's birth.
  • Lawrence Joseph Henderson - context of quote “Science owes more to the steam engine” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
  • Lawrence Joseph Henderson - context of quote “Science owes more to the steam engine” - Large image (800 x 400 px)

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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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- 90 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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- 10 -
John Watson
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