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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > Robert Ernest House Quotes

Thumbnail of Robert Ernest House (source)
Robert Ernest House
(3 Aug 1875 - 15 Jul 1930)

American physician who championed the use of scopolamine hydrobromide in criminology, which became known as a “truth serum.”


Science Quotes by Robert Ernest House (4 quotes)

Dr Robert House, administering his “truth serum” drug to an arrested man in a Texas jail.
Dr Robert House, administering his “truth serum” drug to an arrested man in a Texas jail. (source)
[On the use of scopolamine in criminology], If it is permissible for a state to take life, liberty and property because of crime, it can be made legal to obtain information from a suspected criminal by the use of a drug. If the use of bloodhounds is legal, the use of scopolamine can be made legal.
— Robert Ernest House
From paper read at the Section on State Medicine and Public Hygiene of the State Medical Association of Texas at El Paso (11 May 1922), 'The Use Of Scopolamine In Criminology', published in Texas State Journal of Medicine (Sep 1922). Reprinted in The American Journal of Police Science (Jul-Aug 1931), 2, No. 4, 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Crime (26)  |  Criminal (15)  |  Drug (43)  |  Information (121)  |  Legal (8)  |  Liberty (25)  |  Life (1124)  |  Permissible (4)  |  Property (123)  |  Scopolamine (3)  |  State (136)  |  Suspect (16)  |  Use (76)

By what process of reasoning should the State of Texas be more concerned in the conviction of the guilty than in the acquittal of the innocent? [Urging the use of scopolamine “truth serum” to determine innocence.]
— Robert Ernest House
From paper read at the Section on State Medicine and Public Hygiene of the State Medical Association of Texas at El Paso (11 May 1922), 'The Use Of Scopolamine In Criminology', published in Texas State Journal of Medicine (Sep 1922). Reprinted in The American Journal of Police Science (Jul-Aug 1931), 2, No. 4, 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Concern (108)  |  Conviction (71)  |  Guilty (9)  |  Innocence (10)  |  Innocent (12)  |  Reasoning (95)  |  Scopolamine (3)  |  Texas (4)  |  Truth Serum (2)

The suppression of crime is not entirely a legal question. It is a problem for the physician, the economist and the lawyer. We, as physicians, should encourage the criminologist by lending to him the surgeon, the internist and all of the rest of the resources of medicine, just as we have done in the case of the flea man, the fly man, the mosquito man, the bed-bug man and all the other ologists.
— Robert Ernest House
From paper read at the Section on State Medicine and Public Hygiene of the State Medical Association of Texas at El Paso (11 May 1922), 'The Use Of Scopolamine In Criminology', published in Texas State Journal of Medicine (Sep 1922). Reprinted in The American Journal of Police Science (Jul-Aug 1931), 2, No. 4, 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Bedbug (2)  |  Case (98)  |  Crime (26)  |  Economist (17)  |  Entirely (33)  |  Flea (9)  |  Fly (99)  |  Internist (2)  |  Lawyer (21)  |  Legal (8)  |  Medicine (343)  |  Mosquito (13)  |  Physician (241)  |  Problem (490)  |  Question (404)  |  Resource (61)  |  Suppression (6)  |  Surgeon (44)

[Society's rights to employ the scopolamine (“truth serum”) drug supersede those of a criminal.] It therefore stands to reason, that where there is a safe and humane method existing to evoke the truth from the consciousness of a suspect society is entitled to have that truth.
— Robert Ernest House
Quoted from presentation at the first annual meeting of the Eastern Society of Anesthetists at the Hotel McAlpin, as reported in '“Truth Serum” Test Proves Its Power', New York Times (22 Oct 1924), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Consciousness (82)  |  Criminal (15)  |  Evoke (7)  |  Humane (6)  |  Method (230)  |  Right (196)  |  Safe (27)  |  Scopolamine (3)  |  Society (227)  |  Supersede (7)  |  Suspect (16)  |  Truth (914)  |  Truth Serum (2)


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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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