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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Charles F. Kettering Quotes > Research

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Charles F. Kettering
(29 Aug 1876 - 25 Nov 1958)

American engineer whose 140 patents included the electric starter, car lighting and ignition systems.

Charles F. Kettering Quotes on Research (11 quotes)

>> Click for 67 Science Quotes by Charles F. Kettering

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A research problem is not solved by apparatus; it is solved in a man's head.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Problem (497)  |  Research (590)

Bankers regard research as most dangerous a thing that makes banking hazardous due to the rapid changes it brings about in industry.
— Charles F. Kettering
Address (1927), quoted in U.S. National Resources Committee Technology and Planning, Washington 1937, 5-6. Also U.S. Government Report, Technological Trends (1937), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Money (142)  |  Research (590)

Every honest researcher I know admits he’s just a professional amateur. He’s doing whatever he’s doing for the first time. That makes him an amateur. He has sense enough to know that he’s going to have a lot of trouble, so that makes him a professional.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Admit (45)  |  Amateur (19)  |  First Time (10)  |  Honest (34)  |  Know (556)  |  Lot (29)  |  Professional (37)  |  Researcher (17)  |  Sense (321)  |  Trouble (72)

I often say that research is a way of finding out what you are going to do when you can't keep on doing what you are doing now.
— Charles F. Kettering
'Industrial Prospecting', an address to the Founder Societies of Engineers (20 May 1935). In National Research Council, Reprint and Circular Series of the National Research Council (1933), No. 107, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Research (590)

If I want to stop a research program I can always do it by getting a few experts to sit in on the subject, because they know right away that it was a fool thing to try in the first place.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Expert (50)  |  Research (590)

Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Research (590)

Research is an organized method for keeping you reasonably dissatisfied with what you have.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Research (590)

Research is industrial prospecting. The oil prospectors use every scientific means to find new paying wells. Oil is found by each one of a number of methods. My own group of men are prospecting in a different field, using every possible scientific means. We believe there are still things left to be discovered. We have only stumbled upon a few barrels of physical laws from the great pool of knowledge. Some day we are going to hit a gusher.
— Charles F. Kettering
'Industrial Prospecting', an address to the Founder Societies of Engineers (20 May 1935). In National Research Council, Reprint and Circular Series of the National Research Council (1933), No. 107, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Barrel (5)  |  Belief (504)  |  Discovery (680)  |  Industry (109)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Law (515)  |  Oil (39)  |  Pool (14)  |  Research (590)  |  Stumble (15)

The simplest way to assure sales is to keep changing the product the market for new things is indefinitely elastic. One of the fundamental purposes of advertising, styling, and research is to foster a healthy dissatisfaction.
— Charles F. Kettering
Science quotes on:  |  Advertising (7)  |  Research (590)

When I was research head of General Motors and wanted a problem solved, I’d place a table outside the meeting room with a sign: “Leave slide rules here.” If I didn’t do that, I'd find someone reaching for his slide rule. Then he’d be on his feet saying, “Boss, you can’t do it.”
— Charles F. Kettering
In Jacob Morton Braude, Speaker's Desk Book of Quips, Quotes, & Anecdotes (1966), 323.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (150)

[At the funeral of Kettering’s researcher, Thomas Midgley, Jr., the minister intoned “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Afterwards Kettering commented:] It struck me then that in Midgley’s case it would have seemed so appropriate to have added, “But we can leave a lot behind for the good of the world.”
— Charles F. Kettering
As quoted in book review, T.A. Boyd, 'Charles F. Kettering: Prophet of Progress', Science (30 Jan 1959), 256.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (40)  |  Appropriate (28)  |  Behind (38)  |  Bring (90)  |  Carry (59)  |  Comment (11)  |  Funeral (4)  |  Good (345)  |  Leave (128)  |  Lot (29)  |  Minister (9)  |  Nothing (395)  |  World (898)

See also:
  • 29 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Kettering's birth.
  • More for Charles F. Kettering on Today in Science History page.
  • Charles Franklin Kettering: A Biography, by T. A. Boyd. - book suggestion.

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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