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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index K > Hermann Kolbe Quotes

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Hermann Kolbe
(27 Sep 1818 - 25 Nov 1884)

German chemist.


Science Quotes by Hermann Kolbe (3 quotes)

A Dr van’t Hoff of the veterinary college at Utrecht, appears to have no taste for exact chemical investigation. He finds it a less arduous task to mount Pegasus (evidently borrowed from the veterinary school) and to proclaim in his La Chemie dans l’espace how, during his bold fight to the top of the chemical Parnassus, the atoms appeared to him to have grouped themselves together throughout universal space. … I should have taken no notice of this matter had not Wislicenus oddly enough written a preface to the pamphlet, and not by way of a joke but in all seriousness recommended it a worthwhile performance.
— Hermann Kolbe
'Signs of the Times', Journal fur Praktische Chemie, 15, 473. Trans. W. H. Brock.
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Liebig was not a teacher in the ordinary sense of the word. Scientifically productive himself in an unusual degree, and rich in chemical ideas, he imparted the latter to his advanced pupils, to be put by them to experimental proof; he thus brought his pupils gradually to think for themselves, besides showing and explaining to them the methods by which chemical problems might be solved experimentally.
— Hermann Kolbe
As quoted in G. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1980), 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemical (292)  |  Degree (276)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimental (192)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Himself (461)  |  Idea (843)  |  Impart (23)  |  Justus von Liebig (38)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Problem (676)  |  Productive (32)  |  Proof (287)  |  Pupil (61)  |  Sense (770)  |  Student (300)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Word (619)

The weeds of a seemingly learned and brilliant but actually trivial and empty philosophy of Nature which, after having been replaced some 50 years ago by the exact sciences, is now once more dug up by pseudo scientists from the lumber room of human fallacies, and like a trollop, newly attired in elegant dress and make-up, is smuggled into respectable company, to which she does not belong.
— Hermann Kolbe
'Sign of the Times', Journal fόr Praktische Chemie (1877), 15, 473, trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Belong (162)  |  Brilliant (53)  |  Company (59)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Empty (80)  |  Fallacy (30)  |  Human (1468)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Seemingly (28)  |  Trivial (57)  |  Weed (18)  |  Year (933)



Quotes by others about Hermann Kolbe (1)

Not one of them [formulae] can be shown to have any existence, so that the formula of one of the simplest of organic bodies is confused by the introduction of unexplained symbols for imaginary differences in the mode of combination of its elements… It would be just as reasonable to describe an oak tree as composed of blocks and chips and shavings to which it may be reduced by the hatchet, as by Dr Kolbe’s formula to describe acetic acid as containing the products which may be obtained from it by destructive influences. A Kolbe botanist would say that half the chips are united with some of the blocks by the force parenthesis; the other half joined to this group in a different way, described by a buckle; shavings stuck on to these in a third manner, comma; and finally, a compound of shavings and blocks united together by a fourth force, juxtaposition, is joined to the main body by a fifth force, full stop.
'On Dr. Kolbe's Additive Formulae', Quarterly Journal of the Chemical Society (1855), 7, 133-4.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Acetic Acid (2)  |  Acid (83)  |  Body (537)  |  Botanist (23)  |  Combination (144)  |  Compound (113)  |  Describe (128)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Element (310)  |  Existence (456)  |  Force (487)  |  Formula (98)  |  Influence (222)  |  Introduction (35)  |  Oak (14)  |  Oak Tree (3)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Organic (158)  |  Other (2236)  |  Product (160)  |  Say (984)  |  Symbol (93)  |  Together (387)  |  Tree (246)  |  Unexplained (8)  |  Way (1217)


See also:
  • 27 Sep - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Kolbe's birth.
  • The Quiet Revolution: Hermann Kolbe and the Science of Organic Chemistry, by Alan J. Rocke. . - 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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