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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index L > Joseph Leidy Quotes

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Joseph Leidy
(9 Sep 1823 - 30 Apr 1891)

American zoologist who made significant contributions in a remarkably wide range of earth and natural science disciplines, including comparative anatomy, parasitology, and paleontology. His microscopic examination of parasite cysts in cooked ham and microorganisms in housefly mouthparts enabled him to improve public heath.


Science Quotes by Joseph Leidy (5 quotes)


[Answering question whether he was tired of life:] Tired! Not so long as there is an undescribed intestinal worm, or the riddle of a fossil bone, or a rhizopod new to me.
— Joseph Leidy
Related about Joseph Leidy by Dr. Weir Mitchell, as stated in Richard A. Gregory, Discovery: Or, The Spirit and Service of Science (1916), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (100)  |  Describe (129)  |  Fossil (140)  |  Intestine (15)  |  Life (1833)  |  Long (774)  |  New (1251)  |  Question (643)  |  Riddle (28)  |  Tired (13)  |  Worm (46)

All those things [scientific research] which you would think would recommend me to the trustees my opponent is using against me. I am shamefully abused as being an atheist, an infidel. It has been positively asserted that I seek to make proselytes to infidelity, and that in my writings I have tried to prove that geology overthrows the Mosaic account of the creation. You may judge of my feelings.”
— Joseph Leidy
In letter (1853) to Spencer F. Baird, describing competing for the opening for chair of anatomy. As quoted, without detailed source citation, in Henry Fairfield Osborn, 'Biographical Memoir of Joseph Leidy', collected in National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs: Volume 7 (1913), 346.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (194)  |  Atheist (16)  |  Creation (345)  |  Geology (231)  |  Infidel (4)  |  Mosaic (3)  |  Opponent (23)  |  Overthrow (5)  |  Prove (257)  |  Recommend (26)  |  Trustee (3)

I am desirous of making a special library of vertebrate palaeontology so far as my means will permit.
— Joseph Leidy
In letter (1853) to Spencer F. Baird. As quoted, without source citation, in Henry Fairfield Osborn, 'Biographical Memoir of Joseph Leidy', collected in National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs: Volume 7 (1913), 346. Sadly, Leidy could not join a fossil hunting expedition, because he had to cover the lectures of Dr. Horner, professor of anatomy, who was seriously ill.
Science quotes on:  |  Desire (211)  |  Library (52)  |  Paleontology (32)  |  Special (188)  |  Vertebrate (22)

Looking upon you [Richard Owen] as the Cuvier of England.
— Joseph Leidy
Greeting in letter (1848) to Richard Owen. As quoted, without citation, in Henry Fairfield Osborn, 'Biographical Memoir of Joseph Leidy', collected in National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs: Volume 7 (1913), 345.
Science quotes on:  |  Baron Georges Cuvier (34)  |  England (43)  |  Greeting (10)  |  Sir Richard Owen (17)

“Going fishing!” How often the question has been asked by acquaintances, as they have met me, with rod and basket, on an excursion after materials for microscopic study. “Yes!” has been the invariable answer, for it saved much detention and explanation; and now, behold! I offer them the results of that fishing. No fish for the stomach, but, as the old French microscopist Joblet observed, “some of the most remarkable fishes that have ever been seen”; and food-fishes for the intellect.
— Joseph Leidy
From 'Concluding Remarks', Fresh-Water Rhizopods of North America (1879), 295. Leidy explains how actively he pursued his interest in finding new microscopic life forms to examine by frequent exploration of suitable habitats in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, where he lived and taught.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (38)  |  Answer (385)  |  Basket (8)  |  Excursion (12)  |  Explanation (243)  |  Fish (128)  |  Food (208)  |  French (21)  |  Intellect (244)  |  Invariable (5)  |  Material (360)  |  Microscope (84)  |  Microscopist (2)  |  Observe (176)  |  Question (643)  |  Remarkable (50)  |  Result (692)  |  Rod (6)  |  See (1083)  |  Stomach (40)  |  Study (682)



Quotes by others about Joseph Leidy (1)

I have not been aware of any one else [than Joseph Leidy] in America interested in microscopic anatomy, and write to interest you in my investigation of the organ of hearing.
Describing Joseph Leidy in a letter to him (1852). As quoted, without further source detail, in Henry Fairfield Osborn, 'Biographical Memoir of Joseph Leidy', collected in National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs: Volume 7 (1913), 345.
Science quotes on:  |  America (138)  |  Anatomy (73)  |  Aware (34)  |  Hearing (50)  |  Interest (405)  |  Investigation (244)  |  Microscopic (27)  |  Organ (118)


See also:
  • 9 Sep - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Leidy's birth.
  • Joseph Leidy: The Last Man Who Knew Everything, by Leonard Warren. - 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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