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Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Sir Peter B. Medawar Quotes > Imagination

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Sir Peter B. Medawar
(28 Feb 1915 - 2 Oct 1987)

English immunologist and author who was awarded a Nobel Prize for making skin grafts possible without tissue rejection.


Sir Peter B. Medawar Quotes on Imagination (4 quotes)

>> Click for 53 Science Quotes by Sir Peter B. Medawar

>> Click for Sir Peter B. Medawar Quotes on | Discovery | Evidence | Hypothesis | Mind | Process | Scientist | Theory | Truth |

Every discovery, every enlargement of the understanding, begins as an imaginative preconception of what the truth might be. The imaginative preconception—a “hypothesis”—arises by a process as easy or as difficult to understand as any other creative act of mind; it is a brainwave, an inspired guess, a product of a blaze of insight. It comes anyway from within and cannot be achieved by the exercise of any known calculus of discovery.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
In Advice to a Young Scientist (1979), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Arise (158)  |  Begin (260)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Blaze (14)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Creative (138)  |  Difficult (247)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Easy (204)  |  Enlargement (7)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Guess (61)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Insight (102)  |  Inspire (52)  |  Known (454)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Other (2236)  |  Preconception (13)  |  Process (423)  |  Product (160)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Understand (607)  |  Understanding (514)

For a scientist must indeed be freely imaginative and yet skeptical, creative and yet a critic. There is a sense in which he must be free, but another in which his thought must be very preceisely regimented; there is poetry in science, but also a lot of bookkeeping.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science (1996), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Creative (138)  |  Critic (20)  |  Free (233)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Indeed (323)  |  Lot (151)  |  Must (1526)  |  Poetry (144)  |  Science (3880)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Sense (770)  |  Skeptic (8)  |  Skeptical (20)  |  Thought (954)

Haldane could have made a success of any one of half a dozen careers—as mathematician, classical scholar, philosopher, scientist, journalist or imaginative writer. On his life’s showing he could not have been a politician, administrator (heavens, no!), jurist or, I think, a critic of any kind. In the outcome he became one of the three or four most influential biologists of his generation.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
Essay, 'J.B.S.', in Pluto’s Republic: Incorporating The Art of the Soluble and Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1982), collected in The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science (1996), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Administrator (11)  |  Biography (242)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Career (76)  |  Classical (46)  |  Critic (20)  |  Generation (242)  |  J.B.S. Haldane (50)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Influential (4)  |  Journalist (8)  |  Jurist (4)  |  Kind (557)  |  Life (1799)  |  Mathematician (389)  |  Most (1729)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Politician (38)  |  Scholar (50)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Success (303)  |  Think (1086)  |  Writer (86)

Scientists should not be ashamed to admit, as many of them apparently are ashamed to admit, that hypotheses appear in their minds along uncharted by-ways of thought; that they are imaginative and inspirational in character; that they are indeed adventures of the mind.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
In 'Is the Scientific Paper Fraudulent?', The Saturday Review (1 Aug 1964), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Admit (45)  |  Adventure (56)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Appear (118)  |  Character (243)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Indeed (323)  |  Inspiration (76)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Shame (14)  |  Thought (954)  |  Uncharted (10)  |  Way (1216)


See also:

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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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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