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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Sir Peter B. Medawar Quotes > Mind

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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 Mind (8 quotes)

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

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There is no such thing as a Scientific Mind. Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers, and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. There are poet-scientists and philosopher-scientists and even a few mystics.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967). Reprinted in Pluto’s Republic (1982), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Artisan (9)  |  Artist (90)  |  Collector (9)  |  Compulsive (3)  |  Detective (10)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Dissimilar (6)  |  Doing (280)  |  Explorer (28)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Mystic (20)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Poet (86)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Scientific Mind (13)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Temperament (17)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Way (1216)

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.
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Humility is not a state of mind conducive to the advancement of learning.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (62)  |  Conducive (3)  |  Humility (28)  |  Learn (632)  |  Learning (274)  |  Mind (1339)  |  State (491)  |  State Of Mind (4)

If politics is the art of the possible, research is surely the art of the soluble. Both are immensely practical-minded affairs.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
In 'The Act of Creation', a book review (of Arthur Koestler’s book, The Act of Creation) in New Statesman (19 Jun 1964). Collected in The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science (1996), 42. Also collected in Medawar’s The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967), 7.
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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)

The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
The Art of the Soluble (1967). Quoted in Colin J. Sanderson, Understanding Genes and GMOs (2007), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (537)  |  Human (1470)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Idea (845)  |  Innovation (42)  |  Mind (1339)  |  New (1217)  |  Protein (54)  |  Reject (63)  |  Strange (157)  |  Way (1216)

The scientific method is a potentiation of common sense, exercised with a specially firm determination not to persist in error if any exertion of hand or mind can deliver us from it. Like other exploratory processes, it can be resolved into a dialogue between fact and fancy, the actual and the possible; between what could be true and what is in fact the case. The purpose of scientific enquiry is not to compile an inventory of factual information, nor to build up a totalitarian world picture of Natural Laws in which every event that is not compulsory is forbidden. We should think of it rather as a logically articulated structure of justifiable beliefs about nature. It begins as a story about a Possible World—a story which we invent and criticise and modify as we go along, so that it ends by being, as nearly as we can make it, a story about real life.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Begin (260)  |  Being (1278)  |  Belief (578)  |  Build (204)  |  Common (436)  |  Common Sense (130)  |  Compulsory (7)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Deliver (29)  |  Determination (78)  |  Dialogue (8)  |  End (590)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Error (321)  |  Event (216)  |  Exertion (15)  |  Exploration (135)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Firm (47)  |  Forbidden (18)  |  Information (166)  |  Inventory (7)  |  Justification (49)  |  Law (895)  |  Life (1799)  |  Logic (287)  |  Method (506)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Modify (15)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Law (41)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Other (2236)  |  Persist (11)  |  Picture (143)  |  Possible (554)  |  Process (423)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Real Life (7)  |  Resolve (41)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Scientific Method (176)  |  Sense (770)  |  Story (118)  |  Structure (346)  |  Think (1086)  |  Truth (1062)  |  World (1778)

To deride the hope of progress is the ultimate fatuity, the last word in poverty of spirit and meanness of mind.
— Sir Peter B. Medawar
From The Hope of Progress (1973), 137. Medawar defends science against the attacks of critics who claim that science cannot enrich our lives.
Science quotes on:  |  Deride (2)  |  Hope (299)  |  Last (426)  |  Last Word (10)  |  Meanness (5)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Poverty (38)  |  Progress (468)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Ultimate (146)  |  Word (622)


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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