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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Henri Moissan Quotes

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Henri Moissan
(28 Sep 1852 - 20 Feb 1907)

French chemist who was awarded 1906 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the isolation of fluorine. He also invented an electric arc furnace which made possible experimenting with reactions at much higher temperatures than had been possible before.


Science Quotes by Henri Moissan (3 quotes)

The advancement of science is slow; it is effected only by virtue of hard work and perseverance. And when a result is attained, should we not in recognition connect it with the efforts of those who have preceded us, who have struggled and suffered in advance? Is it not truly a duty to recall the difficulties which they vanquished, the thoughts which guided them; and how men of different nations, ideas, positions, and characters, moved solely by the love of science, have bequeathed to us the unsolved problem? Should not the last comer recall the researches of his predecessors while adding in his turn his contribution of intelligence and of labor? Here is an intellectual collaboration consecrated entirely to the search for truth, and which continues from century to century.
[Respecting how the work of prior researchers had enabled his isolation of fluorine.]
— Henri Moissan
Proceedings of the Royal Institution (1897). In Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to July 1897 (1898), 262.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (36)  |  Attainment (35)  |  Century (94)  |  Character (82)  |  Collaboration (10)  |  Consecration (2)  |  Continuation (17)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Duty (51)  |  Effort (94)  |  Guide (46)  |  Idea (440)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Labour (36)  |  Love (164)  |  Nation (111)  |  Perseverance (15)  |  Position (54)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Recollection (8)  |  Research (517)  |  Result (250)  |  Search (85)  |  Struggle (60)  |  Thought (374)  |  Truth (750)  |  Virtue (55)  |  Work (457)

Will fluorine ever have practical applications?
It is very difficult to answer this question. I may, however, say in all sincerity that I gave this subject little thought when I undertook my researches, and I believe that all the chemists whose attempts preceded mine gave it no more consideration.
A scientific research is a search after truth, and it is only after discovery that the question of applicability can be usefully considered.
— Henri Moissan
Proceedings of the Royal Institution (1897). In Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to July 1897 (1898), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Fluorine (4)  |  Practical (93)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Question (315)  |  Research (517)  |  Search (85)  |  Sincerity (4)  |  Thought (374)  |  Truth (750)

Without preparing fluorine, without being able to separate it from the substances with which it is united, chemistry has been able to study and to analyze a great number of its compounds. The body was not isolated, and yet its place was marked in our classifications. This well demonstrates the usefulness of a scientific theory, a theory which is regarded as true during a certain time, which correlates facts and leads the mind to new hypotheses, the first causes of experimentation; which, little by little, destroy the theory itself, in order to replace it by another more in harmony with the progress of science.
[Describing the known history of fluorine compounds before his isolation of the element.]
— Henri Moissan
'Fluorine', lecture at the Royal Institution (28 May 1897), translated from the French, in Proceedings of the Royal Institution (1897). In Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to July 1897 (1898), 262.
Science quotes on:  |  Classification (79)  |  Compound (53)  |  Correlation (9)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fluorine (4)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Periodic Table (13)  |  Progress (317)  |  Progress Of Science (20)  |  Replacement (8)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Separation (32)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)  |  Usefulness (70)


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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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