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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index N > James Roy Newman Quotes

James Roy Newman
(3 Aug 1907 - 5 1966)

American who produced a four-volume history in The World of Mathematics (1956). He first trained as a lawyer, taught at Yale law school, advised the White House on scientific legislation and helped write a bill placing post-war U.S. atomic development under civilian control.

Science Quotes by James Roy Newman (10 quotes)

Games are among the most interesting creations of the human mind, and the analysis of their structure is full of adventure and surprises. Unfortunately there is never a lack of mathematicians for the job of transforming delectable ingredients into a dish that tastes like a damp blanket.
— James Roy Newman
In J.R. Newman (ed.), 'Commentary on Games and Puzzles', The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 4, 2414.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (56)  |  Analysis (234)  |  Blanket (10)  |  Creation (329)  |  Delectable (2)  |  Dish (3)  |  Game (101)  |  Human (1470)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Ingredient (15)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Job (82)  |  Lack (119)  |  Mathematician (389)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Most (1729)  |  Never (1087)  |  Structure (346)  |  Surprise (86)  |  Taste (90)  |  Transform (73)  |  Unfortunately (38)

It is hard to know what you are talking about in mathematics, yet no one questions the validity of what you say. There is no other realm of discourse half so queer.
— James Roy Newman
In J.R. Newman (ed.), 'Commentary on The Foundations of Mathematics', The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 3, 1614.
Science quotes on:  |  Discourse (18)  |  Half (56)  |  Hard (243)  |  Know (1519)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Other (2236)  |  Queer (9)  |  Question (622)  |  Realm (85)  |  Say (984)  |  Talk (100)  |  Talking (76)  |  Validity (47)

It is strange that we know so little about the properties of numbers. They are our handiwork, yet they baffle us; we can fathom only a few of their intricacies. Having defined their attributes and prescribed their behavior, we are hard pressed to perceive the implications of our formulas.
— James Roy Newman
In James R. Newman (ed.), 'Commentary on The Mysteries of Arithmetic', The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 1, 497.
Science quotes on:  |  Attribute (61)  |  Baffle (4)  |  Behavior (86)  |  Fathom (15)  |  Formula (98)  |  Handiwork (6)  |  Hard (243)  |  Implication (23)  |  Intricacy (8)  |  Know (1519)  |  Little (708)  |  Number (701)  |  Property (169)  |  Strange (157)

Mathematical economics is old enough to be respectable, but not all economists respect it. It has powerful supporters and impressive testimonials, yet many capable economists deny that mathematics, except as a shorthand or expository device, can be applied to economic reasoning. There have even been rumors that mathematics is used in economics (and in other social sciences) either for the deliberate purpose of mystification or to confer dignity upon commonplaces as French was once used in diplomatic communications. …. To be sure, mathematics can be extended to any branch of knowledge, including economics, provided the concepts are so clearly defined as to permit accurate symbolic representation. That is only another way of saying that in some branches of discourse it is desirable to know what you are talking about.
— James Roy Newman
In J.R. Newman (ed.), Commentary on Cournot, Jevons and the Mathematics of Money', The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 2, 1200.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (87)  |  All (4107)  |  Applied (176)  |  Apply (160)  |  Branch (150)  |  Capable (168)  |  Commonplace (23)  |  Communication (95)  |  Concept (221)  |  Confer (11)  |  Defined (4)  |  Deliberate (18)  |  Deny (67)  |  Desirable (33)  |  Device (70)  |  Dignity (42)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Economic (81)  |  Economics (39)  |  Economist (17)  |  Enough (341)  |  Expository (2)  |  Extend (128)  |  French (20)  |  Impressive (26)  |  Know (1519)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Old (480)  |  Other (2236)  |  Permit (58)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reason (744)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Representation (54)  |  Respect (207)  |  Respectable (6)  |  Rumor (2)  |  French Saying (67)  |  Science (3880)  |  Shorthand (5)  |  Social (252)  |  Social Science (35)  |  Supporter (4)  |  Symbolic (15)  |  Talking (76)  |  Testimonial (3)  |  Way (1216)

Numbers … were his friends. In the simplest array of digits [Ramanujan] detected wonderful properties: congruences, symmetries and relationships which had escaped the notice of even the outstandingly gifted theoreticians.
— James Roy Newman
In James R. Newman (ed.), 'Commentary on Srinivasa Ramanujan', The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 1, 367.
Science quotes on:  |  Array (5)  |  Congruence (3)  |  Detect (44)  |  Detection (17)  |  Digit (4)  |  Escape (80)  |  Friend (168)  |  Gift (104)  |  Gifted (24)  |  Notice (77)  |  Number (701)  |  Outstanding (16)  |  Property (169)  |  Srinivasa Ramanujan (17)  |  Relationship (104)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Symmetry (43)  |  Theorist (44)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Wonderful (149)

The discovery in 1846 of the planet Neptune was a dramatic and spectacular achievement of mathematical astronomy. The very existence of this new member of the solar system, and its exact location, were demonstrated with pencil and paper; there was left to observers only the routine task of pointing their telescopes at the spot the mathematicians had marked.
— James Roy Newman
In J.R. Newman (ed.), 'Commentary on John Couch Adams', The World of Mathematics (1956), 820.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (180)  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Demonstrate (77)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Dramatic (17)  |  Exact (68)  |  Existence (460)  |  Location (15)  |  Mark (43)  |  Marked (55)  |  Mathematician (389)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Neptune (13)  |  New (1217)  |  Observer (43)  |  Paper (183)  |  Pencil (20)  |  Planet (357)  |  Point (580)  |  Routine (25)  |  Solar System (78)  |  Spectacular (18)  |  Spot (17)  |  System (537)  |  Task (147)  |  Telescope (99)

The most painful thing about mathematics is how far away you are from being able to use it after you have learned it.
— James Roy Newman
In J.R. Newman (ed.), 'Commentary on The Tears of Mathematics', The World of Mathematics (1956), 1978.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Far (154)  |  Learn (632)  |  Learned (235)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Most (1729)  |  Painful (11)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Use (766)

The self-regulating mechanism of the market place cannot always be depended upon to produce adequate results in scientific research.
— James Roy Newman
With co-author Byron S. Miller in The Control of Atomic Energy: A Study of Its Social, Economic, and Political Implications (1948), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (46)  |  Depend (228)  |  Dependance (4)  |  Market (20)  |  Marketplace (3)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Research (677)  |  Result (678)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Regulating (3)

The Theory of Groups is a branch of mathematics in which one does something to something and then compares the result with the result obtained from doing the same thing to something else, or something else to the same thing.
— James Roy Newman
In J.R. Newman (ed.) The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol. 3, 1534.
Science quotes on:  |  Branch (150)  |  Compare (70)  |  Doing (280)  |  Group (78)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Result (678)  |  Something (719)  |  Theory (972)  |  Thing (1915)

When the most abstract and “useless” disciplines have been cultivated for a time, they are often seized upon as practical tools by other departments of science. I conceive that this is no accident, as if one bought a top hat for a wedding, and discovered later when a fire broke out, that it could be used as a water bucket.
— James Roy Newman
In James R. Newman (ed.), 'Commentary on The Use of a Top Hat as a Water Bucket', The World of Mathematics (1956), Vol.4, 2051.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (126)  |  Accident (88)  |  Bucket (4)  |  Buy (20)  |  Conceive (99)  |  Conceiving (3)  |  Cultivated (7)  |  Department (92)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Fire (189)  |  Most (1729)  |  Other (2236)  |  Practical (200)  |  Science (3880)  |  Seized (2)  |  Time (1877)  |  Tool (117)  |  Top (96)  |  Useless (33)  |  Water (482)  |  Wedding (7)


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
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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Bible
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
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Rachel Carson
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Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
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Alfred Wegener
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- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
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JJ Thomson
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Archimedes
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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- 10 -
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