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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Lyon Playfair Quotes

Lyon Playfair
(21 May 1818 - 29 May 1898)

Scottish chemist who studied medicine then turned to chemistry under Justus von Liebig. He became a professor of chemistry, but expanded his career to being a government scientist, promoting science education and urging industry to take up scientific advances.


Science Quotes by Lyon Playfair (3 quotes)

An ignorant or half-informed teacher may present science as an accumulation of unconnected facts. … To teach in that fashion is like going to the tree of science with its glorious fruit in order to pick up a handful of the dry fallen leaves from the ground.
— Lyon Playfair
In Inaugural Presidential Address (9 Sep 1885) to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Aberdeen, Scotland, 'Relations of Science to the Public Weal', Report to the Fifty-Fifth Meeting of the British Association (1886), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (29)  |  Dry (12)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fallen (2)  |  Fashion (24)  |  Fruit (63)  |  Glorious (17)  |  Ground (63)  |  Handful (6)  |  Ignorant (27)  |  Leaf (43)  |  Pick (14)  |  Present (103)  |  Science (1699)  |  Teach (102)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Tree (143)  |  Unconnected (3)

Faraday, who had no narrow views in regard to education, deplored the future of our youth in the competition of the world, because, as he said with sadness, “ our school-boys, when they come out of school, are ignorant of their ignorance at the end of all that education.”
— Lyon Playfair
In Inaugural Presidential Address (9 Sep 1885) to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Aberdeen, Scotland, 'Relations of Science to the Public Weal', Report to the Fifty-Fifth Meeting of the British Association (1886), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Competition (26)  |  Education (280)  |  Michael Faraday (74)  |  Future (229)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Narrow (33)  |  Sadness (26)  |  School (87)  |  Schoolboy (5)  |  View (115)  |  World (667)  |  Youth (57)

I have now said enough to show you that it is indispensable for this country to have a scientific education in connexion with manufacturers, if we wish to outstrip the intellectual competition which now, happily for the world, prevails in all departments of industry. As surely as darkness follows the setting of the sun, so surely will England recede as a manufacturing nation, unless her industrial population become much more conversant with science than they are now.
— Lyon Playfair
'The Study of Abstract Science Essential to the Progress of Industry', Records of the School of Mines (1852) 1, 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Competition (26)  |  Connection (86)  |  Conversant (4)  |  Country (121)  |  Darkness (25)  |  Education (280)  |  England (31)  |  Industry (91)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Manufacturer (10)  |  Nation (111)  |  Population (71)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science Education (11)  |  Setting (6)  |  Sun (211)  |  Sunset (15)  |  World (667)



Quotes by others about Lyon Playfair (1)

At present good work in science pays less well very often than mediocrity in other subjects. This, as was pointed out by Sir Lyon Playfair in his Presidential Address to the British Association in 1885 helps to arrest progress in science teaching.
In Sir Norman Lockyer (ed.), 'Physical Science and the Woolwich Examinations', Nature (23 Feb 1888), 37, 386. Webmaster has assumed this unsigned lead article (editorial?) should be attributed to the Editor.
Science quotes on:  |  Address (7)  |  Arrest (5)  |  British Association (2)  |  Mediocrity (8)  |  Pay (30)  |  Progress (317)  |  Science (1699)  |  Subject (129)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Work (457)


See also:
  • 21 May - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Playfair's birth.

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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