Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I was going to record talking... the foil was put on; I then shouted 'Mary had a little lamb',... and the machine reproduced it perfectly.”
more quiz questions >>
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 (30)  |  Dry (21)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fallen (2)  |  Fashion (30)  |  Fruit (71)  |  Glorious (23)  |  Ground (90)  |  Handful (8)  |  Ignorant (40)  |  Leaf (49)  |  Pick (16)  |  Present (176)  |  Science (2067)  |  Teach (188)  |  Teacher (120)  |  Tree (171)  |  Unconnected (4)

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 (30)  |  Education (347)  |  Michael Faraday (85)  |  Future (287)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Narrow (48)  |  Sadness (34)  |  School (119)  |  Schoolboy (9)  |  View (171)  |  World (898)  |  Youth (77)

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 (30)  |  Connection (111)  |  Conversant (6)  |  Country (147)  |  Darkness (43)  |  Education (347)  |  England (40)  |  Industry (109)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Manufacturer (10)  |  Nation (134)  |  Population (79)  |  Science (2067)  |  Science Education (12)  |  Setting (6)  |  Sun (276)  |  Sunset (22)  |  World (898)

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 (12)  |  Arrest (7)  |  British Association (2)  |  Mediocrity (8)  |  Pay (43)  |  Progress (368)  |  Science (2067)  |  Subject (240)  |  Teaching (108)  |  Work (635)

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
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)

Quotations about: Atomic  Bomb Biology Chemistry Deforestation Engineering Anatomy Astronomy Bacteria Biochemistry Botany Conservation Dinosaur Environment Fractal Genetics Geology History of Science Invention Jupiter Knowledge Love Mathematics Measurement Medicine Natural Resource Organic Chemistry Physics Physician Quantum Theory Research Science and Art Teacher Technology Universe Volcano Virus Wind Power Women Scientists X-Rays Youth Zoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.