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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Sir George Porter Quotes

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Sir George Porter
(6 Dec 1920 - 31 Aug 2002)

English chemist.


Science Quotes by Sir George Porter (5 quotes)

I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun's energy. … If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago.
— Sir George Porter
'Sayings of the Week.' The Observer, London (26 Aug 1973). Quoted in Barbara K. Rodes and Rice Odell, A Dictionary of Environmental Quotations (1992), 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (305)  |  Energy (346)  |  Solar Energy (20)  |  Solar Power (9)  |  Successful (123)  |  Sun (387)  |  War (226)  |  Weapon (93)  |  Weapons (58)  |  Will (2354)

Science is, on the whole, an informal activity, a life of shirt sleeves and coffee served in beakers.
— Sir George Porter
From Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1967), in Les Prix Nobel en 1967, Editor Ragnar Granit, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1968
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (210)  |  Beaker (4)  |  Coffee (20)  |  Informal (4)  |  Life (1799)  |  Science (3880)  |  Shirt (3)  |  Whole (738)

There is, then, one great purpose for man and for us today, and that is to try to discover man’s purpose by every means in our power. That is the ultimate relevance of science, and not only of science, but of every branch of learning which can improve our understanding. In the words of Tolstoy, “The highest wisdom has but one science, the science of the whole, the science explaining the Creation and man’s place in it.”
— Sir George Porter
In The Times, June 21,1975.
Science quotes on:  |  Branch (150)  |  Creation (329)  |  Discover (553)  |  Great (1575)  |  Learning (274)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (580)  |  Power (747)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Relevance (17)  |  Science (3880)  |  Today (314)  |  Try (283)  |  Ultimate (146)  |  Understanding (514)  |  Whole (738)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Word (622)

To feed applied science by starving basic science is like economising on the foundations of a building so that it may be built higher. It is only a matter of time before the whole edifice crumbles.
— Sir George Porter
In article, 'Lest the Edifice of Science Crumble', New Scientist (4 Sep 1986), 111, No. 1574, 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (176)  |  Applied Science (33)  |  Basic (139)  |  Building (156)  |  Crumbling (2)  |  Economy (55)  |  Edifice (26)  |  Feeding (7)  |  Foundation (173)  |  Height (33)  |  Matter (801)  |  Science (3880)  |  Starvation (13)  |  Time (1877)  |  Whole (738)

To solve a problem is to create new problems, new knowledge immediately reveals new areas of ignorance, and the need for new experiments. At least, in the field of fast reactions, the experiments do not take very long to perform.
— Sir George Porter
From Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1967), 'Flash Photolysis and Some of its Applications.' In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1963-1970 (1972), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Create (235)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Fast (45)  |  Field (365)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Long (789)  |  New (1217)  |  Perform (121)  |  Performance (49)  |  Problem (679)  |  Reaction (104)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Solution (269)  |  Solve (130)


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  • 6 Dec - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Porter'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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