Celebrating 19 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it... That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index P > Philip Pullman Quotes

Philip Pullman
(19 Oct 1946 - )

English author who is best known for his young-adult fantasy series, His Dark Materials.

Science Quotes by Philip Pullman (7 quotes)

At Gabriel College there was a very holy object on the high altar of the Oratory, covered with a black velvet cloth... At the height of the invocation the Intercessor lifted the cloth to reveal in the dimness a glass dome inside which there was something too distant to see, until he pulled a string attached to a shutter above, letting a ray of sunlight through to strike the dome exactly. Then it became clear: a little thing like a weathervane, with four sails black on one side and white on the other, began to whirl around as the light struck it. It illustrated a moral lesson, the Intercessor explained, for the black of ignorance fled from the light, whereas the wisdom of white rushed to embrace it.
[Alluding to Crookes's radiometer.]
— Philip Pullman
Northern Lights (2001), 149.
Science quotes on:  |  Altar (10)  |  Attach (56)  |  Attached (36)  |  Black (42)  |  College (66)  |  Sir William Crookes (9)  |  Dome (8)  |  Embrace (46)  |  Explain (322)  |  Glass (92)  |  High (362)  |  Holy (34)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Lift (55)  |  Light (607)  |  Little (707)  |  Moral (195)  |  Object (422)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pull (43)  |  Ray (114)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Sail (36)  |  See (1081)  |  Side (233)  |  Something (719)  |  Strike (68)  |  Sunlight (23)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Through (849)  |  Whirl (8)  |  White (127)  |  Wisdom (221)

D’you know how embarrassing it is to mention good and evil in a scientific laboratory? Have you any idea? One of the reasons l became a scientist was not to have to think about that kind of thing.
— Philip Pullman
Spoken by character Dr. Malone in His Dark Materials Omnibus (2012), 370.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Embarrassment (5)  |  Evil (116)  |  Good (889)  |  Good And Evil (3)  |  Idea (843)  |  Kind (557)  |  Know (1518)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Mention (82)  |  Reason (744)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thinking (414)

Gradually, at various points in our childhoods, we discover different forms of conviction. There’s the rock-hard certainty of personal experience (“I put my finger in the fire and it hurt,”), which is probably the earliest kind we learn. Then there’s the logically convincing, which we probably come to first through maths, in the context of Pythagoras’s theorem or something similar, and which, if we first encounter it at exactly the right moment, bursts on our minds like sunrise with the whole universe playing a great chord of C Major.
— Philip Pullman
In short essay, 'Dawkins, Fairy Tales, and Evidence', 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Burst (39)  |  Bursting (3)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Childhood (38)  |  Chord (4)  |  Context (29)  |  Conviction (97)  |  Convincing (9)  |  Different (577)  |  Discover (553)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Experience (467)  |  Finger (44)  |  Fire (189)  |  First (1283)  |  Form (959)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hard (243)  |  Hurting (2)  |  Kind (557)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learning (274)  |  Logic (287)  |  Major (84)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Moment (253)  |  Music (129)  |  Playing (42)  |  Point (580)  |  Pythagoras (38)  |  Right (452)  |  Rock (161)  |  Something (719)  |  Sunrise (13)  |  Theorem (112)  |  Through (849)  |  Universe (857)  |  Various (200)  |  Whole (738)

I couldn’t help picturing [the Steady State universe] as a sort of 1950s advertisement, with a pipe-smoking father sitting comfortably in his living room, next to the radiogram, with a wife knitting submissively in the background, and a small boy playing with Meccano on the carpet. The father would remove his pipe and twinkle knowledgeably as he said “Of course, I’m with Steady State Insurance,” and a caption underneath would say “You Know Where You Are With a STEADY STATE Policy.”
— Philip Pullman
In short essay, 'The Origin of the Universe,' 1-2. Written after hearing Stephen Hawking’s lecture (2006) at Oxford, about the origin of the universe.
Science quotes on:  |  Advertisement (13)  |  Background (43)  |  Boy (94)  |  Course (409)  |  Father (110)  |  Insurance (9)  |  Know (1518)  |  Living (491)  |  Meccano (5)  |  Next (236)  |  Playing (42)  |  Policy (24)  |  Remove (45)  |  Say (984)  |  Sitting (44)  |  Small (477)  |  Smoking (27)  |  State (491)  |  Steady (44)  |  Steady State (6)  |  Universe (857)  |  Wife (41)

It [imagination] is a form of seeing.
— Philip Pullman
In His Dark Materials, Book 3: The Amber Spyglass (1995, 2003), 494.
Science quotes on:  |  Form (959)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Seeing (142)

It’s only through honesty and courage that science can work at all. The Ptolemaic understanding of the solar system was undermined and corrected by the constant pressure of more and more honest reporting.
— Philip Pullman
In essay, 'The Origin of the Universe,' 6. Written after hearing Stephen Hawking's lecture (2006) at Oxford, about the origin of the universe.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Constant (144)  |  Correct (86)  |  Courage (69)  |  Honest (50)  |  Honesty (25)  |  More (2559)  |  Pressure (63)  |  Ptolemy (17)  |  Reporting (9)  |  Science (3879)  |  Solar System (77)  |  System (537)  |  Through (849)  |  Undermine (6)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Work (1351)

Think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: you can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that couldn't be imagined without it.
— Philip Pullman
In The Golden Compass (1995, 2001), 372-373.
Science quotes on:  |  Adam And Eve (4)  |  All (4108)  |  Calculate (54)  |  Calculation (127)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Equation (132)  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Imaginary Number (6)  |  Include (90)  |  Minus One (4)  |  Never (1087)  |  Number (699)  |  Proof (287)  |  Root (120)  |  See (1081)  |  Square (70)  |  Square Root (12)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)


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
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
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
Avicenna
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
Archimedes
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
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
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.