Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Dictionary of Science Quotations
Scientist Quotations Index
These pages include science quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists plus pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.
A scientist quotation page heading may include a link to a short biography of the scientist or description of the event corresponding to a day in Science History.
Choose Index by Scientist Name Initial
Some quotations are funny, or pithy, together with longer ones that record the words of a scientist about their own discoveries or outlook.
Maturin M. Ballou, in the Preface to his Edge-Tools of Speech (1899), wrote: “To be of greatest value quotations must be accurately given; but the readiest memory seldom retains more than the aggregated sense of an aphoristic utterance.” Therefore, some familiar quotes cannot be traced to a verbatim source. Nevertheless, “According to Dean Swift, abstracts, abridgments, summaries, etc., have the same use as burning-glasses, — to collect the diffused rays of wit and learning, and make them point with warmth and quickness upon the reader's imagination.”
Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston
, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
: 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) ...(more by Sagan) Albert Einstein
: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein) Richard Feynman
: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)