Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index A > Category: Act

Act Quotes (80 quotes)

Hoc age ['do this'] is the great rule, whether you are serious or merry; whether ... learning science or duty from a folio, or floating on the Thames. Intentions must be gathered from acts.
In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1821), 139.
Science quotes on:  |  Duty (51)  |  Float (12)  |  Gather (29)  |  Intention (25)  |  Learn (160)  |  Merry (2)  |  Rule (135)  |  Science (1699)  |  Serious (37)  |  Thames (4)

Pour accomplir de grandes choses il ne suffit pas d'agir il faut rêver; il ne suffit pas de calculer, il faut croire.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.
[Referring to the Suez Canal, initiated by Ferdinand de Lesseps.]
Speech (24 Dec 1896) upon election to the French Academy, in the vacant place of the late Ferdinand de Lesseps, Discours de Réception de M. Anatole France: Séance de l'Académie Française du 24 Décembre 1896 (1897), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Belief (400)  |  Dream (92)  |  Greatness (34)  |  Vicomte Ferdinand, de Lesseps (2)  |  Plan (69)  |  Suez Canal (2)

Qu. 31. Have not the small Particles of Bodies certain Powers, Virtues or Forces, by which they act at a distance, not only upon the Rays of Light for reflecting, refracting and reflecting them, but also upon one another for producing a great part of the Phænomena of Nature?
From Opticks, (1704, 2nd ed. 1718), Book 3, Query 31, 350.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (193)  |  Distance (54)  |  Force (194)  |  Light (246)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Particle (90)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Ray (32)  |  Reflecting (3)

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
In Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long (1987), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (45)  |  Alone (61)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Balance (43)  |  Bone (57)  |  Building (51)  |  Butcher (6)  |  Change (291)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Computer (84)  |  Cooking (7)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Death (270)  |  Design (92)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Equation (69)  |  Fight (37)  |  Hog (4)  |  Human (445)  |  Insect (57)  |  Invasion (7)  |  Manure (6)  |  Meal (14)  |  New (340)  |  Order (167)  |  Pitch (7)  |  Plan (69)  |  Problem (362)  |  Program (32)  |  Set (56)  |  Ship (33)  |  Solution (168)  |  Sonnet (4)  |  Specialization (12)  |  Wall (20)  |  Writing (72)

Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accustom (7)  |  Continually (14)  |  Enkindle (2)  |  Love (164)  |  Melt (15)  |  Soul (139)

Act as if you are going to live for ever and cast your plans way ahead. You must feel responsible without time limitations, and the consideration of whether you may or may not be around to see the results should never enter your thoughts.
In Theodore Rockwell, The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made A Difference (2002), 342.
Science quotes on:  |  Ahead (14)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Death (270)  |  Ever (4)  |  Life (917)  |  Limitation (20)  |  Plan (69)  |  Responsibility (47)  |  Result (250)  |  Thought (374)  |  Time (439)

All things on the earth are the result of chemical combination. The operation by which the commingling of molecules and the interchange of atoms take place we can imitate in our laboratories; but in nature they proceed by slow degrees, and, in general, in our hands they are distinguished by suddenness of action. In nature chemical power is distributed over a long period of time, and the process of change is scarcely to be observed. By acts we concentrate chemical force, and expend it in producing a change which occupies but a few hours at most.
In chapter 'Chemical Forces', The Poetry of Science: Or, Studies of the Physical Phenomena of Nature (1848), 235-236. Charles Dicken used this quote, with his own sub-head of 'Relative Importance Of Time To Man And Nature', to conclude his review of the book, published in The Examiner (1848).
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Atom (251)  |  Change (291)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Combination (69)  |  Concentration (14)  |  Distinguishing (14)  |  Earth (487)  |  Force (194)  |  Hour (42)  |  Imitate (5)  |  Interchange (3)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Long (95)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Observed (5)  |  Operation (96)  |  Period (49)  |  Place (111)  |  Power (273)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Process (201)  |  Producing (6)  |  Result (250)  |  Slow (36)  |  Suddenness (4)  |  Time (439)

And in acting thus he remains equally at ease whether the majority agree with him or he finds himself in a minority. For he has done what he could: he has expressed his convictions; and he is not master of the minds or hearts of others.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (19)  |  Conviction (57)  |  Ease (29)  |  Equally (18)  |  Express (32)  |  Find (248)  |  Heart (110)  |  Majority (32)  |  Master (55)  |  Mind (544)  |  Minority (16)  |  Remain (77)

As regards religion, on the other hand, one is generally agreed that it deals with goals and evaluations and, in general, with the emotional foundation of human thinking and acting, as far as these are not predetermined by the inalterable hereditary disposition of the human species. Religion is concerned with man’s attitude toward nature at large, with the establishing of ideals for the individual and communal life, and with mutual human relationship. These ideals religion attempts to attain by exerting an educational influence on tradition and through the development and promulgation of certain easily accessible thoughts and narratives (epics and myths) which are apt to influence evaluation and action along the lines of the accepted ideals.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Accessible (11)  |  Action (151)  |  Agree (19)  |  Apt (7)  |  Attain (21)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Certain (84)  |  Communal (7)  |  Concern (76)  |  Deal (25)  |  Development (228)  |  Disposition (14)  |  Easily (16)  |  Educational (6)  |  Emotional (13)  |  Epic (5)  |  Establish (30)  |  Evaluation (5)  |  Exert (9)  |  Far (77)  |  Foundation (75)  |  General (92)  |  Generally (9)  |  Goal (81)  |  Hereditary (6)  |  Human (445)  |  Human Species (6)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Individual (177)  |  Influence (110)  |  Large (82)  |  Life (917)  |  Line (44)  |  Mutual (22)  |  Myth (43)  |  Narrative (6)  |  Nature (1029)  |  On The Other Hand (16)  |  Predetermined (3)  |  Promulgation (3)  |  Regard (58)  |  Religion (210)  |  Think (205)  |  Thought (374)  |  Toward (29)  |  Tradition (43)

By the act of observation we have selected a ‘real’ history out of the many realities, and once someone has seen a tree in our world it stays there even when nobody is looking at it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  History (302)  |  Nobody (38)  |  Observation (418)  |  Real (95)  |  Reality (140)  |  See (197)  |  Select (5)  |  Someone (13)  |  Stay (15)  |  Tree (143)  |  World (667)

Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Courage (39)  |  Fear (113)  |  Lack (52)  |  Spite (10)

Each and every loss becomes an instance of ultimate tragedy–something that once was, but shall never be known to us. The hump of the giant deer–as a nonfossilizable item of soft anatomy–should have fallen into the maw of erased history. But our ancestors provided a wondrous rescue, and we should rejoice mightily. Every new item can instruct us; every unexpected object possesses beauty for its own sake; every rescue from history’s great shredding machine is–and I don’t know how else to say this–a holy act of salvation for a bit of totality.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Beauty (171)  |  Become (100)  |  Bit (13)  |  Deer (6)  |  Erase (3)  |  Fall (89)  |  Giant (28)  |  Great (300)  |  History (302)  |  Holy (14)  |  Hump (3)  |  Instance (18)  |  Instruction (51)  |  Item (3)  |  Know (321)  |  Loss (62)  |  Machine (133)  |  Mightily (2)  |  New (340)  |  Object (110)  |  Possess (19)  |  Provide (48)  |  Rejoice (9)  |  Rescue (8)  |  Sake (17)  |  Salvation (7)  |  Say (126)  |  Shred (6)  |  Soft (10)  |  Totality (9)  |  Tragedy (19)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  Unexpected (26)  |  Wondrous (7)

Everyone is aware of the difficult and menacing situation in which human society–shrunk into one community with a common fate–now finds itself, but only a few act accordingly. Most people go on living their every-day life: half frightened, half indifferent, they behold the ghostly tragicomedy which is being performed on the international stage before the eyes and ears of the world. But on that stage, on which the actors under the floodlights play their ordained parts, our fate of tomorrow, life or death of the nations, is being decided.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accordingly (3)  |  Actor (5)  |  Aware (18)  |  Behold (12)  |  Common (92)  |  Community (65)  |  Death (270)  |  Decide (25)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Ear (21)  |  Everyone (20)  |  Eye (159)  |  Fate (38)  |  Find (248)  |  Floodlight (2)  |  Half (35)  |  Human Society (6)  |  Indifferent (9)  |  International (18)  |  Life (917)  |  Live (186)  |  Menace (4)  |  Nation (111)  |  Ordain (3)  |  Part (146)  |  People (269)  |  Perform (27)  |  Play (60)  |  Shrink (10)  |  Situation (41)  |  Stage (39)  |  Tomorrow (29)  |  World (667)

Everything is made of atoms ... Everything that animals do, atoms do. ... There is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics.
In The Feynman Lectures (1963), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  According (8)  |  Animal (309)  |  Atom (251)  |  Everything (120)  |  Law (418)  |  Living (44)  |  Made (14)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Physics (301)  |  Point (72)  |  Understood (9)  |  View (115)

For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods—all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science—and act before it’s too late.
From second State of the Union Address (12 Feb 2013) at the U.S. Capitol.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Children (20)  |  Climate Change (56)  |  Coincidence (12)  |  Combat (9)  |  Decade (19)  |  Drought (9)  |  Event (97)  |  Fact (609)  |  Flood (26)  |  Freak (3)  |  Frequent (10)  |  Future (229)  |  Hottest (2)  |  Intense (11)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Late (28)  |  Overwhelming (18)  |  Record (56)  |  Sake (17)  |  Sandy (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Severe (7)  |  State (96)  |  Trend (16)  |  Worst (14)  |  Year (214)

Forces of nature act in a mysterious manner. We can but solve the mystery by deducing the unknown result from the known results of similar events.
In The Words of Gandhi (2001), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Deduction (49)  |  Event (97)  |  Force (194)  |  Known (15)  |  Manner (35)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Result (250)  |  Similar (22)  |  Solution (168)  |  Unknown (87)

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.
In 'A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace' (8 Feb 1996). Published on Electronic Frontier Foundation website. Reproduced in Lawrence Lessig, Code: Version 2.0) (2008), 303.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Border (5)  |  Build (80)  |  Collective (16)  |  Consent (5)  |  Construction (69)  |  Cyberspace (3)  |  Government (85)  |  Grow (66)  |  Invite (8)  |  Know (321)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Power (273)  |  Project (22)  |  Public (82)  |  World (667)

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilisation should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Already (16)  |  Base (43)  |  Brain (181)  |  Brutality (3)  |  Civilisation (18)  |  Cloak (3)  |  Command (14)  |  Contempt (11)  |  Conviction (57)  |  Deplorable (2)  |  Despicable (3)  |  Disgrace (6)  |  Earn (4)  |  File (5)  |  Fully (11)  |  Give (117)  |  Hate (26)  |  Heroism (7)  |  Kill (37)  |  Large (82)  |  March (15)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Murder (11)  |  Music (66)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Part (146)  |  Rank (19)  |  Senseless (3)  |  Shred (6)  |  Spinal Cord (3)  |  Suffice (3)  |  Tear (20)  |  Violently (2)  |  War (144)

He who studies it [Nature] has continually the exquisite pleasure of discerning or half discerning and divining laws; regularities glimmer through an appearance of confusion, analogies between phenomena of a different order suggest themselves and set the imagination in motion; the mind is haunted with the sense of a vast unity not yet discoverable or nameable. There is food for contemplation which never runs short; you are gazing at an object which is always growing clearer, and yet always, in the very act of growing clearer, presenting new mysteries.
From 'Natural History', Macmillan's Magazine (1875), 31, 366.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (46)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Clearer (4)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Contemplation (37)  |  Continuing (4)  |  Different (110)  |  Discerning (7)  |  Discover (115)  |  Exquisite (12)  |  Food (139)  |  Gaze (12)  |  Glimmer (4)  |  Growing (15)  |  Half (35)  |  Haunting (2)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Law (418)  |  Mind (544)  |  Motion (127)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Object (110)  |  Order (167)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Presenting (2)  |  Regularity (24)  |  Sense (240)  |  Study (331)  |  Suggestion (24)  |  Unity (43)  |  Vast (56)

I am not ... asserting that humans are either genial or aggressive by inborn biological necessity. Obviously, both kindness and violence lie with in the bounds of our nature because we perpetrate both, in spades. I only advance a structural claim that social stability rules nearly all the time and must be based on an overwhelmingly predominant (but tragically ignored) frequency of genial acts, and that geniality is therefore our usual and preferred response nearly all the time ... The center of human nature is rooted in ten thousand ordinary acts of kindness that define our days.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Aggressive (3)  |  Assert (11)  |  Base (43)  |  Biological (21)  |  Both (52)  |  Bounds (5)  |  Center (30)  |  Claim (52)  |  Define (29)  |  Frequency (13)  |  Genial (3)  |  Human (445)  |  Human Nature (51)  |  Ignore (22)  |  Inborn (3)  |  Kindness (10)  |  Lie (80)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Nearly (19)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Obviously (9)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  Overwhelmingly (2)  |  Predominant (2)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Response (24)  |  Root (48)  |  Rule (135)  |  Social (93)  |  Spade (2)  |  Stability (17)  |  Structural (8)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Time (439)  |  Violence (20)

I do not believe in freedom of the will. Schopenhauer’s words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills’ accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of freedom of will preserves me from taking too seriously myself and my fellow men as acting and deciding individuals and from losing my temper.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (18)  |  Action (151)  |  Awareness (23)  |  Belief (400)  |  Decide (25)  |  Fellow (29)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Individual (177)  |  Lack (52)  |  Life (917)  |  Lose (53)  |  Myself (22)  |  Painful (5)  |  Preserve (38)  |  Reconcile (10)  |  Schopenhauers (2)  |  Seriously (13)  |  Situation (41)  |  Temper (6)  |  Want (120)  |  Word (221)

I do see the difference now between me and other men. When a disaster happens, I act and they make excuses.
Letter (1861) to Miss H. Bonham Carter, transcribed in Edward Cook, The Life of Florence Nightingale (1913, 1914), Vol. 1, 506. The “disaster” that resulted in this remark was when her dressing-room was flooded by a bad pipe from a water cistern. She had first been given an excuse that it resulted from a frost, but she persisted until the real cause was determined and remedied.
Science quotes on:  |  Difference (208)  |  Disaster (36)  |  Excuse (15)  |  Happen (63)  |  Man (345)

Thomas Robert Malthus quote Food is necessary to…existence
colorization © todayinsci (Terms of Use) (source)

Please respect the colorization artist’s wishes and do not copy this image for ONLINE use anywhere else.

Thank you.

For offline use, click Terms of Use tab on top menu.

I think I may fairly make two postulata. First, That food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state. These two laws ever since we have had any knowledge of mankind, appear to have been fixed laws of our nature; and, as we have not hitherto seen any alteration in them, we have no right to conclude that they will ever cease to be what they are now, without an immediate act of power in that Being who first arranged the system of the universe; and for the advantage of his creatures, still executes, according to fixed laws, all its various operations.
First 'Essay on the Principle of Population' (1798), reprinted in Parallel Chapters from the First and Second editions of An Essay on the Principle of Population (1895), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (42)  |  Alteration (22)  |  Arranged (3)  |  Being (39)  |  Cease (23)  |  Conclude (9)  |  Creator (40)  |  Creature (127)  |  Existence (254)  |  Fixed (11)  |  Food (139)  |  God (454)  |  Immediate (27)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Law (418)  |  Law Of Nature (52)  |  Man (345)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Passion (54)  |  Postulate (23)  |  Power (273)  |  Present (103)  |  Remain (77)  |  Right (144)  |  Sex (48)  |  State (96)  |  System (141)  |  Universe (563)

If we put together all that we have learned from anthropology and ethnography about primitive men and primitive society, we perceive that the first task of life is to live. Men begin with acts, not with thoughts.
Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores and Morals (1907), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Anthropology (51)  |  Learning (174)  |  Life (917)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Perception (53)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Society (188)  |  Task (68)  |  Thought (374)

If we want an answer from nature, we must put our questions in acts, not words, and the acts may take us to curious places. Some questions were answered in the laboratory, others in mines, others in a hospital where a surgeon pushed tubes in my arteries to get blood samples, others on top of Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains, or in a diving dress on the bottom of the sea. That is one of the things I like about scientific research. You never know where it will take you next.
From essay 'Some Adventures of a Biologist', as quoted in Ruth Moore, Man, Time, And Fossils (1953), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Artery (8)  |  Blood (95)  |  Bottom (28)  |  Curious (24)  |  Dive (9)  |  Hospital (33)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Mine (15)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Place (111)  |  Push (22)  |  Question (315)  |  Research (517)  |  Sample (8)  |  Sea (143)  |  Surgeon (43)  |  Tube (4)  |  Word (221)

In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying, that ‘a man can do as he will, but not will as he will,’ has been an inspiration to me since my youth up, and a continual consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the hardships of life, my own and others’. This feeling mercifully mitigates the sense of responsibility which so easily becomes paralysing, and it prevents us from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it conduces to a view of life in which humour, above all, has its due place.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accordance (8)  |  Become (100)  |  Compulsion (11)  |  Conduce (2)  |  Consolation (7)  |  Continual (13)  |  Definitely (3)  |  Due (4)  |  Easily (16)  |  Everybody (16)  |  External (45)  |  Face (69)  |  Feel (93)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Human (445)  |  Humour (101)  |  Inner (27)  |  Inspiration (50)  |  Life (917)  |  Mitigate (2)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  Patience (31)  |  People (269)  |  Philosophical (14)  |  Place (111)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Responsibility (47)  |  Say (126)  |  Schopenhauers (2)  |  Sense (240)  |  Seriously (13)  |  Unfailing (3)  |  View (115)  |  Youth (57)

In modern thought, (if not in fact)
Nothing is that doesn't act, So that is reckoned wisdom which
Describes the scratch but not the itch.
Anonymous
Understanding Media: the Extensions of Man? (2nd Ed.,1964), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Description (72)  |  Fact (609)  |  Itch (5)  |  Modern (104)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Reckon (6)  |  Scratch (6)  |  Thought (374)  |  Wisdom (151)

In the universe great acts are made up of small deeds.
Lao Tsu
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Deed (17)  |  Great (300)  |  Small (97)  |  Universe (563)

Intellectual work is an act of creation. It is as if the mental image that is studied over a period of time were to sprout appendages like an ameba—outgrowths that extend in all directions while avoiding one obstacle after another—before interdigitating with related ideas.
From Reglas y Consejos sobre Investigacíon Cientifica: Los tónicos de la voluntad. (1897), as translated by Neely and Larry W. Swanson, in Advice for a Young Investigator (1999), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Avoiding (2)  |  Creation (211)  |  Direction (56)  |  Extend (20)  |  Idea (440)  |  Image (38)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Mental (57)  |  Obstacle (21)  |  Period (49)  |  Related (5)  |  Time (439)  |  Work (457)

It is in our genes to understand the universe if we can, to keep trying even if we cannot, and to be enchanted by the act of learning all the way.
Science quotes on:  |  Cannot (8)  |  Enchantment (8)  |  Gene (68)  |  Learning (174)  |  Try (103)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Universe (563)  |  Way (36)

It is not improbable that some of the presentations which come before the mind in sleep may even be causes of the actions cognate to each of them. For as when we are about to act [in waking hours], or are engaged in any course of action, or have already performed certain actions, we often find ourselves concerned with these actions, or performing them, in a vivid dream.
Aristotle
In Mortimer Jerome Adler, Charles Lincoln Van Doren (eds.) Great Treasury of Western Thought: A Compendium of Important Statements on Man and His Institutions by the Great Thinkers in Western History (1977), 352
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Awake (6)  |  Cause (231)  |  Cognate (2)  |  Dream (92)  |  Improbable (9)  |  Mind (544)  |  Perform (27)  |  Presentation (12)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Sleep (42)  |  Vivid (16)

It [the Euglena] is a perfect laboratory in itself, and it will act and react upon the water and the matters contained therein; converting them into new compounds resembling its own substance, and at the same time giving up portions of its own substance which have become effete.
From Address (22 Jul 1854) delivered at St. Martin’s Hall, published as a pamphlet (1854), 8, and collected in 'Educational Value of Natural History Sciences', Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews (1870), 75.
Science quotes on:  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Compound (53)  |  Contain (37)  |  Convert (15)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Matter (270)  |  New (340)  |  Perfect (46)  |  React (6)  |  Resemble (16)  |  Substance (73)  |  Water (244)

Last year, I co-sponsored the Highlands Conservation Act and in a bipartisan effort we passed the bill through Congress.
Sue Kelly
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bill (14)  |  Congress (9)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Effort (94)  |  Highland (2)  |  Pass (60)  |  Year (214)

Man chooses either life or death, but he chooses; everything he does, from going to the toilet to mathematical speculation, is an act of religious worship, either of God or of himself.
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 15
Science quotes on:  |  Choose (35)  |  Death (270)  |  Everything (120)  |  God (454)  |  Life (917)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Religious (44)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Worship (22)

Mathematics is a form of poetry which transcends poetry in that it proclaims a truth; a form of reasoning which transcends reasoning in that it wants to bring about the truth it proclaims; a form of action, of ritual behavior, which does not find fulfilment in the act but must proclaim and elaborate a poetic form of truth.
'Why Mathematics Grows', Journal of the History of Ideas (Jan-Mar 1965), 26, No. 1, 3. In Salomon Bochner and Robert Clifford Gunning (ed.) Collected Papers of Salomon Bochner (1992), Vol. 4, 191. Footnoted as restating about Mathematics what was written about Myth by Henri Frankfort, et al., in The Intellectual Adventures of Ancient Man (1946), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Elaborate (13)  |  Form (210)  |  Fulfilment (3)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Poetry (96)  |  Proclaim (12)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Ritual (8)  |  Transcend (9)  |  Truth (750)

Men argue, nature acts.
Voltaire and H.I. Woolf (trans.), Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary? (1924), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (59)  |  Man (345)  |  Nature (1029)

My present and most fixed opinion regarding the nature of alcoholic fermentation is this: The chemical act of fermentation is essentially a phenomenon correlative with a vital act, beginning and ending with the latter. I believe that there is never any alcoholic fermentation without their being simultaneously the organization, development, multiplication of the globules, or the pursued, continued life of globules which are already formed.
In 'Memoire sur la fermentation alcoolique', Annales de Chemie et de Physique (1860), 58:3, 359-360, as translated in Joseph S. Fruton, Proteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology (1999), 137.
Science quotes on:  |  Alcohol (16)  |  Beginning (114)  |  Chemical (72)  |  Correlation (9)  |  Development (228)  |  Ending (3)  |  Essential (87)  |  Fermentation (14)  |  Formation (54)  |  Globule (3)  |  Multiplication (14)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Organization (79)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Simultaneity (3)  |  Vitality (10)

Nature has no reverence towards life. Nature treats life as though it were the most valueless thing in the world. … Nature does not act by purposes.
In Tarner Lecture, at Trinity College, Cambridge (Oct 1956), 'The Arithmetical Paradox: The Oneness of Mind', printed in Mind and Matter (1958), 66. Also collected in What is Life?: With Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches (1992, 2012), 138.
Science quotes on:  |  Life (917)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Reverence (24)  |  Treat (17)  |  Valueless (2)  |  World (667)

Nature! … She performs a play; we know not whether she sees it herself, and yet she acts for us, the lookers-on.
Jeremy Naydler (ed.), Goethe On Science: An Anthology of Goethe's Scientific Writings (1996), 60
Science quotes on:  |  Audience (13)  |  Know (321)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Perform (27)  |  Play (60)  |  See (197)

Nature! … We live in her midst and know her not. She is incessantly speaking to us, but betrays not her secret. We constantly act upon her, and yet have no power over her.
As quoted by T.H. Huxley, in Norman Lockyer (ed.), 'Nature: Aphorisms by Goethe', Nature (1870), 1, 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Betray (7)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Incessant (6)  |  Know (321)  |  Live (186)  |  Midst (3)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Power (273)  |  Secret (98)  |  Speak (49)

Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience, thus helping to bring the collective conscience to life.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bring (53)  |  Collective (16)  |  Conscience (36)  |  Help (68)  |  Individual (177)  |  Life (917)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Powerful (51)

Nuclear energy and foreign policy cannot coexist on the planet. The more deep the secret, the greater the determination of every nation to discover and exploit it. Nuclear energy insists on global government, on law, on order, and on the willingness of the community to take the responsibility for the acts of the individual. And to what end? Why, for liberty, first of blessings. Soldier, we await you, and if the
In 'The Talk of the Town', The New Yorker (18 Aug 1945), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Coexist (3)  |  Community (65)  |  Deep (81)  |  Determination (53)  |  Discover (115)  |  Exploit (10)  |  Global (14)  |  Government (85)  |  Greater (36)  |  Individual (177)  |  Insist (13)  |  Law (418)  |  Nation (111)  |  Nuclear Energy (10)  |  Order (167)  |  Planet (199)  |  Responsibility (47)  |  Secret (98)  |  Willingness (9)

Of all the motions the hand can perform, perhaps none is so distinctively human as a punch in the nose. Other animals bite, claw, butt or stomp one another, but only the species that includes Muhammad Ali folds its hands into a fist to perform the quintessential act of intraspecies male-on-male aggression.
From 'Why Do Humans Have Thumbs?', Smithsonian Magazine (Dec 2014).
Science quotes on:  |  Aggression (6)  |  Animal (309)  |  Bite (11)  |  Butt (2)  |  Claw (7)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Fist (2)  |  Fold (4)  |  Hand (103)  |  Human (445)  |  Male (24)  |  Motion (127)  |  Nose (9)  |  Perform (27)  |  Punch (2)  |  Quintessential (2)  |  Species (181)

Organization is simply the means by which the acts of ordinary men can be made to add up to extraordinary results. To this idea of progress that does not wait on some lucky break, some chance discovery, or some rare stroke of genius, but instead is achieved through systematic, cumulative effort, the engineer has contributed brilliantly.
In A Professional Guide for Young Engineers (1949, 1967), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Add (26)  |  Brilliance (8)  |  Chance (122)  |  Cumulative (8)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effort (94)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Extraordinary (32)  |  Genius (186)  |  Idea (440)  |  Luck (25)  |  Means (109)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  Organization (79)  |  Progress (317)  |  Rare (31)  |  Result (250)  |  Simply (34)  |  Stroke (5)  |  Systematic (25)  |  Waiting (9)

Our novice runs the risk of failure without additional traits: a strong inclination toward originality, a taste for research, and a desire to experience the incomparable gratification associated with the act of discovery itself.
From Reglas y Consejos sobre Investigacíon Cientifica: Los tónicos de la voluntad. (1897), as translated by Neely and Larry W. Swanson, in Advice for a Young Investigator (1999), 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (22)  |  Association (15)  |  Desire (101)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Experience (268)  |  Failure (118)  |  Gratification (14)  |  Inclination (20)  |  Incomparable (7)  |  Novice (2)  |  Originality (14)  |  Research (517)  |  Risk (29)  |  Strength (63)  |  Taste (35)  |  Trait (19)  |  Without (13)

Ours is a golden age of minorities. At no time in the past have dissident minorities felt so much at home and had so much room to throw their weight around. They speak and act as if they were “the people,” and what they abominate most is the dissent of the majority.
In 'The Trend Toward Anarchy', In Our Time (1976), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Dissent (7)  |  Feel (93)  |  Golden Age (5)  |  Home (58)  |  Majority (32)  |  Minority (16)  |  Ours (4)  |  Past (109)  |  People (269)  |  Room (29)  |  Speak (49)  |  Throw (31)  |  Time (439)  |  Weight (61)

Over the past fifty years or so, scientists have allowed the conventions of expression available to them to become entirely too confining. too confining. The insistence on bland impersonality and the widespread indifference to anything like the display of a unique human author in scientific exposition, have transformed the reading of most scientific papers into an act of tedious drudgery.
In Boojums All the Way Through: Communicating Science in a Prosaic Age (1990), Preface, xi-xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Author (39)  |  Convention (13)  |  Display (22)  |  Drudgery (4)  |  Exposition (5)  |  Expression (82)  |  Human (445)  |  Indifference (12)  |  Insistence (9)  |  Paper (52)  |  Reading (51)  |  Tedious (6)  |  Transformation (47)  |  Unique (24)

Science tries to answer the question: ‘How?’ How do cells act in the body? How do you design an airplane that will fly faster than sound? How is a molecule of insulin constructed? Religion, by contrast, tries to answer the question: ‘Why?’ Why was man created? Why ought I to tell the truth? Why must there be sorrow or pain or death? Science attempts to analyze how things and people and animals behave; it has no concern whether this behavior is good or bad, is purposeful or not. But religion is precisely the quest for such answers: whether an act is right or wrong, good or bad, and why.
Science and Imagination, ch. 4, Basic Books (1967).
Science quotes on:  |  Airplane (32)  |  Analyze (3)  |  Animal (309)  |  Answer (201)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Bad (78)  |  Behave (13)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Body (193)  |  Cell (125)  |  Concern (76)  |  Construct (25)  |  Contrast (16)  |  Create (98)  |  Death (270)  |  Design (92)  |  Fast (24)  |  Fly (65)  |  Good (228)  |  Insulin (8)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Pain (82)  |  People (269)  |  Precisely (11)  |  Quest (24)  |  Question (315)  |  Religion (210)  |  Right (144)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sorrow (8)  |  Sound (59)  |  Tell (67)  |  Truth (750)  |  Try (103)  |  Wrong (116)

Science would have us believe that such accuracy, leading to certainty, is the only criterion of knowledge, would make the trial of Galileo the paradigm of the two points of view which aspire to truth, would suggest, that is, that the cardinals represent only superstition and repression, while Galileo represents freedom. But there is another criterion which is systematically neglected in this elevation of science. Man does not now—and will not ever—live by the bread of scientific method alone. He must deal with life and death, with love and cruelty and despair, and so must make conjectures of great importance which may or may not be true and which do not lend themselves to experimentation: It is better to give than to receive; Love thy neighbor as thyself; Better to risk slavery through non-violence than to defend freedom with murder. We must deal with such propositions, must decide whether they are true, whether to believe them, whether to act on them—and scientific method is no help for by their nature these matters lie forever beyond the realm of science.
In The End of the Modern Age (1973), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Belief (400)  |  Cardinal (4)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Criterion (10)  |  Cruelty (14)  |  Deal (25)  |  Death (270)  |  Decide (25)  |  Despair (25)  |  Elevation (4)  |  Experimentation (6)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Galileo Galilei (101)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Love (164)  |  Neglect (23)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Realm (40)  |  Repression (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Trial (23)  |  Truth (750)

Science, in the very act of solving problems, creates more of them.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Create (98)  |  Problem (362)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)

Shall an invention be patented or donated to the public freely? I have known some well-meaning scientific men to look askance at the patenting of inventions, as if it were a rather selfish and ungracious act, essentially unworthy. The answer is very simple. Publish an invention freely, and it will almost surely die from lack of interest in its development. It will not be developed and the world will not be benefited. Patent it, and if valuable, it will be taken up and developed into a business.
Address as M.I.T. acting president, to the graduating class (11 Jun 1920). Published in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technology Review (Jul 1920), 22, 420.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Askance (2)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Business (71)  |  Development (228)  |  Die (46)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Freely (7)  |  Interest (170)  |  Invention (283)  |  Lack (52)  |  Patent (23)  |  Public (82)  |  Publish (18)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Selfish (2)  |  Simple (111)  |  Surely (13)  |  Unworthy (8)  |  Value (180)  |  Well-Meaning (2)  |  World (667)

Talent deals with the actual, with discovered and realized truths, any analyzing, arranging, combining, applying positive knowledge, and, in action, looking to precedents. Genius deals with the possible, creates new combinations, discovers new laws, and acts from an insight into new principles.
In 'Genius', Wellman’s Miscellany (Dec 1871), 4, No. 6, 203.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Actual (34)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Applying (3)  |  Arranging (3)  |  Combination (69)  |  Create (98)  |  Deal (25)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Genius (186)  |  Insight (57)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Law (418)  |  Looking (25)  |  New (340)  |  Positive (28)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Precedent (4)  |  Principle (228)  |  Realize (43)  |  Talent (49)  |  Truth (750)

The advance of science has enabled man to communicate at twice the speed of sound while he still acts at half the speed of sense.
Anonymous
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips & Quotes (1968, 1995), 159.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Communicate (10)  |  Enabled (3)  |  Half (35)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sound (59)  |  Speed (27)

The astronomers said, ‘Give us matter and a little motion and we will construct the universe. It is not enough that we should have matter, we must also have a single impulse, one shove to launch the mass and generate the harmony of the centrifugal and centripetal forces.’ ... There is no end to the consequences of the act. That famous aboriginal push propagates itself through all the balls of the system, and through every atom of every ball.
From essay, 'Nature', collected in Ralph Waldo Emerson and J.E. Cabot (ed.), Emerson's Complete Works: Essays, Second Series (1884), Vol. 3, 176-177.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Atom (251)  |  Ball (20)  |  Big Bang (38)  |  Centrifugal (3)  |  Centripetal (2)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Construct (25)  |  End (141)  |  Enough (6)  |  Force (194)  |  Generate (11)  |  Give (117)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Impulse (24)  |  Launch (8)  |  Mass (61)  |  Matter (270)  |  Motion (127)  |  Push (22)  |  Shove (2)  |  Single (72)  |  System (141)  |  Universe (563)

The brain seems a thoroughfare for nerve-action passing its way to the motor animal. It has been remarked that Life's aim is an act not a thought. To-day the dictum must be modified to admit that, often, to refrain from an act is no less an act than to commit one, because inhibition is coequally with excitation a nervous activity.
The Brain and its Mechanism (1933), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Activity (97)  |  Brain (181)  |  Commit (17)  |  Dictum (5)  |  Excitation (7)  |  Inhibition (10)  |  Life (917)  |  Modification (31)  |  Motor (10)  |  Nerve (66)  |  Refrain (6)  |  Thought (374)

The discoveries of science, the works of art are explorations—more, are explosions, of a hidden likeness. The discoverer or artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses them into one. This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born, and it is the same act in original science and original art.
From Science and Human Values (1956), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (46)  |  Aspect (37)  |  Born (14)  |  Creation (211)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Explosion (24)  |  Fuse (4)  |  Hidden (34)  |  Likeness (7)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Original (36)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Thought (374)

The first effect of the mind growing cultivated is that processes once multiple get to be performed in a single act. Lazarus has called this the progressive “condensation” of thought. ... Steps really sink from sight. An advanced thinker sees the relations of his topics is such masses and so instantaneously that when he comes to explain to younger minds it is often hard ... Bowditch, who translated and annotated Laplace's Méchanique Céleste, said that whenever his author prefaced a proposition by the words “it is evident,” he knew that many hours of hard study lay before him.
In The Principles of Psychology (1918), Vol. 2, 369-370.
Science quotes on:  |  Advanced (10)  |  Nathaniel Bowditch (2)  |  Condensation (8)  |  Cultivation (23)  |  Effect (133)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Hard (70)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (50)  |  Mind (544)  |  Multiple (9)  |  Performance (27)  |  Preface (6)  |  Process (201)  |  Progressive (13)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Relation (96)  |  Sight (25)  |  Single (72)  |  Sink (15)  |  Sophistication (8)  |  Step (67)  |  Study (331)  |  Thinker (15)  |  Thought (374)  |  Topic (6)

The first experiment a child makes is a physical experiment: the suction-pump is but an imitation of the first act of every new-born infant.
Lecture 'On the Study of Physics', Royal Institution of Great Britain (Spring 1854). Collected in Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 1, 283.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (189)  |  Experiment (543)  |  First (174)  |  Imitation (17)  |  Infant (13)  |  New-born (2)  |  Physics (301)  |  Pump (5)  |  Suction (2)

The long-range trend toward federal regulation, which found its beginnings in the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the Sherman Act of 1890, which was quickened by a large number of measures in the Progressive era, and which has found its consummation in our time, was thus at first the response of a predominantly individualistic public to the uncontrolled and starkly original collectivism of big business. In America the growth of the national state and its regulative power has never been accepted with complacency by any large part of the middle-class public, which has not relaxed its suspicion of authority, and which even now gives repeated evidence of its intense dislike of statism. In our time this growth has been possible only under the stress of great national emergencies, domestic or military, and even then only in the face of continuous resistance from a substantial part of the public. In the Progressive era it was possible only because of widespread and urgent fear of business consolidation and private business authority. Since it has become common in recent years for ideologists of the extreme right to portray the growth of statism as the result of a sinister conspiracy of collectivists inspired by foreign ideologies, it is perhaps worth emphasizing that the first important steps toward the modern organization of society were taken by arch-individualists—the tycoons of the Gilded Age—and that the primitive beginning of modern statism was largely the work of men who were trying to save what they could of the eminently native Yankee values of individualism and enterprise.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Age (137)  |  America (74)  |  Authority (50)  |  Become (100)  |  Begin (52)  |  Beginnings (2)  |  Big Business (2)  |  Business (71)  |  Collectivism (2)  |  Commerce (14)  |  Common (92)  |  Consolidation (3)  |  Conspiracy (4)  |  Consummation (4)  |  Continuous (24)  |  Dislike (11)  |  Domestic (12)  |  Emergency (6)  |  Eminently (2)  |  Emphasize (6)  |  Enterprise (20)  |  Era (14)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Extreme (36)  |  Face (69)  |  Fear (113)  |  Federal (5)  |  Find (248)  |  First (174)  |  Foreign (20)  |  Gilded (2)  |  Give (117)  |  Great (300)  |  Growth (111)  |  Ideology (7)  |  Important (124)  |  Individualism (2)  |  Inspire (35)  |  Intense (11)  |  Large (82)  |  Largely (12)  |  Long-Range (2)  |  Measure (70)  |  Middle-Class (2)  |  Military (24)  |  Modern (104)  |  National (20)  |  Native (11)  |  Number (179)  |  Organization (79)  |  Original (36)  |  Part (146)  |  Portray (3)  |  Possible (100)  |  Power (273)  |  Predominantly (4)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Private (17)  |  Progressive (13)  |  Public (82)  |  Quicken (2)  |  Recent (23)  |  Regulation (18)  |  Repeat (27)  |  Resistance (23)  |  Response (24)  |  Result (250)  |  Right (144)  |  Save (46)  |  Sinister (8)  |  Society (188)  |  State (96)  |  Step (67)  |  Stress (8)  |  Substantial (7)  |  Suspicion (25)  |  Time (439)  |  Toward (29)  |  Trend (16)  |  Try (103)  |  Uncontrolled (2)  |  Urgent (7)  |  Value (180)  |  Widespread (9)  |  Work (457)  |  Worth (74)  |  Yankee (2)  |  Year (214)

The man of true genius never lives before his time, he never undertakes impossibilities, and always embarks on his enterprise at the suitable place and period. Though he may catch a glimpse of the coming light as it gilds the mountain top long before it reaches the eyes of his contemporaries, and he may hazard a prediction as to the future, he acts with the present.
Closing Address (19 Mar 1858) at the Exhibition of the Metropolitan Mechanics' Institute, of Washington. Published as a pamphlet by the M.M. Institute (1853). Collected in Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Coming (10)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Embark (4)  |  Enterprise (20)  |  Eye (159)  |  Future (229)  |  Genius (186)  |  Glimpse (9)  |  Hazard (11)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Life (917)  |  Light (246)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Period (49)  |  Place (111)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Present (103)  |  Suitability (11)  |  Time (439)  |  True (120)  |  Undertake (14)

The maxim of science is simply that of common sense—simple cases first; begin with seeing how the main force acts when there is as little as possible to impede it, and when you thoroughly comprehend that, add to it in succession the separate effects of each of the incumbering and interfering agencies.
Collected in The Works of Walter Bagehot (1889), Vol. 5, 319-320.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (26)  |  Agency (13)  |  Begin (52)  |  Case (64)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Comprehend (19)  |  Effect (133)  |  First (174)  |  Force (194)  |  Impede (2)  |  Little (126)  |  Main (16)  |  Maxim (13)  |  Possible (100)  |  Science (1699)  |  Separate (46)  |  Simple (111)  |  Succession (39)  |  Thoroughly (7)

The oppressive weight of disaster and tragedy in our lives does not arise from a high percentage of evil among the summed total of all acts, but from the extraordinary power of exceedingly rare incidents of depravity to inflict catastrophic damage, especially in our technological age when airplanes can become powerful bombs. (An even more evil man, armed only with a longbow, could not have wreaked such havoc at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.)
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Airplane (32)  |  Arise (32)  |  Arm (17)  |  Battle (30)  |  Become (100)  |  Bomb (17)  |  Catastrophic (2)  |  Damage (18)  |  Depravity (3)  |  Disaster (36)  |  Especially (18)  |  Evil (67)  |  Exceedingly (3)  |  Extraordinary (32)  |  Havoc (5)  |  High (78)  |  Incident (3)  |  Inflict (4)  |  Live (186)  |  Percentage (6)  |  Power (273)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Rare (31)  |  Sum (30)  |  Technological (15)  |  Total (29)  |  Tragedy (19)  |  Weight (61)

The private motives of scientists are not the trend of science. The trend of science is made by the needs of society: navigation before the eighteenth century, manufacture thereafter; and in our age I believe the liberation of personality. Whatever the part which scientists like to act, or for that matter which painters like to dress, science shares the aims of our society just as art does.
From The Common Sense of Science (1951), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  18th Century (17)  |  19th Century (22)  |  20th Century (25)  |  Aim (58)  |  Liberation (8)  |  Manufacture (12)  |  Motive (26)  |  Navigation (12)  |  Need (211)  |  Painter (15)  |  Personality (40)  |  Private (17)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Art (157)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Society (188)  |  Trend (16)

The protean nature of the computer is such that it can act like a machine or like a language to be shaped and exploited.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Computer (84)  |  Exploit (10)  |  Language (155)  |  Machine (133)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Shape (52)

The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with an overwhelming present evil.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Benefit (54)  |  Contingent (8)  |  Evil (67)  |  Good (228)  |  Helpless (6)  |  Intentionally (3)  |  Know (321)  |  Neglect (23)  |  Operation (96)  |  Overwhelming (18)  |  Patient (116)  |  Perform (27)  |  Present (103)  |  Surgeon (43)  |  Weak (36)  |  Whilst (3)

The tragedy of the world is that those who are imaginative have but slight experience, and those who are experienced have feeble imaginations. Fools act on imagination without knowledge, pedants act on knowledge without imagination.
In Aims of Education and Other Essays (1929), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Fool (70)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Pedant (4)

There being only one universe to be explained, nobody could repeat the act of Newton, the luckiest of mortals
As stated, without quotation marks, without citation, in Alexandre Koyré, 'The Significance of the Newtonian Synthesis', The Journal of General Education (Jul 1950), 4, 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Explain (61)  |  Lucky (6)  |  Mortal (19)  |  Newton (9)  |  Nobody (38)  |  Repeat (27)  |  Universe (563)

There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that... or: There is capitalism in so far as... The use of expressions like “to the extent that” is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills. [p.222]
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Abstract (43)  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Accord (21)  |  Action (151)  |  Actual (34)  |  Age (137)  |  Apply (38)  |  Area (18)  |  Authority (50)  |  Battle (30)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Casual (6)  |  Change (291)  |  Communism (8)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Complex (78)  |  Concrete (21)  |  Condition (119)  |  Contain (37)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Cover (23)  |  Degree (48)  |  Democracy (21)  |  Device (24)  |  Element (129)  |  Elementary (30)  |  End (141)  |  Entire (29)  |  Entity (23)  |  Evil (67)  |  Exclusively (8)  |  Expression (82)  |  Extent (30)  |  External (45)  |  Fact (609)  |  Far (77)  |  Fascism (3)  |  Fight (37)  |  Fill (35)  |  Fix (10)  |  Greek (46)  |  Idea (440)  |  Illustrate (5)  |  Incapable (11)  |  Independent (41)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Interrelation (6)  |  Invade (4)  |  Isolate (10)  |  Keep (47)  |  Know (321)  |  Level (51)  |  Limit (86)  |  Live (186)  |  Lose (53)  |  Mean (63)  |  Means (109)  |  Measure (70)  |  Method (154)  |  Mind (544)  |  Modify (11)  |  Monster (21)  |  Myth (43)  |  Mythology (11)  |  Nation (111)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Objective (49)  |  Order (167)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  P (2)  |  People (269)  |  Phrase (21)  |  Play (60)  |  Political (31)  |  Possibly (9)  |  Principle (228)  |  Problem (362)  |  Property (96)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Rational (42)  |  Reality (140)  |  Realm (40)  |  Reference (17)  |  Relate (5)  |  Relation (96)  |  Represent (27)  |  Reserve (7)  |  Revenge (6)  |  Sacrifice (24)  |  Same (92)  |  Science (1699)  |  Security (27)  |  Seem (89)  |  Simultaneous (12)  |  So-Called (18)  |  Social (93)  |  Solve (41)  |  Specific (30)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Store (17)  |  Strive (35)  |  Subject (129)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Technician (5)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Thought (374)  |  Time (439)  |  Unaffected (4)  |  Universe (563)  |  Vary (14)  |  Vocabulary (3)  |  Whatsoever (6)  |  Windmill (4)  |  Word (221)

To be in a world which is a hell, to be of that world and neither to believe in or guess at anything but that world is not merely hell but the only possible damnation: the act of a man damning himself. It may be—I hope it is—redemption to guess and perhaps perceive that the universe, the hell which we see for all its beauty, vastness, majesty, is only part of a whole which is quite unimaginable.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Belief (400)  |  Damn (11)  |  Damnation (4)  |  Guess (36)  |  Hell (29)  |  Hope (129)  |  Majesty (10)  |  Merely (35)  |  Part (146)  |  Perceive (18)  |  Possible (100)  |  Redemption (3)  |  See (197)  |  Unimaginable (4)  |  Universe (563)  |  Vastness (9)  |  Whole (122)  |  World (667)

We do not know what is disease, how remedies act, and still less how diseases are cured. We must abandon the way which has thus far been followed
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Cure (88)  |  Disease (257)  |  Far (77)  |  Follow (66)  |  Know (321)  |  Less (54)  |  Remedy (46)

We will not act prematurely or unnecessarily risk the costs of world­wide nuclear war in which even the fruits of victory would be ashes in our mouth. But neither will we shrink from that risk at any time it must be faced.
(1962) From address televised during the Cuban missile crisis (22 Oct 1962). As quoted in The Uncommon Wisdom of JFK: A Portrait in His Own Words 92003), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Ash (16)  |  Cost (31)  |  Mouth (16)  |  Nuclear Weapon (5)  |  Risk (29)  |  Victory (24)  |  War (144)

We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 246
Science quotes on:  |  Both (52)  |  Choose (35)  |  Dark (49)  |  Inside (16)  |  Light (246)  |  Matter (270)  |  Part (146)  |  Really (50)  |  Weve (5)

When ultra-violet light acts on a mixture of water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia, a vast variety of organic substances are made, including sugars and apparently some of the materials from which proteins are built up…. But before the origin of life they must have accumulated till the primitive oceans reached the consistency of hot dilute soup…. The first living or half-living things were probably large molecules synthesized under the influence of the sun’s radiation, and only capable of reproduction in the particularly favorable medium in which they originated….
In 'The Origin of Life', The Inequality of Man: And Other Essays (1932, 1937), 152.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulate (18)  |  Ammonia (11)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Compound (53)  |  Consistency (21)  |  Favorable (7)  |  First (174)  |  Hot (17)  |  Influence (110)  |  Life (917)  |  Light (246)  |  Medium (12)  |  Mixture (22)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Organic (48)  |  Origin Of Life (32)  |  Originate (14)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Protein (43)  |  Radiation (22)  |  Reach (68)  |  Reproduction (57)  |  Soup (4)  |  Sugar (13)  |  Sun (211)  |  Synthesize (2)  |  Variety (53)  |  Water (244)

While reading in a textbook of chemistry, ... I came across the statement, 'nitric acid acts upon copper.' I was getting tired of reading such absurd stuff and I determined to see what this meant. Copper was more or less familiar to me, for copper cents were then in use. I had seen a bottle marked 'nitric acid' on a table in the doctor's office where I was then 'doing time.' I did not know its peculiarities, but I was getting on and likely to learn. The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant... I put one of them [cent] on the table, opened the bottle marked 'nitric acid'; poured some of the liquid on the copper; and prepared to make an observation. But what was this wonderful thing which I beheld? The cent was already changed, and it was no small change either. A greenish blue liquid foamed and fumed over the cent and over the table. The air in the neighborhood of the performance became colored dark red. A great colored cloud arose. This was disagreeable and suffocating—how should I stop this? I tried to get rid of the objectionable mess by picking it up and throwing it out of the window, which I had meanwhile opened. I learned another fact—nitric acid not only acts upon copper but it acts upon fingers. The pain led to another unpremeditated experiment. I drew my fingers across my trousers and another fact was discovered. Nitric acid acts upon trousers. Taking everything into consideration, that was the most impressive experiment, and, relatively, probably the most costly experiment I have ever performed.
F. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1940), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (16)  |  Adventure (36)  |  Air (151)  |  Biography (227)  |  Bottle (13)  |  Cent (5)  |  Change (291)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Cloud (44)  |  Copper (18)  |  Cost (31)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Finger (38)  |  Foam (2)  |  Fume (5)  |  Impressiveness (2)  |  Liquid (25)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Mess (10)  |  Neighborhood (7)  |  Nitric Acid (2)  |  Observation (418)  |  Pain (82)  |  Peculiarity (15)  |  Reading (51)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Suffocation (2)  |  Table (25)  |  Trousers (3)  |  Window (25)

Whoever looks at the insect world, at flies, aphides, gnats and innumerable parasites, and even at the infant mammals, must have remarked the extreme content they take in suction, which constitutes the main business of their life. If we go into a library or newsroom, we see the same function on a higher plane, performed with like ardor, with equal impatience of interruption, indicating the sweetness of the act. In the highest civilization the book is still the highest delight.
In Lecture, second in a series given at Freeman Place Chapel, Boston (Mar 1859), 'Quotation and Originality', in Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Aphid (2)  |  Ardor (3)  |  Book (181)  |  Business (71)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Constitute (19)  |  Content (39)  |  Delight (51)  |  Equal (53)  |  Extreme (36)  |  Fly (65)  |  Function (90)  |  Gnat (6)  |  Higher (28)  |  Highest (16)  |  Impatience (11)  |  Indication (21)  |  Infant (13)  |  Innumerable (17)  |  Insect (57)  |  Interruption (3)  |  Library (37)  |  Life (917)  |  Look (46)  |  Main (16)  |  Mammal (28)  |  Parasite (28)  |  Performed (3)  |  Plane (15)  |  Remark (14)  |  See (197)  |  Suction (2)  |  Sweetness (8)  |  World (667)

Why do they prefer to tell stories about the possible medicinal bene-fits of the Houston toad rather than to offer moral reasons for sup-porting the Endangered Species Act? That law is plainly ideological; it is hardly to be excused on economic grounds.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Economic (21)  |  Endangered Species (3)  |  Excuse (15)  |  Ground (63)  |  Hardly (12)  |  Ideological (3)  |  Law (418)  |  Medicinal (2)  |  Moral (100)  |  Offer (16)  |  Plainly (2)  |  Possible (100)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Reason (330)  |  Story (58)  |  Tell (67)  |  Toad (7)

You can be sure you are acting in accordance with the designs of nature if what you do is calculated to promote nature's great final purpose: grow and make grow. I am firmly convinced of the universality of this law.
Aphorism 44 in Notebook D (1773-1775), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Design (92)  |  Growth (111)  |  Law (418)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Universality (11)

You have probably heard or said at some point, “I could not live without my cell phone.” Well, the world cannot live without the Arctic; it affects every living thing on Earth and acts as a virtual thermostat, reflecting sunlight and cooling the planet.
In 'What do the Arctic, a Thermostat and COP15 Have in Common?', Huffington Post (18 Mar 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Affect (10)  |  Arctic (4)  |  Cell Phone (5)  |  Cool (9)  |  Earth (487)  |  Life (917)  |  Planet (199)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Sunlight (14)  |  Thermostat (2)  |  Virtual (5)  |  World (667)

[Animals] do not so much act as be put into action, and that objects make an impression on their senses such that it is necessary for them to follow it just as it is necessary for the wheels of a clock to follow the weights and the spring that pulls them.
[In his philosophy, he regarded animals to be merely automatons.].
'Traitez de la voix', Harmonie Universelle (1637), Vol. 1, prop. lii, 79. In Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1974), Vol. 9, 318.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Animal (309)  |  Automaton (6)  |  Clock (26)  |  Following (16)  |  Impression (51)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Object (110)  |  Pull (11)  |  Sense (240)  |  Spring (47)  |  Weight (61)  |  Wheel (13)

[The root cap of a plant], having the power of directing the movements of the adjoining parts, acts like the brain of one of the lower animals; the brain being seated within the anterior end of the body, receiving impressions from the sense-organs, and directing the several movements.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Anterior (4)  |  Body (193)  |  Botany (47)  |  Brain (181)  |  Direct (44)  |  Impression (51)  |  Movement (65)  |  Part (146)  |  Plant (173)  |  Power (273)  |  Receive (39)  |  Root (48)  |  Sense (240)


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 EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (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.