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: Amateur

Amateur Quotes (18 quotes)
Amateurs Quotes

[About John Evershed] There is much in our medallist’s career which is a reminder of the scientific life of Sir William Huggins. They come from the same English neighbourhood and began as amateurs of the best kind. They both possess the same kind of scientific aptitude.
Address, presenting the Gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society to Evershed, as quoted in F.J.M. Stratton, 'John Evershed', Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (Nov 1957), 3, 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Aptitude (10)  |  English (23)  |  Sir William Huggins (2)  |  Life (917)  |  Possess (19)  |  Reminder (11)  |  Scientific (169)

American archaeology has always attracted lots of amateurs ... They were digging up Indian pottery all over the place.
From Robert S. Grumet, 'An Interview with Anthony F. C. Wallace', Ethnohistory (Winter 1998), 45, No. 1, 109.
Science quotes on:  |  America (74)  |  Archaeology (42)  |  Attract (15)  |  Dig (9)  |  Indian (17)  |  Pottery (3)

Bahn's Law of Rocketry: Amateurs talk Propulsion, Professionals Talk Insurance.
Pat Bahn
Contributed by author.
Science quotes on:  |  Insurance (9)  |  Professional (27)  |  Propulsion (8)  |  Rocket (29)  |  Talk (61)

Botany is the school for patience, and it’s amateurs learn resignation from daily disappointments.
In letter to Madame de Tessé (25 Apr 1788). In Thomas Jefferson Correspondence: Printed from the Originals (1916), 7. The errant apostrophe in “it’s” appears in more than one texts checked by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Botany (47)  |  Daily (19)  |  Disappointment (11)  |  Learn (160)  |  Patience (31)  |  Resignation (2)  |  School (87)

During my pre-college years I went on many trips with my father into the oil fields to visit their operations. … I puttered around the machine, electronics, and automobile shops while he carried on his business. Both of my parents are inveterate do-it-yourselfers, almost no task being beneath their dignity or beyond their ingenuity. Having picked up a keen interest in electronics from my father, I used to fix radios and later television sets for fun and spending money. I built my own hi-fi set and enjoyed helping friends with their amateur radio transmitters, but lost interest as soon as they worked.
Remarks on how his high school interests foreshadowed his career as a radio astronomer. From autobiography in Stig Lundqvist (ed.) Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980 (1992).
Science quotes on:  |  Automobile (19)  |  Biography (227)  |  Building (51)  |  Electronics (8)  |  Enjoyment (27)  |  Fun (28)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Interest (170)  |  Inveterate (2)  |  Machine (133)  |  Parent (39)  |  Radio (27)  |  Shop (11)  |  Television (27)

Effective science began when it passed from the occasional amateur into the hands of men who made the winning of knowledge their special function or profession.
Address to 48th annual summer convention of the American Institute of Electriccal Engineers, Cleveland (21 Jun 1932), abridged in 'The Rôle of the Engineer', The Electrical Journal (1932), 109, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Effective (20)  |  Function (90)  |  Hand (103)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Making (26)  |  Occasional (10)  |  Passing (5)  |  Profession (54)  |  Science (1699)  |  Special (51)  |  Winning (3)

Every honest researcher I know admits he’s just a professional amateur. He’s doing whatever he’s doing for the first time. That makes him an amateur. He has sense enough to know that he’s going to have a lot of trouble, so that makes him a professional.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Admit (22)  |  First Time (3)  |  Honest (26)  |  Know (321)  |  Lot (23)  |  Professional (27)  |  Researcher (17)  |  Sense (240)  |  Trouble (55)

I … began my career as a wireless amateur. After 43 years in radio, I do not mind confessing that I am still an amateur. Despite many great achievements in the science of radio and electronics, what we know today is far less than what we have still to learn.
Address at Banquet of the International Congress on Rheumatic Diseases, printed in 'Man and Science', Radio Age: Research, Manufacturing, Communications, Broadcasting, Television (Jul 1949), 8, No. 4, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Career (54)  |  Confession (5)  |  Electronics (8)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learning (174)  |  Radio (27)  |  Science (1699)  |  Today (86)  |  Wireless (5)

It was to Hofmeister, working as a young man, an amateur and enthusiast, in the early morning hours of summer months, before business, at Leipzig in the years before 1851, that the vision first appeared of a common type of Life-Cycle, running through Mosses and Ferns to Gymnosperms and Flowering Plants, linking the whole series in one scheme of reproduction and life-history.
(1919). As quoted in E.J.H. Corner, The Life of Plants (1964).
Science quotes on:  |  Common (92)  |  Enthusiast (4)  |  Fern (4)  |  Flower (65)  |  Wilhelm Hofmeister (2)  |  Life Cycle (3)  |  Life History (2)  |  Moss (8)  |  Plant (173)  |  Reproduction (57)  |  Scheme (20)  |  Vision (55)

My amateur interest in astronomy brought out the term “magnitude,” which is used for the brightness of a star.
From interview with Henry Spall, as in an abridged version of Earthquake Information Bulletin (Jan-Feb 1980), 12, No. 1, that is on the USGS website.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Brightness (8)  |  Classification (79)  |  Earthquake (27)  |  Interest (170)  |  Magnitude (21)  |  Nomenclature (129)  |  Richter Scale (3)  |  Star (251)  |  Term (87)

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the Ark, professionals built the Titanic.
Anonymous
Ralph Keyes, in The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When (2007), 116, states “This is a new saw that floats about in search of an originator.” It was seen, for example, in the her advice column, shortly before Abby stopped writing her column. A variant, with only the “amateurs” and “professionals" clauses, appears as early 1984 in The World Economy, Vol. 7, 406.
Science quotes on:  |  Afraid (15)  |  Ark (3)  |  Build (80)  |  New (340)  |  Professional (27)  |  Remember (53)  |  Titanic (3)  |  Try (103)

Parenthood is the only profession that has been left exclusively to amateurs.
Anonymous
Science quotes on:  |  Parent (39)  |  Profession (54)

She [Nettie Stevens] was a trained expert in the modern sense—in the sense in which biology has ceased to be a playground for the amateur and a plaything for the mystic.
In obituary, 'The Scientific Work of Miss N.M. Steves', Science (11 Oct 1912), 36, No. 928, 470.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Cease (23)  |  Expert (42)  |  Modern (104)  |  Mystic (10)  |  Playground (5)  |  Plaything (3)  |  Sense (240)  |  Nettie Maria Stevens (4)  |  Trained (5)

The commonest forms of amateur natural history in the United States are probably gardening, bird watching, the maintenance of aquarium fish, and nature photography.
In The Nature of Natural History (1950, 1990), 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Aquarium (2)  |  Common (92)  |  Fish (85)  |  Gardening (2)  |  Maintenance (13)  |  Naturalist (49)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Photography (7)  |  United States (31)

The invention of IQ did a great disservice to creativity in education. ... Individuality, personality, originality, are too precious to be meddled with by amateur psychiatrists whose patterns for a “wholesome personality” are inevitably their own.
In speech, 'Education for Creativity in the Sciences', Conference at New York University, Washington Square. As quoted by Gene Currivan in 'I.Q. Tests Called Harmful to Pupil', New York Times (16 Jun 1963), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (66)  |  Disservice (4)  |  Education (280)  |  Individuality (12)  |  Inevitability (8)  |  Invention (283)  |  IQ (5)  |  Meddling (2)  |  Originality (14)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Personality (40)  |  Precious (22)  |  Psychiatrist (13)  |  Wholesome (6)

What an amateur is, is a lover of a subject. I’m a lover of facts. The fact is the savior, as long as you don’t jam it into some preconceived pattern.
From interview, Carol Krucoff, 'The 6 O’Clock Scholar: Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin And His Love Affair With Books', The Washington Post (29 Jan 1984), K8.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (609)  |  Great (300)  |  Lover (7)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Preconceived (3)  |  Savior (3)  |  Subject (129)

What is peculiar and new to the [19th] century, differentiating it from all its predecessors, is its technology. It was not merely the introduction of some great isolated inventions. It is impossible not to feel that something more than that was involved. … The process of change was slow, unconscious, and unexpected. In the nineteeth century, the process became quick, conscious, and expected. … The whole change has arisen from the new scientific information. Science, conceived not so much in its principles as in its results, is an obvious storehouse of ideas for utilisation. … Also, it is a great mistake to think that the bare scientific idea is the required invention, so that it has only to be picked up and used. An intense period of imaginative design lies between. One element in the new method is just the discovery of how to set about bridging the gap between the scientific ideas, and the ultimate product. It is a process of disciplined attack upon one difficulty after another This discipline of knowledge applies beyond technology to pure science, and beyond science to general scholarship. It represents the change from amateurs to professionals. … But the full self-conscious realisation of the power of professionalism in knowledge in all its departments, and of the way to produce the professionals, and of the importance of knowledge to the advance of technology, and of the methods by which abstract knowledge can be connected with technology, and of the boundless possibilities of technological advance,—the realisation of all these things was first completely attained in the nineteeth century.
In Science and the Modern World (1925, 1997), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (22)  |  Boundless (11)  |  Change (291)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Design (92)  |  Differentiate (6)  |  Expected (5)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Information (102)  |  Introduction (31)  |  Invention (283)  |  Isolated (12)  |  Peculiar (24)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Professional (27)  |  Pure Science (18)  |  Realisation (2)  |  Scholarship (13)  |  Storehouse (3)  |  Technology (199)  |  Unconscious (13)  |  Unexpected (26)

When … a large number of renegade specialists and amateurs believe contrary to the most prestigious experts, the latter say, well science is not democratic, it is what the people who know the most say—that is what counts!
In Seeing Red: Redshifts, Cosmology and Academic Science (1998), 273.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Contrary (22)  |  Democratic (7)  |  Expert (42)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  People (269)  |  Science (1699)  |  Specialist (20)


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.