Celebrating 17 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Chemistry

Chemistry Quotes (189 quotes)

Carl Sagan quote A Subject Called Chemistry
Wellington College. CC by-NC 2.0 (source)

Πάντα ῥεῖ : all things are in flux. It is inevitable that you are indebted to the past. You are fed and formed by it. The old forest is decomposed for the composition of the new forest. The old animals have given their bodies to the earth to furnish through chemistry the forming race, and every individual is only a momentary fixation of what was yesterday another’s, is today his and will belong to a third to-morrow. So it is in thought.
In Lecture, second in a series given at Freeman Place Chapel, Boston (Mar 1859), 'Quotation and Originality', collected in Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 200. The Greek expression, “panta rei” is a quote from Heraclitus.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (199)  |  Body (133)  |  Composition (38)  |  Debt (2)  |  Decompose (2)  |  Earth (313)  |  Feed (11)  |  Fixation (2)  |  Flux (7)  |  Forest (68)  |  Form (112)  |  Furnish (13)  |  Individual (90)  |  Inevitable (8)  |  New (178)  |  Old (45)  |  Past (64)  |  Race (50)  |  Thought (237)  |  Today (44)  |  Tomorrow (19)  |  Yesterday (6)

'Tis a short sight to limit our faith in laws to those of gravity, of chemistry, of botany, and so forth. Those laws do not stop where our eyes lose them, but push the same geometry and chemistry up into the invisible plane of social and rational life, so that, look where we will, in a boy's game, or in the strifes of races, a perfect reaction, a perpetual judgment keeps watch and ward.
From 'Worship', The Conduct of Life (1860) collected in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1866), Vol.2, 401.
Science quotes on:  |  Botany (32)  |  Boy (20)  |  Eye (105)  |  Faith (92)  |  Game (35)  |  Geometry (87)  |  Gravity (66)  |  Invisible (17)  |  Judgment (51)  |  Law (334)  |  Life (606)  |  Limit (42)  |  Look (39)  |  Lose (8)  |  Perfect (24)  |  Perpetual (4)  |  Plane (10)  |  Race (50)  |  Rational (22)  |  Reaction (52)  |  Social (26)  |  Stop (35)  |  Strife (6)  |  Ward (2)  |  Watch (20)

...the question undoubtedly is, or soon will be, not whether or no we shall employ notation in chemistry, but whether we shall use a bad and incongruous, or a consistent and regular notation.
'On the Employment of Notation in Chemistry', Journal of the Royal Institution (1838), 1, 438. Cited in Timothy L. Alborn, 'Negotiating Notation: Chemical Symbols and British Society, 1831-1835', Annals of Science (1989), 46, 437.
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (34)  |  Consistency (16)  |  Employment (18)  |  Incongruity (2)  |  Notation (8)  |  Question (202)  |  Regularity (17)

Ces détails scientifiques qui effarouchent les fabricans d’un certain âge, ne seront qu’un jeu pour leurs enfans, quand ils auront apprit dans leurs collèges un peu plus de mathématiques et un peu moins de Latin; un peu plus de Chimie, et un peu moins de Grec!
The scientific details which now terrify the adult manufacturer will be mere trifles to his children when they shall be taught at school, a little more Mathematics and a little less Latin, a little more Chemistry, and a little less Greek.
As quoted in 'Sketches From Life of Some Eminent Foreign Scientific Lecturers: Dumas', Magazine of Popular Science, and Journal of the Useful Arts (1836). Vol. 1, 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (114)  |  Detail (48)  |  Education (225)  |  Greek (28)  |  Latin (14)  |  Little (48)  |  Manufacturer (7)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  School (52)  |  Science (1133)  |  Taught (4)  |  Terrify (4)  |  Trifle (6)

Chemie ist nicht nur, wenn es stinkt und kracht.
Chemistry is not just, when it stinks and bangs.
German chemistry saying, seen on various web pages.
Science quotes on:  |  Bang (3)  |  Stink (2)

Die Chemie ist der unreinliche Teil der Physik.
Chemistry is the dirty part of physics.
Original German as quoted by Paul Krische, Wie Studiert man Chemie? (1904), 67, who also stated that Peter Reiss was a friend of Friedrich Wöhler (both chemists). English version as given in Chemisch Weekblad (1925), 22, 363. In more recent books, the quote is cited as by physicist Johann Philipp Reis. This confusion appears, for example in Ralph Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Dirty (5)  |  Part (74)  |  Physics (203)

Engineering, too, owes its most useful materials to the achievements of chemists in identifying, separating, and transforming materials: structural steel for the framework of bridges and buildings, portland cement for roadways and aqueducts, pure copper for the electrical industries, aluminum alloys for automobiles and airplanes, porcelain for spark plugs and electrical insulators. The triumphs of engineering skill rest on a chemical foundation.
In Fundamental Chemistry, and Elementary Textbook for College Classes (1936), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (96)  |  Airplane (22)  |  Alloy (2)  |  Aluminum (2)  |  Aqueduct (2)  |  Automobile (15)  |  Bridge (19)  |  Building (49)  |  Cement (8)  |  Chemist (69)  |  Civil Engineering (2)  |  Copper (14)  |  Electrical (5)  |  Electrical Engineering (8)  |  Engineering (86)  |  Foundation (49)  |  Framework (12)  |  Identification (10)  |  Industry (68)  |  Insulator (2)  |  Material (86)  |  Plug (2)  |  Porcelain (3)  |  Pure (28)  |  Roadway (2)  |  Skill (39)  |  Spark (11)  |  Steel (8)  |  Structural (5)  |  Transforming (4)  |  Triumph (26)  |  Useful (36)

La chemie est une science française; elle fut constitutée par Lavoisier d’immortelle mémoire.
Chemistry is a French Science. It was founded by Lavoisier of immortal memory.
In 'Histoire des doctrines chimiques', Dictionnaire de Chimie Pure et Appliquée (1868), Vol. 1, i.
Science quotes on:  |  France (13)  |  Lavoisier (2)  |  Memory (59)

La Chimie n’est pas une science primitive, comme la géométrie ou l’astronomie; elle s’est constituée sur les débris d’une formation scientifique antérieure; formation demi-chimérique et demi-positive, fondée elle-même sur le trésor lentement amassé des découvertes pratiques de la métallurgie, de la médecine, de l’industrie et de l’économie domestique. Il s’agit de l’alchimie, qui prétendait à la fois enrichir ses adeptes en leur apprenant à fabriquer l’or et l’argent, les mettre à l’abri des maladies par la préparation de la panacée, enfin leur procurer le bonheur parfait en les identifiant avec l’âme du monde et l’esprit universel.
Chemistry is not a primitive science like geometry and astronomy; it is constructed from the debris of a previous scientific formation; a formation half chimerical and half positive, itself found on the treasure slowly amassed by the practical discoveries of metallurgy, medicine, industry and domestic economy. It has to do with alchemy, which pretended to enrich its adepts by teaching them to manufacture gold and silver, to shield them from diseases by the preparation of the panacea, and, finally, to obtain for them perfect felicity by identifying them with the soul of the world and the universal spirit.
From Les Origines de l’Alchemie (1885), 1-2. As quoted by Harry Shipley Fry in 'An Outline of the History of Chemistry Symbolically Represented in a Rookwood Fountain', The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (1 Sep 1922), 14, No. 9, 868.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (19)  |  Amassed (2)  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Constructed (2)  |  Debris (4)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Disease (197)  |  Domestic (6)  |  Economy (34)  |  Enrich (3)  |  Felicity (2)  |  Finally (4)  |  Formation (47)  |  Found (10)  |  Geometry (87)  |  Gold (34)  |  Half (18)  |  Identifying (2)  |  Industry (68)  |  Manufacture (7)  |  Medicine (222)  |  Metallurgy (2)  |  Obtain (15)  |  Panacea (2)  |  Perfect (24)  |  Positive (16)  |  Practical (55)  |  Preparation (29)  |  Previous (7)  |  Scientific (95)  |  Shield (2)  |  Silver (19)  |  Slowly (6)  |  Soul (69)  |  Spirit (72)  |  Teaching (87)  |  Treasure (22)  |  Universal (41)  |  World (365)

Misattributed to Johann Reiss. Probably by Peter Reiss.
Die Chemie ist der unreinliche Teil der Physik.
Chemistry is the dirty part of physics.
Webmaster believes this quote should be attributed to Peter Reiss, having found the following example cited for Peter Reiss. Original German as quoted by Paul Krische, Wie Studiert man Chemie? (1904), 67, who also stated that Peter Reiss was a friend of Friedrich Wöhler (both chemists). English version as given in Chemisch Weekblad (1925), 22, 363. In various recent books, the quote is cited as by physicist Johann Philipp Reis. This confusion appears, for example in Ralph Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Dirty (5)  |  Part (74)  |  Physics (203)

Mit dem Schwerte der Wissenschaft, mit dem Panzer der Praxis, so wird Deutsche Bier die Welt erringen.
With the sword of Science and the armour of Practice, German beer will encircle the world.
From address about yeast and fermentation in the brewery, to the German Brewing Congress (Jun 1884) as Director of the Experimental and Teaching Institute for Brewing in Berlin. In 'Ueber Hefe und Gärung in der Bierbrauerei', Bayerische Bierbauer, 1884, 19, 312. As cited in Ray Anderson, Brewery History (Summer 2006), No. 123, 55. Indeed, as quoting Anderson, “In 1887 beer output in the German states exceeded that in the UK for the first time and Germany became the largest producer of beer in the world.” Using Google translation, the word “armour” might also be read as “breast-plate.”
Science quotes on:  |  Beer (6)

Similia similibus solvuntur
Like dissolves like.
Aphorism used in chemistry to indicate the polar solvents dissolve polar solutes, whereas non-polar solvents will dissolve non-polar solutes. Seen, for example, in Corpus Pharmaceutico-Chymico-Medicum Universale (1711), 4. It appears in this context: “Sic spiritus vini cum camphora, item oleum destillatum cum sulfure se intimè unit. Quae separando homogeneas saltem particulas adsciscunt, & sibi uniunt, his competit regula: Similia similibus solvuntur: & est genuina solutio.”
Science quotes on:  |  Dissolve (7)  |  Solvent (4)

Tierchemie ist Schmierchemie.
Animal chemistry is messy chemistry.
Quoted without source in Joseph S. Feuton, Proteins, Enzymes, Genes: The Interplay of Chemistry and Biology (1999), 57.

Tout homme qui reçoit une éducation libérale compte aujourd'hui la chimie parmi les objets les plus indispensables de ses études.
Everyone who receives a liberal education today counts chemistry among the most essential parts of his studies.
Système des Connaissances Chimiques, et de Leurs Applications aux Phénomènes de la Nature et de l'Art (1800), Vol. 1, Preface, xviii. Translation by Webmaster.

[Recalling Professor Ira Remsen's remarks (1895) to a group of his graduate students about to go out with their degrees into the world beyond the university:]
He talked to us for an hour on what was ahead of us; cautioned us against giving up the desire to push ahead by continued study and work. He warned us against allowing our present accomplishments to be the high spot in our lives. He urged us not to wait for a brilliant idea before beginning independent research, and emphasized the fact the Lavoisier's first contribution to chemistry was the analysis of a sample of gypsum. He told us that the fields in which the great masters had worked were still fruitful; the ground had only been scratched and the gleaner could be sure of ample reward.
Quoted in Frederick Hutton Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1980), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (41)  |  Ample (2)  |  Analysis (102)  |  Brilliance (8)  |  Chemist (69)  |  Contribution (36)  |  Desire (63)  |  Field (88)  |  Fruitful (18)  |  Graduation (3)  |  Ground (34)  |  Idea (313)  |  Independent (23)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (29)  |  Master (30)  |  Ira Remsen (6)  |  Research (400)  |  Reward (22)  |  Scratch (4)  |  Study (233)  |  Work (283)

[Responding to a student whose friend asked about studying Agricultural Chemistry at Johns Hopkins:]
We would be glad to have your friend come here to study, but tell him that we teach Chemistry here and not Agricultural Chemistry, nor any other special kind of chemistry. ... We teach Chemistry.
In Frederick Hutton Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen, 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Kind (41)  |  Special (35)  |  Teaching (87)

A beautiful blonde is chemically three-fourths water, but what lovely surface tension.
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips and Quotes, 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Surface Tension (2)  |  Water (171)

A man cannot be professor of zoölogy on one day and of chemistry on the next, and do good work in both. As in a concert all are musicians,—one plays one instrument, and one another, but none all in perfection.
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 146.
Science quotes on:  |  Concert (2)  |  Instrument (53)  |  Musician (8)  |  Perfection (49)  |  Play (25)  |  Professor (33)  |  Work (283)  |  Zoology (13)

A schism has taken place among the chemists. A particular set of them in France have undertaken to remodel all the terms of the science, and to give every substance a new name, the composition, and especially the termination of which, shall define the relation in which it stands to other substances of the same family, But the science seems too much in its infancy as yet, for this reformation; because in fact, the reformation of this year must be reformed again the next year, and so on, changing the names of substances as often as new experiments develop properties in them undiscovered before. The new nomenclature has, accordingly, been already proved to need numerous and important reformations. ... It is espoused by the minority here, and by the very few, indeed, of the foreign chemists. It is particularly rejected in England.
Letter to Dr. Willard (Paris, 1788). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 3, 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Composition (38)  |  Compound (42)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (29)  |  Nomenclature (118)  |  Reform (7)  |  Substance (57)

A. R. Todd
Thinks he’s God.
N. F. Mott
Says he’s not.
Quoted by William Lord in The Times (22 Jan 1997), remarking on the competitiveness between the Physics and Chemistry Departments at the University of Cambridge.
Science quotes on:  |  Cambridge (11)  |  Competitiveness (2)  |  Concern (41)  |  Department (17)  |  God (271)  |  Sir Nevill F. Mott (6)  |  Physics (203)  |  Say (26)  |  Think (31)  |  Lord Alexander R. Todd (5)  |  University (41)

According to the older view, for every single effect of a serum, there was a separate substance, or at least a particular chemical group... A normal serum contained as many different haemagglutinins as it agglutinated different cells. The situation was undoubtedly made much simpler if, to use the Ehrlich terminology... the separate haptophore groups can combine with an extremely large number of receptors in stepwise differing quantities as a stain does with different animal tissues, though not always with the same intensity. A normal serum would therefore visibly affect such a large number of different blood cells... not because it contained countless special substances, but because of the colloids of the serum, and therefore of the agglutinins by reason of their chemical constitution and the electrochemical properties resulting from it. That this manner of representation is a considerable simplification is clear; it also opens the way to direct experimental testing by the methods of structural chemistry.
'Die Theorien der Antikorperbildung ... ', Wiener klinische Wöchenschrift (1909), 22, 1623-1631. Trans. Pauline M. H. Mazumdar.
Science quotes on:  |  Blood (71)  |  Cell (104)  |  Colloid (5)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Immunology (12)  |  Serum (7)  |  Structure (136)

Acid Salts have the Power of Destroying the Blewness of the Infusion of our Wood [lignum nephreticum], and those Liquors indiscriminatly that abound with Sulphurous Salts, (under which I comprehend the Urinous and Volatile Salts of Animal Substances, and the Alcalisate or fixed Salts that are made by Incineration) have the virtue of Restoring it.
Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours (1664), 212.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (17)  |  Indicator (4)

After having a wash I proceeded to the bar where—believe it or not—there was a white-coated barman who was not only serving drinks but also cigarettes! I hastened forward and rather timidly said ‘Can I have some cigarettes?’
‘What’s your rank?’ was the slightly unexpected reply.
‘I am afraid I haven’t got one,’ I answered.
‘Nonsense—everyone who comes here has a rank.’
‘I’m sorry but I just don’t have one.’
‘Now that puts me in a spot,’ said the barman, ‘for orders about cigarettes in this camp are clear—twenty for officers and ten for other ranks. Tell me what exactly are you?’
Now I really wanted those cigarettes so I drew myself up and said ‘I am the Professor of Chemistry at Manchester University.’
The barman contemplated me for about thirty seconds and then said ‘I’ll give you five.’
Since that day I have had few illusions about the importance of professors!
In A Time to Remember: The Autobiography of a Chemist (1983), 59. This event took place after a visit to the Defence Research Establishment at Porton to observe a demonstration of a new chemical anti-tank weapon (1941).
Science quotes on:  |  Bar (2)  |  Belief (215)  |  Cigarette (19)  |  Contemplation (27)  |  Defence (3)  |  Demonstration (44)  |  Drink (19)  |  Illusion (20)  |  Importance (155)  |  Manchester (4)  |  New (178)  |  Officer (4)  |  Order (90)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Professor (33)  |  Rank (15)  |  Second (15)  |  Serving (4)  |  Sorry (8)  |  Unexpected (17)  |  University (41)  |  Want (59)  |  Wash (5)

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:  |  Act (40)  |  Action (85)  |  Atom (190)  |  Change (186)  |  Combination (54)  |  Concentration (11)  |  Distinguishing (14)  |  Earth (313)  |  Force (108)  |  Hour (22)  |  Imitate (2)  |  Interchange (3)  |  Laboratory (98)  |  Long (29)  |  Molecule (98)  |  Nature (688)  |  Observed (5)  |  Operation (72)  |  Period (41)  |  Place (48)  |  Power (155)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Process (144)  |  Producing (6)  |  Result (167)  |  Slow (13)  |  Suddenness (4)  |  Time (252)

Although I was four years at the University [of Wisconsin], I did not take the regular course of studies, but instead picked out what I thought would be most useful to me, particularly chemistry, which opened a new world, mathematics and physics, a little Greek and Latin, botany and and geology. I was far from satisfied with what I had learned, and should have stayed longer.
[Enrolled in Feb 1861, left in 1863 without completing a degree, and began his first botanical foot journey.]
John Muir
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), 286.
Science quotes on:  |  Botany (32)  |  Geology (165)  |  Greek (28)  |  Latin (14)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Physics (203)  |  University (41)

Among those whom I could never pursuade to rank themselves with idlers, and who speak with indignation of my morning sleeps and nocturnal rambles, one passes the day in catching spiders, that he may count their eyes with a microscope; another exhibits the dust of a marigold separated from the flower with a dexterity worthy of Leuwenhoweck himself. Some turn the wheel of electricity; some suspend rings to a lodestone, and find that what they did yesterday, they can do again to-day.—Some register the changes of the wind, and die fully convinced that the wind is changeable.—There are men yet more profound, who have heard that two colorless liquors may produce a color by union, and that two cold bodies will grow hot of they are mingled: they mingle them, and produce the effect expected, say it is strange, and mingle them again.
In Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Cold (29)  |  Color (56)  |  Dexterity (4)  |  Dust (28)  |  Effect (95)  |  Electricity (93)  |  Energy (131)  |  Enquiry (72)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Eye (105)  |  Heat (58)  |  Idleness (7)  |  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (15)  |  Liquid (20)  |  Lodestone (5)  |  Magnetism (23)  |  Meteorology (16)  |  Microscope (55)  |  Mingle (2)  |  Observation (339)  |  Persuade (3)  |  Physics (203)  |  Pollen (3)  |  Profound (32)  |  Ramble (2)  |  Reaction (52)  |  Repeat (18)  |  Research (400)  |  Sleep (27)  |  Spider (6)  |  Strange (30)  |  Wind (39)

An egg is a chemical process, but it is not a mere chemical process. It is one that is going places—even when, in our world of chance and contingency, it ends up in an omelet and not in a chicken. Though it surely be a chemical process, we cannot understand it adequately without knowing the kind of chicken it has the power to become.
'The Changing Impact of Darwin on Philosophy', Journal of the History of Ideas (1961), 22, 457.
Science quotes on:  |  Becoming (13)  |  Chance (100)  |  Chicken (4)  |  Contingency (3)  |  Egg (31)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Process (144)  |  Understanding (297)

And indeed I am not humming,
Thus to sing of Cl-ke and C-ming,
Who all the universe surpasses
in cutting up and making gases;
With anatomy and chemics,
Metaphysics and polemics,
Analyzing and chirugery,
And scientific surgery …
H-slow's lectures on the cabbage
Useful are as roots of Babbage;
Fluxions and beet-root botany,
Some would call pure monotony.
Punch in Cambridge (28 Jan 1834). In Mark Weatherall, Gentlemen, Scientists, and Medicine at Cambridge 1800-1940 (2000), Vol. 3,77. The professors named were William Clark (anatomy), James Cumming (chemistry) and Johns Stephens Henslow (botany).
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (102)  |  Anatomy (40)  |  Charles Babbage (36)  |  Botany (32)  |  Cabbage (3)  |  Cutting (4)  |  Fluxion (3)  |  Gas (35)  |  John Stevens Henslow (2)  |  Humming (3)  |  Lecture (41)  |  Metaphysics (29)  |  Monotony (2)  |  Poem (79)  |  Root (28)  |  Surgery (37)  |  Surpassing (7)  |  Universe (347)  |  Usefulness (64)

As mineralogy constitutes a part of chemistry, it is clear that this arrangement [of minerals] must derive its principles from chemistry. The most perfect mode of arrangement would certainly be to allow bodies to follow each other according to the order of their electro-chemical properties, from the most electro-negative, oxygen, to the most electro-positive, potassium; and to place every compound body according to its most electro-positive ingredient.
An Attempt to Establish a Pure Scientific System of Mineralogy (1814), trans. J. Black, 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (35)  |  Classification (66)  |  Electrochemistry (5)  |  Ingredient (8)  |  Mineral (27)  |  Mineralogy (6)  |  Oxygen (40)  |  Potassium (11)

As soon as we touch the complex processes that go on in a living thing, be it plant or animal, we are at once forced to use the methods of this science [chemistry]. No longer will the microscope, the kymograph, the scalpel avail for the complete solution of the problem. For the further analysis of these phenomena which are in flux and flow, the investigator must associate himself with those who have labored in fields where molecules and atoms, rather than multicellular tissues or even unicellular organisms, are the units of study.
'Experimental and Chemical Studies of the Blood with an Appeal for More Extended Chemical Training for the Biological and Medical Investigator', Science (6 Aug 1915), 42, 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (102)  |  Animal (199)  |  Atom (190)  |  Biochemistry (38)  |  Biology (106)  |  Cell (104)  |  Complexity (62)  |  Flow (17)  |  Flux (7)  |  Investigator (21)  |  Life (606)  |  Method (107)  |  Microscope (55)  |  Molecule (98)  |  Organism (90)  |  Phenomenon (160)  |  Plant (124)  |  Problem (240)  |  Process (144)  |  Solution (136)  |  Study (233)  |  Tissue (18)

At the present time it is of course quite customary for physicists to trespass on chemical ground, for mathematicians to do excellent work in physics, and for physicists to develop new mathematical procedures. … Trespassing is one of the most successful techniques in science.
In Dynamics in Psychology (1940, 1973), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Custom (14)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Physics (203)  |  Success (144)  |  Technique (20)  |  Trespassing (2)

Better Things for Better Living Through Chemistry.
Advertising campaign slogan for the DuPont Company from 1935.
Science quotes on:  |  Advertisement (11)

But nothing of a nature foreign to the duties of my profession [clergyman] engaged my attention while I was at Leeds so much as the, prosecution of my experiments relating to electricity, and especially the doctrine of air. The last I was led into a consequence of inhabiting a house adjoining to a public brewery, where first amused myself with making experiments on fixed air [carbon dioxide] which found ready made in the process of fermentation. When I removed from that house, I was under the necessity making the fixed air for myself; and one experiment leading to another, as I have distinctly and faithfully noted in my various publications on the subject, I by degrees contrived a convenient apparatus for the purpose, but of the cheapest kind. When I began these experiments I knew very little of chemistry, and had in a manner no idea on the subject before I attended a course of chymical lectures delivered in the Academy at Warrington by Dr. Turner of Liverpool. But I have often thought that upon the whole, this circumstance was no disadvantage to me; as in this situation I was led to devise an apparatus and processes of my own, adapted to my peculiar views. Whereas, if I had been previously accustomed to the usual chemical processes, I should not have so easily thought of any other; and without new modes of operation I should hardly have discovered anything materially new.
Memoirs of Dr. Joseph Priestley, in the Year 1795 (1806), Vol. 1, 61-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (108)  |  Apparatus (23)  |  Carbon Dioxide (15)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Duty (36)  |  Electricity (93)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Fermentation (12)  |  Fixed Air (2)  |  Lecture (41)  |  Mode (14)  |  Operation (72)  |  Profession (40)  |  Publication (81)  |  Thought (237)  |  View (60)

Chemical engineering is the profession in which a knowledge of mathematics, chemistry and other natural sciences gained by study, experience and practice is applied with judgment to develop economic ways of using materials and energy for the benefit of mankind.
In Article III, 'Definition of the Profession', Constitution of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (as amended 17 Jan 2003). The same wording is found in the 1983 Constitution, as quoted in Nicholas A. Peppas (ed.), One Hundred Years of Chemical Engineering: From Lewis M. Norton (M.I.T. 1888) to Present (2012), 334.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (13)  |  Benefit (36)  |  Chemical Engineering (3)  |  Develop (23)  |  Economics (24)  |  Energy (131)  |  Experience (171)  |  Gain (33)  |  Judgment (51)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Mankind (136)  |  Material (86)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Natural Science (39)  |  Practice (36)  |  Profession (40)  |  Study (233)  |  Use (69)

Chemical research conducts to the knowledge of philosophical truth, and forms the mind to philosophical enlargement and accuracy of thought, more happily than almost any other species of investigation in which the human intellect can be employed.
Quote following title page of Samuel Parkes, A Chemical Catechism With Notes, Illustrations and Experiments (8th ed. 1818).
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (47)  |  Employment (18)  |  Enlargement (6)  |  Form (112)  |  Happiness (64)  |  Human (225)  |  Intellect (128)  |  Investigation (103)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Mind (346)  |  Philosophy (164)  |  Research (400)  |  Species (119)  |  Thought (237)  |  Truth (573)

Chemistry affords two general methods of determining the constituent principles of bodies, the method of analysis, and that of synthesis. When, for instance, by combining water with alkohol, we form the species of liquor called, in commercial language, brandy or spirit of wine, we certainly have a right to conclude, that brandy, or spirit of wine, is composed of alkohol combined with water. We can produce the same result by the analytical method; and in general it ought to be considered as a principle in chemical science, never to rest satisfied without both these species of proofs. We have this advantage in the analysis of atmospherical air, being able both to decompound it, and to form it a new in the most satisfactory manner.
Elements of Chemistry (1790), trans. R. Kerr, 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (108)  |  Alcohol (13)  |  Analysis (102)  |  Atmosphere (45)  |  Brandy (2)  |  Conclusion (91)  |  Decomposition (12)  |  Language (93)  |  Proof (162)  |  Synthesis (33)  |  Wine (19)

Chemistry and physics are experimental sciences; and those who are engaged in attempting to enlarge the boundaries of science by experiment are generally unwilling to publish speculations; for they have learned, by long experience, that it is unsafe to anticipate events. It is true, they must make certain theories and hypotheses. They must form some kind of mental picture of the relations between the phenomena which they are trying to investigate, else their experiments would be made at random, and without connection.
From 'Radium and Its Products', Harper’s Magazine (Dec 1904), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Anticipate (5)  |  Boundary (18)  |  Connection (58)  |  Enlarge (7)  |  Event (65)  |  Experience (171)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Hypothesis (187)  |  Investigation (103)  |  Mental (35)  |  Phenomenon (160)  |  Physics (203)  |  Picture (35)  |  Publish (6)  |  Random (16)  |  Relation (65)  |  Science (1133)  |  Speculation (56)  |  Theory (446)  |  Unsafe (4)  |  Unwilling (3)

Chemistry dissolves the goddess in the alembic,
Venus, the white queen, the universal matrix,
Down to the molecular hexagons and carbon-chains.
'The Human Form Divine', in The Collected Poems of Kathleen Raine (1956), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Alembic (2)  |  Carbon (34)  |  Chain (31)  |  Goddess (2)  |  Hexagon (4)  |  Matrix (3)  |  Molecule (98)  |  Queen (6)  |  Universal (41)  |  Venus (9)  |  White (18)

Chemistry has been termed by the physicist as the messy part of physics, but that is no reason why the physicists should be permitted to make a mess of chemistry when they invade it.
Attributed. In Robert L. Weber, More Random Walks in Science: An Anthology (1982), 64, without citation. Contact Webmaster if you know a primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Invasion (6)  |  Mess (5)  |  Permission (3)  |  Physics (203)  |  Reason (211)  |  Term (55)

Chemistry has the same quickening and suggestive influence upon the algebraist as a visit to the Royal Academy, or the old masters may be supposed to have on a Browning or a Tennyson. Indeed it seems to me that an exact homology exists between painting and poetry on the one hand and modern chemistry and modern algebra on the other. In poetry and algebra we have the pure idea elaborated and expressed through the vehicle of language, in painting and chemistry the idea enveloped in matter, depending in part on manual processes and the resources of art for its due manifestation.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (29)  |  Art (115)  |  Robert Browning (4)  |  Dependence (28)  |  Elaboration (4)  |  Envelope (4)  |  Expression (56)  |  Idea (313)  |  Influence (65)  |  Language (93)  |  Manifestation (24)  |  Manual (5)  |  Master (30)  |  Matter (176)  |  Modern (69)  |  Painting (19)  |  Poetry (77)  |  Process (144)  |  Pure (28)  |  Quickening (2)  |  Lord Alfred Tennyson (15)  |  Vehicle (4)  |  Visit (8)

Chemistry is a gibberish of Latin and German; but in Leibig's hands it becomes a powerful language.
'Die Chemie kauderwelscht in Latein und Deutsch, aber in Leibig's munde wird sie sprachgewaltig' . Jakob Grimm (ed.), Deutsche Wörlerbuch (1854), Vol. 1, xxxi. Translated and quoted by William H. Brock, in Justus von Liebig: The Chemical Gatekeeper (2002), 174. Note that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are better known as the Brothers Grimm.
Science quotes on:  |  German (4)  |  Language (93)  |  Latin (14)  |  Justus von Liebig (38)

Chemistry is an art that has furnished the world with a great number of useful facts, and has thereby contributed to the improvement of many arts; but these facts lie scattered in many different books, involved in obscure terms, mixed with many falsehoods, and joined to a great deal of false philosophy; so that it is not great wonder that chemistry has not been so much studied as might have been expected with regard to so useful a branch of knowledge, and that many professors are themselves but very superficially acquainted with it. But it was particularly to be expected, that, since it has been taught in universities, the difficulties in this study should have been in some measure removed, that the art should have been put into form, and a system of it attempted—the scattered facts collected and arranged in a proper order. But this has not yet been done; chemistry has not yet been taught but upon a very narrow plan. The teachers of it have still confined themselves to the purposes of pharmacy and medicine, and that comprehends a small branch of chemistry; and even that, by being a single branch, could not by itself be tolerably explained.
John Thomson, An Account of the Life, Lectures and Writings of William Cullen, M.D. (1832), Vol. 1, 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (414)  |  Knowledge (879)

Chemistry is fun!
In Joseph Hirschfelder, Annual Review of Physical Chemistry, (1983), 3, 1. Stated as “To Hildebrand, Chemistry is Fun!” in Preface to Hildebrand's Viscosity and Diffusivity (1977), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Fun (21)

Chemistry is like a majestic skyscraper. The concrete secure foundation of chemistry consists of countless experimentally observed facts. The theories, principles and laws developed from these observations are like an elevator which runs from the bottom to the top of the edifice.
Ernest R. Toon and George L. Ellis (eds.), Foundations of Chemistry (1968), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Bottom (15)  |  Concrete (16)  |  Consist (10)  |  Countless (7)  |  Developed (5)  |  Edifice (11)  |  Elevator (2)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Fact (414)  |  Foundation (49)  |  Law (334)  |  Majestic (4)  |  Observation (339)  |  Principle (156)  |  Secure (7)  |  Skyscraper (5)  |  Theory (446)  |  Top (12)

Chemistry is one of those branches of human knowledge which has built itself upon methods and instruments by which truth can presumably be determined. It has survived and grown because all its precepts and principles can be re-tested at any time and anywhere. So long as it remained the mysterious alchemy by which a few devotees, by devious and dubious means, presumed to change baser metals into gold, it did not flourish, but when it dealt with the fact that 56 g. of fine iron, when heated with 32 g. of flowers of sulfur, generated extra heat and gave exactly 88 g. of an entirely new substance, then additional steps could be taken by anyone. Scientific research in chemistry, since the birth of the balance and the thermometer, has been a steady growth of test and observation. It has disclosed a finite number of elementary reagents composing an infinite universe, and it is devoted to their inter-reaction for the benefit of mankind.
Address upon receiving the Perkin Medal Award, 'The Big Things in Chemistry', The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (Feb 1921), 13, No. 2, 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (19)  |  Balance (29)  |  Base (16)  |  Branch (40)  |  Building (49)  |  Change (186)  |  Determination (46)  |  Devotee (2)  |  Element (88)  |  Fact (414)  |  Flourishing (5)  |  Gold (34)  |  Heat (58)  |  Human (225)  |  Instrument (53)  |  Iron (44)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Means (42)  |  Metal (26)  |  Method (107)  |  Mystery (87)  |  Observation (339)  |  Precept (3)  |  Presumption (8)  |  Principle (156)  |  Research (400)  |  Stoichiometry (2)  |  Sulphur (10)  |  Survival (37)  |  Test (68)  |  Thermometer (3)  |  Truth (573)

Chemistry is the study of material transformations. Yet a knowledge of the rate, or time dependence, of chemical change is of critical importance for the successful synthesis of new materials and for the utilization of the energy generated by a reaction. During the past century it has become clear that all macroscopic chemical processes consist of many elementary chemical reactions that are themselves simply a series of encounters between atomic or molecular species. In order to understand the time dependence of chemical reactions, chemical kineticists have traditionally focused on sorting out all of the elementary chemical reactions involved in a macroscopic chemical process and determining their respective rates.
'Molecular Beam Studies of Elementary Chemical Processes', Nobel Lecture, 8 Dec 1986. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1981-1990 (1992), 320.
Science quotes on:  |  Matter (176)  |  Rate (14)  |  Reaction (52)  |  Synthesis (33)  |  Transformation (34)

Chemistry is yet, indeed, a mere embryon. Its principles are contested; experiments seem contradictory; their subjects are so minute as to escape our senses; and their result too fallacious to satisfy the mind. It is probably an age too soon to propose the establishment of a system.
Letter to Rev. James Madison (Paris, 19 Jul 1788). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 2, 431.
Science quotes on:  |  Contradiction (29)  |  Controversy (13)  |  Embryo (16)  |  Principle (156)

Chemistry must become the astronomy of the molecular world.
Autograph Quotation for a Charity, (1905). In G. B. Kaufman, Alfred Werner (1966), iii.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Molecule (98)

Chemistry without catalysis, would be a sword without a handle, a light without brilliance, a bell without sound.
R. B. Desper, 'Alwin Mittasch', Journal of Chemlca1 Education (1948), 25, 531-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Bell (9)  |  Brilliance (8)  |  Catalysis (5)  |  Handle (3)  |  Light (161)  |  Sound (34)  |  Sword (9)

Chemistry works with an enormous number of substances, but cares only for some few of their properties; it is an extensive science. Physics on the other hand works with rather few substances, such as mercury, water, alcohol, glass, air, but analyses the experimental results very thoroughly; it is an intensive science. Physical chemistry is the child of these two sciences; it has inherited the extensive character from chemistry. Upon this depends its all-embracing feature, which has attracted so great admiration. But on the other hand it has its profound quantitative character from the science of physics.
In Theories of Solutions (1912), xix.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (28)  |  Air (108)  |  Alcohol (13)  |  Analysis (102)  |  Care (48)  |  Character (57)  |  Child (114)  |  Enormous (19)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Extensive (7)  |  Feature (20)  |  Few (9)  |  Glass (27)  |  Inheritance (13)  |  Intensive (3)  |  Mercury (33)  |  Number (123)  |  Physical Chemistry (5)  |  Physics (203)  |  Property (70)  |  Quantitative (12)  |  Result (167)  |  Substance (57)  |  Through (3)  |  Water (171)

Chemistry... is like the maid occupied with daily civilisation; she is busy with fertilisers, medicines, glass, insecticides ... for she dispenses the recipes.
Les Confessions d'un Chimiste Ordinaire (1981), 5. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Civilisation (8)  |  Fertilizer (9)  |  Glass (27)  |  Insecticide (2)  |  Medicine (222)  |  Recipe (5)

Chemistry: that most excellent child of intellect and art.
From presidential address to 1953 conference of Science Masters Association, Oxford, part of the Centenary Celbrations of the Chemical Society of London. As quoted in Charles Alfred Coulson, Science and Christian Belief (1956), 51.
Science quotes on:  |  Intellect (128)

Chemists have made of phlogiston a vague principle which is not at all rigorously defined, and which, in consequence, adapts itself to all explanations in which it is wished it shall enter; sometimes it is free fire, sometimes it is fire combined with the earthy element; sometimes it passes through the pores of vessels, sometimes they are impenetrable to it; it explains both the causticity and non-causticity, transparency and opacity, colours and absence of colours. It is a veritable Proteus which changes its form every instant. It is time to conduct chemistry to a more rigorous mode of reasoning ... to distinguish fact and observation from what is systematic and hypothetical.
'Réflexions sur le phlogistique', Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences, 1783, 505-38. Reprinted in Oeuvres de Lavoisier (1864), Vol. 2, 640, trans. M. P. Crosland.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (112)  |  Element (88)  |  Explanation (128)  |  Fact (414)  |  Fire (79)  |  Hypothesis (187)  |  Observation (339)  |  Phlogiston (9)  |  Principle (156)  |  Reasoning (70)  |  Systematic (10)

Chlorine is a deadly poison gas employed on European battlefields in World War I. Sodium is a corrosive metal which burns upon contact with water. Together they make a placid and unpoisonous material, table salt. Why each of these substances has the properties it does is a subject called chemistry.
Broca's Brain: The Romance of Science (1979), footnote. Excerpt reprinted as 'Can We Know the Universe? Reflections on a Grain of Salt,' in John Carey, Eyewitness to Science (1997), 437.
Science quotes on:  |  Chlorine (10)  |  Gas (35)  |  Poison (25)  |  Property (70)  |  Salt (21)  |  Sodium (9)  |  Substance (57)  |  War (99)  |  Weapon (46)

Chymia, or Alchemy and Spagyrism, is the art of resolving compound bodies into their principles and of combining these again.
Fundamenta Chymiae (1720). Trans. J. R. Partington, A History of Chemistry (1961), Vol. 2, 664.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (19)  |  Combination (54)  |  Compound (42)  |  Decomposition (12)

Considered from the standpoint of chemistry, living bodies appear to us as laboratories of chemical processes, for they undergo perpetual changes in their material substrate. They draw materials from the outside world and combine them with the mass of their liquid and solid parts.
In 'Allgemeine Betrachtungen der orgauischen Korper', Physiologie des Menschen (1830), Vol. 1, 34. Trans. in Kenneth L. Caneva, Robert Mayer and the Conservation of Energy (1993), 7I.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (64)  |  Body (133)  |  Change (186)  |  Chemical (52)  |  Combine (3)  |  Considered (8)  |  Draw (7)  |  Laboratory (98)  |  Liquid (20)  |  Living (35)  |  Mass (38)  |  Material (86)  |  Outside (16)  |  Perpetual (4)  |  Process (144)  |  Solid (24)  |  Substrate (2)  |  Undergo (6)  |  World (365)

Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. In my day I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t.
from her lecture notes
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (209)  |  Women Scientists (13)  |  Work (283)

Dr. Johnson ... sometimes employed himself in chymistry, sometimes in watering and pruning a vine, and sometimes in small experiments, at which those who may smile, should recollect that there are moments which admit of being soothed only by trifles.
Quoted in James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1826), Vol. 3, 352.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (460)  |  Horticulture (5)

Even mistaken hypotheses and theories are of use in leading to discoveries. This remark is true in all the sciences. The alchemists founded chemistry by pursuing chimerical problems and theories which are false. In physical science, which is more advanced than biology, we might still cite men of science who make great discoveries by relying on false theories. It seems, indeed, a necessary weakness of our mind to be able to reach truth only across a multitude of errors and obstacles.
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865, translation 1927, 1957), 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (70)  |  Alchemist (7)  |  Biology (106)  |  Chimera (2)  |  Cite (2)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Error (175)  |  False (45)  |  Hypothesis (187)  |  Lead (43)  |  Men Of Science (94)  |  Mind (346)  |  Mistake (51)  |  Multitude (8)  |  Necessary (44)  |  Obstacle (13)  |  Physical Science (41)  |  Problem (240)  |  Pursuit (41)  |  Reach (34)  |  Reliance (4)  |  Theory (446)  |  Truth (573)  |  Weakness (16)

Experiments in geology are far more difficult than in physics and chemistry because of the greater size of the objects, commonly outside our laboratories, up to the earth itself, and also because of the fact that the geologic time scale exceeds the human time scale by a million and more times. This difference in time allows only direct observations of the actual geologic processes, the mind having to imagine what could possibly have happened in the past.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 455-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Difference (167)  |  Difficult (22)  |  Direct (16)  |  Earth (313)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Geology (165)  |  Happen (13)  |  Imagine (13)  |  Laboratory (98)  |  Million (44)  |  Mind (346)  |  Observation (339)  |  Past (64)  |  Physics (203)  |  Possibility (82)  |  Process (144)  |  Size (27)

Finally, I aim at giving denominations to things, as agreeable to truth as possible. I am not ignorant that words, like money, possess an ideal value, and that great danger of confusion may be apprehended from a change of names; in the mean time it cannot be denied that chemistry, like the other sciences, was formerly filled with improper names. In different branches of knowledge, we see those matters long since reformed: why then should chemistry, which examines the real nature of things, still adopt vague names, which suggest false ideas, and favour strongly of ignorance and imposition? Besides, there is little doubt but that many corrections may be made without any inconvenience.
Physical and Chemical Essays (1784), Vol. I, xxxvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (175)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Name (82)  |  Truth (573)  |  Word (141)

For chemistry is no science form'd à priori; 'tis no production of the human mind, framed by reasoning and deduction: it took its rise from a number of experiments casually made, without any expectation of what follow'd; and was only reduced into an art or system, by collecting and comparing the effects of such unpremeditated experiments, and observing the uniform tendency thereof. So far, then, as a number of experimenters agree to establish any undoubted truth; so far they may be consider'd as constituting the theory of chemistry.
From 'The Author's Preface', in A New Method of Chemistry (1727), vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (460)

For example, there are numbers of chemists who occupy themselves exclusively with the study of dyestuffs. They discover facts that are useful to scientific chemistry; but they do not rank as genuine scientific men. The genuine scientific chemist cares just as much to learn about erbium—the extreme rarity of which renders it commercially unimportant—as he does about iron. He is more eager to learn about erbium if the knowledge of it would do more to complete his conception of the Periodic Law, which expresses the mutual relations of the elements.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemist (69)  |  Commercially (2)  |  Complete (17)  |  Conception (42)  |  Discover (35)  |  Dye (4)  |  Eager (5)  |  Element (88)  |  Erbium (2)  |  Express (12)  |  Extreme (22)  |  Facts (3)  |  Genuine (14)  |  Iron (44)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Law (334)  |  Learn (38)  |  Mutual (14)  |  Occupy (8)  |  Periodic Table (10)  |  Rank (15)  |  Rarity (8)  |  Relation (65)  |  Render (11)  |  Scientific (95)  |  Study (233)  |  Unimportant (2)  |  Useful (36)

For those of us who make only a brief study of chemistry, the benefits to be expected are of an indirect nature. Increased capacity for enjoyment, a livelier interest in the world in which we live, a more intelligent attitude toward the great questions of the day—these are the by-products of a well-balanced education, including chemistry in its proper relation to other studies.
In 'Introduction', General Chemistry: An Elementary Survey Emphasizing Industrial Applications of Fundamental Principles (1923), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (24)  |  Benefit (36)  |  Brief (9)  |  Byproduct (3)  |  Capacity (27)  |  Education (225)  |  Enjoyment (22)  |  Expectation (43)  |  Increase (52)  |  Indirect (5)  |  Intelligent (10)  |  Interest (110)  |  Life (606)  |  Livelier (2)  |  Nature (688)  |  Question (202)  |  Relation (65)  |  Study (233)  |  Well-Balanced (3)  |  World (365)

Geology differs from physics, chemistry, and biology in that the possibilities for experiment are limited.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 453.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Difference (167)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Geology (165)  |  Limited (9)  |  Physics (203)  |  Possibility (82)

Geology has its peculiar difficulties, from which all other sciences are exempt. Questions in chemistry may be settled in the laboratory by experiment. Mathematical and philosophical questions may be discussed, while the materials for discussion are ready furnished by our own intellectual reflections. Plants, animals and minerals, may be arranged in the museum, and all questions relating to their intrinsic principles may be discussed with facility. But the relative positions, the shades of difference, the peculiar complexions, whether continuous or in subordinate beds, are subjects of enquiry in settling the character of rocks, which can be judged of while they are in situ only.
A Geological and Agricultural Survey of the District Adjoining the Erie Canal (1824), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Geology (165)  |  Mathematics (471)

Geology is intimately related to almost all the physical sciences, as is history to the moral. An historian should, if possible, be at once profoundly acquainted with ethics, politics, jurisprudence, the military art, theology; in a word, with all branches of knowledge, whereby any insight into human affairs, or into the moral and intellectual nature of man, can be obtained. It would be no less desirable that a geologist should be well versed in chemistry, natural philosophy, mineralogy, zoology, comparative anatomy, botany; in short, in every science relating to organic and inorganic nature. With these accomplishments the historian and geologist would rarely fail to draw correct and philosophical conclusions from the various monuments transmitted to them of former occurrences.
Principles of Geology (1830-3), Vol. 1, 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (40)  |  Botany (32)  |  Geology (165)  |  Historian (24)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Mineralogy (6)  |  Natural Philosophy (17)  |  Zoology (13)

He never got drunk, he never got tired, and he never perspired.
[Harvard chemistry students’ axioms.]
As attributed in John D. Roberts, The Right Place at the Right Time (1990), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Axiom (16)  |  Drunk (3)  |  Harvard (6)  |  Student (84)  |  Tired (7)

He that could teach mathematics well, would not be a bad teacher in any of [physics, chemistry, biology or psychology] unless by the accident of total inaptitude for experimental illustration; while the mere experimentalist is likely to fall into the error of missing the essential condition of science as reasoned truth; not to speak of the danger of making the instruction an affair of sensation, glitter, or pyrotechnic show.
In Education as a Science (1879), 298.
Science quotes on:  |  Aptitude (8)  |  Biology (106)  |  Danger (43)  |  Glitter (3)  |  Illustration (20)  |  Instruction (30)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Physics (203)  |  Psychology (80)  |  Sensational (2)  |  Teacher (66)

He [William Harvey] did not care for chymistrey, and was wont to speake against them with an undervalue.
Brief Lives (1680), edited by Oliver Lawson Dick (1949), 132.
Science quotes on:  |  William Harvey (23)

His motion to the meeting of the Council of the Chemical Society:
That henceforth the absurd game of chemical noughts and crosses be tabu within the Society's precincts and that, following the practice of the Press in ending a correspondence, it be an instruction to the officers to give notice “That no further contributions to the mysteries of Polarity will be received, considered or printed by the Society.” His challenge was not accepted.
From the personal and other items column of Chemistry and Industry (1925), 44, 1050.

How far will chemistry and physics ... help us understand the appeal of a painting?
Colour: Why the World Isn't Grey (1983). Quoted in Sidney Perkowitz, Empire of Light (1999), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Color (56)  |  Physics (203)  |  Science And Art (130)

I am an organic chemist, albeit one who adheres to the definition of organic chemistry given by the great Swedish chemist Berzelius, namely, the chemistry of substances found in living matter, and my science is one of the more abstruse insofar as it rests on concepts and employs a jargon neither of which is a part of everyday experience. Nevertheless, organic chemistry deals with matters of truly vital Importance and in some of its aspects with which I myself have been particularly concerned it may prove to hold the keys to Life itself.
In 'Synthesis in the Study of Nucleotides', Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1957. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1942-1962 (1964), 522.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstruse (2)  |  Adhere (2)  |  Aspect (25)  |  Jöns Jacob Berzelius (13)  |  Chemist (69)  |  Concept (50)  |  Concern (41)  |  Definition (112)  |  Employ (6)  |  Experience (171)  |  Find (100)  |  Great (110)  |  Hold (29)  |  Importance (155)  |  Jargon (4)  |  Key (24)  |  Life (606)  |  Matter (176)  |  Organic (30)  |  Proof (162)  |  Science (1133)  |  Substance (57)  |  Sweden (3)  |  Vital (19)

I am now convinced that we have recently become possessed of experimental evidence of the discrete or grained nature of matter, which the atomic hypothesis sought in vain for hundreds and thousands of years. The isolation and counting of gaseous ions, on the one hand, which have crowned with success the long and brilliant researches of J.J. Thomson, and, on the other, agreement of the Brownian movement with the requirements of the kinetic hypothesis, established by many investigators and most conclusively by J. Perrin, justify the most cautious scientist in now speaking of the experimental proof of the atomic nature of matter, The atomic hypothesis is thus raised to the position of a scientifically well-founded theory, and can claim a place in a text-book intended for use as an introduction to the present state of our knowledge of General Chemistry.
In Grundriss der allgemeinen Chemie (4th ed., 1909), Preface, as cited by Erwin N. Hiebert and Hans-Gunther Korber in article on Ostwald in Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography Supplement 1, Vol 15-16, 464.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (190)  |  Brilliant (9)  |  Robert Brown (2)  |  Caution (12)  |  Claim (36)  |  Conviction (33)  |  Counting (4)  |  Crown (13)  |  Discrete (3)  |  Evidence (107)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Gas (35)  |  Granular (2)  |  Hypothesis (187)  |  Introduction (28)  |  Ion (6)  |  Isolation (23)  |  Long (29)  |  Matter (176)  |  Jean Perrin (2)  |  Possession (28)  |  Proof (162)  |  Recent (16)  |  Research (400)  |  Scientist (306)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Success (144)  |  Theory (446)  |  Sir J.J. Thomson (11)  |  Vain (18)  |  Year (110)

I came to biochemistry through chemistry; I came to chemistry, partly by the labyrinthine routes that I have related, and partly through the youthful romantic notion that the natural sciences had something to do with nature. What I liked about chemistry was its clarity surrounded by darkness; what attracted me, slowly and hesitatingly, to biology was its darkness surrounded by the brightness of the givenness of nature, the holiness of life. And so I have always oscillated between the brightness of reality and the darkness of the unknowable. When Pascal speaks of God in hiding, Deus absconditus, we hear not only the profound existential thinker, but also the great searcher for the reality of the world. I consider this unquenchable resonance as the greatest gift that can be bestowed on a naturalist.
Heraclitean Fire: Sketches from a Life before Nature (1978), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Biochemist (3)  |  Biology (106)  |  God (271)  |  Naturalist (41)  |  Blaise Pascal (24)

I do not know if I am mistaken, but it seems that one can obtain more truths, important to Humanity, from Chemistry than from any other Science.
In Chemische Annalen (Crell;s) I:291-305, 1788. As cited in Israel S. Kleiner, 'Hahnemann as a Chemist', The Scientific Monthly (May 1938), 46, 450. The quote is the opening words of an article describing his test for lead and iron in wine.
Science quotes on:  |  Humanity (59)  |  Importance (155)  |  Mistake (51)  |  Obtaining (5)  |  Science (1133)  |  Truth (573)

I do not know whether you are fond of chemical reading. There are some things in this science worth reading.
Letter to Mr. Rittenhouse (Paris, 1786). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 1, 517.
Science quotes on:  |  Reading (46)

I have wished to see chemistry applied to domestic objects, to malting, for instance, brewing, making cider, to fermentation and distillation generally, to the making of bread, butter, cheese, soap, to the incubation of eggs, &c.
Letter to Thomas Cooper (Monticello, 1812). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 6, 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Bread (11)  |  Brewing (2)  |  Butter (5)  |  Cheese (5)  |  Cider (2)  |  Distillation (9)  |  Fermentation (12)  |  Incubation (2)  |  Soap (8)

I think chemistry is being frittered away by the hairsplitting of the organic chemists; we have new compounds discovered, which scarcely differ from the known ones and when discovered are valueless—very illustrations perhaps of their refinements in analysis, but very little aiding the progress of true science.
Letter to William Grove (5 Jan 1845), The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein, 1836-1862 (1899), Footnote, 209.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (102)  |  Compound (42)  |  Difference (167)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Frittering (2)  |  Illustration (20)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Organic Chemistry (32)  |  Progress (253)  |  Refinement (9)  |  Science (1133)  |  Valueless (2)

I think it is a sad reflection on our civilization that while we can and do measure the temperature in the atmosphere of Venus we do not know what goes on inside our soufflés.
[Remark made while demonstrating the progress of cooking a Soufflé à la Chartreuse, demonstrating its progress with thermocouples and chart recorders.]
Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution, ‘The Physicist in the Kitchen’. In Proceedings of the Royal Institution (1969), 42/199, 451–67. Cited in article on Kurti by Ralph G. Scurlock in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (45)  |  Civilization (119)  |  Cooking (7)  |  Reaction (52)  |  Reflection (35)  |  Sadness (16)  |  Temperature (34)  |  Venus (9)

I think we may picture those domains where understanding exists, whether in physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, economics or any other discipline as cultivated valleys in a formidably mountainous country. We may recognise in principle that we all inhabit the same world but in practice we do well to cultivate our own valleys, with an occasional assault on the more accessible foothills, rather than to build roads in a vain attempt at colonisation.
From Inaugural Lecture as Cavendish Professor of Physics, Cambridge, as quoted in Gordon L. Glegg, The Development of Design (1981), 1-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Colonization (3)  |  Cultivation (18)  |  Discipline (21)  |  Domain (8)  |  Economics (24)  |  Foothill (2)  |  Inhabiting (3)  |  Mountain (85)  |  Physics (203)  |  Psychology (80)  |  Recognition (51)  |  Understanding (297)  |  Valley (13)

I took biology in high school and didn't like it at all. It was focused on memorization. ... I didn't appreciate that biology also had principles and logic ... [rather than dealing with a] messy thing called life. It just wasn't organized, and I wanted to stick with the nice pristine sciences of chemistry and physics, where everything made sense. I wish I had learned sooner that biology could be fun as well.
Interview (23 May 1998), 'Creating the Code to Life', Academy of Achievement web site.
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciation (14)  |  Biology (106)  |  Called (7)  |  Everything (57)  |  Focus (11)  |  Fun (21)  |  High School (3)  |  Learning (163)  |  Life (606)  |  Like (16)  |  Logic (154)  |  Making (26)  |  Memorization (2)  |  Nice (5)  |  Organization (64)  |  Physics (203)  |  Principle (156)  |  Pristine (2)  |  Science (1133)  |  Sense (141)  |  Soon (7)  |  Sticking (3)  |  Thing (37)  |  Want (59)  |  Wish (30)

I trust ... I have succeeded in convincing you that modern chemistry is not, as it has so long appeared, an ever-growing accumulation of isolated facts, as impossible for a single intellect to co-ordinate as for a single memory to grasp.
The intricate formulae that hang upon these walls, and the boundless variety of phenomena they illustrate, are beginning to be for us as a labyrinth once impassable, but to which we have at length discovered the clue. A sense of mastery and power succeeds in our minds to the sort of weary despair with which we at first contemplated their formidable array. For now, by the aid of a few general principles, we find ourselves able to unravel the complexities of these formulae, to marshal the compounds which they represent in orderly series; nay, even to multiply their numbers at our will, and in a great measure to forecast their nature ere we have called them into existence. It is the great movement of modern chemistry that we have thus, for an hour, seen passing before us. It is a movement as of light spreading itself over a waste of obscurity, as of law diffusing order throughout a wilderness of confusion, and there is surely in its contemplation something of the pleasure which attends the spectacle of a beautiful daybreak, something of the grandeur belonging to the conception of a world created out of chaos.
Concluding remark for paper presented at the Friday Discourse of the the Royal Institution (7 Apr 1865). 'On the Combining Power of Atoms', Proceedings of the Royal Institution (1865), 4, No. 42, 416.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (20)  |  Chaos (46)  |  Clue (9)  |  Complexity (62)  |  Compound (42)  |  Confusion (26)  |  Fact (414)  |  Forecast (6)  |  Formula (40)  |  Grandeur (12)  |  Isolated (7)  |  Labyrinth (5)  |  Law (334)  |  Light (161)  |  Mastery (13)  |  Obscurity (16)

I venture to maintain, that, if the general culture obtained in the Faculty of Arts were what it ought to be, the student would have quite as much knowledge of the fundamental principles of Physics, of Chemistry, and of Biology, as he needs, before he commenced his special medical studies. Moreover, I would urge, that a thorough study of Human Physiology is, in itself, an education broader and more comprehensive than much that passes under that name. There is no side of the intellect which it does not call into play, no region of human knowledge into which either its roots, or its branches, do not extend; like the Atlantic between the Old and the New Worlds, its waves wash the shores of the two worlds of matter and of mind; its tributary streams flow from both; through its waters, as yet unfurrowed by the keel of any Columbus, lies the road, if such there be, from the one to the other; far away from that Northwest Passage of mere speculation, in which so many brave souls have been hopelessly frozen up.
'Universities: Actual and Ideal' (1874). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 3, 220.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Culture (53)  |  Education (225)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Physics (203)  |  Physiology (54)  |  Principle (156)  |  Speculation (56)  |  Student (84)  |  Study (233)

I want to get back again from Chemistry to Physics as soon as I can. The second-rate men seem to know their place so much better.
R. J. Strutt, John William Strutt, Third Baron Rayleigh (1924), 222.
Science quotes on:  |  Physics (203)  |  Return (21)  |  Soon (7)

I will now direct the attention of scientists to a previously unnoticed cause which brings about the metamorphosis and decomposition phenomena which are usually called decay, putrefaction, rotting, fermentation and moldering. This cause is the ability possessed by a body engaged in decomposition or combination, i.e. in chemical action, to give rise in a body in contact with it the same ability to undergo the same change which it experiences itself.
Annalen der Pharmacie 1839, 30, 262. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (51)  |  Attention (53)  |  Cause (167)  |  Change (186)  |  Combination (54)  |  Contact (16)  |  Decay (21)  |  Decomposition (12)  |  Experience (171)  |  Fermentation (12)  |  Metamorphosis (3)  |  Mold (18)  |  Phenomenon (160)  |  Putrefaction (3)  |  Reaction (52)  |  Rotting (2)  |  Scientist (306)

I would efface the word atoms from science, persuaded that it goes further than experience... In chemistry we should never go further than experience. Could there be any hope of ever identifying the minuscule entities?
Quoted, without citation, in Nick Herbert, Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics, (1985), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (190)  |  Efface (3)  |  Entity (12)  |  Experience (171)  |  Further (6)  |  Hope (65)  |  Identifying (2)  |  Persuation (2)  |  Science (1133)  |  Word (141)

I would have you to observe that the difficulty & mystery which often appear in matters of science & learning are only owing to the terms of art used in them, & if many gentlemen had not been rebuted by the uncouth dress in which science was offered to them, we must believe that many of these who now shew an acute & sound judgement in the affairs of life would also in science have excelled many of those who are devoted to it & who were engaged in it only by necessity & a phlegmatic temper. This is particularly the case with respect to chemistry, which is as easy to be comprehended as any of the common affairs of life, but gentlemen have been kept from applying to it by the jargon in which it has been industriously involved.
Cullen MSS, No. 23, Glasgow University library. In A. L. Donovan, Philosophical Chemistry In the Scottish Enlightenment: The Doctrines and Discoveries of Wllliam Cullen and Joseph Black (1975), 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Men Of Science (94)

I would like to emphasize strongly my belief that the era of computing chemists, when hundreds if not thousands of chemists will go to the computing machine instead of the laboratory for increasingly many facets of chemical information, is already at hand. There is only one obstacle, namely that someone must pay for the computing time.
'Spectroscopy, Molecular Orbitals, and Chemical Bonding', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1966). In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1963-1970 (1972), 159.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemist (69)  |  Computer (62)  |  Emphasis (12)  |  Facet (5)  |  Information (69)  |  Laboratory (98)  |  Money (98)  |  Obstacle (13)  |  Payment (4)

I would like to start by emphasizing the importance of surfaces. It is at a surface where many of our most interesting and useful phenomena occur. We live for example on the surface of a planet. It is at a surface where the catalysis of chemical reactions occur. It is essentially at a surface of a plant that sunlight is converted to a sugar. In electronics, most if not all active circuit elements involve non-equilibrium phenomena occurring at surfaces. Much of biology is concerned with reactions at a surface.
'Surface properties of semiconductors', Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1956). In Nobel Lectures, Physics 1942-1962 (1967), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Catalysis (5)  |  Circuit (11)  |  Electronic (6)  |  Emphasis (12)  |  Equilibrium (12)  |  Importance (155)  |  Interest (110)  |  Occurrence (27)  |  Phenomenon (160)  |  Planet (107)  |  Plant (124)  |  Reaction (52)  |  Start (39)  |  Sugar (11)  |  Sunlight (12)  |  Surface (47)

I would... establish the conviction that Chemistry, as an independent science, offers one of the most powerful means towards the attainment of a higher mental cultivation; that the study of Chemistry is profitable, not only inasmuch as it promotes the material interests of mankind, but also because it furnishes us with insight into those wonders of creation which immediately surround us, and with which our existence, life, and development, are most closely connected.
Familiar Letters on Chemistry (1859), 4th edn., 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Attainment (31)  |  Creation (171)  |  Development (172)  |  Existence (180)  |  Independence (23)  |  Insight (38)  |  Life (606)  |  Mankind (136)  |  Wonder (88)

If everything in chemistry is explained in a satisfactory manner without the help of phlogiston, it is by that reason alone infinitely probable that the principle does not exist; that it is a hypothetical body, a gratuitous supposition; indeed, it is in the principles of good logic, not to multiply bodies without necessity.
'Reflexions sur le phlogistique', Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences, 1783, 505-38. Reprinted in Oeuvres de Lavoisier (1864), Vol. 2, 623, trans. M. P. Crosland.
Science quotes on:  |  Explanation (128)  |  Hypothesis (187)  |  Logic (154)  |  Necessity (104)  |  Phlogiston (9)  |  Principle (156)  |  Probability (69)  |  Reason (211)  |  Supposition (31)

If materialism is true, it seems to me that we cannot know that it is true. If my opinions are the result of the chemical processes going on in my brain, they are determined by the laws of chemistry, not those of logic.
The Inequality of Man (1932), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (133)  |  Logic (154)  |  Materialism (4)  |  Opinion (104)  |  Result (167)  |  Truth (573)

If the task of scientific methodology is to piece together an account of what scientists actually do, then the testimony of biologists should be heard with specially close attention. Biologists work very close to the frontier between bewilderment and understanding.
Biology is complex, messy and richly various, like real life; it travels faster nowadays than physics or chemistry (which is just as well, since it has so much farther to go), and it travels nearer to the ground. It should therefore give us a specially direct and immediate insight into science in the making.
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Complexity (62)  |  Development (172)  |  Insight (38)  |  Physics (203)  |  Progress (253)  |  Various (11)

Imagination and even sentiment play an important part in chemistry, and that if too narrowly and rigidly interpreted, facts may become very misleading factors.
In article 'Chemistry', Encyclopedia Britannica (1902), 714.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (414)  |  Factor (22)  |  Imagination (175)  |  Important (36)  |  Misleading (7)  |  Narrowly (2)  |  Part (74)  |  Rigidly (2)  |  Sentiment (6)

Imagine a school-boy who has outgrown his clothes. Imagine the repairs made on the vestments where the enlarged frame had burst the narrow limits of the enclosure. Imagine the additions made where the projecting limbs had fairly and far emerged beyond the confines of the garment. Imagine the boy still growing, and the clothes, mended allover, now more than ever in want of mending—such is chemistry, and such is nomenclature.
Chemical Recreations (1834), 206, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Nomenclature (118)

In all our academies we attempt far too much. ... In earlier times lectures were delivered upon chemistry and botany as branches of medicine, and the medical student learned enough of them. Now, however, chemistry and botany are become sciences of themselves, incapable of comprehension by a hasty survey, and each demanding the study of a whole life, yet we expect the medical student to understand them. He who is prudent, accordingly declines all distracting claims upon his time, and limits himself to a single branch and becomes expert in one thing.
Quoted in Johann Hermann Baas, Henry Ebenezer Handerson (trans.), Outlines of the History of Medicine and the Medical Profession (1889), 842-843.
Science quotes on:  |  Academy (8)  |  Botany (32)  |  Comprehension (38)  |  Education (225)  |  Lecture (41)  |  Medicine (222)  |  Student (84)  |  Study (233)

In college I largely wasted my opportunities. My worst subjects were drawing and science. Almost my only memory of the chemistry class was of making some sulfuric acid into a foul-smelling concoction and dropping it into another student's pocket.
From My Own Story (1957), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (209)  |  College (19)

In early life I had felt a strong desire to devote myself to the experimental study of nature; and, happening to see a glass containing some camphor, portions of which had been caused to condense in very beautiful crystals on the illuminated side, I was induced to read everything I could obtain respecting the chemical and mechanical influences of light, adhesion, and capillary attraction.
In preface to Scientific Memoirs (1878), xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Adhesion (3)  |  Attraction (28)  |  Beauty (125)  |  Capillary (4)  |  Condensation (8)  |  Crystal (38)  |  Desire (63)  |  Devotion (17)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Glass (27)  |  Illumination (12)  |  Influence (65)  |  Light (161)  |  Mechanics (39)  |  Nature (688)  |  Reading (46)  |  Study (233)

In general, art has preceded science. Men have executed great, and curious, and beautiful works before they had a scientific insight into the principles on which the success of their labours was founded. There were good artificers in brass and iron before the principles of the chemistry of metals were known; there was wine among men before there was a philosophy of vinous fermentation; there were mighty masses raised into the air, cyclopean walls and cromlechs, obelisks and pyramids—probably gigantic Doric pillars and entablatures—before there was a theory of the mechanical powers. … Art was the mother of Science.
Lecture (26 Nov 1851), to the London Society of Arts, 'The General Bearing of the Great Exhibition on the Progress of Art and Science', collected in Lectures on the Results of the Great Exhibition of 1851' (1852), 7-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (108)  |  Beautiful (28)  |  Brass (2)  |  Construction (54)  |  Curious (12)  |  Fermentation (12)  |  Founded (4)  |  Great (110)  |  Insight (38)  |  Iron (44)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Labour (33)  |  Mass (38)  |  Mechanics (39)  |  Metal (26)  |  Mother (35)  |  Philosophy (164)  |  Pillar (4)  |  Preceding (8)  |  Principle (156)  |  Pyramid (3)  |  Raised (3)  |  Science And Art (130)  |  Success (144)  |  Theory (446)  |  Wall (16)  |  Wine (19)  |  Work (283)

In order to discover Truth in this manner by observation and reason, it is requisite we should fix on some principles whose certainty and effects are demonstrable to our senses, which may serve to explain the phenomena of natural bodies and account for the accidents that arise in them; such only are those which are purely material in the human body with mechanical and physical experiments … a physician may and ought to furnish himself with, and reason from, such things as are demonstrated to be true in anatomy, chemistry, and mechanics, with natural and experimental philosophy, provided he confines his reasoning within the bounds of truth and simple experiment.
As quoted in selection from the writings of Herman Boerhaave, collected in Oliver Joseph Thatcher (ed.), The Ideas that Have Influenced Civilization, in the Original Documents (1800), Vol. 6, 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (40)  |  Bounds (4)  |  Confine (2)  |  Demonstration (44)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Furnish (13)  |  Human Body (22)  |  Mechanical (20)  |  Natural Philosophy (17)  |  Observation (339)  |  Phenomenon (160)  |  Physical (50)  |  Physician (197)  |  Principle (156)  |  Reasoning (70)  |  Sense (141)  |  Simple (52)  |  Truth (573)

In the arts of life main invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence and famine. … There is nothing in Man's industrial machinery but his greed and sloth: his heart is in his weapons.
Play, Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy (1903)
Science quotes on:  |  Death (219)  |  Industry (68)  |  Machine (85)  |  Nature (688)  |  Plague (30)  |  Weapon (46)

In the progressive growth of astronomy, physics or mechanical science was developed, and when this had been, to a certain degree, successfully cultivated, it gave birth to the science of chemistry.
Familiar Letters on Chemistry (1851), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Mechanics (39)  |  Physics (203)

In the vestibule of the Manchester Town Hall are placed two life-sized marble statues facing each other. One of these is that of John Dalton ... the other that of James Prescott Joule. ... Thus the honour is done to Manchester's two greatest sons—to Dalton, the founder of modern Chemistry and of the atomic theory, and the laws of chemical-combining proportions; to Joule, the founder of modern physics and the discoverer of the Law of Conservation of Energy.
One gave to the world the final proof ... that in every kind of chemical change no loss of matter occurs; the other proved that in all the varied modes of physical change, no loss of energy takes place.
John Dalton and the Rise of Modern Chemistry (1895), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Theory (11)  |  Chemical Change (4)  |  Combination (54)  |  Conservation Of Energy (18)  |  Conservation Of Mass (2)  |  John Dalton (21)  |  Founder (11)  |  Honour (22)  |  James Prescott Joule (7)  |  Law (334)  |  Loss (55)  |  Manchester (4)  |  Marble (5)  |  Matter (176)  |  Modern (69)  |  Physical Change (4)  |  Physics (203)  |  Proof (162)  |  Statue (7)  |  Town Hall (2)

It does appear that on the whole a physicist… tries to reduce his theory at all times to as few parameters as possible and is inclined to feel that a theory is a “respectable” one, though by no means necessarily correct, if in principle it does offer reasonably specific means for its possible refutation. Moreover the physicist will generally arouse the irritation amongst fellow physicists if he is not prepared to abandon his theory when it clashes with subsequent experiments. On the other hand it would appear that the chemist regards theories—or perhaps better his theories (!) —as far less sacrosanct, and perhaps in extreme cases is prepared to modify them continually as each bit of new experimental evidence comes in.
'Discussion: Physics and Chemistry: Comments on Caldin's View of Chemistry', British Journal of the Philosophy of Science, 1960, 11, 222.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (24)  |  Arouse (7)  |  Clash (4)  |  Continually (5)  |  Correct (25)  |  Evidence (107)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Irritation (2)  |  Modify (5)  |  Parameter (2)  |  Physicist (88)  |  Principle (156)  |  Reduce (14)  |  Refutation (8)  |  Scientific Method (113)  |  Theory (446)

It has been recognized that hydrogen bonds restrain protein molecules to their native configurations, and I believe that as the methods of structural chemistry are further applied to physiological problems it will be found that the significance of the hydrogen bond for physiology is greater than that of any other single structural feature.
Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals (1939), 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (92)  |  Belief (215)  |  Configuration (4)  |  Feature (20)  |  Hydrogen Bond (3)  |  Method (107)  |  Molecule (98)  |  Native (5)  |  Physiology (54)  |  Problem (240)  |  Protein (30)  |  Recognition (51)  |  Restraint (6)  |  Significance (40)  |  Structure (136)

It is only those who know a little of nature, who fancy they know much. I have heard a young man say, after hearing a few popular chemical lectures, and seeing a few bottle and squirt experiments: Oh, water—water is only oxygen and hydrogen!—as if he knew all about it. While the true chemist would smile sadly enough at the the youth's hasty conceit, and say in his heart: 'Well, he is a lucky fellow.'
'Thoughts in a Gravel Pit', a lecture delivered at the Mechanics' Institute, Odiham (1857). The Works of Charles Kingsley (1880), 284.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Water (171)

It is … a sign of the times—though our brothers of physics and chemistry may smile to hear me say so—that biology is now a science in which theories can be devised: theories which lead to predictions and predictions which sometimes turn out to be correct. These facts confirm me in a belief I hold most passionately—that biology is the heir of all the sciences.
From Nobel Banquet speech (10 Dec 1960).
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Brother (11)  |  Confirmation (11)  |  Correct (25)  |  Devised (3)  |  Fact (414)  |  Hearing (26)  |  Heir (5)  |  Leading (11)  |  Physics (203)  |  Prediction (56)  |  French Saying (60)  |  Science (1133)  |  Sign (23)  |  Smile (10)  |  Theory (446)  |  Time (252)

It were indeed to be wish'd that our art had been less ingenious, in contriving means destructive to mankind; we mean those instruments of war, which were unknown to the ancients, and have made such havoc among the moderns. But as men have always been bent on seeking each other's destruction by continual wars; and as force, when brought against us, can only be repelled by force; the chief support of war, must, after money, be now sought in chemistry.
A New Method of Chemistry, 3rd edition (1753), Vol. I, trans. P. Shaw, 189-90.
Science quotes on:  |  War (99)

I’m on the verge of a major breakthrough, but I’m also at the point where physics ends and chemistry begins, so I’ll have to drop the whole thing,
In Michael Dudley Sturge , Statistical and Thermal Physics (2003), 139.
Science quotes on:  |  Breakthrough (10)  |  Physics (203)

Just think of the differences today. A young person gets interested in chemistry and is given a chemical set. But it doesn't contain potassium cyanide. It doesn't even contain copper sulfate or anything else interesting because all the interesting chemicals are considered dangerous substances. Therefore, these budding young chemists don't get a chance to do anything engrossing with their chemistry sets. As I look back, I think it is pretty remarkable that Mr. Ziegler, this friend of the family, would have so easily turned over one-third of an ounce of potassium cyanide to me, an eleven-year-old boy.
In Barbara Marinacci, Linus Pauling In His Own Words (1995), 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Boy (20)  |  Chance (100)  |  Chemist (69)  |  Chemistry Set (2)  |  Copper (14)  |  Danger (43)  |  Difference (167)  |  Gift (35)  |  Interest (110)  |  Potassium (11)  |  Remarkable (23)  |  Today (44)

Mainstream biology may be suffering from what I call 'Physics envy' in aiming to reduce life to nothing but well known, typically Newtonian principles of physics and chemistry.
'From the Editor's Desk', Frontier Perspectives (1991), 2, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (33)  |  Biology (106)  |  Envy (9)  |  Mainstream (3)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (213)  |  Physics (203)  |  Principle (156)  |  Reduction (30)  |  Suffering (23)

Man carries the world in his head, the whole astronomy and chemistry suspended in a thought. Because the history of nature is charactered in his brain, therefore he is the prophet and discoverer of her secrets. Every known fact in natural science was divined by the presentiment of somebody, before it was actually verified.
Essay, 'Nature', in Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alfred Riggs Ferguson (ed.) and Jean Ferguson Carr (ed.), The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume III, Essays: Second Series (1984), 106-107.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Brain (133)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Idea (313)  |  Nature (688)  |  Thought (237)

Mankind have been slow to believe that order reigns in the universe—that the world is a cosmos and a chaos.
… The divinities of heathen superstition still linger in one form or another in the faith of the ignorant, and even intelligent men shrink from the contemplation of one supreme will acting regularly, not fortuitously, through laws beautiful and simple rather than through a fitful and capricious system of intervention.
... The scientific spirit has cast out the demons, and presented us with nature clothed in her right mind and living under the reign of law. It has given us, for the sorceries of the alchemist, the beautiful laws of chemistry; for the dreams of the astrologer, the sublime truths of astronomy; for the wild visions of cosmogony, the monumental records of geology; for the anarchy of diabolism, the laws of God.
Speech (16 Dec 1867) given while a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, introducing resolution for the appointment of a committee to examine the necessities for legislation upon the subject of the ninth census to be taken the following year. Quoted in John Clark Ridpath, The Life and Work of James A. Garfield (1881), 216.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (19)  |  Astrology (20)  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Chaos (46)  |  Cosmogony (3)  |  Cosmos (28)  |  Faith (92)  |  Geology (165)  |  God (271)  |  Ignorance (146)  |  Intelligence (99)  |  Law (334)  |  Mankind (136)  |  Order (90)  |  Science And Religion (196)  |  Superstition (40)  |  Universe (347)

Mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and paper.
Quoted in 'And Sometimes the Mathematician Wants a Powerful Computer', in Donald J. Albers and Gerald L. Alexanderson (eds.), Mathematical People (1985). In John De Pillis, 777 Mathematical Conversation Starters (2002), 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Cost (19)  |  Equipment (16)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Paper (39)  |  Pencil (3)  |  Physics (203)

Modern bodybuilding is ritual, religion, sport, art, and science, awash in Western chemistry and mathematics. Defying nature, it surpasses it.
'Alice in Muscle Land,' Boston Globe (27 Jan 1991). Reprinted in Sex, Art, and American Culture (1992), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (115)  |  Defy (2)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Nature (688)  |  Religion (137)  |  Ritual (7)  |  Science (1133)  |  Science And Art (130)  |  Sport (7)  |  Surpass (5)

Modern chemistry, with its far-reaching generalizations and hypotheses, is a fine example of how far the human mind can go in exploring the unknown beyond the limits of human senses.
In 'Introduction', General Chemistry: An Elementary Survey Emphasizing Industrial Applications of Fundamental Principles (1923), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Example (33)  |  Exploration (65)  |  Far (16)  |  Far-Reaching (3)  |  Generalization (22)  |  Human Mind (30)  |  Hypothesis (187)  |  Limit (42)  |  Modern (69)  |  Sense (141)  |  Unknown (62)

My ambition was to bring to bear on medicine a chemical approach. I did that by chemical manipulation of viruses and chemical ways of thinking in biomedical research.
From interview (1980) quoted in New York Times (24 Jun 1995), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (21)  |  Biography (209)  |  Manipulation (7)  |  Research (400)  |  Virus (17)

My interest in chemistry was started by reading Robert Kennedy Duncan’s popular books while a high school student in Des Moines, Iowa, so that after some delay when it was possible for me to go to college I had definitely decided to specialize in chemistry.
Letter (4 Apr 1932) to Pauline G. Beery. Hagley Museum and Library Collection, Wilmington, Delaware. 1784.) As cited in Matthew E. Hermes, Enough for One Lifetime: Wallace Carothers, Inventor of Nylon (1996), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (50)  |  Book (129)  |  College (19)  |  Robert Kennedy Duncan (3)  |  High School (3)  |  Interest (110)  |  Motivation (18)  |  Student (84)  |  University (41)

My interest in the sciences started with mathematics in the very beginning, and later with chemistry in early high school and the proverbial home chemistry set.
In Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Les Prix Nobel/The Nobel Prizes 1992.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (93)  |  Chemistry Set (2)  |  Early (19)  |  High School (3)  |  Home (26)  |  Interest (110)  |  Later (9)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Science (1133)  |  Start (39)

Obvious facts are apt to be over-rated. System-makers see the gravitation of history, and fail to observe its chemistry, of greater though less evident power.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Evident (5)  |  Fact (414)  |  Fail (12)  |  Gravity (66)  |  Greater (26)  |  History (206)  |  Less (22)  |  Observe (7)  |  Obvious (34)  |  Power (155)  |  System (90)

Of the nucleosides from deoxyribonucleic acids, all that was known with any certainty [in the 1940s] was that they were 2-deoxy-­D-ribosides of the bases adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine and it was assumed that they were structurally analogous to the ribonucleosides. The chemistry of the nucleotides—the phosphates of the nucleosides—was in a correspondingly primitive state. It may well be asked why the chemistry of these groups of compounds was not further advanced, particularly since we recognize today that they occupy a central place in the history of the living cell. True, their full significance was for a long time unrecognized and emerged only slowly as biochemical research got into its stride but I think a more important reason is to be found in the physical properties of compounds of the nucleotide group. As water-soluble polar compounds with no proper melting points they were extremely difficult to handle by the classic techniques of organic chemistry, and were accordingly very discouraging substances to early workers. It is surely no accident that the major advances in the field have coincided with the appearance of new experimental techniques such as paper and ion-exchange chromatography, paper electrophoresis, and countercurrent distribution, peculiarly appropriate to the compounds of this group.
In 'Synthesis in the Study of Nucleotides', Nobel Lecture, 11 December 1957. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1942-1962 (1964), 524.
Science quotes on:  |  Adenine (3)  |  Analogous (2)  |  Base (16)  |  Biochemistry (38)  |  Cell (104)  |  Certainty (81)  |  Cytosine (3)  |  Electrophoresis (2)  |  Guanine (3)  |  Phosphate (3)  |  Research (400)  |  Structure (136)  |  Technique (20)  |  Thymine (3)

On my tests I used to always give as my first question, define chemistry, because I thought every student should know what they were taking. I do this quite often.
In address, to the Economic Club of Detroit (14 Jan 1990), 'Where Do We Go From Here?' on the massiechairs.com website.
Science quotes on:  |  Define (6)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Question (202)  |  Student (84)  |  Test (68)

On the terrace of the Pepiniere, the 150 pupils of the Institut Chemique talk chemistry as they leave the auditoria and the laboratory. The echoes of the magnificent public garden of the city of Nancy make the words reverberate; coupling, condensation, grignardization. Moreover, their clothes stay impregnated with strong and characteristic odours; we follow the initiates of Hermes by their scent. In such an environment, how is it possible not to be productive?
Charles Courtot, 'Notice sur la vie de Victor Grignard', Bulletin Societé Chemie, 1936, 3, 1445. Trans. in Mary Jo Nye, Science in the Provinces (1986),184.

One of the first things a boy learns with a chemistry set is that he'll never get another one.
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips and Quotes, 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Joke (33)

One of the largest promises of science is, that the sum of human happiness will be increased, ignorance destroyed, and, with ignorance, prejudice and superstition, and that great truth taught to all, that this world and all it contains were meant for our use and service; and that where nature by her own laws has defined the limits of original unfitness, science may by extract so modify those limits as to render wholesome that which by natural wildness was hurtful, and nutritious that which by natural poverty was unnourishing. We do not yet know half that chemistry may do by way of increasing our food.
'Common Cookery'. Household Words (26 Jan 1856), 13, 45. An English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens.
Science quotes on:  |  Food (100)  |  Happiness (64)  |  Ignorance (146)  |  Poverty (22)  |  Prejudice (33)  |  Promise (15)  |  Science (1133)  |  Superstition (40)  |  Truth (573)  |  Wholesome (4)

One of the memorable moments of my life was when Willard Libby came to Princeton with a little jar full of crystals of barium xenate. A stable compound, looking like common salt, but much heavier. This was the magic of chemistry, to see xenon trapped into a crystal.
Letter to Oliver Sacks. Quoted in Oliver Sacks, Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (2001), footnote, 203.
Science quotes on:  |  Barium (3)  |  Crystal (38)  |  Jar (7)  |  Magic (42)  |  Moment (32)  |  Noble Gas (3)  |  Princeton (2)  |  Trap (2)  |  Visit (8)  |  Xenon (3)

Only about seventy years ago was chemistry, like a grain of seed from a ripe fruit, separated from the other physical sciences. With Black, Cavendish and Priestley, its new era began. Medicine, pharmacy, and the useful arts, had prepared the soil upon which this seed was to germinate and to flourish.
Familiar Letters on Chemistry (1851),5.
Science quotes on:  |  Joseph Black (8)  |  Henry Cavendish (7)  |  Medicine (222)  |  Pharmacy (2)  |  Joseph Priestley (15)

Organic chemistry is the study of organs; inorganic chemistry is the study of the insides of organs.
Barefoot Boy with Cheek (1943), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Inorganic Chemistry (4)  |  Joke (33)  |  Organic Chemistry (32)

Ostwald was a great protagonist and an inspiring teacher. He had the gift of saying the right thing in the right way. When we consider the development of chemistry as a whole, Ostwald's name like Abou ben Adhem's leads all the rest ... Ostwald was absolutely the right man in the right place. He was loved and followed by more people than any chemist of our time.
'Ostwald', Journal of Chemical Education, 1933, 10, 612, as cited by Erwin N. Hiebert and Hans-Gunther Korber in article on Ostwald in Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography Supplement 1, Vol 15-16, 466, which also says Wilder Bancroft "received his doctorate under Ostwald in 1892."
Science quotes on:  |  Development (172)  |  Follower (5)  |  Gift (35)  |  Inspiration (37)  |  Leading (11)  |  Wilhelm Ostwald (5)  |  Right (75)  |  French Saying (60)  |  Teacher (66)

Physical changes take place continuously, while chemical changes take place discontinuously. Physics deals chiefly with continuous varying quantities, while chemistry deals chiefly with whole numbers.
Treatise on Thermodynamics (1897), trans. Alexander Ogg (1903), 22, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemical Change (4)  |  Continuity (19)  |  Discontinuity (3)  |  Number (123)  |  Physical Change (4)  |  Physics (203)  |  Quantity (28)  |  Variation (41)

Psychology, as the behaviorist views it, is a purely objective, experimental branch of natural science which needs introspection as little as do the sciences of chemistry and physics. It is granted that the behavior of animals can be investigated without appeal to consciousness. Heretofore the viewpoint has been that such data have value only in so far as they can be interpreted by analogy in terms of consciousness. The position is taken here that the behavior of man and the behavior of animals must be considered in the same plane.
In Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It (1913), 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (36)  |  Animal (199)  |  Behavior (19)  |  Consciousness (43)  |  Consideration (54)  |  Data (73)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Interpretation (48)  |  Introspection (3)  |  Investigate (37)  |  Man (288)  |  Natural Science (39)  |  Need (86)  |  Objective (27)  |  Physics (203)  |  Plane (10)  |  Position (24)  |  Psychology (80)

Realizing how often ingenious speculation in the complex biological world has led nowhere and how often the real advances in biology as well as in chemistry, physics and astronomy have kept within the bounds of mechanistic interpretation, we geneticists should rejoice, even with our noses on the grindstone (which means both eyes on the objectives), that we have at command an additional means of testing whatever original ideas pop into our heads.
'The Rise of Genetics', Science (1932), 1969, 264.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (70)  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Biology (106)  |  Complexity (62)  |  Geneticist (10)  |  Idea (313)  |  Ingenuity (22)  |  Interpretation (48)  |  Physics (203)  |  Rejoice (5)  |  Speculation (56)  |  Test (68)

Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That's kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It's not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.
From a History Channel TV show, (?) The Universe.
Science quotes on:  |  Atoms (2)  |  Body (133)  |  Center (12)  |  Cloud (30)  |  Connected (5)  |  Crucible (3)  |  Earth (313)  |  Enriching (2)  |  Exploded (3)  |  Galaxy (23)  |  Gas (35)  |  Guts (2)  |  Life (606)  |  Molecules (2)  |  Part (74)  |  Pristine (2)  |  Recognize (15)  |  Rich (20)  |  Smile (10)  |  Star (165)  |  Universe (347)

Scheele, it was said, never forgot anything if it had to do with chemistry. He never forgot the look, the feel, the smell of a substance, or the way it was transformed in chemical reactions, never forgot anything he read, or was told, about the phenomena of chemistry. He seemed indifferent, or inattentive, to most things else, being wholly dedicated to his single passion, chemistry. It was this pure and passionate absorption in phenomena—noticing everything, forgetting nothing—that constituted Scheele's special strength.
Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (2001), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Dedication (6)

Sex appeal is a matter of chemistry, but you don't have to be a chemist to find the formula.
In Evan Esar, 20,000 Quips and Quotes, 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Formula (40)  |  Sex (35)

Something is as little explained by means of a distinctive vital force as the attraction between iron and magnet is explained by means of the name magnetism. We must therefore firmly insist that in the organic natural sciences, and thus also in botany, absolutely nothing has yet been explained and the entire field is still open to investigation as long as we have not succeeded in reducing the phenomena to physical and chemical laws.
Grundzüge der Wissenschaftlichen Botanik nebst einer Methodologischen Einleitung als Anleitung zum Studium der Planze [Principles of Scientific Botany] (1842-3), Vol. 1, 49. Trans. Kenneth L. Caneva, Robert Mayer and the Conservation of Energy (1993), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Attraction (28)  |  Botany (32)  |  Distinctive (4)  |  Explanation (128)  |  Force (108)  |  Insistence (7)  |  Investigation (103)  |  Iron (44)  |  Law (334)  |  Magnet (5)  |  Magnetism (23)  |  Natural Science (39)  |  Phenomenon (160)  |  Physics (203)  |  Reduction (30)  |  Sucess (2)  |  Vital (19)

Speaking one day to Monsieur de Buffon, on the present ardor of chemical inquiry, he affected to consider chemistry but as cookery, and to place the toils of the laboratory on the footing with those of the kitchen. I think it, on the contrary, among the most useful of sciences, and big with future discoveries for the utility and safety of the human race.
Letter to Rev. James Madison (Paris, 19 Jul 1788). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 2, 431.
Science quotes on:  |  Comte Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (34)  |  Cookery (3)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Laboratory (98)  |  Safety (29)  |  Utility (14)

Surprisingly, history is much more difficult than chemistry.
Louis Hammett Symposium (31 Aug 1983), Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry (1985), 21, 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (96)  |  History (206)  |  Surprise (28)

The advances of biology during the past 20 years have been breathtaking, particularly in cracking the mystery of heredity. Nevertheless, the greatest and most difficult problems still lie ahead. The discoveries of the 1970‘s about the chemical roots of memory in nerve cells or the basis of learning, about the complex behavior of man and animals, the nature of growth, development, disease and aging will be at least as fundamental and spectacular as those of the recent past.
As quoted in 'H. Bentley Glass', New York Times (12 Jan 1970), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (70)  |  Aging (4)  |  Animal (199)  |  Behaviour (23)  |  Biology (106)  |  Cell (104)  |  Complexity (62)  |  Decade (10)  |  Development (172)  |  Difficulty (96)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Disease (197)  |  Fundamental (76)  |  Future (145)  |  Growth (90)  |  Heredity (48)  |  Learning (163)  |  Man (288)  |  Memory (59)  |  Mystery (87)  |  Nerve (59)  |  Problem (240)  |  Root (28)  |  Spectacular (4)

The attempt of Lavoisier to reform chemical nomenclature is premature. One single experiment may destroy the whole filiation of his terms; and his string of sulphates, sulphites, and sulphures, may have served no end than to have retarded the progress of science by a jargon, from the confusion of which time will be requisite to extricate us.
Letter to Rev. James Madison (Paris, 1788). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 2, 432.
Science quotes on:  |  Confusion (26)  |  Jargon (4)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (29)  |  Nomenclature (118)  |  Progress Of Science (18)

The contradictory experiments of chemists leave us at liberty to conclude what we please. My conclusion is, that art has not yet invented sufficient aids to enable such subtle bodies [air, light, &c.] to make a well-defined impression on organs as blunt as ours; that it is laudable to encourage investigation but to hold back conclusion.
Letter to Rev. James Madison (Paris, 19 Jul 1788). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 2, 431.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (91)  |  Contradiction (29)  |  Investigation (103)

The discovery of the laws of definite proportions is one of the most important and wonderful among the great and brilliant achievements of modern chemistry. It is sufficient of itself to convince any reasoning mind, that order and system pervade the universe, and that the minutest atoms of matter, and the vast orbs that move round the heavens are equally under the control of the invariable laws of the creator.
Elements of Chemistry (1845), 84.
Science quotes on:  |  God (271)  |  Law (334)

The establishment of the periodic law may truly be said to mark a line in chemical science, and we anticipate that its application and and extension will be fraught With the most important consequences. It reminds us how important above all things is the correct determination of the fundamental constants of our science—the atomic weights of the elements, about which in many cases great uncertainty prevails; it is much to be desired that this may not long remain the case. It also affords the strongest encouragement to the chemist to persevere in the search for new elements.
In The Encyclopaedia Britannica: Ninth Edition (1877), Vol. 5, 714.
Science quotes on:  |  Anticipate (5)  |  Application (92)  |  Atomic Weight (6)  |  Chemist (69)  |  Consequence (53)  |  Constant (24)  |  Correct (25)  |  Determination (46)  |  Element (88)  |  Encouragement (15)  |  Establishment (24)  |  Extension (17)  |  Fundamental (76)  |  Importance (155)  |  New (178)  |  Periodic Law (2)  |  Persevere (2)  |  Search (55)  |  Uncertainty (33)

The fundamental laws necessary for the mathematical treatment of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty lies only in the fact that application of these laws leads to equations that are too complex to be solved.
'Quantum Mechanics of Many-Electron Systems', Proceedings of the Royal Society (1929), A, 123, 714-733. Quoted in Steven M. Bachrach, Computational Organic Chemistry, Preface, xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Equation (57)  |  Law (334)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Physics (203)

The ingenuity and effective logic that enabled chemists to determine complex molecular structures from the number of isomers, the reactivity of the molecule and of its fragments, the freezing point, the empirical formula, the molecular weight, etc., is one of the outstanding triumphs of the human mind.
'Trends in Chemistry', Chemical Engineering News, 7 Jan 1963, 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (41)

The laws of physics and chemistry must be the same in a crucible as in the larger laboratory of Nature.
The Natural History of Igneous Rocks (1909), 282.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (165)  |  Petroleum (5)

The lessons of science should be experimental also. The sight of a planet through a telescope is worth all the course on astronomy; the shock of the electric spark in the elbow outvalues all theories; the taste of the nitrous oxide, the firing of an artificial volcano, are better than volumes of chemistry.
The Prose Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1870), 552.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Elbow (2)  |  Electricity (93)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Lesson (19)  |  Nitrous Oxide (2)  |  Planet (107)  |  Science (1133)  |  Shock (9)  |  Spark (11)  |  Telescope (55)  |  Theory (446)  |  Volcano (28)  |  Worth (45)

The morphological characteristics of plant and animal species form the chief subject of the descriptive natural sciences and are the criteria for their classification. But not until recently has it been recognized that in living organisms, as in the realm of crystals, chemical differences parallel the variation in structure.
The Specificity of Serological Reactions (1936), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (199)  |  Classification (66)  |  Difference (167)  |  Plant (124)  |  Species (119)  |  Structure (136)

The poet alone knows astronomy, chemistry, vegetation, and animation, for he does not stop at these facts, but employs them as signs. He knows why the plain, or meadow of space, was strown with these flowers we call suns, and moons, and stars; why the deep is adorned with animals, with men, and gods; for, in every word he speaks he rides on them as the horses of thought.
Essay, 'The Poet', in Ralph Waldo Emerson, Alfred Riggs Ferguson (ed.) and Jean Ferguson Carr (ed.), The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Volume III, Essays: Second Series (1984), 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (199)  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Star (165)  |  Universe (347)  |  Vegetation (12)

The progress of synthesis, or the building up of natural materials from their constituent elements, proceeds apace. Even some of the simpler albuminoids, a class of substances of great importance in the life process, have recently been artificially prepared. ... Innumerable entirely new compounds have been produced in the last century. The artificial dye-stuffs, prepared from materials occurring in coal-tar, make the natural colours blush. Saccharin, which is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, is a purely artificial substance. New explosives, drugs, alloys, photographic substances, essences, scents, solvents, and detergents are being poured out in a continuous stream.
In Matter and Energy (1912), 45-46.
Science quotes on:  |  Alloy (2)  |  Artificial (18)  |  Blush (3)  |  Building (49)  |  Century (61)  |  Class (35)  |  Coal Tar (2)  |  Color (56)  |  Compound (42)  |  Constituent (12)  |  Continuous (12)  |  Drug (34)  |  Element (88)  |  Entirely (8)  |  Essence (23)  |  Explosive (8)  |  Great (110)  |  Hundred (21)  |  Importance (155)  |  Innumerable (12)  |  Last (15)  |  Life (606)  |  Material (86)  |  Natural (74)  |  New (178)  |  Occurrence (27)  |  Photograph (14)  |  Pour (4)  |  Preparation (29)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Process (144)  |  Production (81)  |  Progress (253)  |  Purely (4)  |  Recent (16)  |  Saccharin (2)  |  Scent (3)  |  Simplicity (113)  |  Solvent (4)  |  Stream (16)  |  Substance (57)  |  Sugar (11)  |  Synthesis (33)

The trick in discovering evolutionary laws is the same as it is in discovering laws of physics or chemistry—namely, finding the right level of generalization to make prediction possible. We do not try to find a law that says when and where explosions will occur. We content ourselves with saying that certain sorts of compounds are explosive under the right conditions, and we predict that explosions will occur whenever those conditions are realized.
In 'Paleoanthropology: Science or Mythical Charter?', Journal of Anthropological Research (Summer 2002), 58, No. 2, 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Condition (93)  |  Contentment (9)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Evolution (378)  |  Explosion (18)  |  Find (100)  |  Generalization (22)  |  Law (334)  |  Level (28)  |  Physics (203)  |  Possible (35)  |  Prediction (56)  |  Realization (27)  |  Trick (12)  |  Try (45)

The whole art of making experiments in chemistry is founded on the principle: we must always suppose an exact equality or equation between the principles of the body examined and those of the products of its analysis.
From Traité Élémentaire de Chimie (1789), 140. Translation as given in James Riddick Partington, A Short History of Chemistry (1960), 124. This is an alternate translation of part of the same passage on this page that begins “We may lay it down as an incontestible axiom…”
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (102)  |  Body (133)  |  Conservation Of Matter (7)  |  Equality (11)  |  Equation (57)  |  Exact (23)  |  Examined (3)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Principle (156)  |  Product (45)  |  Reactant (2)

The works of Lavoisier and his associates operated upon many of us at that time like the Sun's rising after a night of moonshine: but Chemistry is now betrothed to the Mathematics, and is in consequence grown somewhat shy of her former admirers.
In Luke Howard, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and D.F.S. Scott (ed.), Luke Howard (1772-1864): His Correspondence with Goethe and his Continental Journey of 1816(1976), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirer (2)  |  Consequence (53)  |  Former (6)  |  Lavoisier (2)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Moonshine (3)  |  Night (44)  |  Rising (8)  |  Shy (3)  |  Sun (132)  |  Work (283)

Then we'll work a hundred years without physics and chemistry.
[Response shouted back to Carl Bosch (then still head of IG Farben), who had tried to advise him that if Jewish scientists were forced to leave the country both physics and chemistry would be set back 100 years.]
At first meeting between Bosch and Hitler (Mar 1933). As quoted in Joseph Borkin, (1978), 57. Pat Choate in Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization (2005), states the result that “A month after that meeting, the ninety-day-old Nazi-led government adopted a law that forbade anyone of ‘non-Aryan descent’ from working in the German civil service, including state-run universities. ... Within a year, almost 20 percent of Germany's mathematicians and physicists were dismissed from university positions.”
Science quotes on:  |  Carl Bosch (2)  |  Hundred (21)  |  Jew (6)  |  Nazi (4)  |  Physics (203)  |  Work (283)  |  Year (110)

There is no such thing as chemistry for medical students! Chemistry is chemistry!
In G. B. Kauffman, Alfred Werner (1966), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Medicine (222)  |  Student (84)

This is, in truth, the first charm of chemistry, and the secret of the almost universal interest excited by its discoveries. The serious complacency which is afforded by the sense of truth, utility, permanence, and progression, blends with and ennobles the exhilarating surprise and the pleasurable sting of curiosity, which accompany the propounding and the solving of an Enigma... If in SHAKPEARE [sic] we find Nature idealized into Poetry, through the creative power of a profound yet observant meditation, so through the meditative observation of a DAVY, a WOOLLASTON [sic], or a HATCHETT; we find poetry, as if were, substantiated and realized in nature.
Essays on the Principle of Method, Essay VI (1818). In The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Friend (1969), Vol. 4, 1, Barbara E. Rooke (ed.), 471.
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (11)  |  Sir Humphry Davy (41)  |  Poetry (77)  |  William Shakespeare (68)  |  William Hyde Wollaston (3)

This means that we have here an entirely separate kind of chemistry for which the current tool we use is the electrometer, not the balance, and which we might well call the chemistry of the imponderable.
(11 Dec 1911) As quoted in Marie and Pierre Curie and the Discovery of Polonium and Radium, Nobel Lecture
Science quotes on:  |  Research (400)

This missing science of heredity, this unworked mine of knowledge on the borderland of biology and anthropology, which for all practical purposes is as unworked now as it was in the days of Plato, is, in simple truth, ten times more important to humanity than all the chemistry and physics, all the technical and indsutrial science that ever has been or ever will be discovered.
Mankind in the Making (1903), 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Anthropology (33)  |  Biology (106)  |  Borderland (3)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Heredity (48)  |  Importance (155)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Mankind (136)  |  Mine (12)  |  Physics (203)  |  Plato (35)  |  Technology (124)

This [discovery of a cell-free yeast extract] will make him famous, even though he has no talent for chemistry.
Baeyer to Willstatter. Quoted in R. Willstatter, From My Life (1965), trans. J. S. Froton.
Science quotes on:  |  Eduard Buchner (3)  |  Yeast (5)

Those of us who make only a brief study of chemistry, the benefits to be expected are of an indirect nature. Increased capacity for enjoyment, a livelier interest in the world in which we live, a more intelligent attitude toward the great questions of the day—these are the by-products of a well-balanced education, including chemistry in its proper relation to other studies.
In Fundamental Chemistry, and Elementary Textbook for College Classes (1947), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (24)  |  Benefit (36)  |  Brief (9)  |  Byproduct (3)  |  Capacity (27)  |  Education (225)  |  Enjoyment (22)  |  Expectation (43)  |  Great (110)  |  Increase (52)  |  Indirect (5)  |  Intelligence (99)  |  Interest (110)  |  Life (606)  |  Livelier (2)  |  Nature (688)  |  Proper (19)  |  Question (202)  |  Relation (65)  |  Study (233)  |  Well-Balanced (3)  |  World (365)

Throughout his life Newton must have devoted at least as much attention to chemistry and theology as to mathematics. …
History of Mathematics (3rd Ed., 1901), 335.
Science quotes on:  |  Anecdote (16)  |  Devote (6)  |  Life (606)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (213)  |  Theology (25)

To the manufacturer, chemistry has lately become fruitful of instruction and assistance. In the arts of brewing, tanning, dying, and bleaching, its doctrines are important guides. In making soap, glass, pottery, and all metallic wares, its principles are daily applied, and are capable of a still more useful application, as they become better understood.
From 'Artist and Mechanic', The artist & Tradesman’s Guide: embracing some leading facts & principles of science, and a variety of matter adapted to the wants of the artist, mechanic, manufacturer, and mercantile community (1827), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (92)  |  Art (115)  |  Assistance (6)  |  Better (77)  |  Brewing (2)  |  Doctrine (36)  |  Dyeing (2)  |  Fruitful (18)  |  Glass (27)  |  Guide (24)  |  Important (36)  |  Instruction (30)  |  Manufacturer (7)  |  Pottery (3)  |  Principle (156)  |  Soap (8)  |  Tanning (3)  |  Understood (9)  |  Useful (36)

To-day, science has withdrawn into realms that are hardly understanded of the people. Biology means very largely histology, the study of the cell by difficult and elaborate microscopical processes. Chemistry has passed from the mixing of simple substances with ascertained reactions, to an experimentation of these processes under varying conditions of temperature, pressure, and electrification—all requiring complicated apparatus and the most delicate measurement and manipulation. Similarly, physics has outgrown the old formulas of gravity, magnetism, and pressure; has discarded the molecule and atom for the ion, and may in its recent generalizations be followed only by an expert in the higher, not to say the transcendental mathematics.
‘Exit the Amateur Scientist.’ Editorial, The Nation, 23 August 1906, 83, 160.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (106)  |  Mathematics (471)  |  Physics (203)  |  Research (400)

Undeveloped though the science [of chemistry] is, it already has great power to bring benefits. Those accruing to physical welfare are readily recognized, as in providing cures, improving the materials needed for everyday living, moving to ameliorate the harm which mankind by its sheer numbers does to the environment, to say nothing of that which even today attends industrial development. And as we continue to improve our understanding of the basic science on which applications increasingly depend, material benefits of this and other kinds are secured for the future.
Speech at the Nobel Banquet (10 Dec 1983) for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes (1984), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Benefit (36)  |  Cure (59)  |  Development (172)  |  Environment (98)  |  Everyday (9)  |  Great (110)  |  Harm (22)  |  Improve (14)  |  Industrial (3)  |  Living (35)  |  Mankind (136)  |  Material (86)  |  Need (86)  |  Number (123)  |  Physical (50)  |  Power (155)  |  Provision (12)  |  Recognition (51)  |  Understanding (297)  |  Undeveloped (2)  |  Welfare (10)

Upon the whole, Chymistry is as yet but an opening science, closely connected with the usefull and ornamental arts, and worthy the attention of the liberal mind. And it must always become more and more so: for though it is only of late, that it has been looked upon in that light, the great progress already made in Chymical knowledge, gives us a pleasant prospect of rich additions to it. The Science is now studied on solid and rational grounds. While our knowledge is imperfect, it is apt to run into error: but Experiment is the thread that will lead us out of the labyrinth.
In Alexander Law, Notes of Black's Lectures, vol. 3, 88. Cited in Charles Coulston Gillispie, Dictionary of Scientific Biography: Volumes 1-2 (1981), 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (13)  |  Attention (53)  |  Error (175)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Imperfection (12)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Labyrinth (5)  |  Lead (43)  |  Liberal (4)  |  Mind (346)  |  Ornament (10)  |  Pleasant (11)  |  Progress (253)  |  Prospect (12)  |  Rational (22)  |  Science (1133)  |  Solid (24)  |  Study (233)  |  Thread (9)  |  Useful (36)  |  Worth (45)

We all teach ... the chemistry of Lavoisier and Gay-Lussac.
Comment made in 1877. Cited in Maurice Crosland, Gay-Lussac, Scientist and Bourgeois (1972), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (7)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (29)

We have learned that there is an endocrinology of elation and despair, a chemistry of mystical insight, and, in relation to the autonomic nervous system, a meteorology and even... an astro-physics of changing moods.
Literature and Science (1963), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrophysics (10)  |  Despair (15)  |  Insight (38)  |  Joy (33)  |  Meteorology (16)  |  Mood (4)  |  Mystery (87)  |  Nerve (59)

We may lay it down as an incontestible axiom, that, in all the operations of art and nature, nothing is created; an equal quantity of matter exists both before and after the experiment; the quality and quantity of the elements remain precisely the same; and nothing takes place beyond changes and modifications in the combination of these elements. Upon this principle the whole art of performing chemical experiments depends: We must always suppose an exact equality between the elements of the body examined and those of the products of its analysis.
Elements of Chemistry trans. Robert. Kerr, (1790, 5th Ed. 1802), Vol. 1, 226.
Science quotes on:  |  Analaysis (2)  |  Axiom (16)  |  Change (186)  |  Combination (54)  |  Creation (171)  |  Element (88)  |  Equal (37)  |  Examination (55)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Matter (176)  |  Modification (26)  |  Principle (156)  |  Quality (43)  |  Quantity (28)  |  Same (28)

We must not only prepare [students] in sciences, we must prepare them in other areas. For example, I teach Chemistry but on every test I give I have an English question. And I give a simple question. I say, “Discuss your understanding of this topic.”
In address, to the Economic Club of Detroit (14 Jan 1990), 'Where Do We Go From Here?' on the massiechairs.com website.
Science quotes on:  |  Discuss (4)  |  English (11)  |  Preparation (29)  |  Question (202)  |  Science (1133)  |  Student (84)  |  Teacher (66)  |  Test (68)  |  Understanding (297)

We speak erroneously of “artificial” materials, “synthetics”, and so forth. The basis for this erroneous terminology is the notion that Nature has made certain things which we call natural, and everything else is “man-made”, ergo artificial. But what one learns in chemistry is that Nature wrote all the rules of structuring; man does not invent chemical structuring rules; he only discovers the rules. All the chemist can do is find out what Nature permits, and any substances that are thus developed or discovered are inherently natural. It is very important to remember that.
From 'The Comprehensive Man', Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure (1963), 75-76.
Science quotes on:  |  Artificial (18)  |  Basis (35)  |  Chemical (52)  |  Chemist (69)  |  Development (172)  |  Discovery (480)  |  Error (175)  |  Find (100)  |  Importance (155)  |  Inherent (21)  |  Invention (222)  |  Learning (163)  |  Man-Made (4)  |  Material (86)  |  Natural (74)  |  Nature (688)  |  Notion (23)  |  Permit (10)  |  Remember (27)  |  Rule (80)  |  Structure (136)  |  Substance (57)  |  Synthetic (7)  |  Terminology (5)  |  Writing (70)

What are the most brilliant of our chymical discoveries compared with the invention of fire and the metals?
Lothair (1879), preface, xvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Fire (79)  |  Metal (26)

When carbon (C), Oxygen (o) and hydrogen (H) atoms bond in a certain way to form sugar, the resulting compound has a sweet taste. The sweetness resides neither in the C, nor in the O, nor in the H; it resides in the pattern that emerges from their interaction. It is an emergent property. Moreover, strictly speaking, is not a property of the chemical bonds. It is a sensory experience that arises when the sugar molecules interact with the chemistry of our taste buds, which in turns causes a set of neurons to fire in a certain way. The experience of sweetness emerges from that neural activity.
In The Hidden Connections (2002), 116-117.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (57)  |  Carbon (34)  |  Chemical Bond (5)  |  Compound (42)  |  Emergence (19)  |  Experience (171)  |  Hydrogen (32)  |  Interaction (15)  |  Molecule (98)  |  Neuron (8)  |  Oxygen (40)  |  Pattern (32)  |  Reside (5)  |  Result (167)  |  Sense (141)  |  Sugar (11)  |  Sweetness (5)  |  Taste (23)

When chemists have brought their knowledge out of their special laboratories into the laboratory of the world, where chemical combinations are and have been through all time going on in such vast proportions,—when physicists study the laws of moisture, of clouds and storms, in past periods as well as in the present,—when, in short, geologists and zoologists are chemists and physicists, and vice versa,—then we shall learn more of the changes the world has undergone than is possible now that they are separately studied.
Geological Sketches (1866), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Laboratory (98)  |  Meteorology (16)  |  Physics (203)  |  Study (233)

When one studies strongly radioactive substances special precautions must be taken if one wishes to be able to take delicate measurements. The various objects used in a chemical laboratory and those used in a chemical laboratory, and those which serve for experiments in physics, become radioactive in a short time and act upon photographic plates through black paper. Dust, the air of the room, and one's clothes all become radioactive.
Notebook entry. In Eve Curie, Madame Curie: a Biography by Eve Curie (1937, 2007), 196.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (23)  |  Clothes (5)  |  Delicate (8)  |  Equipment (16)  |  Measurement (136)  |  Photography (7)  |  Physics (203)  |  Precaution (3)  |  Radioactivity (22)  |  Special (35)  |  Study (233)

Whenever Nature's bounty is in danger of exhaustion, the chemist has sought for a substitute. The conquest of disease has made great progress as a result of your efforts. Wherever we look, the work of the chemist has raised the level of our civilization and has increased the productive capacity of the nation. Waste materials, formerly cast aside, are now being utilized.
Speech to American Chemical Society, White House lawn (Apr 1924). Quoted in American Druggist (1925), 73, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Civilization (119)

Whereas the chemico-chemists always find in industry a beautiful field of gold-laden soil, the physico-chemists stand somewhat farther off, especially those who seek only the greatest dilution, for in general there is little to make with watery solutions.
Science quotes on:  |  Dilution (2)  |  Water (171)

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 (11)  |  Act (40)  |  Adventure (25)  |  Air (108)  |  Biography (209)  |  Bottle (8)  |  Cent (2)  |  Change (186)  |  Cloud (30)  |  Copper (14)  |  Cost (19)  |  Experiment (460)  |  Finger (20)  |  Foam (2)  |  Fume (5)  |  Impressiveness (2)  |  Liquid (20)  |  Meaning (73)  |  Mess (5)  |  Neighborhood (3)  |  Nitric Acid (2)  |  Observation (339)  |  Pain (65)  |  Peculiarity (12)  |  Reading (46)  |  Spirit (72)  |  Suffocation (2)  |  Table (16)  |  Trousers (3)  |  Window (14)

Who are the farmer’s servants? … Geology and Chemistry, the quarry of the air, the water of the brook, the lightning of the cloud, the castings of the worm, the plough of the frost.
From 'Farming' in Society and Solitude (1870). Collected in Emerson's Complete Works (1883), Vol. 7, 138.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (33)  |  Air (108)  |  Brook (4)  |  Casting (3)  |  Cloud (30)  |  Farmer (14)  |  Frost (8)  |  Geology (165)  |  Lightning (20)  |  Plough (6)  |  Quarry (3)  |  Servant (8)  |  Water (171)  |  Worm (14)

Who would not have been laughed at if he had said in 1800 that metals could be extracted from their ores by electricity or that portraits could be drawn by chemistry.
[Commenting on Becquerel’s process for extracting metals by voltaic means.]
Letter (20 Aug 1847), The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein, 1836-1862 (1899), footnote, 209.
Science quotes on:  |  Henri Becquerel (5)  |  Drawing (17)  |  Electricity (93)  |  Extraction (5)  |  Laugh (12)  |  Ore (5)

Who—aside from certain big children who are indeed found in the natural sciences—still believes that the findings of astronomy, biology, physics, or chemistry could teach us anything about the meaning of the world?
Max Weber
In 'Wissenschart aIs Berur', Gessammelte Aufslitze zur Wlssenschaftslehre (1922), 524-525. Originally a Speech at Munich University. Translated as 'Science as a Vocation', reprinted in H. H. Gerlh and C. Wright-Mills (eds.), Max Weber (1974), 142.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (131)  |  Belief (215)  |  Biology (106)  |  Child (114)  |  Find (100)  |  Meaning (73)  |  Natural (74)  |  Physics (203)  |  Science (1133)  |  Teaching (87)  |  World (365)

Why did I decide to undertake my doctorate research in the exotic field of boron hydrides? As it happened, my girl friend, Sarah Baylen, soon to become my wife, presented me with a graduation gift, Alfred Stock's book, The Hydrides of Boron and Silicon. I read this book and became interested in the subject. How did it happen that she selected this particular book? This was the time of the Depression. None of us had much money. It appears she selected as her gift the most economical chemistry book ($2.06) available in the University of Chicago bookstore. Such are the developments that can shape a career.
'From Little Acorns Through to Tall Oaks From Boranes Through Organoboranes', Nobel Lecture (8 Dec) 1979. In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry, 1971-1980 (1993), 341.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (129)  |  Boron (4)  |  Career (39)  |  Silicon (3)  |  Alfred Stock (3)

Without an acquaintance with chemistry, the statesman must remain a stranger to the true vital interests of the state, to the means of its organic development and improvement; ... The highest economic or material interests of a country, the increased and more profitable production of food for man and animals, ... are most closely linked with the advancement and diffusion of the natural sciences, especially of chemistry.
Familiar Letters on Chemistry (1851), 3rd edn., 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (33)  |  Country (66)  |  Development (172)  |  Economics (24)  |  Food (100)  |  Improvement (49)  |  Increase (52)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Nation (68)  |  Production (81)  |  Profit (18)  |  Science (1133)  |  Statesman (7)  |  Stranger (7)

Without some idea of oxidation processes, of the chemical structure of food, and of the chemical reactions in digestion, visceral behavior is a blank. And without some understanding of visceral behavior, psychic behavior is up in the air.
From Why We Behave Like Human Beings (1925), xiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (19)  |  Biochemistry (38)  |  Blank (7)  |  Chemical Reaction (3)  |  Food (100)  |  Oxidation (6)  |  Process (144)  |  Psychology (80)  |  Structure (136)  |  Understanding (297)

You have heard of the new chemical nomenclature endeavored to be introduced by Lavoisier, Fourcroy, &c. Other chemists of this country, of equal note, reject it, and prove in my opinion that it is premature, insufficient and false. These latter are joined by the British chemists; and upon the whole, I think the new nomenclature will be rejected, after doing more harm than good. There are some good publications in it, which must be translated into the ordinary chemical language before they will be useful.
Letter to Dr. Currie (Paris, 1788). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 2, 544.
Science quotes on:  |  False (45)  |  Comte de Antoine Francois Fourcroy (5)  |  Harm (22)  |  Introduce (21)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (29)  |  Nomenclature (118)  |  Opinion (104)  |  Publication (81)  |  Rejection (20)

Your aim is no better than your knowledge of chemistry.
[On being shot at by a Polish student whom Werner had failed in an examination.]
In G. B. Kauffman, Alfred Werner (1966), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (33)  |  Better (77)  |  Examination (55)  |  Failure (82)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Shooting (6)  |  Student (84)

Your remarks upon chemical notation with the variety of systems which have arisen, &c., &c., had almost stirred me up to regret publicly that such hindrances to the progress of science should exist. I cannot help thinking it a most unfortunate thing that men who as experimentalists & philosophers are the most fitted to advance the general cause of science & knowledge should by promulgation of their own theoretical views under the form of nomenclature, notation, or scale, actually retard its progress.
Letter to William Whewell (21 Feb 1831). In Isaac Todhunter, William Whewell, An Account of his Writings (1876), Vol. 1., 307. Faraday may have been referring to a paper by Whewell published in the Journal of the Royal Institution of England (1831), 437-453.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (30)  |  Cause (167)  |  Experimentalist (8)  |  Hindrance (2)  |  Knowledge (879)  |  Nomenclature (118)  |  Notation (8)  |  Philosopher (92)  |  Progress (253)  |  Progress Of Science (18)  |  Promulgation (2)  |  Regret (13)  |  Remark (11)  |  Retardation (4)  |  Scale (32)  |  Stir (6)  |  System (90)  |  Theory (446)  |  Variety (37)  |  View (60)

[Chemistry] laboratory work was my first challenge. ... I still carry the scars of my first discovery—that test-tubes are fragile.
Edward Teller with Judith L. Shoolery, Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics (2001), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (209)  |  Laboratory (98)  |  Test Tube (7)

[While in school, before university,] I, like almost all chemists I know, was also attracted by the smells and bangs that endowed chemistry with that slight but charismatic element of danger which is now banned from the classroom. I agree with those of us who feel that the wimpish chemistry training that schools are now forced to adopt is one possible reason that chemistry is no longer attracting as many talented and adventurous youngsters as it once did. If the decline in hands-on science education is not redressed, I doubt that we shall survive the 21st century.
Nobel laureate autobiography in Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures 1996 (1997), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  21st Century (4)  |  Adoption (6)  |  Adventure (25)  |  Agreement (23)  |  Attraction (28)  |  Ban (6)  |  Bang (3)  |  Chemist (69)  |  Classroom (2)  |  Danger (43)  |  Decline (7)  |  Doubt (80)  |  Element (88)  |  Feeling (62)  |  Force (108)  |  Reason (211)  |  Science Education (10)  |  Smell (9)  |  Survive (4)  |  Talent (40)  |  Training (30)  |  Youngster (2)

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:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations 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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.