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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index D > Category: Detective

Detective Quotes (10 quotes)

There is no such thing as a Scientific Mind. Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers, and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. There are poet-scientists and philosopher-scientists and even a few mystics.
The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967). Reprinted in Pluto’s Republic (1982), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Artisan (9)  |  Artist (90)  |  Collector (9)  |  Compulsive (3)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Dissimilar (6)  |  Doing (280)  |  Explorer (28)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Mystic (20)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Poet (86)  |  Scientific (940)  |  Scientific Mind (13)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Temperament (17)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Way (1216)

All science, even the divine science, is a sublime detective story. Only it is not set to detect why a man is dead; but the darker secret of why he is alive.
From 'What Do They Think', The Thing: Why I Am Catholic (1929), 78. In Collected Works (1990), Vol. 3, 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  All (4107)  |  Dead (59)  |  Detect (44)  |  Divine (112)  |  Man (2249)  |  Science (3880)  |  Secret (195)  |  Set (394)  |  Story (118)  |  Sublime (46)  |  Why (491)

Astronomy, Benjamin mused, was a lot like a detective story with the clues revealed first, and the actual body only later—if ever.
Eater (2000). In Gary Westfahl, Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits (2006), 323.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (117)  |  Astronomy (231)  |  Body (537)  |  First (1284)  |  Lot (151)  |  Reveal (148)  |  Revealed (60)  |  Story (118)

If this “critical openminded attitude” … is wanted, the question at once arises, Is it science that should be studied in order to achieve it? Why not study law? A judge has to do everything that a scientist is exhorted to do in the way of withholding judgment until all the facts are in, and then judging impartially on the merits of the case as well as he can. … Why not a course in Sherlock Holmes? The detectives, or at least the detective-story writers, join with the scientists in excoriating “dogmatic prejudice, lying, falsification of facts, and data, and willful fallacious reasoning.”
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Arise (158)  |  Attitude (82)  |  Case (99)  |  Course (408)  |  Critical (66)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Data (156)  |  Do (1908)  |  Dogmatism (15)  |  Everything (476)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fallacious (12)  |  Falsification (10)  |  Impartiality (7)  |  Judge (108)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Law (895)  |  Lie (364)  |  Lying (55)  |  Merit (50)  |  Order (632)  |  Prejudice (88)  |  Question (622)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Science (3880)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Sherlock Holmes (4)  |  Story (118)  |  Study (656)  |  Want (497)  |  Way (1216)  |  Why (491)  |  Willful (3)  |  Writer (86)

One of the biggest roles of science fiction is to prepare people to accept the future without pain and to encourage a flexibility of the mind. Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.
(1984) Quoted in Jerome Agel (ed.), The Making of Kubrick's 2001 (4th Ed. 1970), 300. In James E. Combs, Polpop: Politics and Popular Culture in America (1984), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (192)  |  Encourage (41)  |  Flexibility (6)  |  Future (432)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Pain (136)  |  People (1005)  |  Politician (38)  |  Read (288)  |  Role (85)  |  Science (3880)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Story (118)  |  Western (45)

One of the most interesting parts is the detective element. Archaeology is like a jigsaw puzzle, except that you can't cheat and look at the box, and not all the pieces are there.
From interview with Sarah Marsh, in “Being a Council Archaeologist is ‘Like Being a Detective’”, The Guardian (6 Sep 2013).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Archaeology (49)  |  Box (22)  |  Cheat (13)  |  Element (310)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Jigsaw (3)  |  Look (582)  |  Most (1729)  |  Piece (37)  |  Puzzle (44)

Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.
In Rosemarie Jarski, Words from the Wise: Over 6,000 of the Smartest Things Ever Said (2007), 438.
Science quotes on:  |  Politician (38)  |  Read (288)  |  Science (3880)  |  Science Fiction (31)  |  Western (45)

Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. There are poets–scientists and philosopher–scientists and even a few mystics. ... and most people who are in fact scientists could easily have been something else instead.
'Hypothesis and Imagination', The Art of the Soluble (1967), 132.
Science quotes on:  |  Artist (90)  |  Different (577)  |  Doing (280)  |  Explorer (28)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Most (1729)  |  Mystic (20)  |  Other (2236)  |  People (1005)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Something (719)  |  Temperament (17)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Way (1216)

Scientists don’t really ever grow up. I read, as a 10-or-so-year-old, a book for kids by Einstein. I think it was The Meaning of Relativity. It was exciting! Science was compared to a detective story, replete with clues, and the solution was the search for a coherent account of all the known events. Then I remember some very entrapping biographies: Crucibles, by Bernard Jaffe, was the story of chemistry told through the lives of great chemists; Microbe Hunters, by Paul de Kruif, did the same for biologists. Also, the novel Arrowsmith, by Sinclair Lewis, about a medical researcher. These books were a crucial component of getting hooked into science.
When asked by Discover magazine what books helped inspire his passion as a scientist.
In 'The 1998 Discover Science Gift Guide: Fantastic Voyages Children's Books That Mattered', Discover (Dec 1998).
Science quotes on:  |  Account (192)  |  All (4107)  |  Ask (411)  |  Biography (242)  |  Biologist (69)  |  Book (394)  |  Chemist (156)  |  Chemistry (355)  |  Component (48)  |  Crucible (8)  |  Discover (553)  |  Einstein (101)  |  Event (216)  |  Exciting (48)  |  Great (1575)  |  Grow (238)  |  Hunter (24)  |  Known (454)  |  Live (629)  |  Meaning (235)  |  Microbe (28)  |  Novel (32)  |  Old (480)  |  Passion (114)  |  Read (288)  |  Relativity (88)  |  Remember (179)  |  Researcher (33)  |  Science (3880)  |  Scientist (825)  |  Search (162)  |  Solution (269)  |  Story (118)  |  Think (1086)  |  Through (849)  |  Year (932)

While playing the part of the detective the investigator follows clues, but having captured his alleged fact, he turns judge and examines the case by means of logically arranged evidence. Both functions are equally essential but they are different.
In The Art of Scientific Investigation (1950, 1957), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Alleged (2)  |  Both (494)  |  Capture (11)  |  Case (99)  |  Clue (17)  |  Difference (337)  |  Different (577)  |  Equal (84)  |  Equally (130)  |  Essential (200)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Examination (98)  |  Examine (78)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Follow (379)  |  Function (229)  |  Investigator (67)  |  Judge (108)  |  Logic (287)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (580)  |  Playing (42)  |  Turn (447)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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