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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, ... finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell ... whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index E > Category: Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm Quotes (52 quotes)


A hundred years ago … an engineer, Herbert Spencer, was willing to expound every aspect of life, with an effect on his admiring readers which has not worn off today.
Things do not happen quite in this way nowadays. This, we are told, is an age of specialists. The pursuit of knowledge has become a profession. The time when a man could master several sciences is past. He must now, they say, put all his efforts into one subject. And presumably, he must get all his ideas from this one subject. The world, to be sure, needs men who will follow such a rule with enthusiasm. It needs the greatest numbers of the ablest technicians. But apart from them it also needs men who will converse and think and even work in more than one science and know how to combine or connect them. Such men, I believe, are still to be found today. They are still as glad to exchange ideas as they have been in the past. But we cannot say that our way of life is well-fitted to help them. Why is this?
In 'The Unification of Biology', New Scientist (11 Jan 1962), 13, No. 269, 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Aspect (124)  |  Become (815)  |  Combine (57)  |  Connect (125)  |  Do (1908)  |  Effect (393)  |  Effort (227)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Exchange (37)  |  Follow (378)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Happen (274)  |  Help (105)  |  Hundred (229)  |  Idea (843)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Master (178)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Need (290)  |  Number (699)  |  Past (337)  |  Profession (99)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Rule (294)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Several (32)  |  Specialist (28)  |  Herbert Spencer (37)  |  Still (613)  |  Subject (521)  |  Technician (9)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Today (314)  |  Way (1217)  |  Way Of Life (12)  |  Why (491)  |  Will (2355)  |  Willing (44)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)  |  Year (933)

Among your pupils, sooner or later, there must be one. who has a genius for geometry. He will be Sylvester’s special pupil—the one pupil who will derive from his master, knowledge and enthusiasm—and that one pupil will give more reputation to your institution than the ten thousand, who will complain of the obscurity of Sylvester, and for whom you will provide another class of teachers.
Letter (18 Sep 1875) recommending the appointment of J.J. Sylvester to Daniel C. Gilman. In Daniel C. Gilman Papers, Ms. 1, Special Collections Division, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Johns Hopkins University. As quoted in Karen Hunger Parshall, 'America’s First School of Mathematical Research: James Joseph Sylvester at The Johns Hopkins University 1876—1883', Archive for History of Exact Sciences (1988), 38, No. 2, 167.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Class (164)  |  Complain (8)  |  Derive (65)  |  Genius (284)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Institution (69)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Master (178)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Obscurity (27)  |  Provide (69)  |  Pupil (61)  |  Reputation (33)  |  Sooner Or Later (6)  |  Special (184)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Will (2355)

An enthusiasm about psychiatry is preposterous—it shows one just hasn’t grown up; but at the same time, for the psychiatrist to be indifferent toward his work is fatal.
The Psychiatric Interview (1954, 1970), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Fatal (12)  |  Grow Up (6)  |  Indifference (13)  |  Preposterous (8)  |  Psychiatrist (15)  |  Psychiatry (26)  |  Show (346)  |  Time (1877)  |  Work (1351)

Anatomists have ever been engaged in contention. And indeed, if a man has not such a degree of enthusiasm, and love of the art, as will make him impatient of unreasonable opposition and of encroachments upon his discoveries and his reputation, he will hardly become considerable in Anatomy or in any branch of natural knowledge.
Medical Commentaries (1764), Introduction, iii. In Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1972), Vol. 6, 569.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomist (23)  |  Anatomy (69)  |  Art (657)  |  Become (815)  |  Branch (150)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Contention (14)  |  Degree (276)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Love (309)  |  Man (2251)  |  Natural (796)  |  Opposition (48)  |  Reputation (33)  |  Will (2355)

At moments of great enthusiasm it seems to me that no one in the world has ever made something this beautiful and important.
As quoted on the website mcescher.com, without citation.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (258)  |  Great (1574)  |  Important (209)  |  Moment (253)  |  Seem (145)  |  Something (719)  |  World (1774)

Dear Mr. Bell: … Sir Wm. Thomson … speaks with much enthusiasm of your achievement. What yesterday he would have declared impossible he has today seen realized, and he declares it the most wonderful thing he has seen in America. You speak of it as an embryo invention, but to him it seems already complete, and he declares that, before long, friends will whisper their secrets over the electric wire. Your undulating current he declares a great and happy conception.
Letter to Alexander Graham Bell (25 Jun 1876). Quoted in Alexander Graham Bell, The Bell Telephone: The Deposition of Alexander Graham Bell, in the Suit Brought by the United States to Annul the Bell Patents (1908), 101. Note: William Thomson is better known as Lord Kelvin.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (179)  |  Already (222)  |  America (127)  |  Bell (35)  |  Alexander Graham Bell (37)  |  Complete (204)  |  Conception (154)  |  Current (118)  |  Declare (45)  |  Declared (24)  |  Electric (76)  |  Embryo (28)  |  Friend (168)  |  Great (1574)  |  Happy (105)  |  Impossible (251)  |  Invention (369)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (71)  |  Long (790)  |  Most (1731)  |  Realize (147)  |  Secret (194)  |  Speak (232)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Today (314)  |  Whisper (11)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wire (35)  |  Wonderful (149)  |  Yesterday (36)

Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
Anonymous
Science quotes on:  |  Anger (20)  |  Depression (24)  |  Joke (83)  |  Merely (316)  |  Psychology (154)

Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.
In 'An experiment that hints we are wrong on climate change', The Sunday Times (11 Feb 2007).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Antarctica (7)  |  Arctic (10)  |  Arrival (15)  |  Billion (95)  |  Bird (149)  |  Business (149)  |  California (9)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Crop (25)  |  Early (185)  |  Ensure (26)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Frost (14)  |  Global (35)  |  Headline (6)  |  Ice (54)  |  Iceberg (4)  |  Loss (110)  |  Migration (11)  |  Nest (23)  |  Ocean (202)  |  Penguin (4)  |  Recent (77)  |  Sea (308)  |  Spring (133)  |  Symptom (34)  |  Tell (340)  |  Unusual (37)  |  Warming (23)  |  Winter (44)  |  Year (933)

Every discipline must be honored for reason other than its utility, otherwise it yields no enthusiasm for industry.
For both reasons, I consider mathematics the chief subject for the common school. No more highly honored exercise for the mind can be found; the buoyancy [Spannkraft] which it produces is even greater than that produced by the ancient languages, while its utility is unquestioned.
In 'Mathematischer Lehrplan für Realschulen' Werke [Kehrbach] (1890), Bd. 5, 167. (Mathematics Curriculum for Secondary Schools). As quoted, cited and translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-Book (1914), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (189)  |  Both (493)  |  Buoyancy (7)  |  Chief (97)  |  Common (436)  |  Consider (416)  |  Discipline (77)  |  Exercise (110)  |  Greater (288)  |  Honor (54)  |  Honored (3)  |  Industry (137)  |  Language (293)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Other (2236)  |  Produce (104)  |  Produced (187)  |  Reason (744)  |  School (219)  |  Subject (521)  |  Unquestioned (7)  |  Utility (49)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)  |  Yield (81)

Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact.
Quoted in interview with magazine staff, Psychology Today (Jan 1996).
Science quotes on:  |  Beat (41)  |  Child (307)  |  Education (378)  |  Intact (8)  |  Kid (15)  |  Natural (796)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science Education (15)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Start (221)  |  System (537)  |  Through (849)  |  Trickle (2)  |  Wonder (236)

Far from becoming discouraged, the philosopher should applaud nature, even when she appears miserly of herself or overly mysterious, and should feel pleased that as he lifts one part of her veil, she allows him to glimpse an immense number of other objects, all worthy of investigation. For what we already know should allow us to judge of what we will be able to know; the human mind has no frontiers, it extends proportionately as the universe displays itself; man, then, can and must attempt all, and he needs only time in order to know all. By multiplying his observations, he could even see and foresee all phenomena, all of nature's occurrences, with as much truth and certainty as if he were deducing them directly from causes. And what more excusable or even more noble enthusiasm could there be than that of believing man capable of recognizing all the powers, and discovering through his investigations all the secrets, of nature!
'Des Mulets', Oeuvres Philosophiques, ed. Jean Piveteau (1954), 414. Quoted in Jacques Roger, The Life Sciences in Eighteenth-Century French Thought, ed. Keith R. Benson and trans. Robert Ellrich (1997), 458.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Already (222)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Becoming (96)  |  Capable (168)  |  Cause (541)  |  Certainty (174)  |  Display (56)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Extend (128)  |  Feel (367)  |  Foresee (19)  |  Frontier (38)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Immense (86)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Judge (108)  |  Know (1518)  |  Lift (55)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mind (1338)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Mysterious (79)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Noble (90)  |  Number (699)  |  Object (422)  |  Observation (555)  |  Occurrence (53)  |  Order (632)  |  Other (2236)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Power (746)  |  Secret (194)  |  See (1081)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Universe (857)  |  Veil (26)  |  Will (2355)

Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Back (390)  |  Flame (40)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Horse (74)  |  Horse Sense (4)  |  Most (1731)  |  Persistence (24)  |  Quality (135)  |  Sense (770)  |  Success (302)

Forty years as an astronomer have not quelled my enthusiasm for lying outside after dark, staring up at the stars. It isn’t only the beauty of the night sky that thrills me. It’s the sense I have that some of those points of light are the home stars of beings not so different from us, daily cares and all, who look across space and wonder, just as we do.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Across (32)  |  All (4108)  |  Astronomer (93)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Being (1278)  |  Care (186)  |  Daily (87)  |  Dark (140)  |  Different (577)  |  Do (1908)  |  Forty (4)  |  Home (170)  |  Lie (364)  |  Light (607)  |  Look (582)  |  Lying (55)  |  Night (120)  |  Outside (141)  |  Point (580)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sky (161)  |  Space (500)  |  Star (427)  |  Stare (9)  |  Stars (304)  |  Thrill (22)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Year (933)

I am concerned at the over-enthusiasm of unbridled reformers who initiate costly and frequently useless or even dangerous schemes. Progress is not synonymous with radicalism.
Myre Sim
In 'Myre Sim', Gale, Contemporary Authors Online (2002).
Science quotes on:  |  Concern (228)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Initiate (13)  |  Progress (465)  |  Reform (22)  |  Scheme (57)

I had begun it, it will now be unnecessary for me to finish it.[At a late age, expressing his enthusiasm for mathematics had gone, as when informed of some other mathematician's current work.]
As quoted by Charles Hutton in A Philosophical and Mathematical Dictionary (1815), Vol. 1, 708.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Age (499)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Current (118)  |  Finish (59)  |  Inform (47)  |  Late (118)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Other (2236)  |  Unnecessary (23)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

I have always looked upon alchemy in natural philosophy to be like enthusiasm in divinity, and to have troubled the world much to the same.
In The Works of Sir William Temple, Bart (1814), 506.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (30)  |  Divinity (23)  |  Look (582)  |  Looking (189)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Philosophy (52)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Trouble (107)  |  World (1774)

I was just so interested in what I was doing I could hardly wait to get up in the morning and get at it. One of my friends, a geneticist, said I was a child, because only children can't wait to get up in the morning to get at what they want to do.
Quoted in Evelyn Fox Keller, A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock (1984), 70.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Career (75)  |  Child (307)  |  Children (200)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doing (280)  |  Friend (168)  |  Geneticist (16)  |  Interest (386)  |  Morning (94)  |  Research (664)  |  Want (497)

If a teacher is full of his subject, and can induce enthusiasm in his pupils; if his facts are concrete and naturally connected, the amount of material that an average child can assimilate without injury is as astonishing as is the little that will fag him if it is a trifle above or below or remote from him, or taught dully or incoherently.
In The North American Review (Mar 1883), No. 316, 289.
Science quotes on:  |  Above (6)  |  Amount (151)  |  Assimilate (9)  |  Astonishing (27)  |  Average (82)  |  Below (24)  |  Child (307)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Connect (125)  |  Dull (54)  |  Education (378)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Incoherent (7)  |  Induce (22)  |  Injury (36)  |  Little (707)  |  Material (353)  |  Naturally (11)  |  Pupil (61)  |  Remote (83)  |  Subject (521)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Tire (7)  |  Trifle (15)  |  Will (2355)

If I were summing up the qualities of a good teacher of medicine, I would enumerate human sympathy, moral and intellectual integrity, enthusiasm, and ability to talk, in addition, of course, to knowledge of his subject.
Anonymous
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Addition (66)  |  Course (409)  |  Good (889)  |  Human (1468)  |  Integrity (17)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Moral (195)  |  Subject (521)  |  Sympathy (30)  |  Teacher (143)

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
Life (1984).
Science quotes on:  |  Death (388)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Faster (50)  |  Little (707)  |  Live (628)  |  Minute (125)  |  Physician (273)  |  Type (167)

In a lot of scientists, the ratio of wonder to skepticism declines in time. That may be connected with the fact that in some fields—mathematics, physics, some others—the great discoveries are almost entirely made by youngsters.
Quoted in interview with magazine staff, Psychology Today (Jan 1996).
Science quotes on:  |  Connect (125)  |  Connection (162)  |  Decline (26)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Field (364)  |  Great (1574)  |  Lot (151)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Other (2236)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Ratio (39)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Skepticism (28)  |  Time (1877)  |  Wonder (236)  |  Youth (101)

It’s not the critic who counts; not the man which points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again … who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
In Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Inside: A Public and Private Life (2005), 356.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Achievement (179)  |  Arena (4)  |  Belong (162)  |  Best (459)  |  Better (486)  |  Blood (134)  |  Cause (541)  |  Cold (112)  |  Count (105)  |  Credit (20)  |  Critic (20)  |  Dare (50)  |  Daring (17)  |  Deed (34)  |  Defeat (29)  |  Devotion (34)  |  Dust (64)  |  End (590)  |  Error (321)  |  Face (212)  |  Fail (185)  |  Great (1574)  |  High (362)  |  Himself (461)  |  Know (1518)  |  Man (2251)  |  Marred (3)  |  Never (1087)  |  Point (580)  |  Short (197)  |  Soul (226)  |  Spend (95)  |  Strive (46)  |  Strong (174)  |  Stumble (19)  |  Timidity (5)  |  Triumph (73)  |  Valiantly (2)  |  Victory (39)  |  Worst (57)

Men will gather knowledge no matter what the consequences. Science will go on whether we are pessimistic or optimistic, as I am. More interesting discoveries than we can imagine will be made, and I am awaiting them, full of curiosity and enthusiasm.
'Dr Linus Pauling, Atomic Architect', Science Illustrated (1948), 3, 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Consequence (203)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Gather (72)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Matter (798)  |  More (2559)  |  Optimist (8)  |  Pessimist (7)  |  Science (3879)  |  Will (2355)

My original decision to devote myself to science was a direct result of the discovery which has never ceased to fill me with enthusiasm since my early youth—the comprehension of the far from obvious fact that the laws of human reasoning coincide with the laws governing the sequences of the impressions we receive from the world about us; that, therefore, pure reasoning can enable man to gain an insight into the mechanism of the latter. In this connection, it is of paramount importance that the outside world is something independent from man, something absolute, and the quest for the laws which apply to this absolute appeared to me as the most sublime scientific pursuit in life.
'A Scientific Autobiography' (1948), in Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans. Frank Gaynor (1950), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Application (242)  |  Apply (160)  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Conincidence (4)  |  Connection (162)  |  Decision (91)  |  Devotion (34)  |  Direct (225)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Early (185)  |  Enable (119)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Fill (61)  |  Gain (145)  |  Governing (20)  |  Human (1468)  |  Importance (286)  |  Impression (114)  |  Independence (34)  |  Insight (102)  |  Law (894)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Most (1731)  |  Myself (212)  |  Never (1087)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Original (58)  |  Outside (141)  |  Paramount (10)  |  Pure (291)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Quest (39)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Receive (114)  |  Result (677)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Sequence (68)  |  Something (719)  |  Sublime (46)  |  World (1774)  |  Youth (101)

No one keeps his enthusiasm automatically. Enthusiasm must be nourished with new actions, new aspirations, new efforts, new visions.
Papyrus
Papyrus
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Automatically (5)  |  Effort (227)  |  Keep (101)  |  Must (1526)  |  New (1216)  |  Nourish (16)  |  Vision (123)

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Desert (56)  |  Give Up (7)  |  Grow (238)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Merely (316)  |  Nobody (104)  |  Number (699)  |  Old (481)  |  Skin (47)  |  Soul (226)  |  Wrinkle (4)  |  Year (933)

Nothing cools so fast as undue enthusiasm. Water that has boiled freezes sooner than any other.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-Book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 171.
Science quotes on:  |  Boil (23)  |  Cool (13)  |  Fast (45)  |  Freeze (5)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Sooner (6)  |  Undue (4)  |  Water (481)

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (66)  |  Great (1574)  |  Nothing (966)

Philosophy becomes poetry, and science imagination, in the enthusiasm of genius.
Literary Character of Men of Genius, Chap. 12. In In Jehiel Keeler Hoyt, The Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1996), 270.
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Genius (284)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Science (3879)

Rampant scientific illiteracy in the general public is, in my opinion, one major cause of the current lack of opportunities for scientists. … A public that is ignorant of science, and of how science is done, is not going to support scientific research enthusiastically.
Alan Hale
In 'Shattered Hopes and Dreams: The Dim Prospect for Careers in Science', Chronicle of Higher Education (5 Dec 1997). As cited in chapter 13 epigraph, Daniel S. Greenberg, Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion (2003), 205.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (541)  |  Current (118)  |  General (511)  |  General Public (7)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Illiteracy (7)  |  Lack (119)  |  Major (84)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Opportunity (87)  |  Rampant (2)  |  Research (664)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Support (147)

Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
An Inquiry into the Nature And Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776, 1801), Vol. 2, 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Antidote (9)  |  Great (1574)  |  Poison (40)  |  Science (3879)  |  Superstition (66)

Sir Hiram Maxim is a genuine and typical example of the man of science, romantic, excitable, full of real but somewhat obvious poetry, a little hazy in logic and philosophy, but full of hearty enthusiasm and an honorable simplicity. He is, as he expresses it, “an old and trained engineer,” and is like all of the old and trained engineers I have happened to come across, a man who indemnifies himself for the superhuman or inhuman concentration required for physical science by a vague and dangerous romanticism about everything else.
In G.K. Chesterton, 'The Maxims of Maxim', Daily News (25 Feb 1905). Collected in G. K. Chesterton and Dale Ahlquist (ed.), In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton (2011), 87.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Biography (240)  |  Concentration (29)  |  Danger (115)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Else (4)  |  Engineer (121)  |  Everything (476)  |  Example (94)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Expression (175)  |  Full (66)  |  Genuine (52)  |  Happen (274)  |  Happened (88)  |  Hearty (3)  |  Himself (461)  |  Honorable (14)  |  Honour (56)  |  Indemnification (2)  |  Inhuman (3)  |  Little (707)  |  Logic (287)  |  Man (2251)  |  Sir Hiram Maxim (4)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Old (481)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Real (149)  |  Required (108)  |  Requirement (63)  |  Romance (15)  |  Romantic (13)  |  Romanticism (5)  |  Science (3879)  |  Simplicity (167)  |  Superhuman (5)  |  Train (114)  |  Training (80)  |  Typical (13)  |  Vague (47)  |  Vagueness (15)

Sylvester’s writings are flowery and eloquent. He was able to make the dullest subject bright, fresh and interesting. His enthusiasm is evident in every line. He would get quite close up to his subject, so that everything else looked small in comparison, and for the time would think and make others think that the world contained no finer matter for contemplation. His handwriting was bad, and a trouble to his printers. His papers were finished with difficulty. No sooner was the manuscript in the editor’s hands than alterations, corrections, ameliorations and generalizations would suggest themselves to his mind, and every post would carry further directions to the editors and printers.
In Nature (1897), 55, 494.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Alteration (30)  |  Bad (180)  |  Bright (79)  |  Carry (127)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Contemplation (73)  |  Correction (40)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Direction (175)  |  Dull (54)  |  Editor (9)  |  Eloquent (2)  |  Everything (476)  |  Evident (91)  |  Finish (59)  |  Fresh (67)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Hand (143)  |  Handwriting (2)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Look (582)  |  Manuscript (9)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paper (182)  |  Post (6)  |  Printer (2)  |  Small (477)  |  Sooner (6)  |  Subject (521)  |  Suggest (34)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trouble (107)  |  World (1774)  |  Writing (189)

That ability to impart knowledge … what does it consist of? … a deep belief in the interest and importance of the thing taught, a concern about it amounting to a sort of passion. A man who knows a subject thoroughly, a man so soaked in it that he eats it, sleeps it and dreams it—this man can always teach it with success, no matter how little he knows of technical pedagogy. That is because there is enthusiasm in him, and because enthusiasm is almost as contagious as fear or the barber’s itch. An enthusiast is willing to go to any trouble to impart the glad news bubbling within him. He thinks that it is important and valuable for to know; given the slightest glow of interest in a pupil to start with, he will fan that glow to a flame. No hollow formalism cripples him and slows him down. He drags his best pupils along as fast as they can go, and he is so full of the thing that he never tires of expounding its elements to the dullest.
This passion, so unordered and yet so potent, explains the capacity for teaching that one frequently observes in scientific men of high attainments in their specialties—for example, Huxley, Ostwald, Karl Ludwig, Virchow, Billroth, Jowett, William G. Sumner, Halsted and Osler—men who knew nothing whatever about the so-called science of pedagogy, and would have derided its alleged principles if they had heard them stated.
In Prejudices: third series (1922), 241-2.
For a longer excerpt, see H.L. Mencken on Teaching, Enthusiasm and Pedagogy.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ability (152)  |  Attainment (47)  |  Barber (5)  |  Belief (578)  |  Best (459)  |  Theodor Billroth (2)  |  Call (769)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Concern (228)  |  Consist (223)  |  Contagion (9)  |  Deep (233)  |  Derision (8)  |  Down (456)  |  Dream (208)  |  Eat (104)  |  Element (310)  |  Enthusiast (7)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fan (2)  |  Fear (197)  |  Flame (40)  |  Formalism (7)  |  Glow (14)  |  William Stewart Halsted (2)  |  High (362)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (126)  |  Impart (23)  |  Imparting (6)  |  Importance (286)  |  Interest (386)  |  Itch (10)  |  Benjamin Jowett (11)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Little (707)  |  Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig (3)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Never (1087)  |  New (1216)  |  News (36)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Observe (168)  |  Sir William Osler (35)  |  Ostwald_Carl (2)  |  Passion (114)  |  Pedagogy (2)  |  Potent (12)  |  Principle (507)  |  Pupil (61)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Sleep (76)  |  Slow (101)  |  So-Called (71)  |  Specialty (12)  |  Start (221)  |  Subject (521)  |  Success (302)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teaching (188)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thoroughly (67)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Value (365)  |  Rudolf Virchow (50)  |  Whatever (234)  |  Will (2355)  |  Willing (44)

That the enthusiasm which characterizes youth should lift its parricide hands against freedom and science would be such a monstrous phenomenon as I cannot place among possible things in this age and country.
[Expressing confidence in the next generation to preserve the freedom of the human mind, and of the press, which grew out of America's Declaration of Independence.]
Letter to a student, William Green Mumford (18 Jun 1799), In Merrill D. Peterson, Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation (1970), 616.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Against (332)  |  Age (499)  |  America (127)  |  Characterization (8)  |  Confidence (69)  |  Country (251)  |  Declaration (10)  |  Declaration Of Independence (4)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Generation (242)  |  Hand (143)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Impossibility (61)  |  Lift (55)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Monstrous (7)  |  Next (236)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Possible (552)  |  Preserve (83)  |  Science (3879)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Youth (101)

That was the beginning, and the idea seemed so obvious to me and so elegant that I fell deeply in love with it. And, like falling in love with a woman, it is only possible if you do not know much about her, so you cannot see her faults. The faults will become apparent later, but after the love is strong enough to hold you to her. So, I was held to this theory, in spite of all difficulties, by my youthful enthusiasm.
Expressing how his work on quantum electrodynamics began with an original idea. In his Nobel Prize Lecture (11 Dec 1965), 'The Development of the Space-Time View of Quantum Electrodynamics'. Collected in Stig Lundqvist, Nobel Lectures: Physics, 1963-1970 (1998), 157.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Apparent (84)  |  Become (815)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Difficulty (196)  |  Do (1908)  |  Elegant (36)  |  Enough (340)  |  Fault (54)  |  Idea (843)  |  Know (1518)  |  Later (18)  |  Love (309)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Possible (552)  |  See (1081)  |  Spite (55)  |  Strong (174)  |  Theory (970)  |  Will (2355)  |  Woman (151)

The enthusiasm of Sylvester for his own work, which manifests itself here as always, indicates one of his characteristic qualities: a high degree of subjectivity in his productions and publications. Sylvester was so fully possessed by the matter which for the time being engaged his attention, that it appeared to him and was designated by him as the summit of all that is important, remarkable and full of future promise. It would excite his phantasy and power of imagination in even a greater measure than his power of reflection, so much so that he could never marshal the ability to master his subject-matter, much less to present it in an orderly manner.
Considering that he was also somewhat of a poet, it will be easier to overlook the poetic flights which pervade his writing, often bombastic, sometimes furnishing apt illustrations; more damaging is the complete lack of form and orderliness of his publications and their sketchlike character, … which must be accredited at least as much to lack of objectivity as to a superfluity of ideas. Again, the text is permeated with associated emotional expressions, bizarre utterances and paradoxes and is everywhere accompanied by notes, which constitute an essential part of Sylvester’s method of presentation, embodying relations, whether proximate or remote, which momentarily suggested themselves. These notes, full of inspiration and occasional flashes of genius, are the more stimulating owing to their incompleteness. But none of his works manifest a desire to penetrate the subject from all sides and to allow it to mature; each mere surmise, conceptions which arose during publication, immature thoughts and even errors were ushered into publicity at the moment of their inception, with utmost carelessness, and always with complete unfamiliarity of the literature of the subject. Nowhere is there the least trace of self-criticism. No one can be expected to read the treatises entire, for in the form in which they are available they fail to give a clear view of the matter under contemplation.
Sylvester’s was not a harmoniously gifted or well-balanced mind, but rather an instinctively active and creative mind, free from egotism. His reasoning moved in generalizations, was frequently influenced by analysis and at times was guided even by mystical numerical relations. His reasoning consists less frequently of pure intelligible conclusions than of inductions, or rather conjectures incited by individual observations and verifications. In this he was guided by an algebraic sense, developed through long occupation with processes of forms, and this led him luckily to general fundamental truths which in some instances remain veiled. His lack of system is here offset by the advantage of freedom from purely mechanical logical activity.
The exponents of his essential characteristics are an intuitive talent and a faculty of invention to which we owe a series of ideas of lasting value and bearing the germs of fruitful methods. To no one more fittingly than to Sylvester can be applied one of the mottos of the Philosophic Magazine:
“Admiratio generat quaestionem, quaestio investigationem investigatio inventionem.”
In Mathematische Annalen (1898), 50, 155-160. As translated in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath’s Quotation-book (1914), 176-178.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Ability (152)  |  Active (76)  |  Activity (210)  |  Advantage (134)  |  All (4108)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Applied (177)  |  Attention (190)  |  Available (78)  |  Being (1278)  |  Carelessness (6)  |  Character (243)  |  Characteristic (148)  |  Complete (204)  |  Conception (154)  |  Conclusion (254)  |  Conjecture (49)  |  Consist (223)  |  Constitute (97)  |  Contemplation (73)  |  Creative (137)  |  Criticism (78)  |  Degree (276)  |  Desire (204)  |  Develop (268)  |  Easier (53)  |  Error (321)  |  Essential (199)  |  Everywhere (94)  |  Expect (200)  |  Exponent (6)  |  Expression (175)  |  Fail (185)  |  Flight (98)  |  Form (959)  |  Free (232)  |  Freedom (129)  |  Fruitful (58)  |  Fundamental (250)  |  Future (429)  |  General (511)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Genius (284)  |  Germ (53)  |  Gift (104)  |  Gifted (23)  |  Greater (288)  |  High (362)  |  Idea (843)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Inception (3)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Individual (404)  |  Induction (77)  |  Inspiration (75)  |  Intelligible (34)  |  Invention (369)  |  Lack (119)  |  Literature (103)  |  Long (790)  |  Master (178)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mature (16)  |  Measure (232)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Moment (253)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  Numerical (39)  |  Objectivity (16)  |  Observation (555)  |  Occasional (22)  |  Occupation (48)  |  Orderliness (9)  |  Orderly (38)  |  Overlook (31)  |  Owe (71)  |  Owing (39)  |  Penetrate (67)  |  Possess (156)  |  Power (746)  |  Present (619)  |  Presentation (23)  |  Production (183)  |  Promise (67)  |  Proximate (4)  |  Publication (101)  |  Pure (291)  |  Purely (109)  |  Read (287)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Reflection (90)  |  Remain (349)  |  Remote (83)  |  Self (267)  |  Sense (770)  |  Series (149)  |  Side (233)  |  Subject (521)  |  Subject-Matter (8)  |  Summit (25)  |  Surmise (7)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  System (537)  |  Talent (94)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thought (953)  |  Through (849)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trace (103)  |  Treatise (44)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Unfamiliarity (5)  |  Utterance (10)  |  Value (365)  |  Veil (26)  |  Verification (31)  |  View (488)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writing (189)

The Greeks have given us one of the most beautiful words of our language, the word “enthusiasm” – a God within. The grandeur of the acts of men is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a God within!
Speech (27 Apr 1882) on his reception into the Académie Française, as translated in Maurice Benjamin Strauss, Familiar Medical Quotations (1968), 490.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (272)  |  Bear (159)  |  Beautiful (258)  |  God (757)  |  Grandeur (31)  |  Greek (107)  |  Happy (105)  |  Inspiration (75)  |  Language (293)  |  Most (1731)  |  Spring (133)  |  Word (619)

The main purpose of a significance test is to inhibit the natural enthusiasm of the investigator.
Selected Quantitative Techniques (1954), 331-332. Co-author with American physicist turned psychologist and statistician, Robert R. Bush (1920-71). Quoted in Eugene B. Zechmeister and Emil J. Posavac, Data Analysis and Interpretation in the Behavioral Sciences (2003), 390.
Science quotes on:  |  Investigator (67)  |  Natural (796)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Significance (113)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Test (211)

The real mathematician is an enthusiast per se. Without enthusiasm no mathematics.
In Schriften (1901), Zweiter Teil, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Enthusiast (7)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Real (149)

The real secret of success is enthusiasm.
Science quotes on:  |  Secret (194)  |  Success (302)

The stories of Whitney’s love for experimenting are legion. At one time he received a letter asking if insects could live in a vacuum. Whitney took the letter to one of the members of his staff and asked the man if he cared to run an experiment on the subject. The man replied that there was no point in it, since it was well established that life could not exist without a supply of oxygen. Whitney, who was an inveterate student of wild life, replied that on his farm he had seen turtles bury themselves in mud each fall, and, although the mud was covered with ice and snow for months, emerge again in the spring. The man exclaimed, “Oh, you mean hibernation!” Whitney answered, “I don’t know what I mean, but I want to know if bugs can live in a vacuum.”
He proceeded down the hall and broached the subject to another member of the staff. Faced with the same lack of enthusiasm for pursuing the matter further, Whitney tried another illustration. “I’ve been told that you can freeze a goldfish solidly in a cake of ice, where he certainly can’t get much oxygen, and can keep him there for a month or two. But if you thaw him out carefully he seems none the worse for his experience.” The second scientist replied, “Oh, you mean suspended animation.” Whitney once again explained that his interest was not in the terms but in finding an answer to the question.
Finally Whitney returned to his own laboratory and set to work. He placed a fly and a cockroach in a bell jar and removed the air. The two insects promptly keeled over. After approximately two hours, however, when he gradually admitted air again, the cockroach waved its feelers and staggered to its feet. Before long, both the cockroach and the fly were back in action.
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357-358.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  Air (347)  |  Animation (6)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Asking (73)  |  Back (390)  |  Bell (35)  |  Both (493)  |  Burial (7)  |  Car (71)  |  Carefully (65)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Cockroach (6)  |  Down (456)  |  Emergence (33)  |  Exclaim (13)  |  Exist (443)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fall (230)  |  Farm (26)  |  Feeler (3)  |  Fly (146)  |  Freeze (5)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Hibernation (3)  |  Hour (186)  |  Ice (54)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Insect (77)  |  Interest (386)  |  Know (1518)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Lack (119)  |  Legion (4)  |  Letter (109)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Long (790)  |  Love (309)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Month (88)  |  Mud (26)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Point (580)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Pursuing (27)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Question (621)  |  Removal (11)  |  Return (124)  |  Run (174)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Set (394)  |  Snow (37)  |  Spring (133)  |  Student (300)  |  Subject (521)  |  Supply (93)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thaw (2)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turtle (8)  |  Two (937)  |  Vacuum (39)  |  Want (497)  |  Willis R. Whitney (17)  |  Wild (87)  |  Work (1351)

There exists a passion for comprehension, just as there exists a passion for music. That passion is rather common in children but gets lost in most people later on. Without this passion, there would be neither mathematics nor natural science.
'On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation', Scientific American (Apr 1950). Collected in David H. Levy (ed.), The Scientific American Book of the Cosmos (2000), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Children (200)  |  Common (436)  |  Comprehension (66)  |  Exist (443)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Most (1731)  |  Music (129)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Passion (114)  |  People (1005)  |  Science (3879)

Those who knew that the judgements of many centuries had reinforced the opinion that the Earth is placed motionless in the middle of heaven, as though at its centre, if I on the contrary asserted that the Earth moves, I hesitated for a long time whether to bring my treatise, written to demonstrate its motion, into the light of day, or whether it would not be better to follow the example of the Pythagoreans and certain others, who used to pass on the mysteries of their philosophy merely to their relatives and friends, not in writing but by personal contact, as the letter of Lysis to Hipparchus bears witness. And indeed they seem to me to have done so, not as some think from a certain jealousy of communicating their doctrines, but so that their greatest splendours, discovered by the devoted research of great men, should not be exposed to the contempt of those who either find it irksome to waste effort on anything learned, unless it is profitable, or if they are stirred by the exhortations and examples of others to a high-minded enthusiasm for philosophy, are nevertheless so dull-witted that among philosophers they are like drones among bees.
'To His Holiness Pope Paul III', in Copernicus: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (1543), trans. A. M. Duncan (1976), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Assert (66)  |  Bear (159)  |  Bee (40)  |  Better (486)  |  Certain (550)  |  Contact (65)  |  Contempt (20)  |  Contrary (141)  |  Demonstrate (76)  |  Devoted (59)  |  Discover (553)  |  Drone (4)  |  Dull (54)  |  Earth (996)  |  Effort (227)  |  Exposed (33)  |  Find (998)  |  Follow (378)  |  Friend (168)  |  Great (1574)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Heaven (258)  |  High (362)  |  Hipparchus (3)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Jealousy (9)  |  Learn (629)  |  Learned (235)  |  Letter (109)  |  Light (607)  |  Long (790)  |  Lysis (4)  |  Merely (316)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Motion (310)  |  Move (216)  |  Nevertheless (90)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Other (2236)  |  Pass (238)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Profitable (28)  |  Pythagoras (38)  |  Research (664)  |  Splendour (8)  |  Theory (970)  |  Think (1086)  |  Time (1877)  |  Treatise (44)  |  Waste (101)  |  Witness (54)  |  Writing (189)

To teach effectively a teacher must develop a feeling for his subject; he cannot make his students sense its vitality if he does not sense it himself. He cannot share his enthusiasm when he has no enthusiasm to share. How he makes his point may be as important as the point he makes; he must personally feel it to be important.
Mathematical Methods in Science (1963, 1977), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Develop (268)  |  Development (422)  |  Effectiveness (12)  |  Feel (367)  |  Feeling (250)  |  Himself (461)  |  Importance (286)  |  Must (1526)  |  Point (580)  |  Sense (770)  |  Share (75)  |  Sharing (11)  |  Student (300)  |  Subject (521)  |  Teach (277)  |  Teacher (143)  |  Vitality (23)

We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun,—a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.
John Muir
In My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), 20. Based on Muir’s original journals and sketches of his 1869 stay in the Sierra.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (347)  |  All (4108)  |  Beauty (299)  |  Bone (95)  |  Cell (138)  |  Fill (61)  |  Flesh (27)  |  Glass (92)  |  Immortal (35)  |  Immortality (11)  |  Inseparable (16)  |  Kindling (2)  |  Making (300)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nerve (79)  |  Old (481)  |  Pore (7)  |  Quiver (3)  |  Rock (161)  |  Sick (81)  |  Sickness (26)  |  Stream (81)  |  Sun (385)  |  Tabernacle (5)  |  Thrill (22)  |  Transparent (16)  |  Tree (246)  |  Truly (116)  |  Wave (107)  |  Wellness (3)  |  Young (227)

We have spent the best part of the past century enthusiastically testing the world to utter destruction; not looking closely enough at the long-term impact our actions will have.
Speech, awards ceremony for green entrepreneurs, Buckingham Palace (30 Jan 2014). As quoted in Benn Quinn, 'Climate Change Sceptics are ‘Headless Chickens’, Says Prince Charles', The Guardian (31 Jan 2014).
Science quotes on:  |  Action (327)  |  Best (459)  |  Century (310)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Destruction (125)  |  Enough (340)  |  Impact (42)  |  Long (790)  |  Looking (189)  |  Past (337)  |  Spent (85)  |  Term (349)  |  Testing (5)  |  Will (2355)  |  World (1774)

We reverence ancient Greece as the cradle of western science. Here for the first time the world witnessed the miracle of a logical system which proceeded from step to step with such precision that every single one of its propositions was absolutely indubitable—I refer to Euclid’s geometry. This admirable triumph of reasoning gave the human intellect the necessary confidence in itself for its subsequent achievements. If Euclid failed to kindle your youthful enthusiasm, then you were not born to be a scientific thinker.
From 'On the Method of Theoretical Physics', in Essays in Science (1934, 2004), 13.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Absolutely (39)  |  Achievement (179)  |  Admirable (19)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Born (33)  |  Confidence (69)  |  Cradle (19)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Fail (185)  |  Failed (3)  |  First (1283)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Greece (8)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Intellect (31)  |  Indubitable (3)  |  Intellect (233)  |  Kindle (6)  |  Logic (287)  |  Miracle (83)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Precision (68)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Reverence (28)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Single (353)  |  Step (231)  |  Subsequent (33)  |  System (537)  |  Thinker (39)  |  Time (1877)  |  Triumph (73)  |  Western (45)  |  Witness (54)  |  World (1774)  |  Youthful (2)

When Cayley had reached his most advanced generalizations he proceeded to establish them directly by some method or other, though he seldom gave the clue by which they had first been obtained: a proceeding which does not tend to make his papers easy reading. …
His literary style is direct, simple and clear. His legal training had an influence, not merely upon his mode of arrangement but also upon his expression; the result is that his papers are severe and present a curious contrast to the luxuriant enthusiasm which pervades so many of Sylvester’s papers. He used to prepare his work for publication as soon as he carried his investigations in any subject far enough for his immediate purpose. … A paper once written out was promptly sent for publication; this practice he maintained throughout life. … The consequence is that he has left few arrears of unfinished or unpublished papers; his work has been given by himself to the world.
In Proceedings of London Royal Society (1895), 58, 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advance (280)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Arrears (2)  |  Carry (127)  |  Arthur Cayley (17)  |  Clear (100)  |  Clue (17)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Contrast (44)  |  Curious (91)  |  Direct (225)  |  Directly (22)  |  Easy (204)  |  Enough (340)  |  Establish (57)  |  Expression (175)  |  Far (154)  |  First (1283)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Give (202)  |  Himself (461)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Influence (222)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Leave (130)  |  Legal (8)  |  Life (1795)  |  Literary (13)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Merely (316)  |  Method (505)  |  Mode (41)  |  Most (1731)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paper (182)  |  Pervade (10)  |  Practice (204)  |  Prepare (37)  |  Present (619)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Proceeding (39)  |  Prompt (14)  |  Publication (101)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reach (281)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Result (677)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Send (22)  |  Severe (16)  |  Simple (406)  |  Soon (186)  |  Style (23)  |  Subject (521)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Tend (124)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Training (80)  |  Unfinished (4)  |  Unpublished (2)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)  |  Write (230)

When the war finally came to an end, 1 was at a loss as to what to do. ... I took stock of my qualifications. A not-very-good degree, redeemed somewhat by my achievements at the Admiralty. A knowledge of certain restricted parts of magnetism and hydrodynamics, neither of them subjects for which I felt the least bit of enthusiasm.
No published papers at all … [Only gradually did I realize that this lack of qualification could be an advantage. By the time most scientists have reached age thirty they are trapped by their own expertise. They have invested so much effort in one particular field that it is often extremely difficult, at that time in their careers, to make a radical change. I, on the other hand, knew nothing, except for a basic training in somewhat old-fashioned physics and mathematics and an ability to turn my hand to new things. … Since I essentially knew nothing, I had an almost completely free choice. …
In What Mad Pursuit (1988).
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (152)  |  Achievement (179)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Basic (138)  |  Career (75)  |  Certain (550)  |  Change (593)  |  Choice (110)  |  Completely (135)  |  Degree (276)  |  Difficult (246)  |  Do (1908)  |  Effort (227)  |  End (590)  |  Expertise (8)  |  Field (364)  |  Free (232)  |  Good (889)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Invest (18)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Lack (119)  |  Loss (110)  |  Magnetism (41)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Most (1731)  |  New (1216)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Old (481)  |  Old-Fashioned (8)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paper (182)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Qualification (14)  |  Radical (25)  |  Reach (281)  |  Realize (147)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Subject (521)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Time (1877)  |  Training (80)  |  Turn (447)  |  War (225)

When we accept tough jobs as a challenge and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (191)  |  Challenge (85)  |  Happen (274)  |  Job (82)  |  Joy (107)  |  Miracle (83)  |  Tough (19)  |  Wade (2)

[Barbara McClintock's] burning curiosity, enthusiasm, and uncompromising honesty serve as a constant reminder of what drew us all to science in the first place
Obituary, 'Barbara McClintock (1902-1992)' Nature (24 Sep 1992), 272.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Burning (48)  |  Constant (144)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  First (1283)  |  Honesty (25)  |  Barbara McClintock (15)  |  Science (3879)


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.