Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index E > Category: Experiment

Experiment Quotes (580 quotes)

...durch planmässiges Tattonieren.
(... through systematic, palpable experimentation.)
Response, when asked how he came upon his theorems.
Quoted in A.L. Mackay, Dictionary of Scientific Quotations (1994).
Science quotes on:  |  Theorem (82)

...great difficulties are felt at first and these cannot be overcome except by starting from experiments .. and then be conceiving certain hypotheses ... But even so, very much hard work remains to be done and one needs not only great perspicacity but often a degree of good fortune.
Letter to Tschirnhaus (1687). Quoted in Archana Srinivasan, Great Inventors (2007), 37-38.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (133)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Luck (28)  |  Scientific Method (163)

...they have never affirm'd any thing, concerning the Cause, till the Trial was past: whereas, to do it before, is a most venomous thing in the making of Sciences; for whoever has fix'd on his Cause, before he experimented; can hardly avoid fitting his Experiment to his Observations, to his own Cause, which he had before imagin'd; rather than the Cause to the Truth of the Experiment itself.
Referring to experiments of the Aristotelian mode, whereby a preconceived truth would be illustrated merely to convince people of the validity of the original thought.
Thomas Sprat, Abraham Cowley, History of the Royal Society (1667, 1734), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (155)  |  Bias (16)  |  Cause (269)  |  Imagination (254)  |  Observation (438)  |  Preconceive (3)  |  Trial (27)  |  Truth (881)  |  Venom (2)

Speaking as a Prolife leader, the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family. After speaking on a 3 Aug 2005 radio show, he drew criticism for his extreme opinion that embryonic stem cell compares with Nazi deathcamp experiments.
Science quotes on:  |  Compare (33)  |  Criticism (59)  |  Draw (48)  |  Embryonic (6)  |  Extreme (48)  |  Family (44)  |  Focus (27)  |  Founder (14)  |  Leader (28)  |  Nazi (8)  |  Opinion (168)  |  Prolife (2)  |  Radio (30)  |  Show (84)  |  Speak (78)  |  Stem Cell (11)

Ac kynde wit cometh
Of alle kynnes syghtes,
Of briddes and of beestes,
Of tastes of truthe and of deceites.

Mother-Wit comes from all kinds of experiences,
Of birds and beasts and of tests both true and false.
In William Langland and B. Thomas Wright (ed.) The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman (1842), 235. Modern translation by Terrence Tiller in Piers Plowman (1981, 1999), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Beast (38)  |  Biology (163)  |  Bird (113)  |  Both (74)  |  Experience (322)  |  False (94)  |  Observation (438)  |  Science (1939)  |  Test (115)  |  True (178)  |  Zoology (31)

Astonishing how great the precautions that are needed in these delicate experiments. Patience. Patience.
In ‎Thomas Martin (ed.) Faraday’s Diary: Sept. 6, 1847 - Oct. 17, 1851 (1934), 228. Concerning his efforts (1849), to duplicate certain of Weber’s experiments. In the quote above, italics are added for words underlined in sentence as given 'The Scientific Grammar of Michael Faraday’s Diaries', Part I, 'The Classic of Science', A Classic and a Founder (1937), collected in Rosenstock-Huessy Papers (1981), Vol. 1, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Astonishing (9)  |  Delicate (19)  |  Great (469)  |  Need (261)  |  Patience (35)  |  Precaution (5)

I. A curve has been found representing the frequency distribution of standard deviations of samples drawn from a normal population.
II. A curve has been found representing the frequency distribution of values of the means of such samples, when these values are measured from the mean of the population in terms of the standard deviation of the sample…
IV. Tables are given by which it can be judged whether a series of experiments, however short, have given a result which conforms to any required standard of accuracy or whether it is necessary to continue the investigation.
'The Probable Error of a Mean', Biometrika, 1908, 6, 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (59)  |  Statistics (144)

Il ne fallait jamais faire des expériences pour confirmer ses idées, mais simplement pour les contrôler.
We must never make experiments to confirm our ideas, but simply to control them.
From Introduction à l'étude de la médecine expérimentale (1865), 67-68. Translation from Henry Copley Green, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1957), 38. Bernard footnoted that he had expressed this idea earlier in Leçons sur les propriétés et les altérations des liquides de l’organisme (1859), Première leçon.
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (545)

La théorie n’est que l’idée scientifique contrôlée par l’expérience.
A theory is merely a scientific idea controlled by experiment.
Original work in French, Introduction à l'Étude de la Médecine Expérimentale (1865), 40. English translation by Henry Copley Green in An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1927, 1957), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Control (106)  |  Idea (545)  |  Theory (661)

Question: How would you disprove, experimentally, the assertion that white light passing through a piece of coloured glass acquires colour from the glass? What is it that really happens?
Answer: To disprove the assertion (so repeatedly made) that “white light passing through a piece of coloured glass acquires colour from the glass,” I would ask the gentleman to observe that the glass has just as much colour after the light has gone through it as it had before. That is what would really happen.
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1880), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 178, Question 8. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Assertion (30)  |  Color (95)  |  Disprove (15)  |  Examination (63)  |  Glass (40)  |  Happening (32)  |  Howler (15)  |  Observation (438)  |  Question (383)  |  Really (72)  |  Repeat (35)

Question: Why do the inhabitants of cold climates eat fat? How would you find experimentally the relative quantities of heat given off when equal weights of sulphur, phosphorus, and carbon are thoroughly burned?
Answer: An inhabitant of cold climates (called Frigid Zoans) eats fat principally because he can't get no lean, also because he wants to rise is temperature. But if equal weights of sulphur phosphorus and carbon are burned in his neighbourhood he will give off eating quite so much. The relative quantities of eat given off will depend upon how much sulphur etc. is burnt and how near it is burned to him. If I knew these facts it would be an easy sum to find the answer.
Genuine student answer* to an Acoustics, Light and Heat paper (1880), Science and Art Department, South Kensington, London, collected by Prof. Oliver Lodge. Quoted in Henry B. Wheatley, Literary Blunders (1893), 183, Question 32. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Burning (17)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Climate (42)  |  Cold (56)  |  Eating (21)  |  Emission (16)  |  Equal (72)  |  Examination (63)  |  Fact (688)  |  Fat (11)  |  Finding (30)  |  Heat (97)  |  Howler (15)  |  Inhabitant (28)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Lean (6)  |  Neighborhood (7)  |  Phosphorus (15)  |  Quantity (54)  |  Question (383)  |  Relative (33)  |  Sulphur (16)  |  Sum (40)  |  Temperature (46)  |  Weight (72)  |  Zone (5)

Qui est de nous & qui seul peut nous égarer; à le mettre continuellement à épreuve de l'expérience; à ne conserver que les faits qui ne font que des données de la nature , & qui ne peuvent nous tromper; à ne chercher la vérité que dans l'enchaînement naturel des expériences & des observations
We must trust to nothing but facts: These are presented to us by Nature, and cannot deceive. We ought, in every instance, to submit our reasoning to the test of experiment, and never to search for truth but by the natural road of experiment and observation.
From the original French in Traité élémentaire de chimie (1789, 1793), discours préliminaire, x; and from edition translated into English by Robert Kerr, as Elements of Chemistry (1790), Preface, xviii.
Science quotes on:  |  Deception (3)  |  Fact (688)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Observation (438)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Test (115)  |  Trust (49)  |  Truth (881)

Ratbert (as lab rat, to scientist): Doc, we have to talk. Every day you feed me over a hundred pounds of macaroni and cheese. At first I thought you were just being a good host. But lately I've been thinking it could be something far more sinister.
Scientist (thinking): Macaroni and cheese causes paranoia.
Dilbert cartoon strip (24 Jul 1990).
Science quotes on:  |  Cheese (8)  |  Food (148)  |  Host (14)  |  Paranoia (2)  |  Sinister (8)  |  Thinking (227)

Une idée anticipée ou une hypothèse est donc le point de départ nécessaire de tout raisonnement expérimental. Sans cela on ne saurait faire aucune investigation ni s’instruire ; on ne pourrait qu’entasser des observations stériles. Si l’on expérimentait sans idée préconçue, on irait à l’aventure; mais d’un autre côté, ainsi que nous l’avons dit ailleurs, si l’on observait avec des idées préconçues, on ferait de mauvaises observations.
An anticipative idea or an hypothesis is, then, the necessary starting point for all experimental reasoning. Without it, we could not make any investigation at all nor learn anything; we could only pile up sterile observations. If we experimented without a preconceived idea, we should move at random.
[Also seen translated as:] A hypothesis is … the obligatory starting point of all experimental reasoning. Without it no investigation would be possible, and one would learn nothing: one could only pile up barren observations. To experiment without a preconceived idea is to wander aimlessly.
Original work in French, Introduction à l'Étude de la Médecine Expérimentale (1865). English translation by Henry Copley Green in An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1927, 1957), 32. Alternate translation in Peter Medawar, 'Hypothesis and Imagination', collected in The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science (1974), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Idea (545)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Learning (177)  |  Necessity (138)  |  Observation (438)  |  Point (114)  |  Random (24)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Start (89)  |  Sterile (11)

Yet ar ther fibicches in forceres
Of fele raennes makyng,
Experimentz of alkenamye
The peple to deceyve;
If thow thynke to do-wel,
Deel therwith nevere.

There are many men, also, who makes use of strange devices,
Alchemical experiments for the deception of others:
If you desire to do well, have no dealings with these.
In William Langland and B. Thomas Wright (ed.) The Vision and Creed of Piers Ploughman (1842), 186. Modern translation by Terrence Tiller in Piers Plowman (1981, 1999), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (28)  |  Dealing (10)  |  Deception (3)  |  Desire (132)  |  Device (27)  |  Strange (83)

[Probably not a direct quote] Experimental confirmation of a prediction is merely a measurement. An experiment disproving a prediction is a discovery.
Attributed. Found without source, for example, in Jon, ‎Michael and ‎Deborah Fripp, Speaking of Science: Notable Quotes on Science, Engineering, and the Environment. The quote appears to be a rephrasing of: “There are two possible outcomes: If the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery”, as seen elsewhere on this page. Webmaster has been unable to find an original source for a direct quote either wording.
Science quotes on:  |  Confirmation (18)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Disprove (15)  |  Experimental (18)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Merely (70)  |  Prediction (70)

A careful analysis of the process of observation in atomic physics has shown that the subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.
The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics (1975), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (148)  |  Atomic Physics (7)  |  Care (91)  |  Entity (29)  |  Interconnection (7)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Meaning (106)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Observation (438)  |  Particle (97)  |  Preparation (40)  |  Process (244)  |  Subatomic (7)  |  Subsequent (17)  |  Understanding (325)

A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millenium (1998), 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (76)  |  Authority (61)  |  Complexity (88)  |  Contradict (10)  |  Dogma (30)  |  Freedom (97)  |  Lesson (38)  |  Problem (451)  |  Publication (89)  |  Science (1939)  |  Understanding (325)

A fool, Mr, Edgeworth, is one who has never made an experiment.
Remark to Richard Lovell Edgeworth, as quoted by W. Stanley Jevons in ‘Experimental Legislation’, Popular Science (Apr 1880), 16, 754.
Science quotes on:  |  Fool (82)  |  Never (25)

A good physiological experiment like a good physical one requires that it should present anywhere, at any time, under identical conditions, the same certain and unequivocal phenomena that can always be confirmed.
Bestätigung des Bell'schen Lehrsatzes, dass die doppelten Wurzeln der Rückenmarksnerven verschiedene Functionen haben, durch neue nod entscheidende Experimente' (1831). Trans. Edwin Clarke and C. D. O'Malley, The Human Brain and Spinal Cord (1968), 304.
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (118)  |  Condition (144)  |  Confirmation (18)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Physiology (80)

A little science is something that they must have. I should like my nephews to know what air is, and water; why we breathe, and why wood burns; the nutritive elements essential to plant life, and the constituents of the soil. And it is no vague and imperfect knowledge from hearsay I would have them gain of these fundamental truths, on which depend agriculture and the industrial arts and our health itself; I would have them know these things thoroughly from their own observation and experience. Books here are insufficient, and can serve merely as aids to scientific experiment.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (65)  |  Aid (36)  |  Air (181)  |  Art (261)  |  Book (238)  |  Breathe (32)  |  Burn (39)  |  Constituent (14)  |  Depend (75)  |  Element (155)  |  Essential (110)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fundamental (146)  |  Gain (64)  |  Health (148)  |  Hearsay (4)  |  Imperfect (17)  |  Industrial (12)  |  Insufficient (7)  |  Know (496)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Life (1071)  |  Little (174)  |  Merely (70)  |  Observation (438)  |  Plant (188)  |  Science (1939)  |  Serve (53)  |  Soil (59)  |  Thoroughly (12)  |  Truth (881)  |  Vague (20)  |  Water (278)  |  Wood (48)

A lodestone is a wonderful thing in very many experiments, and like living things. And one of its remarkable virtues in that which the ancients considered to be a living soul in the sky, in the globes and in the stars, in the sun and in the moon.
In De Magnete. Cited in Gerrit L. Verschuur, Hidden Attraction (1996), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (95)  |  Consideration (78)  |  Globe (45)  |  Life (1071)  |  Likeness (8)  |  Lodestone (6)  |  Moon (195)  |  Remarkable (42)  |  Sky (118)  |  Soul (159)  |  Star (323)  |  Sun (266)  |  Virtue (60)  |  Wonder (165)

A metaphysical conclusion is either a false conclusion or a concealed experimental conclusion.
'On Thought in Medicine' (1877). Trans. E. Atkinson, Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects (1881), 234.
Science quotes on:  |  Theory (661)

A mind exclusively bent upon the idea of utility necessarily narrows the range of the imagination. For it is the imagination which pictures to the inner eye of the investigator the indefinitely extending sphere of the possible,—that region of hypothesis and explanation, of underlying cause and controlling law. The area of suggestion and experiment is thus pushed beyond the actual field of vision.
In 'The Paradox of Research', The North American Review (Sep 1908), 188, No. 634, 425.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (269)  |  Exclusive (14)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Extend (35)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Idea (545)  |  Imagination (254)  |  Indefinite (7)  |  Investigator (31)  |  Law (485)  |  Mind (691)  |  Narrow (43)  |  Necessary (129)  |  Possible (138)  |  Push (29)  |  Range (50)  |  Region (31)  |  Research (568)  |  Sphere (55)  |  Suggestion (28)  |  Underlying (16)  |  Utility (30)  |  Vision (90)

A natural law regulates the advance of science. Where only observation can be made, the growth of knowledge creeps; where laboratory experiments can be carried on, knowledge leaps forward.
[Attributed, probably incorrectly]
Seen in various places, but Webmaster has found none with a source citation, and doubts the authenticity, because none found with attribution to Faraday prior to 1950. The earliest example Webmaster found is in 1929, by Walter Morley Fletcher in his Norman Lockyer Lecture. He refers to it as a “truism,” without mention of Faraday. He says “law of our state of being” rather than “natural law.” See the Walter Morley Fletcher page for more details.
Science quotes on:  |  Creeping (4)  |  Growth (118)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Leap (31)  |  Natural Law (30)  |  Observation (438)

A page from a journal of modern experimental physics will be as mysterious to the uninitiated as a Tibetan mandala. Both are records of enquiries into the nature of the universe.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Journal (17)  |  Modern Physics (14)  |  Mystery (145)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Page (25)  |  Record (62)  |  Tibet (3)  |  Universe (655)

A poet is, after all, a sort of scientist, but engaged in a qualitative science in which nothing is measurable. He lives with data that cannot be numbered, and his experiments can be done only once. The information in a poem is, by definition, not reproducible. ... He becomes an equivalent of scientist, in the act of examining and sorting the things popping in [to his head], finding the marks of remote similarity, points of distant relationship, tiny irregularities that indicate that this one is really the same as that one over there only more important. Gauging the fit, he can meticulously place pieces of the universe together, in geometric configurations that are as beautiful and balanced as crystals.
In The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher (1974, 1995), 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Balance (52)  |  Beauty (230)  |  Configuration (6)  |  Crystal (52)  |  Data (115)  |  Definition (177)  |  Distance (71)  |  Engagement (5)  |  Equivalent (17)  |  Examination (63)  |  Fit (42)  |  Gauge (2)  |  Geometry (192)  |  Importance (203)  |  Indication (23)  |  Information (115)  |  Irregularity (11)  |  Life (1071)  |  Mark (40)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Nothing (363)  |  Number (252)  |  Once (4)  |  Piece (35)  |  Poem (91)  |  Poet (75)  |  Point (114)  |  Qualitative (13)  |  Relationship (67)  |  Remote (38)  |  Reproducibility (2)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Similarity (19)  |  Sort (44)  |  Thing (37)  |  Thought (484)  |  Tiny (36)  |  Universe (655)

A scientific or technical study always consists of the following three steps:
1. One decides the objective.
2. One considers the method.
3. One evaluates the method in relation to the objective.
System of Experimental Design (1987), xxix.
Science quotes on:  |  Design (108)  |  Evaluation (7)  |  Method (200)  |  Objective (58)

A scientist can be productive in various ways. One is having the ability to plan and carry out experiments, but the other is having the ability to formulate new ideas, which can be about what experiments can be carried out … by making [the] proper calculations. Individual scientists who are successful in their work are successful for different reasons.
Interview with George B. Kauffman and Laurie M. Kauffman, in 'Linus Pauling: Reflections', American Scientist (Nov-Dec 1994), 82, No. 6, 522.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (99)  |  Calculation (90)  |  Different (155)  |  Formulate (11)  |  Idea (545)  |  Individual (205)  |  New (455)  |  Plan (81)  |  Productive (13)  |  Reason (424)  |  Research (568)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Success (234)  |  Various (41)  |  Work (589)

A theoretical physicist can spend his entire lifetime missing the intellectual challenge of experimental work, experiencing none of the thrills and dangers — the overhead crane with its ten-ton load, the flashing skull and crossbones and danger, radioactivity signs. A theorist’s only real hazard is stabbing himself with a pencil while attacking a bug that crawls out of his calculations.
In Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi, The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question (1993), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (37)  |  Bug (10)  |  Calculation (90)  |  Challenge (53)  |  Crawling (2)  |  Danger (75)  |  Hazard (14)  |  Intellect (185)  |  Lifetime (26)  |  Pencil (14)  |  Radioactivity (28)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Thrill (16)

A theory can be proved by experiment; but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.
As quoted in Antonina Vallentin, Einstein: A Biography (1954), 105. The author, a close friend of Einstein’s family, cites the quote only as “which he has recently made public.”
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (91)  |  Lead (150)  |  Path (80)  |  Proof (235)  |  Theory (661)

About eight days ago I discovered that sulfur in burning, far from losing weight, on the contrary, gains it; it is the same with phosphorus; this increase of weight arises from a prodigious quantity of air that is fixed during combustion and combines with the vapors. This discovery, which I have established by experiments, that I regard as decisive, has led me to think that what is observed in the combustion of sulfur and phosphorus may well take place in the case of all substances that gain in weight by combustion and calcination; and I am persuaded that the increase in weight of metallic calxes is due to the same cause... This discovery seems to me one of the most interesting that has been made since Stahl and since it is difficult not to disclose something inadvertently in conversation with friends that could lead to the truth I have thought it necessary to make the present deposit to the Secretary of the Academy to await the time I make my experiments public.
Sealed note deposited with the Secretary of the French Academy 1 Nov 1772. Oeuvres de Lavoisier, Correspondance, Fasc. II. 1770-75 (1957), 389-90. Adapted from translation by A. N. Meldrum, The Eighteenth-Century Revolution in Science (1930), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (181)  |  Burn (39)  |  Combination (84)  |  Combustion (10)  |  Compound (56)  |  Conversation (23)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Letter (48)  |  Phosphorus (15)  |  Reaction (61)  |  Georg Ernst Stahl (8)  |  Sulphur (16)  |  Weight (72)

Above all, I regret that scientific experiments—some of them mine—should have produced such a terrible weapon as the hydrogen bomb. Regret, with all my soul, but not guilt.
Quoted in 'Moon-Struck Scientist,' New York Times (27 Apr 1961), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Hydrogen Bomb (13)  |  Regret (19)  |  Research (568)  |  Weapon (64)

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 (102)  |  Cell (133)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Colloid (5)  |  Immunology (13)  |  Serum (7)  |  Structure (215)

According to the theory of aerodynamics, as may be readily demonstrated through wind tunnel experiments, the bumblebee is unable to fly. This is because the size, weight and shape of his body in relation to the total wingspread make flying impossible. But the bumblebee, being ignorant of these scientific truths, goes ahead and flies anyway—and makes a little honey every day.
Sign in a General Motors Corporation factory. As quoted in Ralph L. Woods, The Businessman's Book of Quotations (1951), 249-50. Cited in Suzy Platt (ed)., Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989), 118.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (229)  |  Bumblebee (3)  |  Demonstrate (47)  |  Fly (97)  |  Flying (20)  |  Honey (9)  |  Ignorant (33)  |  Impossible (98)  |  Scientific Truth (3)  |  Shape (66)  |  Size (59)  |  Theory (661)  |  Unable (22)  |  Weight (72)

After … the general experimental knowledge has been acquired, accompanied with just a sufficient amount of theory to connect it together…, it becomes possible to consider the theory by itself, as theory. The experimental facts then go out of sight, in a great measure, not because they are unimportant, but because … they are fundamental, and the foundations are always hidden from view in well-constructed buildings.
In Electromagnetic Theory (1892), Vol. 2, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Building (52)  |  Construction (82)  |  Fact (688)  |  Foundation (99)  |  Fundamental (146)  |  Hidden (40)  |  Important (188)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Sight (45)  |  Theory (661)  |  View (157)

Alchemy. The link between the immemorial magic arts and modern science. Humankind’s first systematic effort to unlock the secrets of matter by reproducible experiment.
In Good Words to You (1987), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (28)  |  Art (261)  |  Effort (136)  |  First (285)  |  Humankind (10)  |  Link (41)  |  Magic (75)  |  Matter (322)  |  Modern (148)  |  Science (1939)  |  Secret (123)  |  Systematic (28)  |  Unlock (4)

All experimentation is criticism. If an experiment does not hold out the possibility of causing one to revise one’s views, it is hard to see why it should be done at all.
In Advice to a Young Scientist (1979), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Criticism (59)  |  Possibility (110)  |  Revision (4)  |  Viewpoint (8)

All the experiments which have been hitherto carried out, and those that are still being daily performed, concur in proving that between different bodies, whether principles or compounds, there is an agreement, relation, affinity or attraction (if you will have it so), which disposes certain bodies to unite with one another, while with others they are unable to contract any union: it is this effect, whatever be its cause, which will help us to give a reason for all the phenomena furnished by chemistry, and to tie them together.
From Elemens de Chymie Theorique (1749). As quoted, in Trevor Harvey Levere, Affinity and Matter: Elements of Chemical Philosophy, 1800-1865 (1971), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Affinity (13)  |  Attraction (34)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Compound (56)  |  Prove (101)  |  Unite (18)

All the good experimental physicists I have known have had an intense curiosity that no Keep Out sign could mute.
In Adventures of a Physicist (1987), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Curiosity (103)  |  Experimental Physicist (8)  |  Intensity (19)  |  Keep Out (2)  |  Mute (4)  |  Physicist (151)  |  Sign (50)

Although such research [into the paranormal] has yet to produce anything in the way of a repeatable controlled experiment, its practitioners argue that its revolutionary potentialities justify its continuation. My own feeling is that after a century of total failure it has become a bloody bore.
In Flanagan's View: A Spectator's Guide to Science on the Eve of the 21st Century (1988), 152.
Science quotes on:  |  Bore (3)  |  Century (121)  |  Continuation (19)  |  Failure (133)  |  Justification (38)  |  Paranormal (3)  |  Potential (38)  |  Practitioner (13)  |  Production (112)  |  Research (568)  |  Revolution (68)

Although [Charles Darwin] would patiently go on repeating experiments where there was any good to be gained, he could not endure having to repeat an experiment which ought, if complete care had been taken, to have told its story at first—and this gave him a continual anxiety that the experiment should not be wasted; he felt the experiment to be sacred, however slight a one it was. He wished to learn as much as possible from an experiment, so that he did not confine himself to observing the single point to which the experiment was directed, and his power of seeing a number of other things was wonderful. ... Any experiment done was to be of some use, and ... strongly he urged the necessity of keeping the notes of experiments which failed, and to this rule he always adhered.
In Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of his Published Letters (1908), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (91)  |  Charles Darwin (294)  |  Failure (133)  |  Learning (177)  |  Note (32)  |  Observation (438)  |  Repetition (22)  |  Story (68)  |  Waste (64)

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:  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Cold (56)  |  Color (95)  |  Dexterity (4)  |  Dust (48)  |  Effect (157)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Energy (209)  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Entomologist (5)  |  Eye (212)  |  Heat (97)  |  Idleness (8)  |  Indignation (4)  |  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (17)  |  Liquid (25)  |  Lodestone (6)  |  Magnetism (29)  |  Meteorology (30)  |  Microscope (72)  |  Mingle (7)  |  Observation (438)  |  Persuade (11)  |  Physics (329)  |  Pollen (4)  |  Profound (53)  |  Ramble (3)  |  Reaction (61)  |  Repeat (35)  |  Research (568)  |  Sleep (55)  |  Spider (10)  |  Strange (83)  |  Wind (76)

An experiment differs from an observation in this, that knowledge gained through observation seems to appear of itself, while that which an experiment brings us is the fruit of an effort that we make, with the object of knowing whether something exists or does not exist.
Traité sur l'expérience en médecine (1774), Vol. 1, 45. In Claude Bernard, Henry C. Greene, L. J. Henderson, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1957), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (438)

An experiment in nature, like a text in the Bible, is capable of different interpretations, according to the preconceptions of the interpreter.
Physiological Disquisitions (1781), 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Nature (1154)

An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer.
'The Meaning and Limits of Exact Science', Science (30 Sep 1949), 110, No. 2857, 325. Advance reprinting of chapter from book Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography (1949), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Pose (8)  |  Question (383)  |  Recording (4)  |  Science (1939)

An experiment is an observation that can be repeated, isolated and varied. The more frequently you can repeat an observation, the more likely are you to see clearly what is there and to describe accurately what you have seen. The more strictly you can isolate an observation, the easier does your task of observation become, and the less danger is there of your being led astray by irrelevant circumstances, or of placing emphasis on the wrong point. The more widely you can vary an observation, the more clearly will the uniformity of experience stand out, and the better is your chance of discovering laws.
In A Text-Book of Psychology (1909), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (28)  |  Astray (7)  |  Better (178)  |  Chance (152)  |  Circumstance (62)  |  Clear (85)  |  Danger (75)  |  Description (79)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Easier (9)  |  Emphasis (16)  |  Experience (322)  |  Frequent (14)  |  Irrelevant (8)  |  Isolate (18)  |  Isolated (14)  |  Law (485)  |  Likely (30)  |  Observation (438)  |  Repeat (35)  |  Strict (12)  |  Task (78)  |  Uniformity (20)  |  Variation (59)  |  Wrong (130)

An experiment is never a failure solely because it fails to achieve predicted results. An experiment is a failure only when it also fails adequately to test the hypothesis in question, when the data it produces don’t prove anything one way or another.
In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (1974), 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (147)  |  Adequate (23)  |  Data (115)  |  Failure (133)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Prediction (70)  |  Production (112)  |  Proof (235)  |  Question (383)  |  Result (328)  |  Sole (16)  |  Test (115)

An Experiment, like every other event which takes place, is a natural phenomenon; but in a Scientific Experiment the circumstances are so arranged that the relations between a particular set of phenomena may be studied to the best advantage.
'General Considerations Concerning Scientific Apparatus', 1876. In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 2, 505.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (69)  |  Arrangement (52)  |  Circumstance (62)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Study (434)

An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously. You see, from the time a person is six years old until he graduates form college he has to take three or four examinations a year. If he flunks once, he is out. But an inventor is almost always failing. He tries and fails maybe a thousand times. It he succeeds once then he’s in. These two things are diametrically opposite. We often say that the biggest job we have is to teach a newly hired employee how to fail intelligently. We have to train him to experiment over and over and to keep on trying and failing until he learns what will work.
In 'How Can We Develop Inventors?' presented to the Annual meeting of the American Society of Society Engineers. Reprinted in Mechanical Engineering (Apr 1944). Collected in Prophet of Progress: Selections from the Speeches of Charles F. Kettering (1961), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Failure (133)  |  Inventor (53)  |  Success (234)

An observer situated in a nebula and moving with the nebula will observe the same properties of the universe as any other similarly situated observer at any time.
'Review of Cosmology', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1948, 108, 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Cosmology (18)

And yet in a funny way our lack of success led to our breakthrough; because, since we could not get a cell line off the shelf doing what we wanted, we were forced to construct it. And the original experiment ... developed into a method for the production of hybridomas ... [which] was of more importance than our original purpose.
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 256-257.
Science quotes on:  |  Breakthrough (13)  |  Cell (133)  |  Construct (34)  |  Development (260)  |  Force (235)  |  Funny (10)  |  Hybridoma (2)  |  Importance (203)  |  Lack (74)  |  Lead (150)  |  Method (200)  |  Original (50)  |  Production (112)  |  Purpose (175)  |  Success (234)  |  Want (165)

Angling may be said to be so like the Mathematics that it can never be fully learnt; at least not so fully but that there will still be more new experiments left for the trial of other men that succeed us.
In The Complete Angler (1653, 1915), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Angling (2)  |  Learning (177)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Succession (42)  |  Trial (27)

Any chemist reading this book can see, in some detail, how I have spent most of my mature life. They can become familiar with the quality of my mind and imagination. They can make judgements about my research abilities. They can tell how well I have documented my claims of experimental results. Any scientist can redo my experiments to see if they still work—and this has happened! I know of no other field in which contributions to world culture are so clearly on exhibit, so cumulative, and so subject to verification.
From Design to Discovery (1990), 119-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Scientific Method (163)

Any experiment may be regarded as forming an individual of a 'population' of experiments which might be performed under the same conditions. A series of experiments is a sample drawn from this population.
Now any series of experiments is only of value in so far as it enables us to form a judgment as to the statistical constants of the population to which the experiments belong. In a great number of cases the question finally turns on the value of a mean, either directly, or as the mean difference between the two qualities.
If the number of experiments be very large, we may have precise information as to the value of the mean, but if our sample be small, we have two sources of uncertainty:— (I) owing to the 'error of random sampling' the mean of our series of experiments deviates more or less widely from the mean of the population, and (2) the sample is not sufficiently large to determine what is the law of distribution of individuals.
'The Probable Error of a Mean', Biometrika, 1908, 6, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (263)  |  Statistics (144)

Any work of science, no matter what its point of departure, cannot become fully convincing until it crosses the boundary between the theoretical and the experimental: Experimentation must give way to argument, and argument must have recourse to experimentation.
The New Scientific Spirit (1934), trans. A. Goldhammer (1984), 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Proof (235)

Anyone who has had actual contact with the making of the inventions that built the radio art knows that these inventions have been the product of experiment and work based on physical reasoning, rather than on the mathematicians' calculations and formulae. Precisely the opposite impression is obtained from many of our present day text books and publications.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (238)  |  Invention (311)  |  Logic (229)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Publication (89)  |  Radio (30)

Archimedes … had stated that given the force, any given weight might be moved, and even boasted, we are told, relying on the strength of demonstration, that if there were another earth, by going into it he could remove this. Hiero being struck with amazement at this, and entreating him to make good this problem by actual experiment, and show some great weight moved by a small engine, he fixed accordingly upon a ship of burden out of the king’s arsenal, which could not be drawn out of the dock without great labor and many men; and, loading her with many passengers and a full freight, sitting himself the while far off with no great endeavor, but only holding the head of the pulley in his hand and drawing the cords by degrees, he drew the ship in a straight line, as smoothly and evenly, as if she had been in the sea. The king, astonished at this, and convinced of the power of the art, prevailed upon Archimedes to make him engines accommodated to all the purposes, offensive and defensive, of a siege. … the apparatus was, in most opportune time, ready at hand for the Syracusans, and with it also the engineer himself.
In John Dryden (trans.), Life of Marcellus.
Science quotes on:  |  Accommodate (10)  |  According (9)  |  Actual (42)  |  Amazement (12)  |  Apparatus (32)  |  Archimedes (48)  |  Arsenal (6)  |  Art (261)  |  Astonished (8)  |  At Hand (3)  |  Boast (19)  |  Burden (27)  |  Convinced (20)  |  Cord (2)  |  Defensive (2)  |  Degree (73)  |  Demonstration (78)  |  Draw (48)  |  Earth (611)  |  Endeavor (39)  |  Engine (29)  |  Engineer (81)  |  Far (144)  |  Fix (20)  |  Force (235)  |  Freight (3)  |  Full (58)  |  Give (185)  |  Good (311)  |  Great (469)  |  Hand (131)  |  Head (72)  |  Hiero (2)  |  Hold (84)  |  King (32)  |  Labor (64)  |  Load (10)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (83)  |  Move (88)  |  Offensive (4)  |  Passenger (10)  |  Power (337)  |  Prevail (16)  |  Problem (451)  |  Purpose (175)  |  Ready (31)  |  Rely (11)  |  Remove (25)  |  Sea (179)  |  Ship (44)  |  Show (84)  |  Siege (2)  |  Sit (43)  |  Small (149)  |  Smoothly (2)  |  State (124)  |  Straight Line (12)  |  Strength (72)  |  Strike (36)  |  Syracuse (4)  |  Tell (101)  |  Time (562)  |  Weight (72)

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.
In The Impact of Science on Society (1951), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (155)  |  Teeth (11)

As experimentalists, we always can find something to do, even if we have to work with string and sealing wax.
As quoted in T.W. Hänsch, 'From (Incr)edible Lasers to New Spectroscopy', collected in William M. Yen and Marc D. Levenson (eds.), Lasers, Spectroscopy and New Ideas: A Tribute to Arthur L. Schawlow (2013), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Find (373)  |  Research (568)  |  String (19)  |  Wax (8)  |  Work (589)

As for my memory, I have a particularly good one. I never keep any record of my investigations or experiments. My memory files all these things away conveniently and reliably. I should say, though, that I didn’t cumber it up with a lot of useless matter.
From George MacAdam, 'Steinmetz, Electricity's Mastermind, Enters Politics', New York Times (2 Nov 1913), SM3.
Science quotes on:  |  Encumber (4)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Matter (322)  |  Memory (96)  |  Record (62)  |  Useless (31)

As I show you this liquid, I too could tell you, 'I took my drop of water from the immensity of creation, and I took it filled with that fecund jelly, that is, to use the language of science, full of the elements needed for the development of lower creatures. And then I waited, and I observed, and I asked questions of it, and I asked it to repeat the original act of creation for me; what a sight it would be! But it is silent! It has been silent for several years, ever since I began these experiments. Yes! And it is because I have kept away from it, and am keeping away from it to this moment, the only thing that it has not been given to man to produce, I have kept away from it the germs that are floating in the air, I have kept away from it life, for life is the germ, and the germ is life.'
Quoted in Patrice Debré, Louis Pasteur, trans. Elborg Forster (1994), 169.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (181)  |  Creation (236)  |  Creature (148)  |  Development (260)  |  Element (155)  |  Float (21)  |  Germ (29)  |  Gift (59)  |  Immensity (20)  |  Jelly (4)  |  Language (200)  |  Life (1071)  |  Low (24)  |  Observation (438)  |  Origin Of Life (35)  |  Production (112)  |  Question (383)  |  Repetition (22)  |  Science (1939)  |  Wait (55)  |  Water (278)

As in Mathematicks, so in Natural Philosophy, the Investigation of difficult Things by the Method of Analysis, ought ever to precede the Method of Composition. This Analysis consists in making Experiments and Observations, and in drawing general Conclusions from them by Induction, and admitting of no Objections against the Conclusions, but such as are taken from Experiments, or other certain Truths. For Hypotheses are not to be regarded in experimental Philosophy.
From Opticks, (1704, 2nd ed. 1718), Book 3, Query 31, 380.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (148)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Induction (55)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Natural Philosophy (25)  |  Observation (438)  |  Truth (881)

As in political revolutions, so in paradigm choice—there is no standard higher than the assent of the relevant community... this issue of paradigm choice can never be unequivocally settled by logic and experiment alone.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Assent (6)  |  Choice (75)  |  Community (79)  |  Logic (229)  |  Paradigm (12)  |  Standard (53)

As in the experimental sciences, truth cannot be distinguished from error as long as firm principles have not been established through the rigorous observation of facts.
Ésur la maladie des vers ásoie (1870), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Distinction (43)  |  Error (263)  |  Establish (46)  |  Fact (688)  |  Observation (438)  |  Rigour (15)  |  Truth (881)

As there are six kinds of metals, so I have also shown with reliable experiments… that there are also six kinds of half-metals. I through my experiments, had the good fortune … to be the discoverer of a new half-metal, namely cobalt regulus, which had formerly been confused with bismuth.
The six metals were gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, tin. The semimetals, in addition to cobalt, were mercury, bismuth, zinc, and the reguluses of antimony and arsenic. Cited as “According to Zenzén, Brandt stated in his diary for 1741,” in Mary Elvira Weeks and Henry M. Leicester (ed.), Discovery of the Elements (6th edition, revised and enlarged 1960). Brandt presented his work to the Royal Academy of Sciences, Upsala, as printed in 'Dissertatio de semimetallis' (Dissertation on semi-metals) in Acta Literaria et Scientiarum Sveciae (Journal of Swedish literature and sciences) (1735), 4 1-10.
Science quotes on:  |  Antimony (5)  |  Arsenic (8)  |  Bismuth (6)  |  Cobalt (4)  |  Copper (19)  |  Gold (64)  |  Iron (61)  |  Lead (150)  |  Mercury (42)  |  Metal (41)  |  New (455)  |  Reliability (15)  |  Silver (32)  |  Tin (11)  |  Zinc (3)

At length being at Clapham where there is, on the common, a large pond which, I observed to be one day very rough with the wind, I fetched out a cruet of oil and dropt a little of it on the water. I saw it spread itself with surprising swiftness upon the surface; but the effect of smoothing the waves was not produced; for I had applied it first on the leeward side of the pond, where the waves were largest, and the wind drove my oil back upon the shore. I then went to the windward side, where they began to form; and there the oil, though not more than a tea-spoonful, produced an instant calm over a space several yards square, which spread amazingly, and extended itself gradually till it reached the leeside, making all that quarter of the pond, perhaps half an acre, as smooth as a looking-glass.
[Experiment to test an observation made at sea in 1757, when he had seen the wake of a ship smoothed, explained by the captain as presumably due to cooks emptying greasy water in to the sea through the scuppers.]
Letter, extract in 'Of the still of Waves by Means of Oil The Gentleman's Magazine (1775), Vol. 45, 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Acre (7)  |  Calm (20)  |  Glass (40)  |  Oil (39)  |  Pond (11)  |  Spread (32)  |  Still (5)  |  Surface (97)  |  Wave (63)  |  Wind (76)

At no period of [Michael Faraday’s] unmatched career was he interested in utility. He was absorbed in disentangling the riddles of the universe, at first chemical riddles, in later periods, physical riddles. As far as he cared, the question of utility was never raised. Any suspicion of utility would have restricted his restless curiosity. In the end, utility resulted, but it was never a criterion to which his ceaseless experimentation could be subjected.
'The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge', Harper's Magazine (Jun/Nov 1939), No. 179, 546. In Hispania (Feb 1944), 27, No. 1, 77.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (15)  |  Career (57)  |  Ceaseless (4)  |  Chemical (76)  |  Criterion (15)  |  Curiosity (103)  |  Disentangle (3)  |  Michael Faraday (83)  |  Restless (10)  |  Result (328)  |  Riddle (20)  |  Universe (655)  |  Usefulness (76)  |  Utility (30)

At the beginning of its existence as a science, biology was forced to take cognizance of the seemingly boundless variety of living things, for no exact study of life phenomena was possible until the apparent chaos of the distinct kinds of organisms had been reduced to a rational system. Systematics and morphology, two predominantly descriptive and observational disciplines, took precedence among biological sciences during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. More recently physiology has come to the foreground, accompanied by the introduction of quantitative methods and by a shift from the observationalism of the past to a predominance of experimentation.
In Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937, 1982), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  18th Century (18)  |  19th Century (25)  |  Biology (163)  |  Boundless (13)  |  Chaos (75)  |  Description (79)  |  Discipline (47)  |  Foreground (3)  |  Introduction (34)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Observation (438)  |  Organism (146)  |  Physiology (80)  |  Precedence (3)  |  Predominance (3)  |  Rational (52)  |  Shift (28)  |  Systematic (28)  |  Variety (62)

Before an experiment can be performed, it must be planned—the question to nature must be formulated before being posed. Before the result of a measurement can be used, it must be interpreted—nature's answer must be understood properly. These two tasks are those of the theorist, who finds himself always more and more dependent on the tools of abstract mathematics. Of course, this does not mean that the experimenter does not also engage in theoretical deliberations. The foremost classical example of a major achievement produced by such a division of labor is the creation of spectrum analysis by the joint efforts of Robert Bunsen, the experimenter, and Gustav Kirchoff, the theorist. Since then, spectrum analysis has been continually developing and bearing ever richer fruit.
'The Meaning and Limits of Exact Science', Science (30 Sep 1949), 110, No. 2857, 325. Advance reprinting of chapter from book Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography (1949), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (70)  |  Achievement (147)  |  Answer (237)  |  Bearing (8)  |  Robert Bunsen (8)  |  Collaboration (12)  |  Continuing (4)  |  Creation (236)  |  Dependence (35)  |  Development (260)  |  Example (87)  |  Experimenter (19)  |  Formulation (24)  |  Fruit (68)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Kirchoff_Gustav (3)  |  Labor (64)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Performance (31)  |  Plan (81)  |  Properly (20)  |  Question (383)  |  Result (328)  |  Richness (14)  |  Spectral Analysis (3)  |  Task (78)  |  Theorist (27)  |  Tool (80)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Use (77)

Believing, as I do, in the continuity of nature, I cannot stop abruptly where our microscopes cease to be of use. Here the vision of the mind authoritatively supplements the vision of the eye. By a necessity engendered and justified by science I cross the boundary of the experimental evidence, and discern in that Matter which we, in our ignorance of its latent powers, and notwithstanding our professed reverence for its Creator, have hitherto covered with opprobrium, the promise and potency of all terrestrial Life.
'Address Delivered Before The British Association Assembled at Belfast', (19 Aug 1874). Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 191.
Science quotes on:  |  Abruptness (2)  |  Belief (489)  |  Boundary (35)  |  Cessation (12)  |  Continuity (27)  |  Cover (35)  |  Creator (47)  |  Discerning (7)  |  Engendering (3)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Eye (212)  |  Hitherto (6)  |  Ignorance (209)  |  Justification (38)  |  Life (1071)  |  Matter (322)  |  Microscope (72)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Necessity (138)  |  Notwithstanding (2)  |  Potency (7)  |  Power (337)  |  Professing (2)  |  Promise (34)  |  Reverence (27)  |  Science (1939)  |  Stop (68)  |  Supplement (5)  |  Terrestrial (22)  |  Vision (90)

Biologically the species is the accumulation of the experiments of all its successful individuals since the beginning.
repr. In The Works of H.G. Wells, vol. 9 (1925). A Modern Utopia, ch. 3, sect. 4 (1905).
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (30)  |  Begin (97)  |  Biologically (4)  |  Individual (205)  |  Species (213)  |  Successful (38)

But experiments went for nothing,—dualism had sworn to uphold its position.
Chemical Method (1855), 203.
Science quotes on:  |  Dualism (3)

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 (181)  |  Apparatus (32)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Duty (63)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Fermentation (14)  |  Fixed Air (2)  |  Lecture (61)  |  Mode (36)  |  Operation (111)  |  Profession (59)  |  Publication (89)  |  Thought (484)  |  View (157)

But the best demonstration by far is experience, if it go not beyond the actual experiment.
From Aphorism 70, Novum Organum, Book I (1620). Collected in James Spedding (ed.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1858), Vol. 4, 70.

But when we face the great questions about gravitation Does it require time? Is it polar to the 'outside of the universe' or to anything? Has it any reference to electricity? or does it stand on the very foundation of matter–mass or inertia? then we feel the need of tests, whether they be comets or nebulae or laboratory experiments or bold questions as to the truth of received opinions.
Letter to Michael Faraday, 9 Nov 1857. In P. M. Harman (ed.), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1990), Vol. 1, 1846-1862, 551-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Comet (49)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Gravity (98)  |  Inertia (11)  |  Mass (75)  |  Matter (322)  |  Nebula (15)  |  Question (383)  |  Test (115)  |  Time (562)  |  Universe (655)

By destroying the biological character of phenomena, the use of averages in physiology and medicine usually gives only apparent accuracy to the results. From our point of view, we may distinguish between several kinds of averages: physical averages, chemical averages and physiological and pathological averages. If, for instance, we observe the number of pulsations and the degree of blood pressure by means of the oscillations of a manometer throughout one day, and if we take the average of all our figures to get the true or average blood pressure and to learn the true or average number of pulsations, we shall simply have wrong numbers. In fact, the pulse decreases in number and intensity when we are fasting and increases during digestion or under different influences of movement and rest; all the biological characteristics of the phenomenon disappear in the average. Chemical averages are also often used. If we collect a man's urine during twenty-four hours and mix all this urine to analyze the average, we get an analysis of a urine which simply does not exist; for urine, when fasting, is different from urine during digestion. A startling instance of this kind was invented by a physiologist who took urine from a railroad station urinal where people of all nations passed, and who believed he could thus present an analysis of average European urine! Aside from physical and chemical, there are physiological averages, or what we might call average descriptions of phenomena, which are even more false. Let me assume that a physician collects a great many individual observations of a disease and that he makes an average description of symptoms observed in the individual cases; he will thus have a description that will never be matched in nature. So in physiology, we must never make average descriptions of experiments, because the true relations of phenomena disappear in the average; when dealing with complex and variable experiments, we must study their various circumstances, and then present our most perfect experiment as a type, which, however, still stands for true facts. In the cases just considered, averages must therefore be rejected, because they confuse, while aiming to unify, and distort while aiming to simplify. Averages are applicable only to reducing very slightly varying numerical data about clearly defined and absolutely simple cases.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 134-135.
Science quotes on:  |  Average (41)

By no amount of reasoning can we altogether eliminate all contingency from our world. Moreover, pure speculation alone will not enable us to get a determinate picture of the existing world. We must eliminate some of the conflicting possibilities, and this can be brought about only by experiment and observation.
Reason and Nature: an Essay on the Meaning of Scientific Method? (2nd Ed., 1964), 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Conflict (55)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Determinate (6)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Existence (289)  |  Observation (438)  |  Possibility (110)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Speculation (95)

Can science ever be immune from experiments conceived out of prejudices and stereotypes, conscious or not? (Which is not to suggest that it cannot in discrete areas identify and locate verifiable phenomena in nature.) I await the study that says lesbians have a region of the hypothalamus that resembles straight men and I would not be surprised if, at this very moment, some scientist somewhere is studying brains of deceased Asians to see if they have an enlarged ‘math region’ of the brain.
Kay Diaz
Science quotes on:  |  Area (26)  |  Asian (3)  |  Await (4)  |  Brain (206)  |  Conceive (29)  |  Conscious (38)  |  Discrete (6)  |  Enlarge (24)  |  Identify (12)  |  Immune (3)  |  Locate (6)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Moment (98)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Prejudice (65)  |  Region (31)  |  Resemble (25)  |  Say (214)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientist (499)  |  See (354)  |  Stereotype (4)  |  Straight (19)  |  Study (434)  |  Suggest (28)  |  Surprise (63)  |  Verifiable (6)

Casting off the dark fog of verbal philosophy and vulgar medicine, which inculcate names alone ... I tried a series of experiments to explain more clearly many phenomena, particularly those of physiology. In order that I might subject as far as possible the reasonings of the Galenists and Peripatetics to sensory criteria, I began, after trying experiments, to write dialogues in which a Galenist adduced the better-known and stronger reasons and arguments; these a mechanist surgeon refuted by citing to the contrary the experiments I had tried, and a third, neutral interlocutor weighed the reasons advanced by both and provided an opportunity for further progress.
'Malpighi at Pisa 1656-1659', in H. B. Adelmann (ed.), Marcello Malpighi and the Evolution of Embryology (1966), Vol. 1, 155-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (76)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Galen (19)  |  Inculcate (6)  |  Medicine (334)  |  Name (156)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Philosophy (241)  |  Physiology (80)  |  Progress (348)  |  Reason (424)

Cavendish gave me once some bits of platinum for my experiments, and came to see my results on the decomposition of the alkalis, and seemed to take an interest in them; but he encouraged no intimacy with any one, and received nobody at his own house. … He was acute, sagacious, and profound, and, I think, the most accomplished British philosopher of his time.
As quoted in Victor Robinson, Pathfinders in Medicine (1912), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (71)  |  Acute (7)  |  Alkali (6)  |  British (9)  |  Henry Cavendish (7)  |  Decomposition (12)  |  Encourage (22)  |  Give (185)  |  House (41)  |  Interest (221)  |  Intimacy (5)  |  Nobody (45)  |  Philosopher (157)  |  Platinum (6)  |  Profound (53)  |  Receive (54)  |  Result (328)  |  Sagacious (4)

Chagrined a little that we have been hitherto able to produce nothing in this way of use to mankind; and the hot weather coming on, when electrical experiments are not so agreeable, it is proposed to put an end to them for this season, somewhat humorously, in a party of pleasure, on the banks of Skuylkil. Spirits, at the same time, are to be fired by a spark sent from side to side through the river, without any other conductor that the water; an experiment which we some time since performed, to the amazement of many. A turkey is to be killed for our dinner by the electrified bottle: when the healths of all the famous electricians in England, Holland, France, and Germany are to be drank in electrified bumpers, under the discharge of guns from the electrical battery.
Letter to Peter Collinson, 29 Apr 1749. In I. Bernard Cohen (ed.), Benjamin Franklin's Experiments (1941), 199-200.
Science quotes on:  |  Electricity (132)

Change requires experimentation. But no problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. Our job is to dream—and to make those dreams happen.
In interview article, 'Designing For The Future', Newsweek (15 May 2005).
Science quotes on:  |  Change (347)  |  Consciousness (76)  |  Creation (236)  |  Dream (160)  |  Happen (76)  |  Job (41)  |  Problem (451)  |  Requirement (46)  |  Solution (195)

Charles Babbage proposed to make an automaton chess-player which should register mechanically the number of games lost and gained in consequence of every sort of move. Thus, the longer the automaton went on playing game, the more experienced it would become by the accumulation of experimental results. Such a machine precisely represents the acquirement of experience by our nervous organization.
In ‘Experimental Legislation’, Popular Science (Apr 1880), 16, 754-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (30)  |  Acquisition (37)  |  Artificial Intelligence (8)  |  Automaton (10)  |  Charles Babbage (53)  |  Chess (23)  |  Consequence (97)  |  Experience (322)  |  Gain (64)  |  Game (61)  |  Human Mind (71)  |  Loss (71)  |  Machine (151)  |  Mechanical (41)  |  Move (88)  |  Nerve (68)  |  Organization (84)  |  Player (8)  |  Proposal (10)  |  Registration (2)  |  Representation (32)  |  Result (328)

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 (9)  |  Boundary (35)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Connection (99)  |  Enlarge (24)  |  Event (113)  |  Experience (322)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Mental (72)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Physics (329)  |  Picture (68)  |  Publish (25)  |  Random (24)  |  Relation (127)  |  Science (1939)  |  Speculation (95)  |  Theory (661)  |  Unsafe (5)  |  Unwilling (8)

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 (32)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Concrete (28)  |  Consist (40)  |  Countless (18)  |  Developed (11)  |  Edifice (13)  |  Elevator (2)  |  Fact (688)  |  Foundation (99)  |  Law (485)  |  Majestic (13)  |  Observation (438)  |  Principle (268)  |  Secure (19)  |  Skyscraper (6)  |  Theory (661)  |  Top (33)

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 (43)  |  Air (181)  |  Alcohol (17)  |  Analysis (148)  |  Care (91)  |  Character (107)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Child (234)  |  Enormous (38)  |  Extensive (16)  |  Feature (40)  |  Few (12)  |  Glass (40)  |  Inheritance (19)  |  Intensive (8)  |  Mercury (42)  |  Number (252)  |  Physical Chemistry (5)  |  Physics (329)  |  Property (113)  |  Quantitative (18)  |  Result (328)  |  Substance (82)  |  Through (3)  |  Water (278)

Colleague reader, please read this to your uncertain teenager con brio! Tell him or her that (1) experiments often fail, and (2) they don't always fail.
[Co-author with Dick Teresi]
In Leon M. Lederman and Dick Teresi, The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question? (1993), 396.
Science quotes on:  |  Failure (133)  |  Reader (35)  |  Success (234)  |  Teenager (4)  |  Telling (23)

Concerning the alchemist, Mamugnano, no one harbors doubts any longer about his daily experiments in changing quicksilver into gold. It was realized that his craft did not go beyond one pound of quicksilver… . Thus the belief is now held that his allegations to produce a number of millions have been a great fraud.
'Further Successes by Bragadini. From Vienna on the 26th day of January 1590'. As quoted in George Tennyson Matthews (ed.) News and Rumor in Renaissance Europe: The Fugger Newsletters (1959), 179. A handwritten collection of news reports (1568-1604) by the powerful banking and merchant house of Fugger in Ausburg.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (17)  |  Change (347)  |  Doubt (150)  |  Fraud (14)  |  Gold (64)  |  Great (469)  |  Mamugnano (2)  |  Mercury (42)  |  Million (103)  |  Minerology (4)  |  Produce (92)  |  Quicksilver (3)

Dalton transformed the atomic concept from a philosophical speculation into a scientific theory—framed to explain quantitative observations, suggesting new tests and experiments, and capable of being given quantitative form through the establishment of relative masses of atomic particles.
Development of Concepts of Physics. In Clifford A. Pickover, Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (2008), 175.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic (4)  |  Capable (45)  |  Concept (132)  |  Establishment (33)  |  Explain (98)  |  Form (278)  |  Frame (23)  |  Give (185)  |  Mass (75)  |  New (455)  |  Observation (438)  |  Particle (97)  |  Philosophical (20)  |  Quantitative (18)  |  Relative (33)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Scientific Theory (23)  |  Speculation (95)  |  Suggest (28)  |  Test (115)  |  Theory (661)  |  Transform (33)

Do experimental work but keep in mind that other investigators in the same field will consider your discoveries as less than one fourth as important as they seem to you.
In Victor Shelford, The Ecology of North America (1963), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Research (568)

Doing an experiment is not more important than writing.
Concept attributed to Boring, but stated without quotation marks, by D.O. Hebb and Dalbir Bindra, in 'Scientific Writing and the General Problem of Communication', The American Psychologist (Oct 1952), 7, 569-673. Excerpted and cited in Ritchie R. Ward, Practical Technical Writing (1968), 32. If you know a verbatim primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Doing (36)  |  Importance (203)  |  Writing (76)

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:  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Horticulture (6)

Leon M. Lederman quote: During an intense period of lab work, the outside world vanishes and the obsession is total
Background: Michael Faraday in his laboratory at the Royal Institution. (source)
During an intense period of lab work, the outside world vanishes and the obsession is total. Sleep is when you can curl up on the accelerator floor for an hour.
In Leon Lederman and Dick Teresi, The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question (1993), 14-15.
Science quotes on:  |  Accelerator (7)  |  Curl (3)  |  Floor (18)  |  Hour (64)  |  Intense (16)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Obsession (11)  |  Sleep (55)  |  Total (35)  |  Vanishing (8)  |  World (854)

During the time that [Karl] Landsteiner gave me an education in the field of imununology, I discovered that he and I were thinking about the serologic problem in very different ways. He would ask, What do these experiments force us to believe about the nature of the world? I would ask, What is the most. simple and general picture of the world that we can formulate that is not ruled by these experiments? I realized that medical and biological investigators were not attacking their problems the same way that theoretical physicists do, the way I had been in the habit of doing.
‘Molecular Disease’, Pfizer Spectrum (1958), 6:9, 234.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (23)  |  Belief (489)  |  Difference (237)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Education (314)  |  Field (155)  |  Formulation (24)  |  Generality (28)  |  Habit (100)  |  Immunology (13)  |  Karl Landsteiner (8)  |  Medicine (334)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Picture (68)  |  Problem (451)  |  Realization (36)  |  Research (568)  |  Rule (163)  |  Simplicity (141)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Theoretical Physics (16)  |  Thinking (227)  |  Way (37)  |  World (854)

Edison was by far the most successful and, probably, the last exponent of the purely empirical method of investigation. Everything he achieved was the result of persistent trials and experiments often performed at random but always attesting extraordinary vigor and resource. Starting from a few known elements, he would make their combinations and permutations, tabulate them and run through the whole list, completing test after test with incredible rapidity until he obtained a clue. His mind was dominated by one idea, to leave no stone unturned, to exhaust every possibility.
As quoted in 'Tesla Says Edison Was an Empiricist', The New York Times (19 Oct 1931), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (147)  |  Clue (14)  |  Combination (84)  |  Dominate (17)  |  Thomas Edison (77)  |  Empirical (22)  |  Exhaust (21)  |  Exponent (4)  |  Extraordinary (36)  |  Idea (545)  |  Incredible (21)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Method (200)  |  Mind (691)  |  Permutation (4)  |  Persistence (20)  |  Possibility (110)  |  Random (24)  |  Rapidity (15)  |  Resource (57)  |  Success (234)  |  Tabulate (2)  |  Test (115)  |  Trial (27)  |  Vigor (6)

Erasmus Darwin held that every so often you should try a damn-fool experiment. He played the trombone to his tulips. This particular result was, in fact, negative.
In 'The Mathematician’s Art of Work' (1967), collected in Béla Bollobás (ed.), Littlewood’s Miscellany (1986), 194. Webmaster has looked for a primary source to verify this statement and so far has found none. Can you help?
Science quotes on:  |  Erasmus Darwin (40)  |  Foolish (19)  |  Negative (33)  |  Play (98)  |  Result (328)  |  Try (134)  |  Tulip (2)

Even a wise experiment when made by a fool generally leads to a false conclusion, but that fools’ experiments conducted by a genius often prove to be leaps through the dark into great discoveries.
Commenting on Charles Darwin’s “fool’s experiments”, in 'Charles Robert Darwin', collected in C.D. Warner (ed.), Library of the World’s Best Literature Ancient and Modern (1896), Vol. 2, 4391-4392.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Dark (72)  |  Discovery (660)  |  False (94)  |  Fool (82)  |  Genius (218)  |  Great (469)  |  Leap (31)  |  Wise (56)

Even in the dark times between experimental breakthroughs, there always continues a steady evolution of theoretical ideas, leading almost imperceptibly to changes in previous beliefs.
In Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1989), 'Conceptual Foundations of the Unified Theory of Weak and Electromagnetic Interactions.'
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (489)  |  Breakthrough (13)  |  Change (347)  |  Dark (72)  |  Evolution (523)  |  Idea (545)  |  Imperceptible (7)  |  Previous (9)  |  Theorist (27)  |  Theory (661)  |  Time (562)

Even one well-made observation will be enough in many cases, just as one well-constructed experiment often suffices for the establishment of a law.
The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), 8th edition, trans. Sarah A. Solovay and John M. Mueller, ed. George E. G. Catlin (1938,1964 edition), 80.
Science quotes on:  |  Law (485)  |  Observation (438)

Every discoverer of a new truth, or inventor of the method which evolves it, makes a dozen, perhaps fifty, useless combinations, experiments, or trials for one successful one. In the realm of electricity or of mechanics there is no objection to this. But when such rejected failures involve a torture of animals, sometimes fearful in its character, there is a distinct objection to it.
From 'Vivisection', an original paper in Surgical Anaesthesia: Addresses, and Other Papers (1894, 1900), 369-370.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (340)  |  Character (107)  |  Combination (84)  |  Discoverer (14)  |  Distinct (42)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Failure (133)  |  Fearful (7)  |  Inventor (53)  |  Mechanics (52)  |  Method (200)  |  Objection (17)  |  Realm (52)  |  Rejection (25)  |  Success (234)  |  Torture (15)  |  Trial (27)  |  Truth (881)  |  Vivisection (7)

Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination. What are now working conceptions, employed as a matter of course because they have withstood the tests of experiment and have emerged triumphant, were once speculative hypotheses.
'The Copernican Revolution', in The Quest for Certainty: A Study of the Relation of Knowledge and Action (1929), 294. Collected in John Dewey. Volume 4: The Later Works, 1925-1953: 1929 The Quest for Certainty (1984), 247. The first sentence is used as the motto of The Bronx High School of Science, New York.
Science quotes on:  |  Hypothesis (245)

Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos.
In David Chronenberg and Chris Rodley (ed.), Chronenberg on Chronenberg (1992), 7. As cited in Carl Royer, B Lee Cooper, The Spectacle of Isolation in Horror Films: Dark Parades (2013), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Chaos (75)  |  Everybody (24)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Life (1071)  |  Madness (29)  |  Problem (451)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Solution (195)  |  Trying (18)

Examples ... show how difficult it often is for an experimenter to interpret his results without the aid of mathematics.
Quoted in E. T. Bell, Men of Mathematics, xvi.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (133)  |  Example (87)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Result (328)

Exper. I. I made a small hole in a window-shutter, and covered it with a piece of thick paper, which I perforated with a fine needle. For greater convenience of observation I placed a small looking-glass without the window-shutter, in such a position as to reflect the sun's light, in a direction nearly horizontal, upon the opposite wall, and to cause the cone of diverging light to pass over a table on which were several little screens of card-paper. I brought into the sunbeam a slip of card, about one-thirtieth of an inch in breadth, and observed its shadow, either on the wall or on other cards held at different distances. Besides the fringes of colour on each side of the shadow, the shadow itself was divided by similar parallel fringes, of smaller dimensions, differing in number, according to the distance at which the shadow was observed, but leaving the middle of the shadow always white. Now these fringes were the joint effects of the portions of light passing on each side of the slip of card and inflected, or rather diffracted, into the shadow. For, a little screen being placed a few inches from the card, so as to receive either edge of the shadow on its margin, all the fringes which had before been observed in the shadow on the wall, immediately disappeared, although the light inflected on the other side was allowed to retain its course, and although this light must have undergone any modification that the proximity of the other edge of the slip of card might have been capable of occasioning... Nor was it for want of a sufficient intensity of light that one of the two portions was incapable of producing the fringes alone; for when they were both uninterrupted, the lines appeared, even if the intensity was reduced to one-tenth or one-twentieth.
'Experiments and Calculations Relative to Physical Optics' (read in 1803), Philosophical Transactions (1804), 94, 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Fringe (3)  |  Hole (14)  |  Intensity (19)  |  Interference (12)  |  Light (331)  |  Observation (438)  |  Reflection (58)  |  Screen (6)  |  Shadow (51)  |  Sunbeam (3)

Experience is never at fault; it is only your judgment that is in error in promising itself such results from experience as are not caused by our experiments. For having given a beginning, what follows from it must necessarily be a natural development of such a beginning, unless it has been subject to a contrary influence, while, if it is affected by any contrary influence, the result which ought to follow from the aforesaid beginning will be found to partake of this contrary influence in a greater or less degree in proportion as the said influence is more or less powerful than the aforesaid beginning.
'Philosophy', in The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, trans. E. MacCurdy (1938), Vol. 1, 70.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (120)  |  Development (260)  |  Error (263)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fault (29)  |  Influence (128)  |  Judgment (89)  |  Result (328)

Experiment adds to knowledge, Credulity leads to error.
Arabic Proverb.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (263)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  French Saying (63)  |  Scientific Method (163)

Experiment is fundamentally only induced observation.
Section title in An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Fundamental (146)  |  Induction (55)  |  Observation (438)

Experiment is the sole source of truth. It alone can teach us something new; it alone can give us certainty.
Science and Hypothesis (1902), trans. W. J. G. and preface by J. Larmor (1905), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (122)  |  New (455)  |  Teaching (106)  |  Truth (881)

Experimental geology has this in common with all other branches of our science, petrology and palaeontology included, that in the long run it withers indoors.
'Experiments in Geology', Transactions of the Geological Society of Glasgow (1958), 23, 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Geology (196)  |  Indoors (2)  |  Paleontologist (15)  |  Science (1939)

Experimental investigation, to borrow a phrase employed by Kepler respecting the testing of hypotheses, is “a very great thief of time.” Sometimes it costs many days to determine a fact that can be stated in a line.
In preface to Scientific Memoirs (1878), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  Determination (55)  |  Fact (688)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Kepler_Johann (2)  |  Line (82)  |  Research (568)  |  Statement (66)  |  Test (115)  |  Thief (3)  |  Time (562)

Experimental observations are only experience carefully planned in advance, and designed to form a secure basis of new knowledge.
In The Design of Experiments (1935, 1970), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (150)  |  Basis (76)  |  Design (108)  |  Experience (322)  |  Form (278)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  New (455)  |  Observation (438)  |  Plan (81)  |  Security (33)

Experimental science can be thought of as an … extension of common sense.
In Science and Common Sense (1951), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Common Sense (72)  |  Extension (25)

Experimentation is the least arrogant method of gaining knowledge. The experimenter humbly asks a question of nature.
[Unverified. Please contact Webmaster if you can identify the primary source.]
Science quotes on:  |  Arrogance (12)  |  Ask (148)  |  Experimenter (19)  |  Gain (64)  |  Humble (29)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Least (62)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Question (383)

Experimenters are the shock troops of science.
'The Meaning and Limits of Exact Science', Science (30 Sep 1949), 110, No. 2857, 325. Advance reprinting of chapter from book Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography (1949), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Experimenter (19)  |  Research (568)  |  Science (1939)

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:  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Difference (237)  |  Difficult (104)  |  Direct (74)  |  Earth (611)  |  Geology (196)  |  Happen (76)  |  Imagine (69)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Million (103)  |  Mind (691)  |  Observation (438)  |  Past (143)  |  Physics (329)  |  Possibility (110)  |  Process (244)  |  Size (59)

Experiments may be of two kinds: experiments of simple fact, and experiments of quantity. ...[In the latter] the conditions will ... vary, not in quality, but quantity, and the effect will also vary in quantity, so that the result of quantitative induction is also to arrive at some mathematical expression involving the quantity of each condition, and expressing the quantity of the result. In other words, we wish to know what function the effect is of its conditions. We shall find that it is one thing to obtain the numerical results, and quite another thing to detect the law obeyed by those results, the latter being an operation of an inverse and tentative character.
Principles of Science: A Treatise on Logic and Scientific Method (1874, 1892), 439.
Science quotes on:  |  Condition (144)  |  Effect (157)  |  Expression (96)  |  Fact (688)  |  Function (120)  |  Induction (55)  |  Law (485)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Numerical (10)  |  Quality (84)  |  Quantitative (18)  |  Quantity (54)  |  Result (328)  |  Variation (59)

Experiments on ornamental plants undertaken in previous years had proven that, as a rule, hybrids do not represent the form exactly intermediate between the parental strains. Although the intermediate form of some of the more striking traits, such as those relating to shape and size of leaves, pubescence of individual parts, and so forth, is indeed nearly always seen, in other cases one of the two parental traits is so preponderant that it is difficult or quite impossible, to detect the other in the hybrid. The same is true for Pisum hybrids. Each of the seven hybrid traits either resembles so closely one of the two parental traits that the other escapes detection, or is so similar to it that no certain distinction can be made. This is of great importance to the definition and classification of the forms in which the offspring of hybrids appear. In the following discussion those traits that pass into hybrid association entirely or almost entirely unchanged, thus themselves representing the traits of the hybrid, are termed dominating and those that become latent in the association, recessive. The word 'recessive' was chosen because the traits so designated recede or disappear entirely in the hybrids, but reappear unchanged in their progeny, as will be demonstrated later.
'Experiments on Plant Hybrids' (1865). In Curt Stern and Eva R. Sherwood (eds.), The Origin of Genetics: A Mendel Source Book (1966), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Classification (79)  |  Definition (177)  |  Demonstration (78)  |  Dominant (13)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Hybrid (11)  |  Intermediate (20)  |  Latent (12)  |  Leaf (47)  |  Offspring (16)  |  Parent (45)  |  Plant (188)  |  Progeny (9)  |  Recessive (3)  |  Shape (66)  |  Size (59)  |  Strain (11)  |  Trait (22)

Facts, and facts alone, are the foundation of science... When one devotes oneself to experimental research it is in order to augment the sum of known facts, or to discover their mutual relations.
Precis elementaire de Physiologie (1816), ii. Trans. J. M. D. Olmsted, François Magendie: Pioneer in Experimental Physiology and Scientific Medicine in XIX Century France (1944), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Augment (5)  |  Devotion (25)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Fact (688)  |  Foundation (99)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Relationship (67)  |  Research (568)

Firm support has been found for the assertion that electricity occurs at thousands of points where we at most conjectured that it was present. Innumerable electrical particles oscillate in every flame and light source. We can in fact assume that every heat source is filled with electrons which will continue to oscillate ceaselessly and indefinitely. All these electrons leave their impression on the emitted rays. We can hope that experimental study of the radiation phenomena, which are exposed to various influences, but in particular to the effect of magnetism, will provide us with useful data concerning a new field, that of atomistic astronomy, as Lodge called it, populated with atoms and electrons instead of planets and worlds.
'Light Radiation in a Magnetic Field', Nobel Lecture, 2 May 1903. In Nobel Lectures: Physics 1901-1921 (1967), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Assertion (30)  |  Astronomy (193)  |  Atom (272)  |  Conjecture (29)  |  Data (115)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Electromagnetic Radiation (2)  |  Electron (71)  |  Flame (26)  |  Light (331)  |  Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge (13)  |  Oscillate (2)  |  Particle (97)  |  Ray (40)  |  Research (568)  |  Support (72)

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
Upon identifying the reason for the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger with his demonstration showing that O-rings grow brittle when cold by immersing a sample in iced water. Concluding remark in Feynman's Appendix to the Rogers Commission Report on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. In (Jan 1987). In James B. Simpson, Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations (1988).
Science quotes on:  |  Disaster (40)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Public Relations (5)  |  Reality (183)  |  Space Shuttle (11)

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:  |  Chemistry (242)

For it is not number of Experiments, but weight to be regarded; & where one will do, what need many?
In 'Mr. Newton's Answer to the Precedent Letter, Sent to the Publisher', Philosophical Transactions (1665-1678), Vol. 11 (25 Sep 1676), No. 128, 703.
Science quotes on:  |  Need (261)  |  Number (252)  |  Regard (88)  |  Weight (72)

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know…
In The Bible, King James Version, 1 Corinthians 13:12.
Science quotes on:  |  Dark (72)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Face To Face (3)  |  Glass (40)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  See (354)

For the better part of my last semester at Garden City High, I constructed a physical pendulum and used it to make a “precision” measurement of gravity. The years of experience building things taught me skills that were directly applicable to the construction of the pendulum. Twenty-five years later, I was to develop a refined version of this measurement using laser-cooled atoms in an atomic fountain interferometer.
[Outcome of high school physics teacher, Thomas Miner, encouraging Chu's ambitious laboratory project.]
Autobiography in Gösta Ekspong (ed.), Nobel Lectures: Physics 1996-2000 (2002), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (314)  |  Gravity (98)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Pendulum (15)

For the holy Bible and the phenomena of nature proceed alike from the divine Word, the former as the dictate of the Holy Ghost and the latter as the observant executrix of God's commands. It is necessary for the Bible, in order to be accommodated to the understanding of every man, to speak many things which appear to differ from the absolute truth so far as the bare meaning of the words is concerned. But Nature, on the other hand, is inexorable and immutable; she never transgresses the laws imposed upon her, or cares a whit whether her abstruse reasons and methods of operation are understandable to men. For that reason it appears that nothing physical which sense-experience sets before our eyes, or which necessary demonstrations prove to us, ought to be called in question (much less condemned) upon the testimony of biblical passages which may have some different meaning beneath their words.
Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany: Concerning the Use of Biblical Quotations in Matters of Science (1615), trans. Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (1957), 182-3.
Science quotes on:  |  God (509)  |  Law (485)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Observation (438)  |  Truth (881)

Frequently, I have been asked if an experiment I have planned is pure or applied science; to me it is more important to know if the experiment will yield new and probably enduring knowledge about nature. If it is likely to yield such knowledge, it is, in my opinion, good fundamental research; and this is more important than whether the motivation is purely aesthetic satisfaction on the part of the experimenter on the one hand or the improvement of the stability of a high-power transistor on the other.
Quoted in Richard R. Nelson, 'The Link Between Science and Invention: The Case of the Transistor,' The Rate and Direction of the Inventive Activity (1962). In Daniel S. Greenberg, The Politics of Pure Science (1999), 32, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Aesthetic (31)  |  Applied Science (29)  |  Asking (23)  |  Enduring (6)  |  Experimenter (19)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Fundamental (146)  |  Importance (203)  |  Improvement (71)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Likelihood (10)  |  Motivation (26)  |  Nature (1154)  |  New (455)  |  Opinion (168)  |  Plan (81)  |  Pure Science (19)  |  Research (568)  |  Satisfaction (52)  |  Stability (18)  |  Yield (31)

From him [Wilard Bennett] I learned how different a working laboratory is from a student laboratory. The answers are not known!
[While an undergraduate, doing experimental measurements in the laboratory of his professor, at Ohio State University.]
From autobiography on Nobel Prize website.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Student (188)

Furnished as all Europe now is with Academies of Science, with nice instruments and the spirit of experiment, the progress of human knowledge will be rapid and discoveries made of which we have at present no conception. I begin to be almost sorry I was born so soon, since I cannot have the happiness of knowing what will be known a hundred years hence.
Science quotes on:  |  Academy (13)  |  Bear (59)  |  Begin (97)  |  Conception (77)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Europe (41)  |  Furnish (33)  |  Happiness (92)  |  Human (526)  |  Hundred (59)  |  Instrument (84)  |  Know (496)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Nice (11)  |  Present (156)  |  Progress (348)  |  Rapid (28)  |  Science (1939)  |  Soon (30)  |  Sorry (16)  |  Spirit (140)  |  Year (276)

Genetics is the first biological science which got in the position in which physics has been in for many years. One can justifiably speak about such a thing as theoretical mathematical genetics, and experimental genetics, just as in physics. There are some mathematical geniuses who work out what to an ordinary person seems a fantastic kind of theory. This fantastic kind of theory nevertheless leads to experimentally verifiable prediction, which an experimental physicist then has to test the validity of. Since the times of Wright, Haldane, and Fisher, evolutionary genetics has been in a similar position.
Oral history memoir. Columbia University, Oral History Research Office, New York, 1962. Quoted in William B. Provine, Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology (1989), 277.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (163)  |  Experimental Physicist (8)  |  Fischer_Ronald (2)  |  Genetics (101)  |  J.B.S. Haldane (48)  |  Mathematician (335)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Physics (329)  |  Prediction (70)  |  Sewall Wright (9)

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 (163)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Difference (237)  |  Geology (196)  |  Limited (18)  |  Physics (329)  |  Possibility (110)

Gravity. Surely this force must be capable of an experimental relation to electricity, magnetism, and the other forces, so as to bind it up with them in reciprocal action and equivalent effect.
Notebook entry (19 Mar 1849). In Bence Jones (ed.), The Life and Letters of Faraday (1870), Vol. 2, 252.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (178)  |  Capable (45)  |  Effect (157)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Equivalent (17)  |  Force (235)  |  Gravity (98)  |  Magnetism (29)  |  Reciprocal (7)  |  Relation (127)

He that desires to learn Truth should teach himself by Facts and Experiments; by which means he will learn more in a Year than by abstract reasoning in an Age.
In Academical Lectures on the Theory of Physic (1751), Vol. 1. As quoted in Thomas Steele Hall, A Source Book in Animal Biology (1951), 485.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (70)  |  Age (170)  |  Desire (132)  |  Fact (688)  |  Learn (255)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Teach (158)  |  Truth (881)  |  Year (276)

He that would learn by experiments, ought to proceed from particulars to generals; but the method of instructing academically, proceeds from generals to particulars
As quoted in Thomas Steele Hall, A Source Book in Animal Biology (1951), 486.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (15)  |  General (130)  |  Instruction (64)  |  Learning (177)  |  Method (200)  |  Particular (69)  |  Proceed (36)

He [Louis Pasteur] imagined further experiments, to bring more light, for contradictions excited him to new investigations.
As quoted in René J. Dubos, Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1960, 1986), 76.
Science quotes on:  |  Clarify (2)  |  Contradiction (50)  |  Excited (8)  |  Imagine (69)  |  Investigation (157)  |  New (455)  |  Louis Pasteur (79)

Heresies are experiments in man’s unsatisfied search for truth.
Crux Ansata: An Indictment of the Roman Catholic Church (1943, 2000), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Heresy (8)

Historical science is not worse, more restricted, or less capable of achieving firm conclusions because experiment, prediction, and subsumption under invariant laws of nature do not represent its usual working methods. The sciences of history use a different mode of explanation, rooted in the comparative and observational richness in our data. We cannot see a past event directly, but science is usually based on inference, not unvarnished observation (you don’t see electrons, gravity, or black holes either).
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (59)  |  Badly (14)  |  Base (64)  |  Black Holes (4)  |  Capable (45)  |  Comparative (13)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Data (115)  |  Different (155)  |  Directly (19)  |  Electron (71)  |  Event (113)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Firm (23)  |  Gravity (98)  |  Historical (14)  |  History (348)  |  Inference (28)  |  Invariant (6)  |  Law (485)  |  Less (93)  |  Method (200)  |  Mode (36)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Observation (438)  |  Observational (2)  |  Past (143)  |  Prediction (70)  |  Represent (36)  |  Restrict (9)  |  Richness (14)  |  Root (55)  |  Science (1939)  |  See (354)  |  Subsumption (2)  |  Unvarnished (2)  |  Usually (30)  |  Work (589)

How insidious Nature is when one is trying to get at it experimentally.
Letter to Michele Besso (15 Feb 1915). As quoted in Albrecht Fösling, Albert Einstein (1998), 362.
Science quotes on:  |  Nature (1154)  |  Trying (18)

Hypothesis is the most important mental technique of the investigator, and its main function is to suggest new experiments or new observations. Indeed, most experiments and many observations are carried out with the deliberate object of testing an hypothesis. Another function is to help one see the significance of an object or event that otherwise would mean nothing. For instance, a mind prepared by the hypothesis of evolution would make many more significant observations on a field excursion than one not so prepared. Hypotheses should be used as tools to uncover new facts rather than as ends in themselves.
The Art of Scientific Investigation (1953), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (688)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Significance (70)

I always rejoice to hear of your being still employed in experimental researches into nature, and of the success you meet with. The rapid progress true science now makes, occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon: it is impossible to imagine the height to which may be carried, in a thousand years, the power of man over matter; we may perhaps learn to deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish its labour and double its produce; all diseases may by sure means be prevented or cured (not excepting even that of old age), and our lives lengthened at pleasure even beyond the antediluvian standard. Oh! that moral science were in as fair a way of improvement; that men would cease to be wolves to one another; and that human beings would at length learn what they now improperly call humanity!
Letter to Dr Priestley, 8 Feb 1780. In Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin (1845), Vol. 2, 152.
Science quotes on:  |  Gravity (98)  |  Science (1939)  |  True Science (22)

I am afraid of radium and polonium ... I don't want to monkey with them.
Quoted in 'Edison Fears Hidden Perils of the X-Rays', New York World (3 Aug 1903), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Fear (135)  |  Monkey (39)  |  Polonium (5)  |  Radium (20)

I am an experimenter, or rather I used to be one. Then I stopped working, and since then people think I am a theoretician.
Quoted in Otto Frisch, What Little I Remember (1979), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Stop (68)  |  Theorist (27)  |  Work (589)

I am like a gambler, and love a wild experiment.
From Letter (26 Mar 1863) to Joseph D. Hooker, collected in Francis Darwin, More Letters of Charles Darwin: A Record of his Work in a Series of Hitherto Unpublished Letters (1903), Vol. 1, 474.
Science quotes on:  |  Gambler (7)  |  Love (207)  |  Wild (47)

I am not a scientist.
Denying that his 1984 directive target of 24 shuttle missions per year put pressure on the program that resulted in the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, Reagan said he only approved the schedule as it was provided by the scientists at NASA. From 'Interview With Representatives of the Baltimore Sun' (12 Mar 1986). Collected in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1986 (1988), 332. Earlier, Reagan had also said “I’m not a scientist,” in an 'Exchange With Reporters on the Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger' (28 Jan 1986), ibid. 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Communism (10)  |  Invention (311)  |  Joke (59)  |  Mouse (26)  |  Politician (25)  |  Scientist (499)

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 (272)  |  Brilliant (28)  |  Robert Brown (2)  |  Caution (18)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Claim (64)  |  Conviction (66)  |  Counting (5)  |  Crown (25)  |  Discrete (6)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Gas (48)  |  Granular (2)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Introduction (34)  |  Ion (8)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Long (152)  |  Matter (322)  |  Jean Perrin (2)  |  Possession (43)  |  Proof (235)  |  Recent (26)  |  Research (568)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Speaking (37)  |  Success (234)  |  Text-Book (3)  |  Theory (661)  |  Sir J.J. Thomson (17)  |  Vain (28)  |  Year (276)

I am very sorry, Pyrophilus, that to the many (elsewhere enumerated) difficulties which you may meet with, and must therefore surmount, in the serious and effectual prosecution of experimental philosophy I must add one discouragement more, which will perhaps is much surprise as dishearten you; and it is, that besides that you will find (as we elsewhere mention) many of the experiments published by authors, or related to you by the persons you converse with, false and unsuccessful (besides this, I say), you will meet with several observations and experiments which, though communicated for true by candid authors or undistrusted eye-witnesses, or perhaps recommended by your own experience, may, upon further trial, disappoint your expectation, either not at all succeeding constantly, or at least varying much from what you expected.
Opening paragraph of The First Essay Concerning the Unsuccessfulness of Experiments (1673), collected in The Works of the Honourable Robert Boyle in Six Volumes to Which is Prefixed the Life of the Author (1772), Vol. 1, 318-319.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (133)  |  Disappointment (11)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Disheartening (2)  |  Expectation (53)  |  False (94)  |  Observation (438)  |  Success (234)  |  Surprise (63)  |  Unsuccessful (2)

I argued that it was important not to place too much reliance on any single piece of experimental evidence. It might turn out to be misleading, as the 5.1 Å reflection undoubtedly was. Jim was a little more brash, stating that no good model ever accounted for all the facts, since some data was bound to be misleading if not plain wrong. A theory that did fit all the data would have been “carpentered” to do so and would thus be open to suspicion.
In What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988), 59-60.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (61)  |  Data (115)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Fact (688)  |  Fit (42)  |  Good (311)  |  Important (188)  |  Misleading (14)  |  Model (76)  |  Reflection (58)  |  Reliance (10)  |  Suspicion (27)  |  Theory (661)  |  James Watson (33)  |  Wrong (130)

I built the solenoid and with great expectations late one evening I pressed the switch which sent a current of 40 amperes through the coil. The result was spectacular—a deafening explosion, the apparatus disappeared, all windows were blown in or out, a wall caved in, and thus ended my pioneering experiment on liquid hydrogen cooled coils! [Recalling the result of his experiment, on 31 Mar 1930, to maximize the magnetic field by cooling the coils of an electromagnet in liquid hydrogen to reduce their resistance.]
'Magnets I have Known', Lecture Notes in Physics (1983), 177, 542-548. Quoted from his memoirs in M.J.M. Leask, 'Obituary: Professor Nicholas Kurti', The Independent (27 Nov 1998).
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (231)  |  Explosion (26)  |  Research (568)

I came from Paris in the Spring of 1884, and was brought in intimate contact with him [Thomas Edison]. We experimented day and night, holidays not excepted. His existence was made up of alternate periods of work and sleep in the laboratory. He had no hobby, cared for no sport or amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene. There can be no doubt that, if he had not married later a woman of exceptional intelligence, who made it the one object of her life to preserve him, he would have died many years ago from consequences of sheer neglect. So great and uncontrollable was his passion for work.
As quoted in 'Tesla Says Edison Was an Empiricist', The New York Times (19 Oct 1931), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Amusement (22)  |  Care (91)  |  Death (285)  |  Disregard (8)  |  Thomas Edison (77)  |  Hobby (5)  |  Holiday (4)  |  Hygiene (10)  |  Intelligence (161)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Marriage (33)  |  Neglect (30)  |  Night (112)  |  Passion (67)  |  Preservation (32)  |  Sleep (55)  |  Sport (11)  |  Uncontrollable (4)  |  Woman (103)  |  Work (589)

I cannot but be astonished that Sarsi should persist in trying to prove by means of witnesses something that I may see for myself at any time by means of experiment. Witnesses are examined in doutbful matters which are past and transient, not in those which are actual and present. A judge must seek by means of witnesses to determine whether Peter injured John last night, but not whether John was injured, since the judge can see that for himself.
'The Assayer' (1623), trans. Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (1957), 271.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (438)  |  Truth (881)

I do not think the division of the subject into two parts - into applied mathematics and experimental physics a good one, for natural philosophy without experiment is merely mathematical exercise, while experiment without mathematics will neither sufficiently discipline the mind or sufficiently extend our knowledge in a subject like physics.
to Henry Roscoe, Professor of Chemistry at Owens College (2 Jun 1870), B.C.S Archive Quoted in R.H. Kargon, Science in Victorian Manchester (1977), 215.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied Mathematics (11)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Physics (329)

I do not … reject the use of statistics in medicine, but I condemn not trying to get beyond them and believing in statistics as the foundation of medical science. … Statistics … apply only to cases in which the cause of the facts observed is still [uncertain or] indeterminate. … There will always be some indeterminism … in all the sciences, and more in medicine than in any other. But man’s intellectual conquest consists in lessening and driving back indeterminism in proportion as he gains ground for determinism by the help of the experimental method..
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 138-140.
Science quotes on:  |  Condemnation (14)  |  Conquest (17)  |  Fact (688)  |  Foundation (99)  |  Indeterminate (2)  |  Intellect (185)  |  Lessening (2)  |  Medicine (334)  |  Observation (438)  |  Rejection (25)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Statistics (144)

I experimented with all possible maneuvers—loops, somersaults and barrel rolls. I stood upside down on one finger and burst out laughing, a shrill, distorted laugh. Nothing I did altered the automatic rhythm of the air. Delivered from gravity and buoyancy, I flew around in space.
Describing his early test (1943) in the Mediterranean Sea of the Aqua-Lung he co-invented.
Quoted in 'Sport: Poet of the Depths', Time (28 Mar 1960)
Science quotes on:  |  Air (181)  |  Automatic (15)  |  Buoyancy (6)  |  Distortion (10)  |  Finger (43)  |  Flying (20)  |  Gravity (98)  |  Loop (4)  |  Maneuver (2)  |  Rhythm (18)  |  Shrill (2)  |  Somersault (2)  |  Space (241)  |  Stand (100)  |  Upside Down (5)

I give them experiments and they respond with speeches.
in Patrice Debré, Louis Pasteur, trans. Elborg Forster (1994), 362.
Science quotes on:  |  Response (28)  |  Speech (44)

I happen to be a kind of monkey. I have a monkeylike curiosity that makes me want to feel, smell, and taste things which arouse my curiosity, then to take them apart. It was born in me. Not everybody is like that, but a scientific researchist should be. Any fool can show me an experiment is useless. I want a man who will try it and get something out of it.
Quoted in Guy Suits, ''Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Apart (7)  |  Arousal (2)  |  Birth (91)  |  Curiosity (103)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Fool (82)  |  Monkey (39)  |  Research (568)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Smell (18)  |  Something (9)  |  Take (9)  |  Taste (46)  |  Try (134)  |  Uselessness (22)

I have always attached great importance to the manner in which an experiment is set up and conducted ... the experiment should be set up to open as many windows as possible on the unforeseen.
(1954). In Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1973), Vol. 7, 153.
Science quotes on:  |  Importance (203)  |  Research (568)  |  Unforeseen (4)  |  Window (38)

I have always loved to begin with the facts, to observe them, to walk in the light of experiment and demonstrate as much as possible, and to discuss the results.
Quoted in Francesco Rodolico, 'Arduino', In Charles Coulston Gillispie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1970), Vol. 1, 234.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (688)  |  Observation (438)

I have been arranging certain experiments in reference to the notion that Gravity itself may be practically and directly related by experiment to the other powers of matter and this morning proceeded to make them. It was almost with a feeling of awe that I went to work, for if the hope should prove well founded, how great and mighty and sublime in its hitherto unchangeable character is the force I am trying to deal with, and how large may be the new domain of knowledge that may be opened up to the mind of man.
In ‎Thomas Martin (ed.) Faraday’s Diary: Sept. 6, 1847 - Oct. 17, 1851 (1934), 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Awe (31)  |  Character (107)  |  Domain (36)  |  Force (235)  |  Founded (19)  |  Gravity (98)  |  Great (469)  |  Hope (165)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Large (120)  |  Matter (322)  |  Mighty (13)  |  Mind Of Man (7)  |  New (455)  |  Notion (50)  |  Open (64)  |  Power (337)  |  Prove (101)  |  Relate (15)  |  Sublime (24)  |  Unchangeable (8)  |  Work (589)

I have ever been prone to seek adventure and to investigate and experiment where wiser men would have left well enough alone.
A Princess of Mars (1917)
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (46)  |  Exploration (120)

I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that this delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it. I remember, in the winter of our first experiments, just seven years ago, looking on snow with new eyes. There the snow lay around my doorstep—great heaps of protons quietly precessing in the earth's magnetic field. To see the world for a moment as something rich and strange is the private reward of many a discovery.
Opening remark, Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Delicate (19)  |  Delight (60)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Earth (611)  |  Look (50)  |  Magnetic Field (5)  |  Motion (150)  |  Private (20)  |  Proton (14)  |  Revelation (32)  |  Reward (45)  |  Rich (56)  |  See (354)  |  Snow (23)  |  Strange (83)  |  Winter (28)  |  Wonder (165)  |  World (854)

I have often had cause to feel that my hands are cleverer than my head. That is a crude way of characterizing the dialectics of experimentation. When it is going well, it is like a quiet conversation with Nature. One asks a question and gets an answer, then one asks the next question and gets the next answer. An experiment is a device to make Nature speak intelligibly. After that, one only has to listen.
Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1967). In Nobel Lectures: Physiology Or Medicine: (1999), Vol. 4 (1963-197), 292.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Ask (148)  |  Characterization (7)  |  Cleverness (11)  |  Conversation (23)  |  Device (27)  |  Dialectic (5)  |  Hand (131)  |  Head (72)  |  Intelligible (18)  |  Listening (8)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Question (383)  |  Research (568)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Speaking (37)

I have tried to show why I believe that the biologist is the most romantic figure on earth at the present day. At first sight he seems to be just a poor little scrubby underpaid man, groping blindly amid the mazes of the ultra-microscopic, engaging in bitter and lifelong quarrels over the nephridia of flatworms, waking perhaps one morning to find that someone whose name he has never heard has demolished by a few crucial experiments the work which he had hoped would render him immortal.
Daedalus or Science and the Future (1924), 77.
Science quotes on:  |  Biologist (39)  |  Microscope (72)  |  Research (568)

I imagined in the beginning, that a few experiments would determine the problem; but experience soon convinced me, that a very great number indeed were necessary before such an art could be brought to any tolerable degree of perfection.
Upon pursuing the ''
Preface to An Essay on Combustion with a View to a New Art of Dyeing and Painting (1794), iii. In Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie and Joy Dorothy Harvey, The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science (2000), 478.
Science quotes on:  |  Perseverance (20)

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
In Walden: or, Life in the Woods (1854, 1893), 496.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (150)  |  Confidence (38)  |  Direction (66)  |  Dream (160)  |  Endeavor (39)  |  Hour (64)  |  Imagine (69)  |  Learn (255)  |  Life (1071)  |  Live (254)  |  Success (234)  |  Unexpected (33)

I learned what research was all about as a research student [with] Stoppani ... Max Perutz, and ... Fred Sanger... From them, I always received an unspoken message which in my imagination I translated as “Do good experiments, and don’t worry about the rest.”
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 268.
Science quotes on:  |  Good (311)  |  Imagination (254)  |  Message (35)  |  Max Ferdinand Perutz (14)  |  Receive (54)  |  Research (568)  |  Rest (89)  |  Student (188)  |  Translation (13)  |  Worry (32)

I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them.
Lankester gives this wording as his own recollection in E. Ray Lankester, 'Charles Robert Darwin', collected in C.D. Warner (ed.), Library of the World’s Best Literature Ancient and Modern (1896), Vol. 2, 4391. As a recollection, the quote may not be verbatim, but the sense is correct. Compare Francis Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (1902), 126. “These rather wild trials he called ‘fool’s experiments,’ and enjoyed extremely.”
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (231)

I never allow myself to become discouraged under any circumstances. … After we had conducted thousands of experiments on a certain project without solving the problem, … we had learned something. For we had learned for a certainty that the thing couldn’t be done that way, and that we would have to try some other way. We sometimes learn a lot from our failures if we have put into the effort the best thought and work we are capable of.
As quoted from an interview by B.C. Forbes in The American Magazine (Jan 1921), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Circumstance (62)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Failure (133)  |  Learning (177)  |  Persistence (20)  |  Problem (451)  |  Solution (195)

I ought to say that one of our first joint researches, so far as publication was concerned, had the peculiar effect of freeing me forever from the wiles of college football, and if that is a defect, make the most of it! Dr. Noyes and I conceived an idea on sodium aluminate solutions on the morning of the day of a Princeton-Harvard game (as I recall it) that we had planned to attend. It looked as though a few days' work on freezing-point determinations and electrical conductivities would answer the question. We could not wait, so we gave up the game and stayed in the laboratory. Our experiments were successful. I think that this was the last game I have ever cared about seeing. I mention this as a warning, because this immunity might attack anyone. I find that I still complainingly wonder at the present position of football in American education.
Address upon receiving the Perkin Medal Award, 'The Big Things in Chemistry', The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (Feb 1921), 13, No. 2, 162-163.
Science quotes on:  |  America (87)  |  Answer (237)  |  Attack (37)  |  Care (91)  |  College (33)  |  Complaint (9)  |  Conductivity (3)  |  Defect (16)  |  Education (314)  |  Football (7)  |  Freezing Point (2)  |  Game (61)  |  Immunity (4)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Position (69)  |  Publication (89)  |  Question (383)  |  Research (568)  |  Success (234)  |  Wait (55)  |  Warning (10)

I picture the vast realm of the sciences as an immense landscape scattered with patches of dark and light. The goal towards which we must work is either to extend the boundaries of the patches of light, or to increase their number. One of these tasks falls to the creative genius; the other requires a sort of sagacity combined with perfectionism.
Thoughts on the Interpretation of Nature and Other Philosophical Works (1753/4), ed. D. Adams (1999), Section XIV, 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (438)

I remember discussions with Bohr which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair; and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighboring park I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be as absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?
In Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science (1958, 1962), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (28)  |  Atom (272)  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Despair (26)  |  Discussion (42)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Park (5)  |  Possibly (17)  |  Question (383)  |  Seem (135)  |  Walk (65)

I suppose that I tend to be optimistic about the future of physics. And nothing makes me more optimistic than the discovery of broken symmetries. In the seventh book of the Republic, Plato describes prisoners who are chained in a cave and can see only shadows that things outside cast on the cave wall. When released from the cave at first their eyes hurt, and for a while they think that the shadows they saw in the cave are more real than the objects they now see. But eventually their vision clears, and they can understand how beautiful the real world is. We are in such a cave, imprisoned by the limitations on the sorts of experiments we can do. In particular, we can study matter only at relatively low temperatures, where symmetries are likely to be spontaneously broken, so that nature does not appear very simple or unified. We have not been able to get out of this cave, but by looking long and hard at the shadows on the cave wall, we can at least make out the shapes of symmetries, which though broken, are exact principles governing all phenomena, expressions of the beauty of the world outside.
In Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1989), 'Conceptual Foundations of the Unified Theory of Weak and Electromagnetic Interactions.' Nobel Lectures: Physics 1971-1980 (1992), 556.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (230)  |  Cave (14)  |  Expression (96)  |  Eye (212)  |  Limitation (25)  |  Outside (44)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Plato (67)  |  Principle (268)  |  Prisoner (7)  |  Reality (183)  |  Shadow (51)  |  Shape (66)  |  Symmetry (33)  |  Understanding (325)  |  Vision (90)  |  Wall (26)  |  World (854)

I thank you for your Expt on the Hedge Hog; but why do you ask me such a question, by way of solving it. I think your solution is just; but why think, why not try the Expt.
[Often seen, without context, briefly as: But why think, why not try the experiment?']
Letter to Edward Jenner (2 Aug 1775). In A. J. Harding Rains (ed.), Letters From the Past: From John Hunter to Edward Jenner (1976), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Hedgehog (3)  |  Question (383)  |  Solution (195)  |  Thought (484)

I then shouted into M [the mouthpiece] the following sentence: “Mr. Watson—Come here—I want to see you.” To my delight he came and declared that he had heard and understood what I said. I asked him to repeat the words. He answered “You said—‘Mr. Watson—-come here—I want to see you.’” We then changed places and I listened at S [the reed receiver] while Mr. Watson read a few passages from a book into the mouth piece M. It was certainly the case that articulate sounds proceeded from S. The effect was loud but indistinct and muffled. If I had read beforehand the passage given by Mr. Watson I should have recognized every word. As it was I could not make out the sense—but an occasional word here and there was quite distinct. I made out “to” and “out” and “further”; and finally the sentence “Mr. Bell do you understand what I say? Do—you—un—der—stand—what—I—say” came quite clearly and intelligibly. No sound was audible when the armature S was removed.
Notebook, 'Experiments made by A. Graham Bell, vol. I'. Entry for 10 March 1876. Quoted in Robert V. Bruce, Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude (1973), 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Notebook (4)  |  Telephone (23)

I think all this superstring stuff is crazy and is in the wrong direction. I don’t like that they’re not calculating anything. I don’t like that they don’t check their ideas. I don’t like that for anything that disagrees with an experiment, they cook up an explanation… It doesn’t look right.
Interview published in Paul C.W. Davies and Julian R. Brown (eds.),Superstrings: A Theory of Everything? (1988, 1992), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculate (25)  |  Check (23)  |  Cook (14)  |  Crazy (16)  |  Disagree (11)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Idea (545)  |  Right (180)  |  Superstring (4)  |  Wrong (130)

I think it perfectly just, that he who, from the love of experiment, quits an approved for an uncertain practice, should suffer the full penalty of Egyptian law against medical innovation; as I would consign to the pillory, the wretch, who out of regard to his character, that is, to his fees, should follow the routine, when, from constant experience he is sure that his patient will die under it, provided any, not inhuman, deviation would give his patient a chance.
From his researches in Fever, 196. In John Edmonds Stock, Memoirs of the life of Thomas Beddoes (1810), 400.
Science quotes on:  |  Death (285)  |  Deviation (11)  |  Egypt (20)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fee (9)  |  Innovation (40)  |  Justice (26)  |  Law (485)  |  Medicine (334)  |  Patient (123)  |  Physician (238)  |  Routine (19)  |  Treatment (95)  |  Wretch (4)

I think it would be a very rash presumption to think that nowhere else in the cosmos has nature repeated the strange experiment which she has performed on earth—that the whole purpose of creation has been staked on this one planet alone. It is probable that dotted through the cosmos there are other suns which provide the energy for life to attendant planets. It is apparent, however, that planets with just the right conditions of temperature, oxygen, water and atmosphere necessary for life are found rarely.
But uncommon as a habitable planet may be, non-terrestrial life exists, has existed and will continue to exist. In the absence of information, we can only surmise that the chance that it surpasses our own is as good as that it falls below our level.
As quoted by H. Gordon Garbedian in 'Ten Great Riddles That Call For Solution by Scientists', New York Times (5 Oct 1930), XX4. Garbedian gave no citation to a source for Shapley’s words. However, part of this quote is very similar to that of Sir Arthur Eddington: “It would indeed be rash to assume that nowhere else has Nature repeated the strange experiment which she has performed on the earth,” from 'Man’s Place in the Universe', Harper’s Magazine (Oct 1928), 157 573.
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (18)  |  Atmosphere (73)  |  Chance (152)  |  Condition (144)  |  Cosmos (48)  |  Creation (236)  |  Earth (611)  |  Energy (209)  |  Existence (289)  |  Extraterrestrial Life (20)  |  Habitable (3)  |  Information (115)  |  Life (1071)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Necessity (138)  |  Nowhere (27)  |  Oxygen (51)  |  Performing (3)  |  Planet (254)  |  Presumption (13)  |  Purpose (175)  |  Rare (40)  |  Rash (5)  |  Repeat (35)  |  Stake (19)  |  Strange (83)  |  Sun (266)  |  Surmise (2)  |  Surpass (17)  |  Temperature (46)  |  Uncommon (7)  |  Water (278)

I think we are living in a new time. I think that the ways of working when there was not the current widespread questioning of what science does are no longer applicable. Besides, there is a difference between the sort of research you do when you’re developing something for the first time and the sort of thing you have to do to make sure it continues to work—and the two different sorts of research are done best by different sorts of people. And, just as with basic science, one needs confirmatory experiments. One can’t just have one group saying “yes they’re safe, yes they’re safe, take our word for it, we made them and we know they’re safe”. Someone else, quite independent, needs to take a look, do the confirmatory experiment. Duplication in this case can do nothing but good.
From interview with Graham Chedd, 'The Lady Gets Her Way', New Scientist (5 Jul 1973), 59, No. 853, 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Confirmation (18)  |  Develop (92)  |  Different (155)  |  Good (311)  |  Independent (59)  |  Question (383)  |  Research (568)  |  Safe (26)

I took this view of the subject. The medulla spinalis has a central division, and also a distinction into anterior and posterior fasciculi, corresponding with the anterior and posterior portions of the brain. Further we can trace down the crura of the cerebrum into the anterior fasciculus of the spinal marrow, and the crura of the cerebellum into the posterior fasciculus. I thought that here I might have an opportunity of touching the cerebellum, as it were, through the posterior portion of the spinal marrow, and the cerebrum by the anterior portion. To this end I made experiments which, though they were not conclusive, encouraged me in the view I had taken. I found that injury done to the anterior portion of the spinal marrow, convulsed the animal more certainly than injury done to the posterior portion; but I found it difficult to make the experiment without injuring both portions.
Idea of a New Anatomy of the Brain (1811), 21-22.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (206)  |  Nerve (68)

I was pretty good in science. But again, because of the small budget, in science class we couldn’t do experiments in order to prove theories. We just believed everything. Actually I think that class was call Religion. Religion was always an easy class. All you had to do was suspend the logic and reasoning you were taught in all the other classes.
In autobiography, Brain Droppings (1998), 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (489)  |  Biography (231)  |  Budget (2)  |  Class (76)  |  Easiness (3)  |  Everything (159)  |  Good (311)  |  Logic (229)  |  Proof (235)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  School (107)  |  Science (1939)  |  Science And Religion (289)  |  Suspension (5)  |  Teaching (106)  |  Theory (661)

I was working with a Crookes tube covered by a shield of black cardboard. A piece of barium platino-cyanide paper lay on the bench there. I had been passing a current through the tube, and I noticed a peculiar black line across the paper. …
The effect was one which could only be produced in ordinary parlance by the passage of light. No light could come from the tube because the shield which covered it was impervious to any light known even that of the electric arc. …
I did not think; I investigated. …
I assumed that the effect must have come from the tube since its character indicated that it could come from nowhere else. … It seemed at first a new kind of invisible light. It was clearly something new something unrecorded. …
There is much to do, and I am busy, very busy. [Describing to a journalist the discovery of X-rays that he had made on 8 Nov 1895.]
In H.J.W. Dam in 'The New Marvel in Photography", McClure's Magazine (Apr 1896), 4:5, 413.
Science quotes on:  |  Arc (8)  |  Busy (27)  |  Current (50)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Impervious (5)  |  Investigate (61)  |  Light (331)  |  Photograph (19)  |  Ray (40)  |  Shield (4)  |  Test (115)  |  Thinking (227)  |  X-ray (18)

I wish that one would be persuaded that psychological experiments, especially those on the complex functions, are not improved [by large studies]; the statistical method gives only mediocre results; some recent examples demonstrate that. The American authors, who love to do things big, often publish experiments that have been conducted on hundreds and thousands of people; they instinctively obey the prejudice that the persuasiveness of a work is proportional to the number of observations. This is only an illusion.
L' Études expérimentale de l'intelligence (1903), 299.

I would picture myself as a virus, or as a cancer cell, for example, and try to sense what it would be like to be either. I would also imagine myself as the immune system, and I would try to reconstruct what I would do as an immune system engaged in combating a virus or cancer cell. When I had played through a series of such scenarios on a particular problem and had acquired new insights, I would design laboratory experiments accordingly… Based upon the results of the experiment, I would then know what question to ask next… When I observed phenomena in the laboratory that I did not understand, I would also ask questions as if interrogating myself: “Why would I do that if I were a virus or a cancer cell, or the immune system?” Before long, this internal dialogue became second nature to me; I found that my mind worked this way all the time.
In Anatomy of Reality: Merging of Intuition and Reason (1983), 7, footnote b, as quoted and cited in Roger Frantz, Two Minds: Intuition and Analysis in the History of Economic Thought (2006), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Cancer (47)  |  Cell (133)  |  Combat (13)  |  Dialogue (8)  |  Imagine (69)  |  Immune System (2)  |  Insight (65)  |  Interrogate (3)  |  Intuition (52)  |  New (455)  |  Observe (71)  |  Question (383)  |  Result (328)  |  Scenario (3)  |  Second Nature (3)  |  Understand (300)  |  Virus (23)

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.
Old saying.
Science quotes on:  |  Again (3)  |  First (285)  |  Research (568)  |  Success (234)  |  Try (134)

If diphtheria is a disease caused by a microorganism, it is essential that three postulates be fulfilled. The fulfilment of these postulates is necessary in order to demonstrate strictly the parasitic nature of a disease:
1) The organism must be shown to be constantly present in characteristic form and arrangement in the diseased tissue.
2) The organism which, from its behaviour appears to be responsible for the disease, must be isolated and grown in pure culture.
3) The pure culture must be shown to induce the disease experimentally.
An early statement of Koch's postulates.
Mittheilungen aus den Kaiserliche Gesundheitsamt (1884) Vol. 2. Trans. T. D. Brock, Robert Koch: A Life in Medicine and Bacteriology (1988), 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Behaviour (27)  |  Culture (96)  |  Diphtheria (2)  |  Disease (269)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Microorganism (22)  |  Parasite (30)  |  Postulate (30)  |  Tissue (27)

If experiments are performed thousands of times at all seasons and in every place without once producing the effects mentioned by your philosophers, poets, and historians, this will mean nothing and we must believe their words rather our own eyes? But what if I find for you a state of the air that has all the conditions you say are required, and still the egg is not cooked nor the lead ball destroyed? Alas! I should be wasting my efforts... for all too prudently you have secured your position by saying that 'there is needed for this effect violent motion, a great quantity of exhalations, a highly attenuated material and whatever else conduces to it.' This 'whatever else' is what beats me, and gives you a blessed harbor, a sanctuary completely secure.
'The Assayer' (1623), trans. Stillman Drake, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (1957), 273.
Science quotes on:  |  Philosophy (241)

If one in twenty does not seem high enough odds, we may, if we prefer it, draw the line at one in fifty (the 2 per cent. point), or one in a hundred (the 1 per cent. point). Personally, the writer prefers to set a low standard of significance at the 5 per cent. point, and ignore entirely all results which fail to reach this level. A scientific fact should be regarded as experimentally established only if a properly designed experiment rarely fails to give this level of significance.
'The Arrangement of Field Experiments', The Journal of the Ministry of Agriculture, 1926, 33, 504.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (688)  |  Research (568)  |  Statistics (144)

If physics leads us today to a world view which is essentially mystical, it returns, in a way, to its beginning, 2,500 years ago. ... This time, however, it is not only based on intuition, but also on experiments of great precision and sophistication, and on a rigorous and consistent mathematical formalism.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (120)  |  Formalism (6)  |  Intuition (52)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Mysticism (9)  |  Physics (329)  |  Precision (46)  |  Rigor (19)  |  Sophistication (9)  |  View (157)  |  World (854)

If science is to progress, what we need is the ability to experiment, honesty in reporting results—the results must be reported without somebody saying what they would like the results to have been—and finally—an important thing—the intelligence to interpret the results.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965, 2001), 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (99)  |  Honesty (19)  |  Importance (203)  |  Intelligence (161)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Progress (348)  |  Reporting (2)  |  Result (328)  |  Science (1939)

If the aim of physical theories is to explain experimental laws, theoretical physics is not an autonomous science; it is subordinate to metaphysics.
The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory (1906), 2nd edition (1914), trans. Philip P. Wiener (1954), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Law (485)  |  Physics (329)  |  Theory (661)

If the experiment works, you must be using the wrong experiment. An experiment has a tendency to fail
In Dr. N Sreedharan, Quotations of Wit and Wisdom (2007), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Failure (133)

If the matter is one that can be settled by observation, make the observation yourself. Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.
In An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1943), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (155)  |  Avoid (48)  |  Count (45)  |  Error (263)  |  Mistake (123)  |  Observation (438)  |  Proof (235)  |  Tooth (23)

If the omniscient author of nature knew that the study of his works tends to make men disbelieve his Being or Attributes, he would not have given them so many invitations to study and contemplate Nature.
'Some considerations touching the usefulness of experimental philosophy' (1663). Quoted In Peter Gay, The Enlightenment (1977), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  God (509)  |  Observation (438)  |  Study (434)

If we can possibly avoid wrecking this little planet of ours, we will, But—there must be risks! There must be. In experimental work there always are!
The First Men in the Moon (1901), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Risk (34)

If we take in our hand any Volume; of Divinity or School Metaphysics, for Instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract Reasoning concerning Quantity or Number? No. Does it contain any experimental Reasoning concerning Matter of Fact and Existence? No. Commit it then to the Flames: For it can contain nothing but Sophistry and Illusion.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), 256.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (70)  |  Existence (289)  |  Fact (688)  |  Flame (26)  |  Illusion (41)  |  Number (252)  |  Quantity (54)  |  Reason (424)  |  Sophistry (3)  |  Volume (19)

If we turn our backs on things as yet untried within our own small realm of reference, we’re guilty of a sin against ourselves: An unwillingness to experiment.
In 'Reactions to Man’s Landing on the Moon Show Broad Variations in Opinions', The New York Times (21 Jul 1969), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Back (94)  |  Guilty (8)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  Realm (52)  |  Reference (28)  |  Sin (29)  |  Small (149)  |  Turn (116)  |  Untried (2)  |  Unwilling (8)

If your result needs a statistician then you should design a better experiment.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (178)  |  Design (108)  |  Need (261)  |  Result (328)  |  Statistician (19)

In all cases when a particular agent or cause is to be studied, experiments should be arranged in such a way as to lead if possible to results depending on it alone ; or, if this cannot be done, they should be arranged so as to increase the effects due to the cause to be studied till these so far exceed the unavoidable concomitants, that the latter may be considered as only disturbing, not essentially modifying the effects of the principal agent.
In William Thomson and Peter Guthrie Tait, Treatise on Natural Philosophy (1867), Vol. 1, 305.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (88)  |  Arrange (19)  |  Cause (269)  |  Depend (75)  |  Disturb (9)  |  Effect (157)  |  Increase (133)  |  Lead (150)  |  Modify (14)  |  Principal (28)  |  Result (328)  |  Study (434)

In both social and natural sciences, the body of positive knowledge grows by the failure of a tentative hypothesis to predict phenomena the hypothesis professes to explain; by the patching up of that hypothesis until someone suggests a new hypothesis that more elegantly or simply embodies the troublesome phenomena, and so on ad infinitum. In both, experiment is sometimes possible, sometimes not (witness meteorology). In both, no experiment is ever completely controlled, and experience often offers evidence that is the equivalent of controlled experiment. In both, there is no way to have a self-contained closed system or to avoid interaction between the observer and the observed. The Gödel theorem in mathematics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in physics, the self-fulfilling or self-defeating prophecy in the social sciences all exemplify these limitations.
Inflation and Unemployment (1976), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Kurt Gödel (8)  |  Werner Heisenberg (42)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Meteorology (30)  |  Scientific Method (163)

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 (5)  |  Attraction (34)  |  Beauty (230)  |  Capillary (4)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Condensation (8)  |  Crystal (52)  |  Desire (132)  |  Devotion (25)  |  Glass (40)  |  Illumination (12)  |  Influence (128)  |  Light (331)  |  Mechanics (52)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Reading (52)  |  Study (434)

In every combustion there is disengagement of the matter of fire or of light. A body can burn only in pure air [oxygen]. There is no destruction or decomposition of pure air and the increase in weight of the body burnt is exactly equal to the weight of air destroyed or decomposed. The body burnt changes into an acid by addition of the substance that increases its weight. Pure air is a compound of the matter of fire or of light with a base. In combustion the burning body removes the base, which it attracts more strongly than does the matter of heat, which appears as flame, heat and light.
'Memoire sur la combustion en général', Mémoires de l'Académie des Sciences, 1777, 592. Reprinted in Oeuvres de Lavoisier (1864), Vol. 2, 225-33, trans. M. P. Crosland.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (18)  |  Burn (39)  |  Combustion (10)  |  Compound (56)  |  Decomposition (12)  |  Fire (130)  |  Light (331)  |  Matter (322)  |  Oxygen (51)  |  Reaction (61)  |  Stoichiometry (2)  |  Weight (72)

In experimental philosophy, propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions.
The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687),3rd edition (1726), trans. I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman (1999), Book 3, Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy, Rule 4, 796.
Science quotes on:  |  Exception (38)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Induction (55)  |  Liable (4)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Philosophy (241)  |  Proposition (73)

In experimenting on the arc, my aim was not so much to add to the large number of isolated facts that had already been discovered, as to form some idea of the bearing of these upon one another, and thus to arrive at a clear conception of what takes place in each part of the arc and carbons at every moment. The attempt to correlate all the known phenomena, and to bind them together into one consistent whole, led to the deduction of new facts, which, when duly tested by experiment, became parts of the growing body, and, themselves, opened up fresh questions, to be answered in their turn by experiment.
In The Electric Arc (1902), Preface, iii. Ayrton described the growth of her published work on the electric arc, from a series of articles in The Electrician in 1895-6, to the full book, which “has attained to its present proportions almost with the growth of an organic body.”
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Arc (8)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Conception (77)  |  Correlation (10)  |  Deduction (66)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Fact (688)  |  Question (383)  |  Test (115)

In France, where an attempt has been made to deprive me of the originality of these discoveries, experiments without number and without mercy have been made on living animals; not under the direction of anatomical knowledge, or the guidance of just induction, but conducted with cruelty and indifference, in hope to catch at some of the accidental facts of a system, which, is evident, the experimenters did not fully comprehend.
An Exposition of the Natural System of the Nerves of the Human Body (1824), 2-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Vivisection (7)

In general the actions which we see ever taking place around us are complex, or due to the simultaneous action of many causes. When, as in astronomy, we endeavour to ascertain these causes by simply watching their effects, we observe; when, as in our laboratories, we interfere arbitrarily with the causes or circumstances of a phenomenon, we are said to experiment.
In William Thomson and Peter Guthrie Tait, Treatise on Natural Philosophy (1867), Vol. 1, 305.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (178)  |  Arbitrary (20)  |  Ascertain (12)  |  Astronomy (193)  |  Cause (269)  |  Circumstance (62)  |  Complex (91)  |  Effect (157)  |  Endeavor (39)  |  Interfere (11)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Observe (71)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Simultaneous (17)  |  Watch (60)

In going on with these Experiments, how many pretty systems do we build, which we soon find ourselves oblig’d to destroy! If there is no other Use discover’d of Electricity, this, however, is something considerable, that it may help to make a vain Man humble.
Letter to Peter Collinson, 14 Aug 1747. In I. Bernard Cohen (ed.), Benjamin Franklin’s Experiments (1941), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Electricity (132)

In my experience most mathematicians are intellectually lazy and especially dislike reading experimental papers. He (René Thom) seemed to have very strong biological intuitions but unfortunately of negative sign.
In What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Biological (35)  |  Dislike (13)  |  Especially (28)  |  Experience (322)  |  Intellect (185)  |  Intuition (52)  |  Lazy (8)  |  Mathematician (335)  |  Negative (33)  |  Paper (74)  |  Read (130)  |  Strong (69)  |  René Frédéric Thom (2)  |  Unfortunate (12)

In no subject is there a rule, compliance with which will lead to new knowledge or better understanding. Skilful observations, ingenious ideas, cunning tricks, daring suggestions, laborious calculations, all these may be required to advance a subject. Occasionally the conventional approach in a subject has to be studiously followed; on other occasions it has to be ruthlessly disregarded. Which of these methods, or in what order they should be employed is generally unpredictable. Analogies drawn from the history of science are frequently claimed to be a guide; but, as with forecasting the next game of roulette, the existence of the best analogy to the present is no guide whatever to the future. The most valuable lesson to be learnt from the history of scientific progress is how misleading and strangling such analogies have been, and how success has come to those who ignored them.
'Cosmology', in Arthur Beer (ed.), Vistas in Astronomy (1956), Vol. 2, 1722.
Science quotes on:  |  History Of Science (57)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Progress (348)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Scientific Progress (12)  |  Understanding (325)

In one department of his [Joseph Black's] lecture he exceeded any I have ever known, the neatness and unvarying success with which all the manipulations of his experiments were performed. His correct eye and steady hand contributed to the one; his admirable precautions, foreseeing and providing for every emergency, secured the other. I have seen him pour boiling water or boiling acid from a vessel that had no spout into a tube, holding it at such a distance as made the stream's diameter small, and so vertical that not a drop was spilt. While he poured he would mention this adaptation of the height to the diameter as a necessary condition of success. I have seen him mix two substances in a receiver into which a gas, as chlorine, had been introduced, the effect of the combustion being perhaps to produce a compound inflammable in its nascent state, and the mixture being effected by drawing some string or wire working through the receiver's sides in an air-tight socket. The long table on which the different processes had been carried on was as clean at the end of the lecture as it had been before the apparatus was planted upon it. Not a drop of liquid, not a grain of dust remained.
Lives of Men of Letters and Science, who flourished in the time of George III (1845), 346-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Joseph Black (14)  |  Introduce (35)  |  Lecture (61)

In order that the facts obtained by observation and experiment may be capable of being used in furtherance of our exact and solid knowledge, they must be apprehended and analysed according to some Conceptions which, applied for this purpose, give distinct and definite results, such as can be steadily taken hold of and reasoned from.
Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840), Vol. 2, 205.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (148)  |  Capability (37)  |  Conception (77)  |  Definite (36)  |  Distinct (42)  |  Exact (57)  |  Fact (688)  |  Furtherance (2)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Observation (438)  |  Purpose (175)  |  Reason (424)  |  Result (328)

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 (62)  |  Bounds (7)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Confine (20)  |  Demonstration (78)  |  Furnish (33)  |  Human Body (33)  |  Mechanical (41)  |  Natural Philosophy (25)  |  Observation (438)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Physical (119)  |  Physician (238)  |  Principle (268)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Sense (300)  |  Simple (155)  |  Truth (881)

In point of fact, no conclusive disproof of a theory can ever be produced; for it is always possible to say that the experimental results are not reliable or that the discrepancies which are asserted to exist between the experimental results and the theory are only apparent and that they will disappear with the advance of our understanding. If you insist on strict proof (or strict disproof) in the empirical sciences, you will never benefit from experience, and never learn from it how wrong you are.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery: Logik Der Forschung (2002), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Proof (235)  |  Result (328)  |  Theory (661)

In reality, all Arguments from Experience are founded on the Similarity which we discover among natural Objects, and by which we are induc'd to expect effects similar to those which we have found to follow from such Objects. And tho' none but a Fool or Madman will ever pretend to dispute the Authority of Experience, or to reject that great Guide of human Life, it may surely be allow'd a Philosopher to have so much Curiosity at least as to examine the Principle of human Nature, which gives this mighty Authority to Experience, and makes us draw Advantage from that Similarity which Nature has plac'd among different Objects. From Causes which appear similar we expect similar Effects. This is the Sum of our experimental Conclusions.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Effect (157)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fool (82)  |  Human Nature (58)  |  Philosopher (157)  |  Similarity (19)

In recent weeks we learned that scientists have created human embryos in test tubes solely to experiment on them. This is deeply troubling, and a warning sign that should prompt all of us to think through these issues very carefully.
'Address to the Nation on Stem Cell Research', (9 Aug 2001) in Public Papers Of The Presidents Of The United States, George W. Bush, 2001 (2004), Book 2, 955.
Science quotes on:  |  Carefully (11)  |  Create (135)  |  Deeply (17)  |  Embryo (22)  |  Human (526)  |  Issue (40)  |  Prompt (5)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Sign (50)  |  Test Tube (8)  |  Think (313)  |  Warning (10)

In scientific matters there was a common language and one standard of values; in moral and political problems there were many. … Furthermore, in science there is a court of last resort, experiment, which is unavailable in human affairs.
In Enrico Fermi: Physicist (1970), 149. Segrè refers to the issues regarding the consequences of mastering the release of atomic energy.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (107)  |  Common (108)  |  Court (20)  |  Human Affairs (5)  |  Language (200)  |  Matter (322)  |  Moral (115)  |  Politics (93)  |  Problem (451)  |  Resort (8)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Standard (53)  |  Value (223)

In that same year [1932], the number of [known] particles was suddenly doubled. In two beautiful experiments, Chadwick showed that the neutron existed, and Anderson photographed the first unmistakable positron track.
In Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1968), 'Recent Developments in Particle Physics', collected in Nobel Lectures: Physics 1963-1970 (1972), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (133)  |  Sir James Chadwick (3)  |  Definitive (2)  |  Exist (134)  |  Known (16)  |  Neutron (10)  |  Particle (97)  |  Photograph (19)  |  Positron (3)  |  Sudden (29)  |  Track (13)

In the 1920s, there was a dinner at which the physicist Robert W. Wood was asked to respond to a toast … “To physics and metaphysics.” Now by metaphysics was meant something like philosophy—truths that you could get to just by thinking about them. Wood took a second, glanced about him, and answered along these lines: The physicist has an idea, he said. The more he thinks it through, the more sense it makes to him. He goes to the scientific literature, and the more he reads, the more promising the idea seems. Thus prepared, he devises an experiment to test the idea. The experiment is painstaking. Many possibilities are eliminated or taken into account; the accuracy of the measurement is refined. At the end of all this work, the experiment is completed and … the idea is shown to be worthless. The physicist then discards the idea, frees his mind (as I was saying a moment ago) from the clutter of error, and moves on to something else. The difference between physics and metaphysics, Wood concluded, is that the metaphysicist has no laboratory.
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (61)  |  Accuracy (59)  |  Answer (237)  |  Clutter (4)  |  Completion (17)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Devising (7)  |  Difference (237)  |  Dinner (13)  |  Discarding (2)  |  Elimination (18)  |  End (186)  |  Error (263)  |  Freeing (2)  |  Glance (18)  |  Idea (545)  |  Literature (73)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Metaphysics (33)  |  Mind (691)  |  Philosophy (241)  |  Physicist (151)  |  Physics (329)  |  Possibility (110)  |  Preparation (40)  |  Promise (34)  |  Reading (52)  |  Refinement (13)  |  Response (28)  |  Seeming (9)  |  Sense (300)  |  Test (115)  |  Thinking (227)  |  Toast (7)  |  Truth (881)  |  Robert W. Wood (2)  |  Work (589)  |  Worthless (18)

In the discovery of hidden things and the investigation of hidden causes, stronger reasons are obtained from sure experiments and demonstrated arguments than from probable conjectures and the opinions of philosophical speculators of the common sort...
De Magnete (1600). In William Gilbert and P. Fleury Mottelay (trans.), William Gilbert of Colchester, physician of London: On the load stone and magnetic bodies (1893), xlvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (269)  |  Common (108)  |  Conjecture (29)  |  Demonstrate (47)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Hidden (40)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Obtain (37)  |  Opinion (168)  |  Philosopher (157)  |  Probable (17)  |  Reason (424)

In the dog two conditions were found to produce pathological disturbances by functional interference, namely, an unusually acute clashing of the excitatory and inhibitory processes, and the influence of strong and extraordinary stimuli. In man precisely similar conditions constitute the usual causes of nervous and psychic disturbances. Different conditions productive of extreme excitation, such as intense grief or bitter insults, often lead, when the natural reactions are inhibited by the necessary restraint, to profound and prolonged loss of balance in nervous and psychic activity.
Ivan Pavlov and G. V. Anrep (ed., trans.), Conditioned Reflexes—An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex (1927), 397.
Science quotes on:  |  Acuteness (3)  |  Balance (52)  |  Bitterness (3)  |  Cause (269)  |  Clash (8)  |  Condition (144)  |  Constitution (30)  |  Difference (237)  |  Disturbance (20)  |  Dog (44)  |  Excitation (7)  |  Extreme (48)  |  Function (120)  |  Grief (9)  |  Inhibition (10)  |  Insult (8)  |  Intensity (19)  |  Interference (12)  |  Loss (71)  |  Man (366)  |  Necessity (138)  |  Nervousness (2)  |  Pathology (14)  |  Production (112)  |  Profoundness (2)  |  Prolong (8)  |  Psychology (133)  |  Reaction (61)  |  Restraint (10)  |  Similarity (19)  |  Stimulus (19)  |  Unusual (16)

In the experimental sciences, the epochs of the most brilliant progress are almost always separated by long intervals of almost absolute repose.
In François Arago, trans. by William Henry Smyth, Baden Powell and Robert Grant, 'Fourier', Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men (1859), Vol. 1, 411.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (86)  |  Brilliant (28)  |  Epoch (20)  |  Interval (11)  |  Long (152)  |  Progress (348)  |  Repose (6)  |  Science (1939)  |  Separation (34)

In the good old days physicists repeated each other’s experiments, just to be sure. Today they stick to FORTRAN, so that they can share each other’s programs, bugs included.
Science quotes on:  |  Bug (10)  |  Fortran (3)  |  Good (311)  |  Include (35)  |  Old (137)  |  Physicist (151)  |  Program (48)  |  Repeat (35)  |  Share (45)  |  Stick (24)  |  Today (112)

In the matter of physics, the first lessons should contain nothing but what is experimental and interesting to see. A pretty experiment is in itself often more valuable than twenty formulae extracted from our minds.
Science quotes on:  |  Contain (60)  |  Experimental (18)  |  Extract (16)  |  First (285)  |  Formula (70)  |  Interest (221)  |  Lesson (38)  |  Matter (322)  |  Mind (691)  |  Nothing (363)  |  Often (99)  |  Physics (329)  |  Pretty (20)  |  See (354)  |  Value (223)

In the medical field [scientific ignorance] could lead to horrendous results. People who don’t understand the difference between a controlled experiment and claims by some quack may die as a result of not taking medical science seriously. One of the most damaging examples of pseudoscience is false memory syndrome. I’m on the board of a foundation exposing this problem.
As quoted by Lawrence Toppman, 'Mastermind', The Charlotte Observer (20 Jun 1993), 6E. As quoted and cited in Dana Richards, 'Martin Gardner: A “Documentary”', collected in Elwyn R. Berlekamp and Tom Rodgers (ed.) The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler: A Collection in Tribute to Martin Gardner (1999), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Board (10)  |  Claim (64)  |  Control (106)  |  Damage (28)  |  Die (69)  |  Difference (237)  |  Example (87)  |  Expose (15)  |  False (94)  |  Foundation (99)  |  Horrendous (2)  |  Ignorance (209)  |  Medical Science (5)  |  Memory (96)  |  Problem (451)  |  Pseudoscience (16)  |  Quack (13)  |  Result (328)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Seriously (19)  |  Understand (300)

In the philosophic sense, observation shows and experiment teaches.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (438)

In the twenties the late Dr. Glenn Frank, an eminent social scientist, developed a new statement of the scientific code, which has been referred to as the “Five Fingers of the Scientific Method.” It may be outlined as follows: find the facts; filter the facts; focus the facts; face the facts; follow the facts. The facts or truths are found by experimentation; the motivation is material. The facts are filtered by research into the literature; the motivation is material. The facts are focused by the publication of results; again the motivation is material. Thus the first three-fifths of the scientific method have a material motivation. It is about time scientists acknowledge that there is more to the scientific convention than the material aspect. Returning to the fourth and fifth fingers of Dr. Frank's conception of the scientific method, the facts should be faced by the proper interpretation of them for society. In other words, a scientist must assume social responsibility for his discoveries, which means that he must have a moral motivation. Finally, in the fifth definition of the scientific method, the facts are to be followed by their proper application to everyday life in society, which means moral motivation through responsibility to society.
From 'Scientists and Society', American Scientist (Jul 1954), 42, No. 3, 495.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledgment (11)  |  Application (148)  |  Definition (177)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Everyday Life (5)  |  Face (105)  |  Fact (688)  |  Filter (8)  |  Find (373)  |  Focus (27)  |  Follow (110)  |  Glenn Frank (3)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Literature (73)  |  Material (143)  |  Moral (115)  |  Motivation (26)  |  Publication (89)  |  Research (568)  |  Responsibility (52)  |  Result (328)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Social Scientist (3)  |  Society (215)  |  Truth (881)

In these researches I followed the principles of the experimental method that we have established, i.e., that, in presence of a well-noted, new fact which contradicts a theory, instead of keeping the theory and abandoning the fact, I should keep and study the fact, and I hastened to give up the theory.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 164.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (46)  |  Contradiction (50)  |  Establishment (33)  |  Fact (688)  |  Following (16)  |  Give Up (6)  |  Keeping (9)  |  New (455)  |  Presence (31)  |  Principle (268)  |  Research (568)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Study (434)  |  Theory (661)

Indeed, the most important part of engineering work—and also of other scientific work—is the determination of the method of attacking the problem, whatever it may be, whether an experimental investigation, or a theoretical calculation. … It is by the choice of a suitable method of attack, that intricate problems are reduced to simple phenomena, and then easily solved.
In Engineering Mathematics: A Series of Lectures Delivered at Union College (1911, 1917), Vol. 2, 275.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (37)  |  Calculation (90)  |  Choice (75)  |  Determination (55)  |  Ease (33)  |  Engineering (121)  |  Intricacy (6)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Method (200)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Problem (451)  |  Reduction (40)  |  Science (1939)  |  Simplicity (141)  |  Suitability (11)  |  Theory (661)  |  Work (589)

Indeed, this epistemological theory of the relation between theory and experiment differs sharply from the epistemological theory of naive falsificationism.
In Radio Lecture (30 Jun 1973) broadcast by the Open University, collected in Imre Lakatos, John Worrall (ed.) and Gregory Currie (ed.), 'Introduction: Science and Pseudoscience', The Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes (1978, 1980), Vol. 1, 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Differ (20)  |  Epistemological (2)  |  Falsification (9)  |  Naive (10)  |  Relation (127)  |  Sharply (4)  |  Theory (661)

Indeed, while Nature is wonderfully inventive of new structures, her conservatism in holding on to old ones is still more remarkable. In the ascending line of development she tries an experiment once exceedingly thorough, and then the question is solved for all time. For she always takes time enough to try the experiment exhaustively. It took ages to find how to build a spinal column or brain, but when the experiment was finished she had reason to be, and was, satisfied.
In The Whence and Whither of Man; a Brief History of his Origin and Development through Conformity to Environment; being the Morse Lectures of 1895. (1896), 173. The Morse lectureship was founded by Prof. Samuel F.B. Morse in 1865 at Union Theological Seminary, the lectures to deal with “the relation of the Bible to any of the sciences.”
Science quotes on:  |  Age (170)  |  Brain (206)  |  Build (103)  |  Conservatism (2)  |  Development (260)  |  Exhaustive (2)  |  Find (373)  |  Finish (24)  |  Hold (84)  |  Inventive (5)  |  Nature (1154)  |  New (455)  |  Old (137)  |  Question (383)  |  Remarkable (42)  |  Satisfaction (52)  |  Solution (195)  |  Spinal Column (2)  |  Structure (215)  |  Thorough (14)  |  Time (562)  |  Try (134)  |  Wonder (165)

Investigators are commonly said to be engaged in a search for the truth. I think they themselves would usually state their aims less pretentiously. What the experimenter is really trying to do is to learn whether facts can be established which will be recognized as facts by others and which will support some theory that in imagination he has projected. But he must be ingenuously honest. He must face facts as they arise in the course of experimental procedure, whether they are favourable to his idea or not. In doing this he must be ready to surrender his theory at any time if the facts are adverse to it.
The Way of an Investigator: A Scientist's Experiences in Medical Research (1945), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (688)  |  Honesty (19)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Truth (881)

Is it not evident, in these last hundred years (when the Study of Philosophy has been the business of all the Virtuosi in Christendome) that almost a new Nature has been revealed to us? that more errours of the School have been detected, more useful Experiments in Philosophy have been made, more Noble Secrets in Opticks, Medicine, Anatomy, Astronomy, discover'd, than in all those credulous and doting Ages from Aristotle to us? So true it is that nothing spreads more fast than Science, when rightly and generally cultivated.
Of Dramatic Poesie (1684 edition), lines 258-67, in James T. Boulton (ed.) (1964), 44
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (62)  |  Aristotle (155)  |  Error (263)  |  Medicine (334)  |  Optics (18)  |  Science (1939)

Isolated facts and experiments have in themselves no value, however great their number may be. They only become valuable in a theoretical or practical point of view when they make us acquainted with the law of a series of uniformly recurring phenomena, or, it may be, only give a negative result showing an incompleteness in our knowledge of such a law, till then held to be perfect.
'The Aim and Progress of Physical Science' (1869). Trans. E. Atkinson, Popular Lectures on Scientific Subjects (1873), 369.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (688)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Law (485)

It appears that anything you say about the way that theory and experiment may interact is likely to be correct, and anything you say about the way that theory and experiment must interact is likely to be wrong.
In Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature (1992), 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Anything (9)  |  Appearance (83)  |  Correct (73)  |  Interaction (29)  |  Likely (30)  |  May (2)  |  Must (2)  |  Say (214)  |  Theory (661)  |  Way (37)  |  Wrong (130)

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 (46)  |  Arouse (10)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Clash (8)  |  Continually (16)  |  Correct (73)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Irritation (2)  |  Modify (14)  |  Parameter (4)  |  Physicist (151)  |  Principle (268)  |  Reduce (42)  |  Refutation (11)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Theory (661)

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (24)  |  Beautiful (133)  |  Matter (322)  |  Smart (18)  |  Theory (661)  |  Wrong (130)

It has been found experimentally that the ratio of the amounts of adenine to thymine, and the ratio of guanine to cytosine, are always very close to unity for deoxyribose nucleic acid.
[Co-author with Francis Crick]
In 'Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids', Nature (1953), 171, 737.
Science quotes on:  |  Adenine (4)  |  Cytosine (4)  |  Deoxyribonucleic Acid (2)  |  Discovery (660)  |  DNA (67)  |  Find (373)  |  Guanine (4)  |  Ratio (19)  |  Thymine (4)  |  Unity (49)

It has hitherto been a serious impediment to the progress of knowledge, that is in investigating the origin or causes of natural productions, recourse has generally been had to the examination, both by experiment and reasoning, of what might be rather than what is. The laws or processes of nature we have every reason to believe invariable. Their results from time to time vary, according to the combinations of influential circumstances; but the process remains the same. Like the poet or the painter, the chemist may, and no doubt often' does, create combinations which nature never produced; and the possibility of such and such processes giving rise to such and such results, is no proof whatever that they were ever in natural operation.
Considerations on Volcanoes (1825), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (489)  |  Cause (269)  |  Chemist (86)  |  Circumstance (62)  |  Combination (84)  |  Examination (63)  |  Impediment (7)  |  Influence (128)  |  Invariability (4)  |  Investigate (61)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Law (485)  |  Natural (153)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Operation (111)  |  Origin (83)  |  Painter (20)  |  Poet (75)  |  Process (244)  |  Production (112)  |  Progress (348)  |  Proof (235)  |  Reason (424)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Recourse (11)  |  Result (328)  |  Variation (59)

It has the property of detonating very violently in certain circumstances. On one occasion a small amount of ether solution of pyroglycerin condensed in a glass bowl. ... When the bowl was heated over a spirit lamp, an extremely violent explosion occurred, which shattered it into small fragments. On another occasion a drop was heated in a test-tube, and exploded with such violence that the glass splinters cut deep into my face and hands, and hurt other people who were standing some distance off in the room.
[Describing early experiments on his discovery of nitroglycerin.]
From speech to the Royal Academy of Turin (1847). In Robert Shaplen, 'Annals of Science, Adventures of a Pacifist,' The New Yorker (15 Mar 1958), 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (64)  |  Detonation (2)  |  Explosion (26)  |  Explosive (18)  |  Glass (40)  |  Test Tube (8)

It is by mathematical formulation of its observations and measurements that a science is able to form mathematically expressed hypotheses, and it is through its hypotheses that a natural science is able to make predictions.
The Nature of Science, and Other Essays (1971), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Express (54)  |  Formulation (24)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Natural Science (83)  |  Prediction (70)

It is certainly true that all physical phenomena are subject to strictly mathematical conditions, and mathematical processes are unassailable in themselves. The trouble arises from the data employed. Most phenomena are so highly complex that one can never be quite sure that he is dealing with all the factors until the experiment proves it. So that experiment is rather the criterion of mathematical conclusions and must lead the way.
In Matter, Ether, Motion (1894), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (41)  |  Certainly (29)  |  Complex (91)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Condition (144)  |  Criterion (15)  |  Data (115)  |  Deal (40)  |  Employ (28)  |  Factor (43)  |  Highly (15)  |  Lead (150)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Physical (119)  |  Process (244)  |  Prove (101)  |  Strictly (10)  |  Study And Research In Mathematics (41)  |  Subject (195)  |  Trouble (64)  |  True (178)  |  Unassailable (3)

It is characteristic of experimental science that it opens ever-widening horizons to our vision.
As translated in René J. Dubos, Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1950, 1986), 329.
Science quotes on:  |  Characteristic (90)  |  Horizon (27)  |  Science (1939)

It is contrary to the usual order of things, that events so harmonious as those of the system of the world, should depend on such diversified agents as are supposed to exist in our artificial arrangements; and there is reason to anticipate a great reduction in the number of undecompounded bodies, and to expect that the analogies of nature will be found conformable to the refined operations of art. The more the phenomena of the universe are studied, the more distinct their connection appears, and the more simple their causes, the more magnificent their design, and the more wonderful the wisdom and power of their Author.
Elements of Chemical Philosophy (1812), in J. Davy (ed.), The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy(1839-40), Vol. 4, 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Universe (655)

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor. There may even be a certain antagonism between love of humanity and love of neighbor; a low capacity for getting along with those near us often goes hand in hand with a high receptivity to the idea of the brotherhood of men. About a hundred years ago a Russian landowner by the name of Petrashevsky recorded a remarkable conclusion: “Finding nothing worthy of my attachment either among women or among men, I have vowed myself to the service of mankind.” He became a follower of Fourier, and installed a phalanstery on his estate. The end of the experiment was sad, but what one might perhaps have expected: the peasants—Petrashevsky’s neighbors-burned the phalanstery.
In 'Brotherhood', The Ordeal of Change (1963), 91.
Science quotes on:  |  Antagonism (5)  |  Attachment (5)  |  Become (163)  |  Brotherhood (5)  |  Capacity (58)  |  Certain (118)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Easy (86)  |  End (186)  |  Estate (5)  |  Expect (40)  |  Find (373)  |  Follower (8)  |  Fourier (3)  |  Hand In Hand (2)  |  High (138)  |  Humanity (119)  |  Hundred (59)  |  Idea (545)  |  Install (2)  |  Love (207)  |  Low (24)  |  Mankind (232)  |  Myself (35)  |  Name (156)  |  Neighbor (11)  |  Nothing (363)  |  Often (99)  |  Peasant (5)  |  Receptivity (2)  |  Record (62)  |  Remarkable (42)  |  Russian (3)  |  Sadness (32)  |  Service (59)  |  Vow (4)  |  Whole (173)  |  Woman (103)  |  Worthy (31)  |  Year (276)

It is impossible to devise an experiment without a preconceived idea; devising an experiment, we said, is putting a question; we never conceive a question without an idea which invites an answer. I consider it, therefore, an absolute principle that experiments must always be devised in view of a preconceived idea, no matter if the idea be not very clear nor very well defined.
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865, translation 1927, 1957), 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (86)  |  Answer (237)  |  Clarity (39)  |  Conceiving (3)  |  Consideration (78)  |  Definition (177)  |  Devise (13)  |  Idea (545)  |  Impossibility (52)  |  Invitation (10)  |  Preconceive (3)  |  Principle (268)  |  Putting (2)  |  Question (383)  |  View (157)

It is madness and a contradiction to expect that things which were never yet performed should be effected, except by means hitherto untried.
Novum Organum (1620), Part 1, Sec. 1, Aphorism 6. In The Works of Franics Bacon (1815), Vol. 4, 4.

It is not always the truth that tells us where to look for new knowledge. We don’t search for the penny under the lamp post where the light is. We know we are more likely to find it out there in the darkness. My favorite way of expressing this notion to graduate students who are trying to do very hard experiments is to remind them that “God loves the noise as much as he does the signal.”
In 'Physics and the APS in 1979', Physics Today (Apr 1980), 33, No. 4, 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Darkness (40)  |  Expression (96)  |  Favorite (21)  |  Find (373)  |  God (509)  |  Graduate (13)  |  Hard (96)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Light (331)  |  Love (207)  |  New (455)  |  Noise (28)  |  Notion (50)  |  Penny (4)  |  Reminder (13)  |  Search (101)  |  Signal (17)  |  Student (188)  |  Truth (881)  |  Trying (18)  |  Under (7)

It is often said that experiments should be made without preconceived ideas. That is impossible. Not only would it make every experiment fruitless, but even if we wished to do so, it could not be done. Every man has his own conception of the world, and this he cannot so easily lay aside. We must, example, use language, and our language is necessarily steeped in preconceived ideas. Only they are unconscious preconceived ideas, which are a thousand times the most dangerous of all.
Science and Hypothesis (1902), trans. W.J.G. (1905), 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Idea (545)

It is perhaps difficult for a modern student of Physics to realize the basic taboo of the past period (before 1956) … it was unthinkable that anyone would question the validity of symmetries under “space inversion,” “charge conjugation” and “time reversal.” It would have been almost sacrilegious to do experiments to test such unholy thoughts.
In paper presented to the International Conference on the History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries, Erice, Sicily (27 Jul-4 Aug 1994), 'Parity Violation' collected in Harvey B. Newman, Thomas Ypsilantis History of Original Ideas and Basic Discoveries in Particle Physics (1996), 381.
Science quotes on:  |  Question (383)  |  Symmetry (33)  |  Taboo (4)  |  Test (115)  |  Thought (484)

It is the care we bestow on apparently trifling, unattractive detail and very troublesome minutiae which determines the result.
As quoted in William Bulloch, Obituary, 'Theobald Smith', Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology (May 1935), 40, No. 3, 621-625.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (91)  |  Detail (78)  |  Determine (64)  |  Minutiae (6)  |  Observation (438)  |  Research (568)  |  Result (328)  |  Trifle (10)  |  Troublesome (5)  |  Unattractive (3)

It is true that physics gives a wonderful training in precise, logical thinking-about physics. It really does depend upon accurate reproducible experiments, and upon framing hypotheses with the greatest possible freedom from dogmatic prejudice. And if these were the really important things in life, physics would be an essential study for everybody.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 90-91.
Science quotes on:  |  Dependence (35)  |  Dogmatism (10)  |  Essential (110)  |  Freedom (97)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Importance (203)  |  Life (1071)  |  Logic (229)  |  Physics (329)  |  Precision (46)  |  Prejudice (65)  |  Reproducibility (2)  |  Study (434)  |  Thinking (227)  |  Training (54)

It is usual to say that the two sources of experience are Observation and Experiment. When we merely note and record the phenomena which occur around us in the ordinary course of nature we are said to observe. When we change the course of nature by the intervention of our will and muscular powers, and thus produce unusual combinations and conditions of phenomena, we are said to experiment. [Sir John] Herschel has justly remarked that we might properly call these two modes of experience passive and active observation. In both cases we must certainly employ our senses to observe, and an experiment differs from a mere observation in the fact that we more or less influence the character of the events which we observe. Experiment is thus observation plus alteration of conditions.
Principles of Science: A Treatise on Logic and Scientific Method (1874, 2nd ed., 1913), 400.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (23)  |  Definition (177)  |  Event (113)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fact (688)  |  Sir John Herschel (23)  |  Influence (128)  |  Intervention (12)  |  Note (32)  |  Observation (438)  |  Occurrence (32)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Record (62)  |  Sense (300)  |  Source (88)

It is very different to make a practical system and to introduce it. A few experiments in the laboratory would prove the practicability of system long before it could be brought into general use. You can take a pipe and put a little coal in it, close it up, heat it and light the gas that comes out of the stem, but that is not introducing gas lighting. I'll bet that if it were discovered to-morrow in New York that gas could be made out of coal it would be at least five years before the system would be in general use.
From the New York Herald (30 Jan 1879), as cited in Leslie Tomory, 'Building the First Gas Network, 1812-1820', Technology and Culture (Jan 2011), 52, No. 1, 75-102.
Science quotes on:  |  Bet (9)  |  Coal (44)  |  Different (155)  |  Discover (176)  |  Gas (48)  |  Heat (97)  |  Introduce (35)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Light (331)  |  Lighting (5)  |  New York (14)  |  Pipe (7)  |  Practical (116)  |  Prove (101)  |  Stem (11)  |  System (181)  |  Tomorrow (38)  |  Year (276)

It is well known that theoretical physicists cannot handle experimental equipment; it breaks whenever they touch it. Pauli was such a good theoretical physicist that something usually broke in the lab whenever he merely stepped across the threshold. A mysterious event that did not seem at first to be connected with Pauli's presence once occurred in Professor J. Franck's laboratory in Göttingen. Early one afternoon, without apparent cause, a complicated apparatus for the study of atomic phenomena collapsed. Franck wrote humorously about this to Pauli at his Zürich address and, after some delay, received an answer in an envelope with a Danish stamp. Pauli wrote that he had gone to visit Bohr and at the time of the mishap in Franck's laboratory his train was stopped for a few minutes at the Göttingen railroad station. You may believe this anecdote or not, but there are many other observations concerning the reality of the Pauli Effect!
From Thirty Years That Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory (1966), 64. Note the so-called Pauli Effect is merely anecdotal to provide humor about supposed parapsychology phenomena in coincidences involving Pauli; it should not be confused with scientifically significant Pauli Exclusion Principle.
Science quotes on:  |  Anecdote (18)  |  Apparatus (32)  |  Atom (272)  |  Belief (489)  |  Break (50)  |  Cause (269)  |  Collapse (17)  |  Complicated (58)  |  Connection (99)  |  Delay (8)  |  Effect (157)  |  Envelope (5)  |  Equipment (29)  |  Event (113)  |  James Franck (2)  |  Humor (5)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Mishap (2)  |  Mysterious (29)  |  Observation (438)  |  Wolfgang Pauli (16)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Presence (31)  |  Railroad (11)  |  Reality (183)  |  Station (12)  |  Step (99)  |  Stopped (3)  |  Study (434)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Threshold (7)  |  Touch (74)  |  Train (38)  |  Visit (25)

It is well to remember that most arguments in favor of not trying an experiment are too flimsily based.
Quoted in a lecture published in Experientia, Supplementum II (1955), 226.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (76)  |  Base (64)  |  Favor (29)  |  Flimsy (2)  |  Remember (69)  |  Trying (18)

It might interest you that when we made the experiments that we did not read the literature well enough—and you know how that happens. On the other hand, one would think that other people would have told us about it. For instance, we had a colloquium at the time in Berlin at which all the important papers were discussed. Nobody discussed Bohr’s paper. Why not? The reason is that fifty years ago one was so convinced that nobody would, with the state of knowledge we had at that time, understand spectral line emission, so that if somebody published a paper about it, one assumed “probably it is not right.” So we did not know it.
Explaining how his experiment with Gustav Hertz produced results, without them knowing that it proved Niels Bohr’s theory of the atom and its energy levels. From an interview quoted by Gerald Holton in 'On the Recent Past of Physics', American Journal of Physics (1961), 29, 805. As cited in William H. Cropper, Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking (2001), 251.
Science quotes on:  |  Berlin (10)  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Colloquium (2)  |  Convinced (20)  |  Discussion (42)  |  Emission (16)  |  Importance (203)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Literature (73)  |  Nobody (45)  |  Paper (74)  |  Reading (52)  |  Reason (424)  |  Spectral Line (3)  |  Understanding (325)

It never occurred to me that there was going to be any stumbling block. Not that I had the answer, but [I had] the joy of going at it. When you have that joy, you do the right experiments. You let the material tell you where to go, and it tells you at every step what the next has to be because you're integrating with an overall brand new pattern in mind.
When asked how she could have worked for two years without knowing the outcome.
Quoted in Evelyn Fox Keller, A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock (1984), 125.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Joy (84)  |  Research (568)

It seems to me that there is a good deal of ballyhoo about scientific method. I venture to think that the people who talk most about it are the people who do least about it. Scientific method is what working scientists do, not what other people or even they themselves may say about it. No working scientist, when he plans an experiment in the laboratory, asks himself whether he is being properly scientific, nor is he interested in whatever method he may be using as method.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (148)  |  Deal (40)  |  Good (311)  |  Interest (221)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Least (62)  |  Method (200)  |  People (360)  |  Plan (81)  |  Properly (20)  |  Say (214)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Seem (135)  |  Talk (85)  |  Themselves (44)  |  Think (313)  |  Venture (16)  |  Work (589)

It was a great step in science when men became convinced that, in order to understand the nature of things, they must begin by asking, not whether a thing is good or bad, noxious or beneficial, but of what kind it is? And how much is there of it? Quality and Quantity were then first recognised as the primary features to be observed in scientific inquiry.
'Address to the Mathematical and Physical Sections of the British Association, Liverpool, 15 Sep 1870', The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890 edition, reprint 2003), Vol. 2, 217.
Science quotes on:  |  Beneficial (12)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Noxious (2)  |  Quality (84)  |  Quantity (54)  |  Question (383)  |  Understanding (325)

It was on the 25th November 1740 that I cut the first polyp. I put the two parts in a flat glass, which only contained water to the height of four to five lignes. It was thus easy for me to observe these portions of the polyp with a fairly powerful lens.
I shall indicate farther on the precautions I took in making my experiments on these cut polyps and the technique I adopted to cut them. It will suffice to say here that I cut the polyp concerned transversely, a little nearer the anterior than the posterior end. The first part was thus a little shorter than the second.
The instant that I cut the polyp, the two parts contracted so that at first they only appeared like two little grains of green matter at the bottom of the glass in which I put them—for green, as I have already said, is the colour of the first polyps that I possessed. The two parts expanded on the same day on which I separated them. They were very easy to distinguish from one another. The first had its anterior end adorned with the fine threads that serve the polyp as legs and arms, which the second had none.
The extensions of the first part was not the only sign of life that it gave on the same day that it was separated from the other. I saw it move its arms; and the next day, the first time I came to observe it, I found that it had changed its position; and shortly afterwards I saw it take a step. The second part was extended as on the previous day and in the same place. I shook the glass a little to see if it were still alive. This movement made it contract, from which I judged that it was alive. Shortly afterwards it extended again. On the following days I .’ saw the same thing.
Mémoires, pour servir à l'histoire d'un genre de polyps d'eau douce à bras en forme de cornes (1744), 7-16. Trans. John R. Baker, in Abraham Trembley of Geneva: Scientist and Philosopher 1710-1784 (1952), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Anterior (4)  |  Arm (24)  |  Cut (37)  |  Extension (25)  |  Leg (16)  |  Lens (12)  |  Life (1071)  |  Movement (78)  |  Observation (438)  |  Polyp (4)  |  Precaution (5)

It was shortly after midday on December 12, 1901, [in a hut on the cliffs at St. John's, Newfoundland] that I placed a single earphone to my ear and started listening. The receiver on the table before me was very crude—a few coils and condensers and a coherer—no valves [vacuum tubes], no amplifiers, not even a crystal. I was at last on the point of putting the correctness of all my beliefs to test. ... [The] answer came at 12:30. ... Suddenly, about half past twelve there sounded the sharp click of the “tapper” ... Unmistakably, the three sharp clicks corresponding to three dots sounded in my ear. “Can you hear anything, Mr. Kemp?” I asked, handing the telephone to my assistant. Kemp heard the same thing as I. ... I knew then that I had been absolutely right in my calculations. The electric waves which were being sent out from Poldhu [Cornwall, England] had travelled the Atlantic, serenely ignoring the curvature of the earth which so many doubters considered a fatal obstacle. ... I knew that the day on which I should be able to send full messages without wires or cables across the Atlantic was not far distant.
Quoted in Degna Marconi, My Father, Marconi (2000), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Amplifier (3)  |  Atlantic Ocean (4)  |  Cable (6)  |  Calculation (90)  |  Click (4)  |  Coil (3)  |  Condenser (3)  |  Correctness (12)  |  Crude (17)  |  Crystal (52)  |  Curvature (3)  |  Earth (611)  |  Message (35)  |  Radio (30)  |  Receiver (5)  |  Success (234)  |  Transmission (25)  |  Valve (2)  |  Wire (18)

It was the method which attracted me [to physics]—the experimental method, which was born with physics, and is now universal in science. It’s asking a question of nature, and listening for the answer from nature … the way in which you’re going about asking the question and detecting the answer. And in my view it’s this kind of method that attracts me.
From 'Asking Nature', collected in Lewis Wolpert and Alison Richards (eds.), Passionate Minds: The Inner World of Scientists (1997), 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Ask (148)  |  Attract (19)  |  Detect (14)  |  Listen (37)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Physics (329)  |  Question (383)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Universal (92)

I’ve always been inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, who articulated his Dream of an America where people are judged not by skin color but “by the content of their character.” In the scientific world, people are judged by the content of their ideas. Advances are made with new insights, but the final arbitrator of any point of view are experiments that seek the unbiased truth, not information cherry picked to support a particular point of view.
In letter (1 Feb 2013) to Energy Department employees announcing his decision not to serve a second term.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (150)  |  America (87)  |  Articulate (6)  |  Character (107)  |  Color (95)  |  Content (54)  |  Dream (160)  |  Idea (545)  |  Information (115)  |  Insight (65)  |  Inspire (47)  |  Judge (57)  |  Martin Luther King, Jr. (14)  |  New (455)  |  Particular (69)  |  People (360)  |  Point Of View (35)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Seek (95)  |  Skin (22)  |  Support (72)  |  Truth (881)  |  Unbiased (5)  |  View (157)  |  World (854)

Keep in mind that new ideas are commonplace, and almost always wrong. Most flashes of insight lead nowhere; statistically, they have a half-life of hours or maybe days. Most experiments to follow up the surviving insights are tedious and consume large amounts of time, only to yield negative or (worse!) ambiguous results.
In Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998, 1999), 60
Science quotes on:  |  Common (108)  |  Flash (34)  |  Idea (545)  |  Insight (65)  |  Negative (33)  |  Result (328)  |  Statistics (144)  |  Tedious (9)  |  Wrong (130)

Knowledge and ability must be combined with ambition as well as with a sense of honesty and a severe conscience. Every analyst occasionally has doubts about the accuracy of his results, and also there are times when he knows his results to be incorrect. Sometimes a few drops of the solution were spilt, or some other slight mistake made. In these cases it requires a strong conscience to repeat the analysis and to make a rough estimate of the loss or apply a correction. Anyone not having sufficient will-power to do this is unsuited to analysis no matter how great his technical ability or knowledge. A chemist who would not take an oath guaranteeing the authenticity, as well as the accuracy of his work, should never publish his results, for if he were to do so, then the result would be detrimental not only to himself, but to the whole of science.
Anleitung zur Quantitativen Analyse (1847), preface. F. Szabadvary, History of Analytical Chemistry (1966), trans. Gyula Svehla, 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (148)  |  Authenticity (4)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Publication (89)

Kohn's Second Law: An experiment is reproducible until another laboratory tries to repeat it
In Dr. N Sreedharan, Quotations of Wit and Wisdom (2007), 24
Science quotes on:  |  Research (568)

Laplace considers astronomy a science of observation, because we can only observe the movements of the planets; we cannot reach them, indeed, to alter their course and to experiment with them. “On earth,” said Laplace, “we make phenomena vary by experiments; in the sky, we carefully define all the phenomena presented to us by celestial motion.” Certain physicians call medicine a science of observations, because they wrongly think that experimentation is inapplicable to it.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 18. A footnote cites Laplace, Système du monde, Chap. 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (23)  |  Astronomy (193)  |  Call (114)  |  Carefully (11)  |  Celestial (21)  |  Course (78)  |  Defining (3)  |  Experimentation (7)  |  Inapplicable (2)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (58)  |  Medicine (334)  |  Motion (150)  |  Movement (78)  |  Nomenclature (136)  |  Observation (438)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Physician (238)  |  Planet (254)  |  Sky (118)  |  Variation (59)  |  Wrongly (2)

Law springs from experiment, but not immediately. Experiment is individual, the law deduced from it is general; experiment is only approximate, the law is precise, or at least pretends to be. Experiment is made under conditions always complex, the enunciation of the law eliminates these complications. This is what is called ‘correcting the systematic errors’.
From La Valeur de la Science (1904), 142, as translated by George Bruce Halsted (trans.), in The Value of Science (1907), 77. From the French, “La loi sort de l’expérience, mais elle n’en sort pas immédiatement. L’expérience est individuelle, la loi qu’on en tire est générale, l’expérience n’est qu’approchée, la loi est précise ou du moins prétend l’élre. L’expérience se fait dans des conditions toujours complexes, l’énoncé de la loi élimine ces complications. C’est ce qu’on appelle ‘corriger les erreurs systématiques’.”
Science quotes on:  |  Approximate (8)  |  Call (114)  |  Complex (91)  |  Complication (23)  |  Condition (144)  |  Correct (73)  |  Deduce (16)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Enunciate (2)  |  Error (263)  |  General (130)  |  Immediately (19)  |  Individual (205)  |  Law (485)  |  Least (62)  |  Precise (30)  |  Pretend (17)  |  Spring (63)

Let the experiment be made.
Letter to Dr L—, 18 March 1755. In I. Bernard Cohen (ed.), Benjamin Franklin's Experiments (1941), 334.

Liebig was not a teacher in the ordinary sense of the word. Scientifically productive himself in an unusual degree, and rich in chemical ideas, he imparted the latter to his advanced pupils, to be put by them to experimental proof; he thus brought his pupils gradually to think for themselves, besides showing and explaining to them the methods by which chemical problems might be solved experimentally.
As quoted in G. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1980), 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Justus von Liebig (38)  |  Problem (451)  |  Proof (235)  |  Student (188)  |  Teacher (115)  |  Thinking (227)

Looking at the thunder machine which had been set up, I saw not the slightest indication of the presence of electricity. However, while they were putting the food on the table, I obtained extraordinary electric sparks from the wire. My wife and others approached from it, for the reason that I wished to have witnesses see the various colors of fire about which the departed Professor Richmann used to argue with me. Suddenly it thundered most violently at the exact time that I was holding my hand to the metal, and sparks crackled. All fled away from me, and my wife implored that I go away. Curiosity kept me there two or three minutes more, until they told me that the soup was getting cold. By that time the force of electricity greatly subsided. I had sat at table only a few minutes when the man servant of the departed Richmann suddenly opened the door, all in tears and out of breath from fear. I thought that some one had beaten him as he was on his way to me, but he said, with difficulty, that the professor had been injured by thunder… . Nonetheless, Mr. Richmann died a splendid death, fulfilling a duty of his profession.
As quoted in Boris Menshutkin, 'Lomonosov: Excerpts', collected in Thomas Riha (ed.), Readings for Introduction to Russian Civilization (1963), Vol. 2, 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Argue (22)  |  Color (95)  |  Curiosity (103)  |  Death (285)  |  Duty (63)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Fire (130)  |  Flee (3)  |  Food (148)  |  Fulfill (18)  |  Hand (131)  |  Injure (3)  |  Machine (151)  |  Metal (41)  |  Profession (59)  |  Servant (15)  |  Spark (22)  |  Splendid (11)  |  Table (32)  |  Thunder (13)  |  Wire (18)

Magic is antiphysics, so it can't really exist. But is shares one thing with science. I can explain the principle behind a good science experiment in 15 seconds; the same way with magic.
As quoted in Eric Roston, The Carbon Age: How Life's Core Element Has Become Civilization's Greatest Threat (2009), 132. Nakaniski entertained with magic tricks for colleagues and to audiences at conferences.
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (289)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Magic (75)  |  Principle (268)  |  Share (45)

Man does not limit himself to seeing; he thinks and insists on learning the meaning of phenomena whose existence has been revealed to him by observation. So he reasons, compares facts, puts questions to them, and by the answers which he extracts, tests one by another. This sort of control, by means of reasoning and facts, is what constitutes experiment, properly speaking; and it is the only process that we have for teaching ourselves about the nature of things outside us.
In Claude Bernard and Henry Copley Greene (trans.), An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1927, 1957), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Another (7)  |  Answer (237)  |  Comparison (58)  |  Constitute (28)  |  Control (106)  |  Existence (289)  |  Extraction (7)  |  Fact (688)  |  Insistence (10)  |  Learning (177)  |  Limit (109)  |  Meaning (106)  |  Nature Of Things (8)  |  Observation (438)  |  Outside (44)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Process (244)  |  Question (383)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Revelation (32)  |  See (354)  |  Teaching (106)  |  Test (115)  |  Thinking (227)

Man is naturally metaphysical and arrogant, and is thus capable of believing that the ideal creations of his mind, which express his feelings, are identical with reality. From this it follows that the experimental method is not really natural to him.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrogant (2)  |  Belief (489)  |  Express (54)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Identical (19)  |  Metaphysical (10)  |  Mind (691)  |  Reality (183)  |  Scientific Method (163)

Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal. Note his history, as sketched above. It seems plain to me that whatever he is he is not a reasoning animal. His record is the fantastic record of a maniac. I consider that the strongest count against his intelligence is the fact that with that record back of him he blandly sets himself up as the head animal of the lot: whereas by his own standards he is the bottom one.
In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which the other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.
Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh—not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.
In Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings (),
Science quotes on:  |  Aberdeen (2)  |  Animal (340)  |  Arkansas (2)  |  Bone (63)  |  Bottom (32)  |  Brahman (2)  |  Buddhist (5)  |  Cage (8)  |  Cat (36)  |  Catholic (7)  |  Chaos (75)  |  China (19)  |  Christian (21)  |  Disagreement (12)  |  Dispute (22)  |  Dog (44)  |  Dove (2)  |  Fact (688)  |  Flesh (26)  |  Fool (82)  |  Fox (8)  |  Friend (82)  |  Goose (10)  |  Greek (66)  |  Intelligence (161)  |  Ireland (8)  |  Learning (177)  |  Methodist (2)  |  Monkey (39)  |  Peace (81)  |  Proof (235)  |  Rabbit (7)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Record (62)  |  Scotland (3)  |  Squirrel (7)  |  Tame (4)  |  Theology (39)  |  Think (313)  |  Truth (881)  |  Wild (47)

Man was made to try. Afterward he’s free to keep or throw away what pleasures or what promise that he’s found. What knowledge gained or stumbled on can be discarded or retained.
In 'Reactions to Man’s Landing on the Moon Show Broad Variations in Opinions', The New York Times (21 Jul 1969), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Discard (19)  |  Exploration (120)  |  Find (373)  |  Gain (64)  |  Keep (88)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Pleasure (122)  |  Promise (34)  |  Retain (16)  |  Stumble (14)  |  Throw Away (4)  |  Try (134)

Many scientific theories have, for very long periods of time, stood the test of experience until they had to be discarded owing to man’s decision, not merely to make other experiments, but to have different experiences.
In The Disinherited Mind: Essays in Modern German Literature and Thought (1952), 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Decision (70)  |  Different (155)  |  Discard (19)  |  Experience (322)  |  Merely (70)  |  Period (62)  |  Scientific Theory (23)  |  Test (115)  |  Time (562)

Mathematical physics is in the first place physics and it could not exist without experimental investigations.
From inaugural lecture at Utrecht on the kinetic theory of matter and its modern development (1913), as quoted in Julio Antonio Gonzalo and Carmen Aragó López (eds.), Great Solid State Physicists of the 20th Century (2003), 157.
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (289)  |  First (285)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Mathematical Physics (6)  |  Place (164)

Mathematics is an experimental science, and definitions do not come first, but later on.
In 'On Operators in Physical Mathematics, part II', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (15 Jun 1893), 54, 121.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (177)  |  First (285)  |  Later (17)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Science (1939)

Mathematics is not a deductive science—that’s a cliché. When you try to prove a theorem, you don’t just list the hypotheses, and then start to reason. What you do is trial and error, experiment and guesswork.
In I Want to be a Mathematician: an Automathography in Three Parts (1985), 321.
Science quotes on:  |  Cliche (6)  |  Deduction (66)  |  Guesswork (4)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  List (8)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Proof (235)  |  Reason (424)  |  Science (1939)  |  Start (89)  |  Theorem (82)  |  Trial And Error (5)

Mathematics, from the earliest times to which the history of human reason can reach, has followed, among that wonderful people of the Greeks, the safe way of science. But it must not be supposed that it was as easy for mathematics as for logic, in which reason is concerned with itself alone, to find, or rather to make for itself that royal road. I believe, on the contrary, that there was a long period of tentative work (chiefly still among the Egyptians), and that the change is to be ascribed to a revolution, produced by the happy thought of a single man, whose experiments pointed unmistakably to the path that had to be followed, and opened and traced out for the most distant times the safe way of a science. The history of that intellectual revolution, which was far more important than the passage round the celebrated Cape of Good Hope, and the name of its fortunate author, have not been preserved to us. … A new light flashed on the first man who demonstrated the properties of the isosceles triangle (whether his name was Thales or any other name), for he found that he had not to investigate what he saw in the figure, or the mere concepts of that figure, and thus to learn its properties; but that he had to produce (by construction) what he had himself, according to concepts a priori, placed into that figure and represented in it, so that, in order to know anything with certainty a priori, he must not attribute to that figure anything beyond what necessarily follows from what he has himself placed into it, in accordance with the concept.
In Critique of Pure Reason, Preface to the Second Edition, (1900), 690.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (22)  |  Accord (31)  |  Accordance (9)  |  Alone (88)  |  Ascribe (16)  |  Attribute (34)  |  Author (53)  |  Belief (489)  |  Beyond (99)  |  Celebrate (13)  |  Certainty (122)  |  Change (347)  |  Chiefly (10)  |  Concept (132)  |  Concern (99)  |  Construction (82)  |  Contrary (29)  |  Demonstrate (47)  |  Distant (32)  |  Early (54)  |  Easy (86)  |  Egyptian (4)  |  Far (144)  |  Figure (59)  |  Find (373)  |  First (285)  |  Flash (34)  |  Follow (110)  |  Fortunate (9)  |  Greek (66)  |  Happy (40)  |  History (348)  |  Human (526)  |  Important (188)  |  Intellectual (111)  |  Investigate (61)  |  Isosceles Triangle (3)  |  Know (496)  |  Learn (255)  |  Light (331)  |  Logic (229)  |  Long (152)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Mere (63)  |  Name (156)  |  Nature Of Mathematics (41)  |  Necessarily (26)  |  New (455)  |  Open (64)  |  Order (216)  |  Passage (18)  |  Path (80)  |  People (360)  |  Period (62)  |  Place (164)  |  Point (114)  |  Preserve (47)  |  Produce (92)  |  Property (113)  |  Reach (115)  |  Reason (424)  |  Represent (36)  |  Revolution (68)  |  Round (25)  |  Royal Road (3)  |  Safe (26)  |  Science (1939)  |  See (354)  |  Single (108)  |  Suppose (42)  |  Tentative (8)  |  Thales (9)  |  Thought (484)  |  Time (562)  |  Trace (49)  |  Unmistakably (2)  |  Wonderful (54)  |  Work (589)

May every young scientist remember … and not fail to keep his eyes open for the possibility that an irritating failure of his apparatus to give consistent results may once or twice in a lifetime conceal an important discovery.
Commenting on the discovery of thoron gas because one of Rutherford’s students had found his measurements of the ionizing property of thorium were variable. His results even seemed to relate to whether the laboratory door was closed or open. After considering the problem, Rutherford realized a radioactive gas was emitted by thorium, which hovered close to the metal sample, adding to its radioactivity—unless it was dissipated by air drafts from an open door. (Thoron was later found to be argon.)
In Barbara Lovett Cline, Men Who Made a New Physics (1987), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Consistency (23)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Failure (133)

Measurement has too often been the leitmotif of many investigations rather than the experimental examination of hypotheses. Mounds of data are collected, which are statistically decorous and methodologically unimpeachable, but conclusions are often trivial and rarely useful in decision making. This results from an overly rigorous control of an insignificant variable and a widespread deficiency in the framing of pertinent questions. Investigators seem to have settled for what is measurable instead of measuring what they would really like to know.
'Patient Care—Mystical Research or Researchable Mystique/', Clinical Research (1964), 12, no. 4, 422.
Science quotes on:  |  Collection (43)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Control (106)  |  Data (115)  |  Decision (70)  |  Deficiency (9)  |  Examination (63)  |  Framing (2)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Insignificance (9)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Investigator (31)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Like (19)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Methodology (8)  |  Pertinent (3)  |  Question (383)  |  Rare (40)  |  Result (328)  |  Rigor (19)  |  Settle (17)  |  Statistics (144)  |  Trivial (39)  |  Usefulness (76)  |  Variable (13)  |  Widespread (11)

Men who believe too firmly in their theories, do not believe enough in the theories of others. So … these despisers of their fellows … make experiments only to destroy a theory, instead of to seek the truth.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (489)  |  Despising (2)  |  Destroying (3)  |  Fellow (34)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Theory (661)  |  Truth (881)

Men who have excessive faith in their theories or ideas are not only ill prepared for making discoveries; they also make very poor observations. Of necessity, they observe with a preconceived idea, and when they devise an experiment, they can see, in its results,only a confirmation of their theory. In this way they distort observation and often neglect very important facts because they do not further their aim.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (79)  |  Confirmation (18)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Distortion (10)  |  Excessive (9)  |  Fact (688)  |  Faith (152)  |  Idea (545)  |  Importance (203)  |  Neglect (30)  |  Observation (438)  |  Poor (52)  |  Preconceived (3)  |  Preparation (40)  |  Result (328)  |  Theory (661)

Men who have excessive faith in their theories … make poor observations, because they choose among the results of their experiments only what suits their object, neglecting whatever is unrelated to it and carefully setting aside everything which might tend toward the idea they wish to combat
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (91)  |  Choose (50)  |  Combat (13)  |  Excessive (9)  |  Faith (152)  |  Idea (545)  |  Ignoring (5)  |  Neglect (30)  |  Object (152)  |  Observation (438)  |  Poor (52)  |  Result (328)  |  Suit (10)  |  Tendency (51)  |  Theory (661)  |  Unrelated (6)  |  Wish (86)

Mere numbers cannot bring out … the intimate essence of the experiment. This conviction comes naturally when one watches a subject at work. … What things can happen! What reflections, what remarks, what feelings, or, on the other hand, what blind automatism, what absence of ideas! … The experimenter judges what may be going on in [the subject’s] mind, and certainly feels difficulty in expressing all the oscillations of a thought in a simple, brutal number, which can have only a deceptive precision. How, in fact, could it sum up what would need several pages of description!
In La Suggestibilité (1900), 119-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Mind (691)

More discoveries have arisen from intense observation of very limited material than from statistics applied to large groups. The value of the latter lies mainly in testing hypotheses arising from the former. While observing one should cultivate a speculative, contemplative attitude of mind and search for clues to be followed up. Training in observation follows the same principles as training in any activity. At first one must do things consciously and laboriously, but with practice the activities gradually become automatic and unconscious and a habit is established. Effective scientific observation also requires a good background, for only by being familiar with the usual can we notice something as being unusual or unexplained.
The Art of Scientific Investigation (1950), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (660)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Observation (438)  |  Statistics (144)

Moreover, the works already known are due to chance and experiment rather than to sciences; for the sciences we now possess are merely systems for the nice ordering and setting forth of things already invented; not methods of invention or directions for new works.
From Novum Oranum (1620), Book 1, Aphorism 8. Translated as The New Organon: Aphorisms Concerning the Interpretation of Nature and the Kingdom of Man), collected in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The Works of Francis Bacon (1857), Vol. 4, 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (152)  |  Direction (66)  |  Invention (311)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Method (200)  |  New (455)  |  Nice (11)  |  Order (216)  |  Possessing (3)  |  Science (1939)  |  Setting (6)  |  System (181)  |  Work (589)

Morphological information has provided the greatest single source of data in the formulation and development of the theory of evolution and that even now, when the preponderance of work is experimental, the basis for interpretation in many areas of study remains the form and relationships of structures.
'Morphology, Paleontology, and Evolution', in Sol Tax (ed.), Evolution After Darwin, Vol. 1, The Evolution of Life (1960), 524.
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (76)  |  Data (115)  |  Development (260)  |  Evolution (523)  |  Form (278)  |  Formulation (24)  |  Information (115)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Preponderance (2)  |  Provide (62)  |  Relationship (67)  |  Remain (100)  |  Source (88)  |  Structure (215)  |  Study (434)  |  Theory (661)  |  Work (589)

Most people prefer to carry out the kinds of experiments that allow the scientist to feel that he is in full control of the situation rather than surrendering himself to the situation, as one must in studying human beings as they actually live.
In Blackberry Winter (1972), 321.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (42)  |  Anthropology (56)  |  Control (106)  |  Human Being (69)  |  Live (254)  |  Prefer (24)  |  Situation (50)  |  Study (434)  |  Surrender (14)

Mr. Hobbes told me that the cause of his Lordship's [Francis Bacon's] death was trying an Experiment: viz. as he was taking the aire in a Coach with Dr. Witherborne (a Scotchman, Physitian to the King) towards High-gate, snow lay on the ground, and it came into my Lord's thoughts, why flesh might not be preserved in snow, as in Salt. They were resolved they would try the Experiment presently. They alighted out of the Coach and went into a poore woman's house at the bottom of Highgate hill, and bought a Hen, and made the woman exenterate it, and then stuffed the body with Snow, and my Lord did help to doe it himselfe. The Snow so chilled him that he immediately fell so extremely ill, that he could not return to his Lodging.
John Aubrey, Brief Lives (1680), edited by Oliver Lawson Dick (1949), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Francis Bacon (175)  |  Death (285)  |  Pneumonia (6)  |  Refrigeration (3)

Mr. Hobbes told me that the cause of his Lordship’s [Francis Bacon s] death was trying an experiment: viz., as he was taking the air in a coach with Dr. Witherborne, a Scotchman, physician to the King, towards Highgate, snow lay on the ground, and it came into my Lord’s thoughts, why flesh might not be preserved in snow as in salt. They were resolved they would try the experiment presently. They alighted out of the coach and went into a poor woman s house at the bottom of Highgate Hill and bought a hen and made the woman exenterate it, and then stuffed the body with snow, and my Lord did help to do it himself The snow so chilled him that he immediately fell so extremely ill that he could not return to his lodgings.
In Brief Lives (late 17th century), as excerpted in The Retrospective Review (1821), 292.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Francis Bacon (175)  |  Chill (9)  |  Death (285)  |  Preserve (47)  |  Refrigeration (3)  |  Snow (23)

My belief (is) that one should take a minimum of care and preparation over first experiments. If they are unsuccessful one is not then discouraged since many possible reasons for failure can be thought of, and improvements can be made. Much can often be learned by the repetition under different conditions, even if the desired result is not obtained. If every conceivable precaution is taken at first, one is often too discouraged to proceed at all.
Nobel Lectures in Chemistry (1999), Vol. 3, 364.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (489)  |  Care (91)  |  Condition (144)  |  Desire (132)  |  Different (155)  |  Discourage (7)  |  Failure (133)  |  First (285)  |  Improvement (71)  |  Learning (177)  |  Minimum (11)  |  Obtain (37)  |  Possible (138)  |  Precaution (5)  |  Preparation (40)  |  Proceed (36)  |  Reason (424)  |  Repetition (22)  |  Result (328)  |  Thinking (227)  |  Unsuccessful (2)

My colleagues in elementary particle theory in many lands [and I] are driven by the usual insatiable curiosity of the scientist, and our work is a delightful game. I am frequently astonished that it so often results in correct predictions of experimental results. How can it be that writing down a few simple and elegant formulae, like short poems governed by strict rules such as those of the sonnet or the waka, can predict universal regularities of Nature?
Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1969), in Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.),Les Prix Nobel en 1969 (1970).
Science quotes on:  |  Astonishment (21)  |  Colleague (23)  |  Correctness (12)  |  Curiosity (103)  |  Delight (60)  |  Drive (53)  |  Elegance (27)  |  Formula (70)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Game (61)  |  Government (90)  |  Insatiable (6)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Particle Physics (10)  |  Poem (91)  |  Prediction (70)  |  Regularity (27)  |  Result (328)  |  Rule (163)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Simplicity (141)  |  Sonnet (4)  |  Strict (12)  |  Universality (12)  |  Work (589)  |  Writing (76)

My Design in this Book is not to explain the Properties of Light by Hypotheses, but to propose and prove them by Reason and Experiments: In order to which, I shall premise the following Definitions and Axioms.
Opticks (1704), Book 1, Part 1, Introduction, 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Axiom (48)  |  Book (238)  |  Definition (177)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Light (331)  |  Proof (235)  |  Property (113)  |  Proposition (73)  |  Reason (424)

My experiments with single traits all lead to the same result: that from the seeds of hybrids, plants are obtained half of which in turn carry the hybrid trait (Aa), the other half, however, receive the parental traits A and a in equal amounts. Thus, on the average, among four plants two have the hybrid trait Aa, one the parental trait A, and the other the parental trait a. Therefore, 2Aa+ A +a or A + 2Aa + a is the empirical simple series for two differing traits.
Letter to Carl Nägeli, 31 Dec 1866. In Curt Stern and Eva R. Sherwood (eds.), The Origin of Genetics: A Mendel Source Book (1966), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Difference (237)  |  Empiricism (17)  |  Equal (72)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Hybrid (11)  |  Parent (45)  |  Plant (188)  |  Series (49)  |  Simple (155)  |  Trait (22)

My final remark to young women and men going into experimental science is that they should pay little attention to the speculative physics ideas of my generation. After all, if my generation has any really good speculative ideas, we will be carrying these ideas out ourselves.
'Reflections on the Discovery of the Tau Lepton', Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1995). In Nobel Lectures: Physics 1991-1995 (1997), 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (106)  |  Generation (127)  |  Idea (545)  |  Ourselves (51)  |  Physics (329)  |  Remark (23)  |  Speculation (95)

My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.
In Fact and Faith (1934), vi.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (147)  |  Affair (28)  |  Angel (30)  |  Assumption (55)  |  Atheist (15)  |  Career (57)  |  Course (78)  |  Devil (21)  |  Dishonesty (8)  |  God (509)  |  Intellect (185)  |  Interference (12)  |  Justification (38)  |  Practice (86)  |  Profession (59)  |  Science And Religion (289)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Success (234)  |  Word (282)

My theory of electrical forces is that they are called into play in insulating media by slight electric displacements, which put certain small portions of the medium into a state of distortion which, being resisted by the elasticity of the medium, produces an electromotive force ... I suppose the elasticity of the sphere to react on the electrical matter surrounding it, and press it downwards.
From the determination by Kohlrausch and Weber of the numerical relation between the statical and magnetic effects of electricity, I have determined the elasticity of the medium in air, and assuming that it is the same with the luminiferous ether I have determined the velocity of propagation of transverse vibrations.
The result is
193088 miles per second
(deduced from electrical & magnetic experiments).
Fizeau has determined the velocity of light
= 193118 miles per second
by direct experiment.
This coincidence is not merely numerical. I worked out the formulae in the country, before seeing Webers [sic] number, which is in millimetres, and I think we have now strong reason to believe, whether my theory is a fact or not, that the luminiferous and the electromagnetic medium are one.
Letter to Michael Faraday (19 Oct 1861). In P. M. Harman (ed.), The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1990), Vol. 1, 1846-1862, 684-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (90)  |  Electromagnetism (17)  |  Ether (24)  |  Formula (70)  |  Friedrich Wilhelm Georg Kohlrausch (2)  |  Light Wave (2)  |  Propagation (9)  |  Speed Of Light (14)  |  Theory (661)  |  Vibration (13)

My view, the skeptical one, holds that we may be as far away from an understanding of elementary particles as Newton's successors were from quantum mechanics. Like them, we have two tremendous tasks ahead of us. One is to study and explore the mathematics of the existing theories. The existing quantum field-theories may or may not be correct, but they certainly conceal mathematical depths which will take the genius of an Euler or a Hamilton to plumb. Our second task is to press on with the exploration of the wide range of physical phenomena of which the existing theories take no account. This means pressing on with experiments in the fashionable area of particle physics. Outstanding among the areas of physics which have been left out of recent theories of elementary particles are gravitation and cosmology
In Scientific American (Sep 1958). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 years ago', Scientific American (Sep 2008), 299, No. 3, 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (61)  |  Certainly (29)  |  Concealing (2)  |  Correctness (12)  |  Cosmology (18)  |  Elementary (39)  |  Leonhard Euler (28)  |  Existing (9)  |  Exploration (120)  |  Fashionable (6)  |  Genius (218)  |  Gravitation (36)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (311)  |  Particle (97)  |  Particle Physics (10)  |  Phenomena (8)  |  Physical (119)  |  Quantum Field Theory (2)  |  Quantum Mechanics (34)  |  Recent (26)  |  Skeptic (7)  |  Study (434)  |  Successor (9)  |  Task (78)  |  Theory (661)  |  Tremendous (15)  |  Understanding (325)

My Volta is always busy. What an industrious scholar he is! When he is not paying visits to museums or learned men, he devotes himself to experiments. He touches, investigates, reflects, takes notes on everything. I regret to say that everywhere, inside the coach as on any desk, I am faced with his handkerchief, which he uses to wipe indifferently his hands, nose and instruments.
As translated and quoted in Giuliano Pancaldi, Volta: Science and Culture in the Age of Enlightenment (2005), 154.
Science quotes on:  |  Busy (27)  |  Coach (4)  |  Desk (11)  |  Devotion (25)  |  Hand (131)  |  Handkerchief (2)  |  Indifferent (14)  |  Industrious (8)  |  Instrument (84)  |  Investigate (61)  |  Learned (22)  |  Museum (24)  |  Nose (10)  |  Note (32)  |  Reflection (58)  |  Regret (19)  |  Scholar (36)  |  Touch (74)  |  Visit (25)  |  Count Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (8)  |  Wipe (6)

Natural science is founded on minute critical views of the general order of events taking place upon our globe, corrected, enlarged, or exalted by experiments, in which the agents concerned are placed under new circumstances, and their diversified properties separately examined. The body of natural science, then, consists of facts; is analogy,—the relation of resemblance of facts by which its different parts are connected, arranged, and employed, either for popular use, or for new speculative improvements.
'Introductory Lecture to the Chemistry of Nature' (1807), in J. Davy (ed.), The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy (1839-40), Vol 8, 167-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Natural Science (83)

Nature is a source of truth. Experience does not ever err, it is only your judgment that errs in promising itself results which are not caused by your experiments.
The Notebook. As cited in Edward Schwartz, One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward (2003), 38, with caption “examining objects in all their diversity.” Also quoted in Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers (1983), 350.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (269)  |  Err (4)  |  Error (263)  |  Experience (322)  |  Judgment (89)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Promise (34)  |  Result (328)  |  Source (88)  |  Truth (881)

Nature is an experimenter.
Prometheus (1961). In Down in the Black Gang: And Others; a Story Collection (1971), 141.
Science quotes on:  |  Evolution (523)  |  Nature (1154)

Necessity is not the mother of invention. Knowledge and experiment are its parents. It sometimes happens that successful search is made for unknown materials to fill well-recognized and predetermined requirements. It more often happens that the acquirement of knowledge of the previously unknown properties of a material suggests its trial for some new use. These facts strongly indicate the value of knowledge of properties of materials and indicate a way for research.
Quoted in Guy Suits, 'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (37)  |  Fact (688)  |  Indication (23)  |  Invention (311)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Material (143)  |  Mother (68)  |  Mother Of Invention (6)  |  Necessity (138)  |  Parent (45)  |  Predetermine (2)  |  Property (113)  |  Requirement (46)  |  Research (568)  |  Search (101)  |  Success (234)  |  Suggestion (28)  |  Trial (27)  |  Unknown (100)  |  Use (77)  |  Value (223)

No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Attributed to Einstein. Quoted in Alice Calaprice, The Quotable Einstein (1996), 224.
Science quotes on:  |  Theory (661)

No experiment is ever a complete failure. It can always be used as a bad example.
In John Cook, Steve Deger and Leslie Ann Gibson, The Book of Positive Quotations (2007), 669.
Science quotes on:  |  Failure (133)

No experimental result can ever kill a theory: any theory can be saved from counterinstances either by some auxiliary hypothesis or by a suitable reinterpretation of its terms.
In 'Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes', in I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London 1965 (1970), Vol. 4, 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Result (328)  |  Theory (661)

No facts are to me sacred; none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker, with no past at my back.
Science quotes on:  |  Endless (28)  |  Fact (688)  |  Past (143)  |  Profane (6)  |  Sacred (17)  |  Seeker (8)

No isolated experiment, however significant in itself, can suffice for the experimental demonstration of any natural phenomenon; for the “one chance in a million” will undoubtedly occur, with no less and no more than its appropriate frequency, however surprised we may be that it should occur to us.
The Design of Experiments (1935, 1971), 13-14.
Science quotes on:  |  Chance (152)

No one believes an hypothesis except its originator but everyone believes an experiment except the experimenter. Most people are ready to believe something based on experiment but the experimenter knows the many little things that could have gone wrong in the experiment. For this reason the discoverer of a new fact seldom feels quite so confident of it as others do. On the other hand other people are usually critical of an hypothesis, whereas the originator identifies himself with it and is liable to become devoted to it.
The Art of Scientific Investigation (1950), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (660)  |  Hypothesis (245)

No one tests the depth of a river with both feet.
Ashanti proverb, on web page 'African Proverb Wisdom', citing a book by Charlotte & Wolf Leslau.
Science quotes on:  |  Depth (46)  |  Foot (54)  |  River (79)  |  Test (115)

No scientist or student of science, need ever read an original work of the past. As a general rule, he does not think of doing so. Rutherford was one of the greatest experimental physicists, but no nuclear scientist today would study his researches of fifty years ago. Their substance has all been infused into the common agreement, the textbooks, the contemporary papers, the living present.
Attempting to distinguish between science and the humanities in which original works like Shakespeare's must be studied verbatim. 'The Case of Leavis and the Serious Case', (1970), reprinted in Public Affairs (1971), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreement (37)  |  Common (108)  |  Contemporary (29)  |  Experimental Physicist (8)  |  Greatest (62)  |  Nuclear (26)  |  Original (50)  |  Paper (74)  |  Past (143)  |  Physicist (151)  |  Present (156)  |  Reading (52)  |  Research (568)  |  Sir Ernest Rutherford (52)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Student (188)  |  Study (434)  |  Substance (82)  |  Textbook (25)  |  Today (112)  |  Work (589)

Not that we may not, to explain any Phenomena of Nature, make use of any probable Hypothesis whatsoever: Hypotheses, if they are well made, are at least great helps to the Memory, and often direct us to new discoveries. But my Meaning is, that we should not take up anyone too hastily, (which the Mind, that would always penetrate into the Causes of Things, and have Principles to rest on, is very apt to do,) till we have very well examined Particulars, and made several Experiments, in that thing which we would explain by our Hypothesis, and see whether it will agree to them all; whether our Principles will carry us quite through, and not be as inconsistent with one Phenomenon of Nature, as they seem to accommodate and explain another.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 4, Chapter 12, Section 13, 648.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (269)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Meaning (106)  |  Memory (96)  |  Mind (691)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Particular (69)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Principle (268)

Nothing is known in our profession by guess; and I do not believe, that from the first dawn of medical science to the present moment, a single correct idea has ever emanated from conjecture: it is right therefore, that those who are studying their profession should be aware that there is no short road to knowledge; and that observation on the diseased living, examination of the dead, and experiments upon living animals, are the only sources of true knowledge; and that inductions from these are the sole bases of legitimate theory.
Astley Paston Cooper, Astley Cooper, Bransby Blake Cooper, A Treatise on Dislocations and Fractures of the Joints (1851), 155.
Science quotes on:  |  Guess (44)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Medicine (334)  |  Observation (438)

Nothing tends so much to the advancement of knowledge as the application of a new instrument.
Elements of Chemical Philosophy (1812), in J. Davy (ed.), The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy(1839-40), Vol. 4, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1244)

Now I know what the atom looks like.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (272)

Now that we know nature thoroughly, a child can see that in making experiments we are simply paying nature compliments. It is no more than a ceremonial ritual. We know the answers in advance. We consult nature in the same way as great rulers consult their parliaments.
Aphorism 67 in Notebook E (1775-1776), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Ceremony (6)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Parliament (3)  |  Ritual (9)  |  Ruler (14)

Now that we locate them [genes] in the chromosomes are we justified in regarding them as material units; as chemical bodies of a higher order than molecules? Frankly, these are questions with which the working geneticist has not much concern himself, except now and then to speculate as to the nature of the postulated elements. There is no consensus of opinion amongst geneticists as to what the genes are—whether they are real or purely fictitious—because at the level at which the genetic experiments lie, it does not make the slightest difference whether the gene is a hypothetical unit, or whether the gene is a material particle. In either case the unit is associated with a specific chromosome, and can be localized there by purely genetic analysis. Hence, if the gene is a material unit, it is a piece of chromosome; if it is a fictitious unit, it must be referred to a definite location in a chromosome—the same place as on the other hypothesis. Therefore, it makes no difference in the actual work in genetics which point of view is taken. Between the characters that are used by the geneticist and the genes that his theory postulates lies the whole field of embryonic development.
'The Relation of Genetics to Physiology and Medicine', Nobel Lecture (4 Jun 1934). In Nobel Lectures, Physiology or Medicine 1922-1941 (1965), 315.
Science quotes on:  |  Chromosome (19)  |  Consensus (5)  |  Embryo (22)  |  Gene (71)  |  Geneticist (11)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Molecule (130)  |  Opinion (168)  |  Postulate (30)  |  Speculation (95)  |  Theory (661)

Obervation is a passive science, experimentation is an active science.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (438)  |  Research (568)

Observation and experiment for gathering material, induction and deduction for elaborating it: these are are only good intellectual tools.
In Claude Bernard, Henry C. Greene and L. J. Henderson, An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1957), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Intellect (185)  |  Observation (438)

Obviously we biologists should fit our methods to our materials. An interesting response to this challenge has been employed particularly by persons who have entered biology from the physical sciences or who are distressed by the variability in biology; they focus their research on inbred strains of genetically homogeneous laboratory animals from which, to the maximum extent possible, variability has been eliminated. These biologists have changed the nature of the biological system to fit their methods. Such a bold and forthright solution is admirable, but it is not for me. Before I became a professional biologist, I was a boy naturalist, and I prefer a contrasting approach; to change the method to fit the system. This approach requires that one employ procedures which allow direct scientific utilization of the successful long-term evolutionary experiments which are documented by the fascinating diversity and variability of the species of animals which occupy the earth. This is easy to say and hard to do.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 232.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (18)  |  Allow (41)  |  Animal (340)  |  Approach (49)  |  Become (163)  |  Biological (35)  |  Biologist (39)  |  Biology (163)  |  Bold (7)  |  Boy (44)  |  Challenge (53)  |  Change (347)  |  Contrast (25)  |  Direct (74)  |  Distress (6)  |  Diversity (50)  |  Document (7)  |  Earth (611)  |  Easy (86)  |  Eliminate (21)  |  Employ (28)  |  Enter (28)  |  Evolutionary (23)  |  Extent (44)  |  Fascinating (21)  |  Fit (42)  |  Focus (27)  |  Genetically (2)  |  Hard (96)  |  Homogeneous (5)  |  Interest (221)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Long-Term (9)  |  Material (143)  |  Maximum (12)  |  Method (200)  |  Naturalist (54)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Obviously (11)  |  Occupy (26)  |  Particularly (19)  |  Person (145)  |  Physical Science (61)  |  Possible (138)  |  Prefer (24)  |  Procedure (23)  |  Professional (35)  |  Require (66)  |  Research (568)  |  Response (28)  |  Say (214)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Solution (195)  |  Species (213)  |  Strain (11)  |  Successful (38)  |  System (181)  |  Utilization (8)  |  Variability (5)

Occurrences that other men would have noted only with the most casual interest became for Whitney exciting opportunities to experiment. Once he became disturbed by a scientist's seemingly endless pursuit of irrelevant details in the course of an experiment, and criticized this as being as pointless as grabbing beans out of a pot, recording the numbers, and then analyzing the results. Later that day, after he had gone home, his simile began to intrigue him, and he asked himself whether it would really be pointless to count beans gathered in such a random manner. Another man might well have dismissed this as an idle fancy, but to Whitney an opportunity to conduct an experiment was not to be overlooked. Accordingly, he set a pot of beans beside his bed, and for several days each night before retiring he would take as many beans as he could grasp in one hand and make a note of how many were in the handful. After several days had passed he was intrigued to find that the results were not as unrewarding as he had expected. He found that each handful contained more beans than the one before, indicating that with practice he was learning to grasp more and more beans. “This might be called research in morphology, the science of animal structure,” he mused. “My hand was becoming webbed … so I said to myself: never label a real experiment useless, it may reveal something unthought of but worth knowing.”
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 358-359.
Science quotes on:  |  Bean (3)  |  Count (45)  |  Criticism (59)  |  Detail (78)  |  Dismissal (2)  |  Fancy (22)  |  Grab (3)  |  Hand (131)  |  Idleness (8)  |  Irrelevance (3)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Label (11)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Pot (2)  |  Practice (86)  |  Revelation (32)  |  Simile (4)  |  Uselessness (22)

Of course, Behaviourism “works.” So does torture. Give me a no-nonsense, down-to-earth behaviourist, a few drugs, and simple electrical appliances, and in six months I will have him reciting the Athanasian Creed in public.
A Certain World: A Commonplace Book (1971),33.
Science quotes on:  |  Psychology (133)

On the whole, I cannot help saying that it appears to me not a little extraordinary, that a theory so new, and of such importance, overturning every thing that was thought to be the best established in chemistry, should rest on so very narrow and precarious a foundation, the experiments adduced in support of it being not only ambiguous or explicable on either hypothesis, but exceedingly few. I think I have recited them all, and that on which the greatest stress is laid, viz. That of the formation of water from the decomposition of the two kinds of air, has not been sufficiently repeated. Indeed it required so difficult and expensive an apparatus, and so many precautions in the use of it, that the frequent repetition of the experiment cannot be expected; and in these circumstances the practised experimenter cannot help suspecting the accuracy of the result and consequently the certainty of the conclusion.
Considerations on the Doctrine of Phlogiston (1796), 57-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (59)  |  Air (181)  |  Ambiguity (13)  |  Apparatus (32)  |  Certainty (122)  |  Circumstance (62)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Decomposition (12)  |  Difficulty (133)  |  Establish (46)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Extraordinary (36)  |  Formation (57)  |  Foundation (99)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Importance (203)  |  Narrow (43)  |  New (455)  |  Precarious (5)  |  Repeat (35)  |  Result (328)  |  Support (72)  |  Theory (661)  |  Water (278)

One can't be of an enquiring and experimental nature, and still be very sensible.
Wild Talents (1932, 2004), 308.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Mind (691)  |  Sensible (25)

One could say you can't do any experiment which exceeds the lifetime of a Ph.D. student.
In transcript of video interview story No. 45, 'Evolution experiments' on webofstories.com website.
Science quotes on:  |  Lifetime (26)  |  PhD (8)  |  Student (188)

One day when the whole family had gone to a circus to see some extraordinary performing apes, I remained alone with my microscope, observing the life in the mobile cells of a transparent star-fish larva, when a new thought suddenly flashed across my brain. It struck me that similar cells might serve in the defence of the organism against intruders. Feeling that there was in this something of surpassing interest, I felt so excited that I began striding up and down the room and even went to the seashore in order to collect my thoughts.
I said to myself that, if my supposition was true, a splinter introduced into the body of a star-fish larva, devoid of blood-vessels or of a nervous system, should soon be surrounded by mobile cells as is to be observed in a man who runs a splinter into his finger. This was no sooner said than done.
There was a small garden to our dwelling, in which we had a few days previously organised a 'Christmas tree' for the children on a little tangerine tree; I fetched from it a few rose thorns and introduced them at once under the skin of some beautiful star-fish larvae as transparent as water.
I was too excited to sleep that night in the expectation of the result of my experiment, and very early the next morning I ascertained that it had fully succeeded.
That experiment formed the basis of the phagocyte theory, to the development of which I devoted the next twenty-five years of my life.
In Olga Metchnikoff, Life of Elie Metchnikoff 1845-1916 (1921), 116-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Cell (133)  |  Circus (3)  |  Introduce (35)  |  Larva (4)  |  Life (1071)  |  Microscope (72)  |  Nerve (68)  |  Phagocyte (2)  |  Theory (661)

One of the greatest experimental scientists of the time who was really doing something, William Harvey, said that what Bacon said science was, was the science that a lord-chancellor would do. He [Bacon] spoke of making observations, but omitted the vital factor of judgment about what to observe and what to pay attention to.
From address (1966) at the 14th Annual Convention of the National Science Teachers Association, New York City, printed in 'What is science?', The Physics Teacher (1969), 7, No. 6, 321.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (106)  |  Sir Francis Bacon (175)  |  Factor (43)  |  Great (469)  |  William Harvey (27)  |  Judgment (89)  |  Observation (438)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Vital (38)

Richard P. Feynman quote: One of the ways of stopping science would be only to do experiments in the region where you know the l
One of the ways of stopping science would be only to do experiments in the region where you know the law. … In other words we are trying to prove ourselves wrong as quickly as possible, because only in that way can we find progress.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965, 2001), 158.
Science quotes on:  |  Finding (30)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Law (485)  |  Possible (138)  |  Progress (348)  |  Proof (235)  |  Quickly (15)  |  Region (31)  |  Science (1939)  |  Trying (18)  |  Word (282)  |  Wrong (130)

One should avoid carrying out an experiment requiring more than 10 per cent accuracy.
Quoted in W. Jost, '45 Years of Physical Chemistry in Germany', Annual Review of Physical Chemistry (1966), 17, 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (59)  |  Avoidance (11)  |  Requirement (46)

One way of dealing with errors is to have friends who are willing to spend the time necessary to carry out a critical examination of the experimental design beforehand and the results after the experiments have been completed. An even better way is to have an enemy. An enemy is willing to devote a vast amount of time and brain power to ferreting out errors both large and small, and this without any compensation. The trouble is that really capable enemies are scarce; most of them are only ordinary. Another trouble with enemies is that they sometimes develop into friends and lose a great deal of their zeal. It was in this way the writer lost his three best enemies. Everyone, not just scientists, needs a good few enemies.
Quoted in George A. Olah, A Life of Magic Chemistry (2001), 146.
Science quotes on:  |  Enemy (59)  |  Error (263)

Only by following out the injunction of our great predecessor [William Harvey] to search out and study the secrets of Nature by way of experiment, can we hope to attain to a comprehension of 'the wisdom of the body and the understanding of the heart,' and thereby to the mastery of disease and pain, which will enable us to relieve the burden of mankind.
'The Wisdom of the Body', The Lancet (1923), 205, 870.
Science quotes on:  |  Attainment (40)  |  Body (229)  |  Burden (27)  |  Comprehension (53)  |  Disease (269)  |  Following (16)  |  William Harvey (27)  |  Heart (136)  |  Hope (165)  |  Mankind (232)  |  Mastery (26)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Pain (95)  |  Predecessor (20)  |  Relief (17)  |  Search (101)  |  Secret (123)  |  Study (434)  |  Wisdom (172)

Our job is to keep everlastingly at research and experiment, to adapt our laboratories to production as soon as practicable, to let no new improvement in flying and flying equipment pass us by.
End of Boeing’s quote, inscribed on his memorial at the Boeing Developmental Center, Tukwila, WA, as given in Mike Lombardi, 'Historical Perspective: 50 years at the Leading Edge', Boeing Frontiers (Aug 2009), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (25)  |  Equipment (29)  |  Everlasting (8)  |  Flying (20)  |  Improvement (71)  |  Job (41)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  New (455)  |  Pass (83)  |  Production (112)  |  Research (568)  |  Soon (30)

Our scientific work in physics consists in asking questions about nature in the language that we possess and trying to get an answer from experiment by the means at our disposal. In this way quantum theory reminds us, as Bohr has put it, of the old wisdom that when searching for harmony in life one must never forget that in the drama of existence we are ourselves both players and spectators. It is understandable that in our scientific relation to nature our own activity becomes very important when we have to deal with parts of nature into which we can penetrate only by using the most elaborate tools.
The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory (1958). In Steve Adams, Frontiers (2000), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Quantum Theory (56)  |  Question (383)  |  Research (568)

Over the last century, physicists have used light quanta, electrons, alpha particles, X-rays, gamma-rays, protons, neutrons and exotic sub-nuclear particles for this purpose [scattering experiments]. Much important information about the target atoms or nuclei or their assemblage has been obtained in this way. In witness of this importance one can point to the unusual concentration of scattering enthusiasts among earlier Nobel Laureate physicists. One could say that physicists just love to perform or interpret scattering experiments.
Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1994), in Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1994 (1995).
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (272)  |  Century (121)  |  Electron (71)  |  Enthusiast (6)  |  Gamma Ray (3)  |  Importance (203)  |  Information (115)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Light (331)  |  Love (207)  |  Neutron (10)  |  Nobel Laureate (3)  |  Nucleus (32)  |  Particle (97)  |  Perform (30)  |  Physics (329)  |  Proton (14)  |  Quantum (14)  |  Scattering (2)  |  Target (5)  |  X-ray (18)

Painting is a science, and should be pursued as an inquiry into the laws of nature. Why, then, may not landscape painting be considered as a branch of natural philosophy, of which pictures are but the experiments?
'The History of Landscape Painting', quoted in Charles Tomlinson, Collected Poems (1985), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Nature (1154)  |  Painting (40)

People have now-a-days got a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. I know nothing that can best be taught by lectures, except where experiments are to be shewn. You may teach chemistry by lectures.
Elements of Chemistry (1830)
Science quotes on:  |  Lecture (61)  |  Opinion (168)  |  Strange (83)  |  Teaching (106)

Perfect as the wing of a bird may be, it will never enable the bird to fly if unsupported by the air. Facts are the air of science. Without them a man of science can never rise. Without them your theories are vain surmises. But while you are studying, observing, experimenting, do not remain content with the surface of things. Do not become a mere recorder of facts, but try to penetrate the mystery of their origin. Seek obstinately for the laws that govern them.
Translation of a note, 'Bequest of Pavlov to the Academic Youth of his Country', written a few days before his death for a student magazine, The Generation of the Victors. As published in 'Pavlov and the Spirit of Science', Nature (4 Apr 1936), 137, 572.
Science quotes on:  |  Content (54)  |  Fact (688)  |  Law (485)  |  Mere (63)  |  Mystery (145)  |  Observe (71)  |  Obstinately (2)  |  Origin (83)  |  Penetrate (29)  |  Recorder (4)  |  Remain (100)  |  Science (1939)  |  Seek (95)  |  Study (434)  |  Surface (97)  |  Surmise (2)  |  Theory (661)  |  Vain (28)

Perhaps bacteria may tentatively be regarded as biochemical experiments; owing to their relatively small size and rapid growth, variations must arise much more frequently than in more differentiated forms of life, and they can in addition afford to occupy more precarious positions in natural economy than larger organisms with more exacting requirements.
Bacterial Metabolism (1930). In 'Obituary Notice: Marjory Stephenson, 1885–1948', Biochemistry Journal (1950), 46:4, 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Bacteria (33)  |  Variation (59)

Philosophers of science constantly discuss theories and representation of reality, but say almost nothing about experiment, technology, or the use of knowledge to alter the world. This is odd, because ‘experimental method’ used to be just another name for scientific method.... I hope [to] initiate a Back-to-Bacon movement, in which we attend more seriously to experimental science. Experimentation has a life of its own.
Representing and Intervening, p. 149f (1983). Announcing the author's intention to stress 'intervening' as an essential component of science.
Science quotes on:  |  Alter (22)  |  Attend (9)  |  Constantly (27)  |  Discuss (20)  |  Experimental (18)  |  Experimentation (7)  |  Hope (165)  |  Initiate (4)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Life (1071)  |  Method (200)  |  Movement (78)  |  Name (156)  |  Nothing (363)  |  Odd (12)  |  Philosopher (157)  |  Reality (183)  |  Representation (32)  |  Say (214)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Seriously (19)  |  Technology (213)  |  Theory (661)  |  World (854)

Physicists speak of the particle representation or the wave representation. Bohr's principle of complementarity asserts that there exist complementary properties of the same object of knowledge, one of which if known will exclude knowledge of the other. We may therefore describe an object like an electron in ways which are mutually exclusive—e.g., as wave or particle—without logical contradiction provided we also realize that the experimental arrangements that determine these descriptions are similarly mutually exclusive. Which experiment—and hence which description one chooses—is purely a matter of human choice.
The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature (1982), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (52)  |  Assertion (30)  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Choice (75)  |  Complementarity (3)  |  Contradiction (50)  |  Description (79)  |  Determination (55)  |  Electron (71)  |  Exclusion (12)  |  Existence (289)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Mutual (26)  |  Object (152)  |  Particle (97)  |  Physicist (151)  |  Property (113)  |  Realization (36)  |  Representation (32)  |  Speaking (37)  |  Wave (63)

Physiological experiment on animals is justifiable for real investigation, but not for mere damnable and detestable curiosity.
letter to E. Ray Lankester
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (340)  |  Physiology (80)

Physiology is the experimental science par excellence of all sciences; that in which there is least to be learnt by mere observation, and that which affords the greatest field for the exercise of those faculties which characterize the experimental philosopher.
In 'Educational Value of Natural History Sciences', Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews (1870), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Learn (255)  |  Mere (63)  |  Observation (438)  |  Par Excellence (2)  |  Physiology (80)  |  Science (1939)

Placed in a universe of constant change, on an isolated globe surrounded by distant celestial objects on all sides, subjected to influences of various kinds, it is a sublime occupation to measure the earth and weigh the planets, to predict their changes, and even to discover the materials of which they are composed; to investigate the causes of the tempest and volcano; to bring the lightning from the clouds; to submit it to experiment by which it shall reveal its character; and to estimate the size and weight of those invisible atoms which constitute the universe of things.
In Letter (3 Feb 1873) to the Committee of Arrangements, in Proceedings of the Farewell Banquet to Professor Tyndall (4 Feb 1873), 19. Reprinted as 'On the Importance of the Cultivation of Science', The Popular Science Monthly (1873), Vol. 2, 645.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (272)  |  Change (347)  |  Cloud (67)  |  Composition (54)  |  Estimate (26)  |  Globe (45)  |  Isolated (14)  |  Lightning (33)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Planet (254)  |  Star (323)  |  Tempest (6)  |  Universe (655)  |  Volcano (39)  |  Weight (72)

Professor Bethe … is a man who has this characteristic: If there’s a good experimental number you’ve got to figure it out from theory. So, he forced the quantum electrodynamics of the day to give him an answer [for the experimentally measured Lamb-shift of hydrogen], … and thus, made the most important discovery in the history of the theory of quantum electrodynamics. He worked this out on the train from Ithaca, New York to Schenectady.
Bethe calculated, what Lamb had experimentally just measured, for the separation of the 2S½ and 2P½ of hydrogen. Both theory and measurement yielded about one thousand megacycles for the Lamb-shift. Feynman was at the time associated with Bethe at Cornell. In Feynman’s 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), 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (237)  |  Hans Albrecht Bethe (5)  |  Calculate (25)  |  Characteristic (90)  |  Discovery (660)  |  History (348)  |  Hydrogen (42)  |  Quantum Electrodynamics (3)  |  Theory (661)

Professor Brown: “Since this slide was made,” he opined, “My students have re-examined the errant points and I am happy to report that all fall close to the [straight] line.” Questioner: “Professor Brown, I am delighted that the points which fell off the line proved, on reinvestigation, to be in compliance. I wonder, however, if you have had your students reinvestigate all these points that previously fell on the line to find out how many no longer do so?”
Quoted in D. A. Davenport, 'The Invective Effect', Chemtech, September 1987, 530.
Science quotes on:  |  Data (115)  |  Graph (5)

Proper Experiments have always Truth to defend them; also Reasoning join’d with Mathematical Evidence, and founded upon Experiment, will hold equally true; but should it be true, without those Supports it must be altogether useless.
In Academical Lectures on the Theory of Physic (1751), Vol. 1. As quoted in Thomas Steele Hall, A Source Book in Animal Biology (1951), 485.
Science quotes on:  |  Defend (28)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Proper (32)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Support (72)  |  True (178)  |  Truth (881)  |  Useless (31)

Proposals for forming a Public Institution for diffusing the knowledge of Mechanical Inventions, and for teaching, by Philosophical Lectures and Experiments, the application of Science to the common purposes of life.
Title of the pamphlet (Apr 1799) in which he proposed what is now the Royal Institution. As named in a notice under 'A Correct List of New Publications', The Monthly Magazine: Part 1 for 1799 from January to June, inclusive (Apr 1799), 7, Part 1, 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (148)  |  Invention (311)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Lecture (61)  |  Life (1071)  |  Natural Philosophy (25)  |  Proposal (10)  |  Purpose (175)  |  Royal Institution (2)  |  Science (1939)  |  Teaching (106)

Propose theories which can be criticized. Think about possible decisive falsifying experiments—crucial experiments. But do not give up your theories too easily—not, at any rate, before you have critically examined your criticism.
'The Problem of Demarcation' (1974). Collected in David Miller (ed.) Popper Selections (1985), 126-127.
Science quotes on:  |  Criticism (59)  |  Decisive (10)  |  Ease (33)  |  Examination (63)  |  Falsification (9)  |  Proposition (73)  |  Theory (661)  |  Thinking (227)

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
In Thessalonians 5:21, King James Version, Bible. For example, in Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett, eds., The Bible: Authorized King James Version (2008), 255.
Science quotes on:  |  Fast (39)  |  Good (311)  |  Hold (84)  |  Prove (101)  |  Scientific Method (163)

Psychological introspection goes hand in hand with the methods of experimental physiology. If one wants to put the main emphasis on the characteristic of the method, our science, experimental psychology, is to be distinguished from the ordinary mental philosophy [Seelenlehre], based purely on introspection.
In Grundzüge der physiologischen Psychologie [Principles of Physiological Psychology] (1874), 2-3. Trans. K. Damiger, Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research (1990), 206.
Science quotes on:  |  Introspection (4)  |  Philosophy (241)  |  Physiology (80)  |  Psychology (133)

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 (52)  |  Animal (340)  |  Behavior (58)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Consciousness (76)  |  Consideration (78)  |  Data (115)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Introspection (4)  |  Investigate (61)  |  Man (366)  |  Natural Science (83)  |  Need (261)  |  Objective (58)  |  Physics (329)  |  Plane (17)  |  Position (69)  |  Psychology (133)

Reason has so many forms that we do not know which to choose—Experiment has no fewer.
Quoted in René Dugas, A History of Mechanics (1988), 320. The author writes that in the frontispiece of one of his papers, Coulomb quotes this saying of Montaigne (Essais, Book 3, Chap. 8).
Science quotes on:  |  Choose (50)  |  Fewer (7)  |  Form (278)  |  Know (496)  |  Reason (424)

Salt water when it turns into vapour becomes sweet, and the vapour does not form salt water when it condenses again. This I know by experiment. The same thing is true in every case of the kind: wine and all fluids that evaporate and condense back into a liquid state become water. They all are water modified by a certain admixture, the nature of which determines their flavour.
[Aristotle describing his distillation experiment.]
Meteorology (350 B.C.), Book II, translated by E. W. Webster. Internet Classics Archive, (classics.mit.edu).
Science quotes on:  |  Admixture (2)  |  Brine (3)  |  Condensation (8)  |  Desalination (3)  |  Distillation (9)  |  Evaporation (6)  |  Liquid (25)  |  Salt (25)  |  Solution (195)  |  Water (278)  |  Wine (26)

Samuel Pierpoint Langley, at that time regarded as one of the most distinguished scientists in the United States … evidently believed that a full sized airplane could be built and flown largely from theory alone. This resulted in two successive disastrous plunges into the Potomac River, the second of which almost drowned his pilot. This experience contrasts with that of two bicycle mechanics Orville and Wilbur Wright who designed, built and flew the first successful airplane. But they did this after hundreds of experiments extending over a number of years.
In article Total Quality: Its Origins and its Future (1995), published at the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement.
Science quotes on:  |  Airplane (38)  |  Alone (88)  |  Bicycle (9)  |  Build (103)  |  Contrast (25)  |  Design (108)  |  Disastrous (3)  |  Distinguished (6)  |  Drown (11)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fly (97)  |  Samuel Pierpont Langley (3)  |  Largely (13)  |  Mechanic (20)  |  Pilot (12)  |  Plunge (9)  |  Regarded (4)  |  Result (328)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Success (234)  |  Theory (661)  |  United States (31)  |  Orville Wright (8)

Science can be defined as “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena.”
In Bernice Zeldin Schacter, Issues and Dilemmas of Biotechnology: A Reference Guide (1999), 1, citing the American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College Edition.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (177)  |  Description (79)  |  Explanation (173)  |  Identification (11)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Observation (438)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Science (1939)  |  Theoretical (17)

Science deals with judgments on which it is possible to obtain universal agreement. These judgments do not concern individual facts and events, but the invariable association of facts and events known as the laws of science. Agreement is secured by observation and experiment—impartial courts of appeal to which all men must submit if they wish to survive. The laws are grouped and explained by theories of ever increasing generality. The theories at first are ex post facto—merely plausible interpretations of existing bodies of data. However, they frequently lead to predictions that can be tested by experiments and observations in new fields, and, if the interpretations are verified, the theories are accepted as working hypotheses until they prove untenable. The essential requirements are agreement on the subject matter and the verification of predictions. These features insure a body of positive knowledge that can be transmitted from person to person, and that accumulates from generation to generation.
From manuscript on English Science in the Renaissance (1937), Edwin Hubble collection, Box 2, Huntington Library, San Marino, California. As cited by Norriss S. Hetherington in 'Philosophical Values and Observation in Edwin Hubble's Choice of a Model of the Universe', Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences (1982), 13, No. 1, 41. (Hetherington comments parenthetically that the references to court, judgment and appeal may be attributable to his prior experiences as a Rhodes Scholar reading Roman law at Oxford, and to a year's practice as an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky.)
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (30)  |  Agreement (37)  |  Appeal (37)  |  Association (18)  |  Court (20)  |  Data (115)  |  Event (113)  |  Fact (688)  |  Generality (28)  |  Generation (127)  |  Impartiality (3)  |  Interpretation (68)  |  Judgment (89)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Obervation (3)  |  Plausibility (6)  |  Prediction (70)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Survival (56)  |  Test (115)  |  Theory (661)  |  Transmission (25)  |  Verification (24)

Science emerges from the other progressive activities of man to the extent that new concepts arise from experiments and observations, and that the new concepts in turn lead to further experiments and observations.
From On Understanding Science (1947), 24 as quoted and cited in Naomi Oreskes and John Krige (eds.), Science and Technology in the Global Cold War (2014), 380 & footnote 30 on 391.
Science quotes on:  |  Observation (438)  |  Research (568)  |  Science (1939)

Science gains from it [the pendulum] more than one can expect. With its huge dimensions, the apparatus presents qualities that one would try in vain to communicate by constructing it on a small [scale], no matter how carefully. Already the regularity of its motion promises the most conclusive results. One collects numbers that, compared with the predictions of theory, permit one to appreciate how far the true pendulum approximates or differs from the abstract system called 'the simple pendulum'.
In 'Demonstration Experimentale du Movement de Rotation de la Terre' (31 May 1851). In C.M. Gariel (ed.), J. Bertrand (ed.) and Harold Burstyn (trans.), Recueil des Travaux Scientifiques de Lion Foucault (1878), Vol. 2, 527.
Science quotes on:  |  Pendulum (15)

Science is a dynamic undertaking directed to lowering the degree of the empiricism involved in solving problems; or, if you prefer, science is a process of fabricating a web of interconnected concepts and conceptual schemes arising from experiments and ob
Modern Science and Modern Man, p. 62, New York (1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (41)  |  Concept (132)  |  Conceptual (10)  |  Degree (73)  |  Direct (74)  |  Dynamic (13)  |  Empiricism (17)  |  Fabricate (5)  |  Involve (43)  |  Lowering (4)  |  Prefer (24)  |  Problem (451)  |  Process (244)  |  Scheme (25)  |  Science (1939)  |  Solve (61)  |  Undertake (18)  |  Web (14)

Science is a game—but a game with reality, a game with sharpened knives … If a man cuts a picture carefully into 1000 pieces, you solve the puzzle when you reassemble the pieces into a picture; in the success or failure, both your intelligences compete. In the presentation of a scientific problem, the other player is the good Lord. He has not only set the problem but also has devised the rules of the game—but they are not completely known, half of them are left for you to discover or to deduce. The experiment is the tempered blade which you wield with success against the spirits of darkness—or which defeats you shamefully. The uncertainty is how many of the rules God himself has permanently ordained, and how many apparently are caused by your own mental inertia, while the solution generally becomes possible only through freedom from its limitations.
Quoted in Walter Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought (1989), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Blade (8)  |  Competition (29)  |  Cut (37)  |  Darkness (40)  |  Deduction (66)  |  Defeat (18)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Failure (133)  |  Freedom (97)  |  Game (61)  |  Inertia (11)  |  Intelligence (161)  |  Knife (10)  |  Limitation (25)  |  Mind (691)  |  Ordain (4)  |  Picture (68)  |  Piece (35)  |  Presentation (13)  |  Problem (451)  |  Reality (183)  |  Rule (163)  |  Science (1939)  |  Sharp (13)  |  Solution (195)  |  Spirit (140)  |  Success (234)  |  Uncertainty (41)

Science is a speculative enterprise. The validity of a new idea and the significance of a new experimental finding are to be measured by the consequences—consequences in terms of other ideas and other experiments. Thus conceived, science is not a quest for certainty; it is rather a quest which is successful only to the degree that it is continuous.
In Science and Common Sense (1951), 25-26.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (122)  |  Consequence (97)  |  Continuous (33)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Idea (545)  |  Measure (97)  |  New (455)  |  Quest (32)  |  Science (1939)  |  Significance (70)  |  Speculation (95)  |  Success (234)  |  Validity (29)

Science rests on reason and experiment, and can meet an opponent with calmness; [but] a creed is always sensitive.
Thomas Carlyle: a History of his Life in London, 1834-1881 (1884), Vol. 2, 207.
Science quotes on:  |  Calm (20)  |  Creed (11)  |  Opponent (11)  |  Reason (424)  |  Science (1939)  |  Sensitive (13)

Science starts with preconception, with the common culture, and with common sense. It moves on to observation, is marked by the discovery of paradox, and is then concerned with the correction of preconception. It moves then to use these corrections for the designing of further observation and for more refined experiment. And as it moves along this course the nature of the evidence and experience that nourish it becomes more and more unfamiliar; it is not just the language that is strange [to common culture].
From 'The Growth of Science and the Structure of Culture', Daedalus (Winter 1958), 87, No. 1, 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Common Sense (72)  |  Correction (30)  |  Culture (96)  |  Design (108)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Experience (322)  |  Language (200)  |  Nourish (15)  |  Observation (438)  |  Paradox (43)  |  Preconception (10)  |  Refined (6)  |  Science (1939)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Start (89)  |  Strange (83)  |  Unfamiliar (5)

Scientists should not be allowed to torture animals to death; let doctors experiment on journalists and politicians.
In Dounia B. Christiani (trans., ed.), The Wild Duck (1968), 83. Also seen translated as: “It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians.”
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (340)  |  Inexcusable (3)  |  Journalist (8)  |  Let (54)  |  Politician (25)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Torture (15)

Seeing and thinking have done much for human progress; in the sphere of mind and morals everything, and could the world have been saved by armchair philosophy, the Greeks would have done it; but only a novum organon could do this, the powerful possibilities of which were only revealed when man began to search our the secrets of nature by way of experiment, to use the words of Harvey.
Address at the opening of the new Pathological Institute of the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow (4 Oct 1911). Printed in 'The Pathological Institute of a General Hospital', Glasgow Medical Journal (1911), 76, 326.
Science quotes on:  |  Armchair (2)  |  Greek (66)  |  William Harvey (27)  |  Mind (691)  |  Moral (115)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Philosophy (241)  |  Possibility (110)  |  Progress (348)  |  Revelation (32)  |  Secret (123)  |  Seeing (47)  |  Thinking (227)

Since the discovery of secret things and in the investigation of hidden causes, stronger reasons are obtained from sure experiments and demonstrated arguments than from probable conjectures and the opinions of philosophical speculators of the common sort; therefore to the end that the noble substance of that great loadstone, our common mother (the earth), still quite unknown, and also the forces extraordinary and exalted of this globe may the better be understood, we have decided first to begin with the common stony and ferruginous matter, and magnetic bodies, and the parts of the earth that we may handle and may perceive with the senses; then to proceed with plain magnetic experiments, and to penetrate to the inner parts of the earth.
On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies and on the Great Magnet the Earth: A New Physiology, Demonstrated with many Arguments and Experiments (1600), trans. P. Fleury Mottelay (1893), Author's Preface, xlvii.
Science quotes on:  |  Magnetism (29)

Since the measuring device has been constructed by the observer … we have to remember that what we observe is not nature itself but nature exposed to our method of questioning. Our scientific work in physics consists in asking questions about nature in the language that we possess and trying to get an answer from experiment by the means that are at our disposal.
Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science (1958), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Nature (1154)  |  Observation (438)

Some months ago we discovered that certain light elements emit positrons under the action of alpha particles. Our latest experiments have shown a very striking fact: when an aluminium foil is irradiated on a polonium preparation [alpha ray emitter], the emission of positrons does not cease immediately when the active preparation is removed: the foil remains radioactive and the emission of radiation decays exponentially as for an ordinary radio-element. We observed the same phenomenon with boron and magnesium.
[Co-author with Irène Joliot-Curie. This one-page paper reported their discovery of artificial radioactivity for which they were awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.]
Letter to the Editor, 'Artificial Production of a New Kind of Radio-Element'(10 Jan 1934) published in Nature (1934), 133, 201-2. Cited in Mauro Dardo, Nobel Laureates and Twentieth-Century Physics (2004), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Aluminium (3)  |  Artificial (30)  |  Boron (4)  |  Decay (32)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Emission (16)  |  Exponential (3)  |  Foil (3)  |  Magnesium (4)  |  Observation (438)  |  Polonium (5)  |  Positron (3)  |  Radioactivity (28)

Someday someone will write a pathology of experimental physics and bring to light all those swindles which subvert our reason, beguile our judgement and, what is worse, stand in the way of any practical progress. The phenomena must be freed once and for all from their grim torture chamber of empiricism, mechanism, and dogmatism; they must be brought before the jury of man's common sense.
Jeremy Naydler (ed.), Goethe On Science: An Anthology of Goethe's Scientific Writings (1996), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Common Sense (72)  |  Progress (348)

Sometimes I am a collector of data, and only a collector, and am likely to be gross and miserly, piling up notes, pleased with merely numerically adding to my stores.
Wild Talents (1932, 2004), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Mind (691)  |  Sensible (25)

Speaking concretely, when we say “making experiments or making observations,” we mean that we devote ourselves to investigation and to research, that we make attempts and trials in order to gain facts from which the mind, through reasoning, may draw knowledge or instruction.
Speaking in the abstract, when we say “relying on observation and gaining experience,” we mean that observation is the mind's support in reasoning, and experience the mind's support in deciding, or still better, the fruit of exact reasoning applied to the interpretation of facts. It follows from this that we can gain experience without making experiments, solely by reasoning appropriately about well- established facts, just as we can make experiments and observations without gaining experience, if we limit ourselves to noting facts.
Observation, then, is what shows facts; experiment is what teaches about facts and gives experience in relation to anything.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Concretely (4)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fact (688)  |  Observation (438)

Strict conservation of energy in the elementary process had thus been confirmed also by a negative experiment.
Science quotes on:  |  Confirm (12)  |  Conservation Of Energy (27)  |  Elementary (39)  |  Negative (33)  |  Process (244)  |  Strict (12)

Subatomic particles have no meaning as isolated entities, but can only be understood as interconnections between the preparation of an experiment and the subsequent measurement.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Entity (29)  |  Interconnection (7)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Meaning (106)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Particle (97)  |  Preparation (40)  |  Subatomic (7)  |  Subsequent (17)  |  Understanding (325)

Suppose a number of equal waves of water to move upon the surface of a stagnant lake, with a certain constant velocity, and to enter a narrow channel leading out of the lake. Suppose then another similar cause to have excited another equal series of waves, which arrive at the same time, with the first. Neither series of waves will destroy the other, but their effects will be combined: if they enter the channel in such a manner that the elevations of one series coincide with those of the other, they must together produce a series of greater joint elevations; but if the elevations of one series are so situated as to correspond to the depressions of the other, they must exactly fill up those depressions. And the surface of the water must remain smooth; at least I can discover no alternative, either from theory or from experiment.
A Reply to the Animadversions of the Edinburgh Reviewers on Some Papers Published in the Philosophical Transactions (1804), 17-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Alternative (27)  |  Channel (21)  |  Coincidence (12)  |  Combination (84)  |  Constant (52)  |  Depression (18)  |  Destruction (84)  |  Elevation (5)  |  Greater (41)  |  Interference (12)  |  Lake (17)  |  Narrow (43)  |  Smooth (17)  |  Stagnant (4)  |  Supposition (36)  |  Surface (97)  |  Theory (661)  |  Velocity (15)  |  Water (278)  |  Wave (63)

Tell a man that there are 300 billion stars in the universe, and he’ll believe you. Tell him that a bench has wet paint upon it and he’ll have to touch it to be sure.
Occasionally seen attributed to Albert Einstein, but without citation, so it is most likely anonymous.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (489)  |  Bench (4)  |  Billion (59)  |  Paint (20)  |  Star (323)  |  Sure (14)  |  Touch (74)  |  Universe (655)

That a free, or at least an unsaturated acid usually exists in the stomachs of animals, and is in some manner connected with the important process of digestion, seems to have been the general opinion of physiologists till the time of SPALLANZANI. This illustrious philosopher concluded, from his numerous experiments, that the gastric fluids, when in a perfectly natural state, are neither acid nor alkaline. Even SPALLANZANI, however, admitted that the contents of the stomach are very generally acid; and this accords not only with my own observation, but with that, I believe, of almost every individual who has made any experiments on the subject. ... The object of the present communication is to show, that the acid in question is the muriatic [hydrochloric] acid, and that the salts usually met with in the stomach, are the alkaline muriates.
'On the Nature of the Acid and Saline Matters Usually Existing in the Stomachs of Animals', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1824), 114, 45-6.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (18)  |  Alkali (6)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Content (54)  |  Fluid (18)  |  Observation (438)  |  Opinion (168)  |  Physiologist (17)  |  Salt (25)  |  Stomach (22)

That man can interrogate as well as observe nature was a lesson slowly learned in his evolution. Of the two methods by which he can do this, the mathematical and the experimental, both have been equally fruitful—by the one he has gauged the starry heights and harnessed the cosmic forces to his will; by the other he has solved many of the problems of life and lightened many of the burdens of humanity.
In 'The Evolution of the Idea of Experiment in Medicine', in C.G. Roland, Sir William Osler, 1849-1919: A Selection for Medical Students (1982), 103. As cited in William Osler and Mark E. Silverman (ed.), The Quotable Osler (2002), 249
Science quotes on:  |  Burden (27)  |  Cosmic (46)  |  Evolution (523)  |  Fruitful (38)  |  Humanity (119)  |  Interrogation (4)  |  Lesson (38)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Observation (438)  |  Problem (451)

That no generally applicable law of the formulation and development of hybrids has yet been successfully formulated can hardly astonish anyone who is acquainted with the extent of the task and who can appreciate the difficulties with which experiments of this kind have to contend.
'Experiments on Plant Hybrids' (1865). In Curt Stern and Eva R. Sherwood (eds.), The Origin of Genetics: A Mendel Source Book (1966), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Astonishment (21)  |  Development (260)  |  Difficulty (133)  |  Formulation (24)  |  Hybrid (11)  |  Law (485)  |  Success (234)  |  Task (78)

That radioactive elements created by us are found in nature is an astounding event in the history of the earth. And of the Human race. To fail to consider its importance and its consequences would be a folly for which humanity would have to pay a terrible price. When public opinion has been created in the countries concerned and among all the nations, an opinion informed of the dangers involved in going on with the tests and led by the reason which this information imposes, then the statesmen may reach an agreement to stop the experiments.
In 'Excerpts from Message by Schweitzer', New York Times (24 Apr 1957), 4, translated from a letter issued by Schweitzer through the Nobel Committee, asking that public opinion demand an end to nuclear tests.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreement (37)  |  Astounding (3)  |  Consequence (97)  |  Consider (71)  |  Danger (75)  |  Element (155)  |  Event (113)  |  Fail (51)  |  Folly (32)  |  History Of The Earth (2)  |  Human Race (63)  |  Importance (203)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Price (32)  |  Public Opinion (2)  |  Radioactivity (28)  |  Reach (115)  |  Statesman (16)  |  Stop (68)  |  Terrible (19)  |  Test (115)

That which the sciences can add to the privileges of the human race has never been more marked than at the present moment. … The air seems to become as accessible to him as the waters…. The name of Montgolfier, the names of those hardy navigators of the new element, will live through time; but who among us, on seeing these superb experiments, has not felt his soul elevated, his ideas expanded, his mind enlarged?
As quoted by François Arago, in a biography of Bailly, read to the Academy of Sciences (26 Feb 1844), as translated by William Henry Smyth, Baden Powell and Robert Grant, published in 'Bailly', Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men (1859), Vol. 1, 124.
Science quotes on:  |  Accessibility (3)  |  Air (181)  |  Hardy (3)  |  Human Race (63)  |  Idea (545)  |  Mind (691)  |  Navigator (8)  |  Privilege (21)  |  Soul (159)  |  Water (278)

The “British Association for the Promotion of Science,” … is almost necessary for the purposes of science. The periodical assemblage of persons, pursuing the same or différent branches of knowledge, always produces an excitement which is favourable to the development of new ideas; whilst the long period of repose which succeeds, is advantageous for the prosecution of the reasonings or the experiments then suggested; and the récurrence of the meeting in the succeeding year, will stimulate the activity of the inquirer, by the hope of being then enabled to produce the successful result of his labours.
In 'Future Prospects', On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1st ed., 1832), chap. 32, 274. Note: The British Association for the Advancement of Science held its first meeting at York in 1831, the year before the first publication of this book in 1832.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (122)  |  Advancement (38)  |  Assembly (7)  |  Association (18)  |  Branch (86)  |  Conference (11)  |  Development (260)  |  Different (155)  |  Enable (33)  |  Exchange (12)  |  Excitement (38)  |  Favourable (3)  |  Hope (165)  |  Information (115)  |  Inquirer (3)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Labour (43)  |  Meeting (17)  |  Necessary (129)  |  New Ideas (6)  |  Periodic (3)  |  Produce (92)  |  Promotion (7)  |  Purpose (175)  |  Pursue (20)  |  Reasonings (2)  |  Research (568)  |  Result (328)  |  Same (139)  |  Science (1939)  |  Society (215)  |  Stimulate (15)  |  Success (234)  |  Suggest (28)

The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly. Arouse his will to believe in himself, give him a great goal to believe in, and he will create the means to reach it.
Given with date 1 Jan 1960 in Brian M. Thomsen, The Dream That Will Not Die: Inspiring Words of John, Robert, and Edward Kennedy (2010), 79. Webmaster has not seen a primary document for this quote. Although it is widely circulated, the origin is usually never cited. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  American (43)  |  Arouse (10)  |  Belief (489)  |  Best (160)  |  Build (103)  |  Builder (12)  |  Creation (236)  |  Goal (99)  |  Great (469)  |  Greatly (10)  |  Inventor (53)  |  Means (152)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Optimism (12)  |  Reach (115)

The ancients thought as clearly as we do, had greater skills in the arts and in architecture, but they had never learned the use of the great instrument which has given man control over nature—experiment.
Address at the opening of the new Pathological Institute of the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow (4 Oct 1911). Printed in 'The Pathological Institute of a General Hospital', Glasgow Medical Journal (1911), 76, 327.
Science quotes on:  |  Control (106)  |  Instrument (84)  |  Nature (1154)

The art of drawing conclusions from experiments and observations consists in evaluating probabilities and in estimating whether they are sufficiently great or numerous enough to constitute proofs. This kind of calculation is more complicated and more diff
Science quotes on:  |  Art (261)  |  Calculation (90)  |  Complicated (58)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Consist (40)  |  Constitute (28)  |  Draw (48)  |  Estimate (26)  |  Evaluate (5)  |  Great (469)  |  Kind (130)  |  Numerous (24)  |  Observation (438)  |  Probability (104)  |  Proof (235)  |  Sufficiently (7)

The artist does not illustrate science; … [but] he frequently responds to the same interests that a scientist does, and expresses by a visual synthesis what the scientist converts into analytical formulae or experimental demonstrations.
'The Arts', in Charles Austin Beard, Whither Mankind: a Panorama of Modern Civilization (1928, 1971), 296.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (148)  |  Artist (58)  |  Conversion (14)  |  Demonstration (78)  |  Expression (96)  |  Formula (70)  |  Frequently (21)  |  Illustration (26)  |  Interest (221)  |  Response (28)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Synthesis (42)

The basis of the discovery is imagination, careful reasoning and experimentation where the use of knowledge created by those who came before is an important component.
Nobel Banquet speech (10 Dec 1982). In Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1982 (1983)
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (76)  |  Care (91)  |  Component (16)  |  Create (135)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Imagination (254)  |  Importance (203)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Use (77)

The best and safest way of philosophising seems to be, first to enquire diligently into the properties of things, and to establish those properties by experiences [experiments] and then to proceed slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them. For hypotheses should be employed only in explaining the properties of things, but not assumed in determining them; unless so far as they may furnish experiments.
Letter to the French Jesuit, Gaston Pardies. Translation from the original Latin, as in Richard S. Westfall, Never at Rest: a Biography of Isaac Newton (1983), 242.
Science quotes on:  |  Assume (30)  |  Best (160)  |  Determine (64)  |  Diligent (5)  |  Employ (28)  |  Enquire (4)  |  Establish (46)  |  Experience (322)  |  Explain (98)  |  Furnish (33)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Philosophy (241)  |  Proceed (36)  |  Property (113)  |  Safe (26)

The Big Idea that had been developed in the seventeenth century ... is now known as the scientific method. It says that the way to proceed when investigating how the world works is to first carry out experiments and/or make observations of the natural world. Then, develop hypotheses to explain these observations, and (crucially) use the hypothesis to make predictions about the future outcome of future experiments and/or observations. After comparing the results of those new observations with the predictions of the hypotheses, discard those hypotheses which make false predictions, and retain (at least, for the time being) any hypothesis that makes accurate predictions, elevating it to the status of a theory. Note that a theory can never be proved right. The best that can be said is that it has passed all the tests applied so far.
In The Fellowship: the Story of a Revolution (2005), 275.
Science quotes on:  |  Apply (59)  |  Compare (33)  |  Crucial (8)  |  Develop (92)  |  Discard (19)  |  Explanation (173)  |  False (94)  |  Future (273)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Idea (545)  |  Investigate (61)  |  Observation (438)  |  Prediction (70)  |  Proceed (36)  |  Proof (235)  |  Result (328)  |  Retain (16)  |  Right (180)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Test (115)  |  Theory (661)  |  Work (589)  |  World (854)

The bomb took forty-five seconds to drop thirty thousand feet to its detonation point, our three parachute gauges drifting down above. For half that time we were diving away in a two-g turn. Before we leveled off and flew directly away, we saw the calibration pulses that indicated our equipment was working well. Suddenly a bright flash lit the compartment, the light from the explosion reflecting off the clouds in front of us and back through the tunnel. The pressure pulse registered its N-shaped wave on our screen, and then a second wave recorded the reflection of the pulse from the ground. A few moments later two sharp shocks slammed the plane.
Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist (1987), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Bomb (18)

The business of their weekly Meetings shall be, To order, take account, consider, and discourse of Philosophical Experiments, and Observations: to read, hear, and discourse upon Letters, Reports, and other Papers containing Philosophical matters, as also to view, and discourse upon the productions and rarities of Nature, and Art: and to consider what to deduce from them, or how they may be improv'd for use, or discovery.
'An Abstract of the Statutes of the Royal Society', in Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society (1667), 145.
Science quotes on:  |  Deduction (66)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Improvement (71)  |  Meeting (17)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Observation (438)  |  Rarity (9)

The calculus is to mathematics no more than what experiment is to physics, and all the truths produced solely by the calculus can be treated as truths of experiment. The sciences must proceed to first causes, above all mathematics where one cannot assume, as in physics, principles that are unknown to us. For there is in mathematics, so to speak, only what we have placed there… If, however, mathematics always has some essential obscurity that one cannot dissipate, it will lie, uniquely, I think, in the direction of the infinite; it is in that direction that mathematics touches on physics, on the innermost nature of bodies about which we know little….
In Elements de la géométrie de l'infini (1727), Preface, ciii. Quoted as a footnote to Michael S. Mahoney, 'Infinitesimals and Transcendent Relations: The Mathematics of Motion in the Late Seventeenth Century', collected in David C. Lindberg and Robert S. Westman (eds.), Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution (1990), 489-490, footnote 46
Science quotes on:  |  Assume (30)  |  Body (229)  |  Calculus (43)  |  Cause (269)  |  Dissipate (5)  |  Essential (110)  |  Infinite (117)  |  Innermost (3)  |  Know (496)  |  Little (174)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Obscurity (24)  |  Physics (329)  |  Principle (268)  |  Touching (4)  |  Truth (881)  |  Unknown (100)

The child which overbalances itself in learning to walk is experimenting on the law of gravity.
In ‘Experimental Legislation’, Popular Science (Apr 1880), 16, 754.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (234)  |  Law Of Gravity (9)  |  Learning (177)  |  Walk (65)

The dangers threatening modern science cannot be averted by more experimenting, for our complicated experiments have no longer anything to do with nature in her own right, but with nature charged and transformed by our own cognitive activity.
As quoted by Erich Heller in The Disinherited Mind: Essays in Modern German Literature and Thought (1952), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (122)  |  Avert (3)  |  Cognitive (3)  |  Complicated (58)  |  Danger (75)  |  Modern Science (14)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Threaten (7)  |  Transform (33)

The description of some of the experiments, which are communicated here, was completely worked out at my writing-table, before I had seen anything of the phenomena in question. After making the experiments on the following day, it was found that nothing in the description required to be altered. I do not mention this from feelings of pride, but in order to make clear the extraordinary ease and security with which the relations in question can be considered on the principles of Arrhenius' theory of free ions. Such facts speak more forcibly then any polemics for the value of this theory .
Philosophical Magazine (1891), 32, 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (23)  |  Svante Arrhenius (11)  |  Communication (69)  |  Completeness (13)  |  Consideration (78)  |  Description (79)  |  Ease (33)  |  Extraordinary (36)  |  Fact (688)  |  Feeling (91)  |  Ion (8)  |  Mention (21)  |  Observation (438)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Pride (61)  |  Principle (268)  |  Question (383)  |  Relation (127)  |  Security (33)  |  Theory (661)  |  Value (223)

The discovery of an interaction among the four hemes made it obvious that they must be touching, but in science what is obvious is not necessarily true. When the structure of hemoglobin was finally solved, the hemes were found to lie in isolated pockets on the surface of the subunits. Without contact between them how could one of them sense whether the others had combined with oxygen? And how could as heterogeneous a collection of chemical agents as protons, chloride ions, carbon dioxide, and diphosphoglycerate influence the oxygen equilibrium curve in a similar way? It did not seem plausible that any of them could bind directly to the hemes or that all of them could bind at any other common site, although there again it turned out we were wrong. To add to the mystery, none of these agents affected the oxygen equilibrium of myoglobin or of isolated subunits of hemoglobin. We now know that all the cooperative effects disappear if the hemoglobin molecule is merely split in half, but this vital clue was missed. Like Agatha Christie, Nature kept it to the last to make the story more exciting. There are two ways out of an impasse in science: to experiment or to think. By temperament, perhaps, I experimented, whereas Jacques Monod thought.
From essay 'The Second Secret of Life', collected in I Wish I'd Made You Angry Earlier (1998), 263-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (31)  |  Binding (8)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Chemical (76)  |  Agatha Christie (7)  |  Clue (14)  |  Collection (43)  |  Combination (84)  |  Common (108)  |  Contact (31)  |  Cooperation (30)  |  Curve (29)  |  Discovery (660)  |  Effect (157)  |  Equilibrium (17)  |  Excitement (38)  |  Half (50)  |  Hemoglobin (3)  |  Heterogeneity (3)  |  Impasse (2)  |  Interaction (29)  |  Ion (8)  |  Isolation (26)  |  Molecule (130)  |  Jacques Monod (21)  |  Mystery (145)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Necessity (138)  |  Obvious (76)  |  Oxygen (51)  |  Plausibility (6)  |  Pocket (10)  |  Proton (14)  |  Science (1939)  |  Sense (300)  |  Site (11)  |  Solution (195)  |  Split (11)  |  Story (68)  |  Structure (215)  |  Surface (97)  |  Temperament (11)  |  Thinking (227)  |  Thought (484)  |  Touch (74)  |  Truth (881)  |  Vital (38)  |  Wrong (130)

The domain of mathematics is the sole domain of certainty. There and there alone prevail the standards by which every hypothesis respecting the external universe and all observation and all experiment must be finally judged. It is the realm to which all speculation and thought must repair for chastening and sanitation, the court of last resort, I say it reverently, for all intellection whatsoever, whether of demon, or man, or deity. It is there that mind as mind attains its highest estate.
In 'The Universe and Beyond', Hibbert Journal (1904-1906), 3, 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Attain (34)  |  Certainty (122)  |  Court (20)  |  Deity (16)  |  Demon (7)  |  Domain (36)  |  Estate (5)  |  External (52)  |  High (138)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Intellect (185)  |  Judge (57)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Mind (691)  |  Observation (438)  |  Realm (52)  |  Repair (9)  |  Sanitation (5)  |  Speculation (95)  |  Standard (53)  |  Thought (484)  |  Universe (655)

The doubter is a true man of science: he doubts only himself and his interpretations, but he believes in science.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (150)  |  Men Of Science (129)

The end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century were remarkable for the small amount of scientific movement going on in this country, especially in its more exact departments. ... Mathematics were at the last gasp, and Astronomy nearly so—I mean in those members of its frame which depend upon precise measurement and systematic calculation. The chilling torpor of routine had begun to spread itself over all those branches of Science which wanted the excitement of experimental research.
Quoted in Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan, Memoir of Augustus De Morgan (1882), 41
Science quotes on:  |  18th Century (18)  |  19th Century (25)  |  Amount (29)  |  Astronomy (193)  |  Calculation (90)  |  Chill (9)  |  Department (38)  |  Exact (57)  |  Excitement (38)  |  Gasp (5)  |  Last (19)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Measurement (159)  |  Movement (78)  |  Precision (46)  |  Remarkable (42)  |  Research (568)  |  Routine (19)  |  Science (1939)  |  Small (149)  |  Spread (32)  |  Systematic (28)  |  Want (165)

The equations of dynamics completely express the laws of the historical method as applied to matter, but the application of these equations implies a perfect knowledge of all the data. But the smallest portion of matter which we can subject to experiment consists of millions of molecules, not one of which ever becomes individually sensible to us. We cannot, therefore, ascertain the actual motion of anyone of these molecules; so that we are obliged to abandon the strict historical method, and to adopt the statistical method of dealing with large groups of molecules … Thus molecular science teaches us that our experiments can never give us anything more than statistical information, and that no law derived from them can pretend to absolute precision. But when we pass from the contemplation of our experiments to that of the molecules themselves, we leave a world of chance and change, and enter a region where everything is certain and immutable.
'Molecules' (1873). In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 2, 374.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (122)  |  Chance (152)  |  Change (347)  |  Contemplation (47)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Dynamics (8)  |  Equation (88)  |  History (348)  |  Information (115)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Law (485)  |  Matter (322)  |  Molecule (130)  |  Motion (150)  |  Precision (46)  |  Statistics (144)

The evidence from both approaches, statistical and experimental, does not appear sufficiently significant to me to warrant forsaking the pleasure of smoking. As a matter of fact, if the investigations had been pointed toward some material that I thoroughly dislike, such as parsnips, I still would not feel that evidence of the type presented constituted a reasonable excuse for eliminating the things from my diet. I will still continue to smoke, and if the tobacco companies cease manufacturing their product, I will revert to sweet fern and grape leaves.
Introduction in Eric Northrup, Science Looks at Smoking (1957), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (49)  |  Continuation (19)  |  Diet (43)  |  Dislike (13)  |  Elimination (18)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Excuse (17)  |  Grape (4)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Leaf (47)  |  Manufacturer (10)  |  Pleasure (122)  |  Revert (4)  |  Significance (70)  |  Smoking (22)  |  Statistics (144)  |  Sufficient (36)  |  Tobacco (16)

The experiment left no doubt that, as far as accuracy of measurement went, the resistance disappeared. At the same time, however, something unexpected occurred. The disappearance did not take place gradually but abruptly. From 1/500 the resistance at 4.2K, it could be established that the resistance had become less than a thousand-millionth part of that at normal temperature. Thus the mercury at 4.2K has entered a new state, which, owing to its particular electrical properties, can be called the state of superconductivity.
'Investigations into the Properties of Substances at low Temperatures, which have led, amongst other Things, to the Preparation of Liquid Helium', Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1913). In Nobel Lectures in Physics 1901-1921 (1967), 333.
Science quotes on:  |  Electricity (132)  |  Mercury (42)  |  Resistance (25)  |  Temperature (46)

The experiment of transfusing the blood of one dog into another was made before the Society by Mr King and Mr Thomas Coxe, upon a little mastiff and a spaniel, with very good success, the former bleeding to death, and the latter receiving the blood of the other, and emitting so much of his own as to make him capable of receiving the other.
From the Minutes of the Royal Society recording the first blood transfusion (14 Nov 1666). Quoted in Marjorie Hope Nicolson, Pepys's Diary and the New Science (1965), 70.
Science quotes on:  |  Blood (102)  |  Capability (37)  |  Dog (44)  |  Transfusion (2)

The experiment serves two purposes, often independent one from the other: it allows the observation of new facts, hitherto either unsuspected, or not yet well defined; and it determines whether a working hypothesis fits the world of observable facts.
In Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1960), 362.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (177)  |  Fact (688)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Independent (59)  |  Observable (4)  |  Observation (438)  |  Purpose (175)

The experimental investigation by which Ampere established the law of the mechanical action between electric currents is one of the most brilliant achievements in science. The whole theory and experiment, seems as if it had leaped, full grown and full armed, from the brain of the 'Newton of Electricity'. It is perfect in form, and unassailable in accuracy, and it is summed up in a formula from which all the phenomena may be deduced, and which must always remain the cardinal formula of electro-dynamics.
A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism (1873), Vol. 2, 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (59)  |  Achievement (147)  |  André-Marie Ampère (11)  |  Brain (206)  |  Cardinal (6)  |  Current (50)  |  Deduction (66)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Electrodynamics (3)  |  Formula (70)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Law (485)  |  Leap (31)  |  Mechanics (52)  |  Perfection (85)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Summary (5)  |  Theory (661)

The experimental investigation by which Ampère established the law of the mechanical action between electric currents is one of the most brilliant achievements in science. The whole, theory and experiment, seems as if it had leaped, full grown and full armed, from the brain of the “Newton of Electricity”. It is perfect in form, and unassailable in accuracy, and it is summed up in a formula from which all the phenomena may be deduced, and which must always remain the cardinal formula of electro-dynamics.
In James Clerk Maxwell, Electricity and Magnetism (1881), Vol. 2, 163
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (59)  |  Achievement (147)  |  Action (178)  |  André-Marie Ampère (11)  |  Brain (206)  |  Brilliant (28)  |  Cardinal (6)  |  Current (50)  |  Deduce (16)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Establish (46)  |  Form (278)  |  Formula (70)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Law (485)  |  Leap (31)  |  Mechanical (41)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (311)  |  Perfect (72)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Science (1939)  |  Theory (661)  |  Unassailable (3)  |  Whole (173)

The experiments that we will do with the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] have been done billions of times by cosmic rays hitting the earth. ... They're being done continuously by cosmic rays hitting our astronomical bodies, like the moon, the sun, like Jupiter and so on and so forth. And the earth's still here, the sun's still here, the moon's still here. LHC collisions are not going to destroy the planet.
As quoted in Alan Boyle, 'Discovery of Doom? Collider Stirs Debate', article (8 Sep 2008) on a msnbc.com web page.
Science quotes on:  |  Billion (59)  |  Collision (9)  |  Continuously (7)  |  Cosmic Ray (6)  |  Destruction (84)  |  Earth (611)  |  Jupiter (21)  |  Large Hadron Collider (6)  |  Moon (195)  |  Plant (188)  |  Sun (266)

The fact that Science walks forward on two feet, namely theory and experiment, is nowhere better illustrated than in the two fields for slight contributions to which you have done me the great honour of awarding the the Nobel Prize in Physics for the year 1923. Sometimes it is one foot that is put forward first, sometimes the other, but continuous progress is only made by the use of both—by theorizing and then testing, or by finding new relations in the process of experimenting and then bringing the theoretical foot up and pushing it on beyond, and so on in unending alterations.
'The Electron and the Light-quant from the Experimental Point of View', Nobel Lecture (23 May 1924). In Nobel Lectures: Physics 1922-1941 (1998), 54.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (23)  |  Beyond (99)  |  Continuous (33)  |  Honour (24)  |  Nobel Prize (28)  |  Physics (329)  |  Process (244)  |  Progress (348)  |  Relation (127)  |  Science (1939)  |  Test (115)  |  Theory (661)  |  Unending (3)

The faith of scientists in the power and truth of mathematics is so implicit that their work has gradually become less and less observation, and more and more calculation. The promiscuous collection and tabulation of data have given way to a process of assigning possible meanings, merely supposed real entities, to mathematical terms, working out the logical results, and then staging certain crucial experiments to check the hypothesis against the actual empirical results. But the facts which are accepted by virtue of these tests are not actually observed at all. With the advance of mathematical technique in physics, the tangible results of experiment have become less and less spectacular; on the other hand, their significance has grown in inverse proportion. The men in the laboratory have departed so far from the old forms of experimentation—typified by Galileo's weights and Franklin's kite—that they cannot be said to observe the actual objects of their curiosity at all; instead, they are watching index needles, revolving drums, and sensitive plates. No psychology of 'association' of sense-experiences can relate these data to the objects they signify, for in most cases the objects have never been experienced. Observation has become almost entirely indirect; and readings take the place of genuine witness.
Philosophy in a New Key; A Study in Inverse the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art (1942), 19-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculation (90)  |  Data (115)  |  Deduction (66)  |  Empiricism (17)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fact (688)  |  Benjamin Franklin (90)  |  Galileo Galilei (120)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Instrument (84)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Logic (229)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Meter (9)  |  Object (152)  |  Observation (438)  |  Physics (329)  |  Proportion (67)  |  Research (568)  |  Scientist (499)  |  Sense (300)  |  Significance (70)  |  Truth (881)

The field of scientific abstraction encompasses independent kingdoms of ideas and of experiments and within these, rulers whose fame outlasts the centuries. But they are not the only kings in science. He also is a king who guides the spirit of his contemporaries by knowledge and creative work, by teaching and research in the field of applied science, and who conquers for science provinces which have only been raided by craftsmen.
While president of the German Chemical Society, making memorial remarks dedicated to the deceased Professor Lunge (Jan 1923). As quoted in Richard Willstätter, Arthur Stoll (ed. of the original German) and Lilli S. Hornig (trans.), From My Life: The Memoirs of Richard Willstätter (1958), 174-175.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (36)  |  Applied Science (29)  |  Century (121)  |  Conquer (19)  |  Contemporary (29)  |  Craftsman (4)  |  Creativity (70)  |  Fame (36)  |  Field (155)  |  Guide (59)  |  Idea (545)  |  Independent (59)  |  King (32)  |  Kingdom (37)  |  Knowledge (1244)  |  Outlast (3)  |  Province (12)  |  Raid (4)  |  Research (568)  |  Ruler (14)  |  Scientific (215)  |  Spirit (140)  |  Teaching (106)

The first experiment a child makes is a physical experiment: the suction-pump is but an imitation of the first act of every new-born infant.
Lecture 'On the Study of Physics', Royal Institution of Great Britain (Spring 1854). Collected in Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 1, 283.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (106)  |  Child (234)  |  First (285)  |  Imitation (20)  |  Infant (14)  |  New-born (2)  |  Physics (329)  |  Pump (6)  |  Suction (2)

The first thing to realize about physics ... is its extraordinary indirectness.... For physics is not about the real world, it is about “abstractions” from the real world, and this is what makes it so scientific.... Theoretical physics runs merrily along with these unreal abstractions, but its conclusions are checked, at every possible point, by experiments.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 60-62.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstraction (36)  |  Check (23)  |  Physics (329)  |  Real World (11)  |  Reality (183)  |  Realization (36)  |  Theoretical Physics (16)

The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.
In Albert Einstein and Léopold Infeld, The Evolution of Physics: The Growth of Ideas from Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta (1938, 1966), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (70)  |  Imagination (254)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Problem (451)  |  Progress (348)  |  Question (383)  |  Solution (195)

The foundations of population genetics were laid chiefly by mathematical deduction from basic premises contained in the works of Mendel and Morgan and their followers. Haldane, Wright, and Fisher are the pioneers of population genetics whose main research equipment was paper and ink rather than microscopes, experimental fields, Drosophila bottles, or mouse cages. Theirs is theoretical biology at its best, and it has provided a guiding light for rigorous quantitative experimentation and observation.
'A Review of Some Fundamental Concepts and Problems of Population Genetics', Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology, 1955, 20, 13-14.
Science quotes on:  |  Drosphilia (3)  |  Fischer_Ronald (2)  |  Genetics (101)  |  J.B.S. Haldane (48)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Gregor Mendel (21)  |  Microscope (72)  |  Thomas Hunt Morgan (14)  |  Observation (438)  |  Sewall Wright (9)

The framing of hypotheses is, for the enquirer after truth, not the end, but the beginning of his work. Each of his systems is invented, not that he may admire it and follow it into all its consistent consequences, but that he may make it the occasion of a course of active experiment and observation. And if the results of this process contradict his fundamental assumptions, however ingenious, however symmetrical, however elegant his system may be, he rejects it without hesitation. He allows no natural yearning for the offspring of his own mind to draw him aside from the higher duty of loyalty to his sovereign, Truth, to her he not only gives his affections and his wishes, but strenuous labour and scrupulous minuteness of attention.
Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1847), Vol. 2, 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Affection (17)  |  Assumption (55)  |  Attention (106)  |  Beginning (120)  |  Contradiction (50)  |  Elegance (27)  |  End (186)  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Frame (23)  |  Fundamental (146)  |  Hesitation (8)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Ingenious (24)  |  Invention (311)  |  Loyalty (7)  |  Mind (691)  |  Observation (438)  |  Offspring (16)  |  Rejection (25)  |  Scrupulous (5)  |  Sovereign (3)  |  Truth (881)  |  Work (589)  |  Yearning (5)

The gentleman [Mr. Taber] from New York says [agricultural research] is all foolish. Yes; it was foolish when Burbank was experimenting with wild cactus. It was foolish when the Wright boys went down to Kitty Hawk and had a contraption there that they were going to fly like birds. It was foolish when Robert Fulton tried to put a boiler into a sail boat and steam it up the Hudson. It was foolish when one of my ancestors thought the world was round and discovered this country so that the gentleman from New York could become a Congressman. (Laughter.) ... Do not seek to stop progress; do not seek to put the hand of politics on these scientific men who are doing a great work. As the gentleman from Texas points out, it is not the discharge of these particular employees that is at stake, it is all the work of investigation, of research, of experimentation that has been going on for years that will be stopped and lost.
Speaking (28 Dec 1932) as a member of the 72nd Congress, early in the Great Depression, in opposition to an attempt to eliminate a small amount from the agricultural appropriation bill. As quoted in 'Mayor-Elect La Guardia on Research', Science (1933), New Series, 78, No. 2031, 511.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (65)  |  Ancestor (39)  |  Bird (113)  |  Boat (15)  |  Boiler (7)  |  Cactus (3)  |  Christopher Columbus (14)  |  Contraption (2)  |  Employee (3)  |  Flight (63)  |  Foolishness (8)  |  Robert Fulton (7)  |  Government (90)  |  Hand (131)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Kitty Hawk (2)  |  Loss (71)  |  Men Of Science (129)  |  New York (14)  |  Politics (93)  |  Progress (348)  |  Research (568)  |  Researcher (17)  |  Scientific Progress (12)  |  Stop (68)  |  Technology (213)  |  Orville Wright (8)  |  Wilbur Wright (11)  |  Year (276)

The great art consists in devising décisive experiments, leaving no place to the imagination of the observer. Imagination is needed to give wings to thought at the beginning of experimental investigations on any given subject. When, however, the time has come to conclude, and to interpret the facts derived from observations, imagination must submit to the factual results of the experiments.
Speech (8 Jul 1876), to the French Academy of Medicine. As translated in René J. Dubos, Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1950, 1986), 376. Date of speech identified in Maurice B. Strauss, Familiar Medical Quotations (1968), 502.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (120)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Decisive (10)  |  Derived (5)  |  Devise (13)  |  Fact (688)  |  Imagination (254)  |  Interpret (15)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Observation (438)  |  Observer (42)  |  Result (328)  |  Subject (195)  |  Submit (13)  |  Thought (484)

The great experimental principle, then, is doubt, that philosophic doubt which leaves to the mind its freedom and initiative, and from which the virtues most valuable to investigators in physiology and medicine are derived.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (150)

The great problem of today is, how to subject all physical phenomena to dynamical laws. With all the experimental devices, and all the mathematical appliances of this generation, the human mind has been baffled in its attempts to construct a universal science of physics.
'President's Address', Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1874), 23, 34-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Law (485)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Mind (691)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Physics (329)  |  Problem (451)

The history of chemistry is properly divided into the mythologic, the obscure, and the certain. The first period exhibits it from its infancy, deformed by fictions, until the destruction of the library of Alexandria by the Arabs. —The second, though freed in some measure from these absurdities, yet is still clothed in numberless enigmas and allegorical expressions.— The third period commences at the middle of the seventeenth century, with the first establishment of societies and academies of science; of which the wise associates, in many places uniting their efforts, determined to pursue the study of Natural Philosophy by observation and experiments, and candidly to publish their attempts in a general account of their transactions.
In Essays, Physical and Chemical (1791), 4, translated from the original Latin.
Science quotes on:  |  17th Century (15)  |  Absurdity (21)  |  Academy (13)  |  Alexandria (2)  |  Allegory (6)  |  Candid (3)  |  Certain (118)  |  Enigma (9)  |  Fiction (21)  |  Library (40)  |  Myth (46)  |  Natural Philosophy (25)  |  Obscure (27)  |  Observation (438)  |  Publication (89)  |  Society (215)

The hope that new experiments will lead us back to objective events in time and space is about as well founded as the hope of discovering the end of the world in the unexplored regions of the Antarctic.
Science quotes on:  |  Antarctic (6)  |  Back (94)  |  Discover (176)  |  End Of The World (6)  |  Event (113)  |  Founded (19)  |  Hope (165)  |  Lead (150)  |  New (455)  |  Objective (58)  |  Region (31)  |  Time And Space (31)  |  Unexplored (13)

The importance of group theory was emphasized very recently when some physicists using group theory predicted the existence of a particle that had never been observed before, and described the properties it should have. Later experiments proved that this particle really exists and has those properties.
Groups in the New Mathematics (1967), 7. Quoted in Rosemary Schmalz, Out of the Mouths of Mathematicians: A Quotation Book for Philomaths (1993), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Group Theory (5)  |  Observation (438)  |  Particle (97)  |  Property (113)

The investigation of causal relations between economic phenomena presents many problems of peculiar difficulty, and offers many opportunities for fallacious conclusions. Since the statistician can seldom or never make experiments for himself, he has to accept the data of daily experience, and discuss as best he can the relations of a whole group of changes; he cannot, like the physicist, narrow down the issue to the effect of one variation at a time. The problems of statistics are in this sense far more complex than the problems of physics.
Udny Yule
In 'On the Theory of Correlation', Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Dec 1897), 60, 812, as cited in Stephen M. Stigler, The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900 (1986), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (269)  |  Change (347)  |  Complexity (88)  |  Conclusion (147)  |  Data (115)  |  Difficulty (133)  |  Economics (33)  |  Effect (157)  |  Experience (322)  |  Fallacious (2)  |  Investigation (157)  |  Narrow (43)  |  Opportunity (57)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Physicist (151)  |  Physics (329)  |  Problem (451)  |  Relation (127)  |  Statistician (19)  |  Statistics (144)  |  Time (562)  |  Variation (59)

The job of theorists, especially in biology, is to suggest new experiments. A good theory makes not only predictions, but surprising predictions that then turn out to be true. (If its predictions appear obvious to experimentalists, why would they need a theory?)
In What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988), 142.
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (97)  |  Biology (163)  |  Experimenter (19)  |  Good (311)  |  Need (261)  |  New (455)  |  Obvious (76)  |  Prediction (70)  |  Suggest (28)  |  Surprise (63)  |  Theorist (27)  |  Theory (661)  |  True (178)

The laboratory was an unattractive half basement and low ceilinged room with an inner dark room for the galvanometer and experimental animals. It was dark, crowded with equipment and uninviting. Into it came patients for electrocardiography, dogs for experiments, trays with coffee and buns for lunch. It was hot and dusty in summer and cold in winter. True a large fire burnt brightly in the winter but anyone who found time to warm his backside at it was not beloved by [Sir Thomas] Lewis. It was no good to try and look out of the window for relaxation, for it was glazed with opaque glass. The scientific peaks were our only scenery, and it was our job to try and find the pathways to the top.
'Tribute to Sir Thomas Lewis', University College Hospital Magazine (1955), 40, 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Basement (3)  |  Coffee (11)  |  Dog (44)  |  Equipment (29)  |  Fire (130)  |  Galvanometer (4)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Lunch (2)  |  Pathway (11)  |  Peak (20)  |  Scenery (7)  |  Window (38)

The language of experiment is more authoritative than any reasoning: facts can destroy our ratiocination—not vice versa.
In Marcello Pera, The Ambiguous Frog: The Galvani-Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity (1992). Cited in Patrick F. Dunn, Measurement and Data Analysis for Engineering and Science (2010), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Authority (61)  |  Destroying (3)  |  Language (200)  |  Ratiocination (4)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Vice Versa (5)

The layman, taught to revere scientists for their absolute respect for the observed facts, and for the judiciously detached and purely provisional manner in which they hold scientific theories (always ready to abandon a theory at the sight of any contradictory evidence) might well have thought that, at [Dayton C.] Miller's announcement of this overwhelming evidence of a “positive effect” [indicating that the speed of light is not independent from the motion of the observer, as Einstein's theory of relativity demands] in his presidential address to the American Physical Society on December 29th, 1925, his audience would have instantly abandoned the theory of relativity. Or, at the very least, that scientists—wont to look down from the pinnacle of their intellectual humility upon the rest of dogmatic mankind—might suspend judgment in this matter until Miller's results could be accounted for without impairing the theory of relativity. But no: by that time they had so well closed their minds to any suggestion which threatened the new rationality achieved by Einstein's world-picture, that it was almost impossible for them to think again in different terms. Little attention was paid to the experiments, the evidence being set aside in the hope that it would one day turn out to be wrong.
Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy (1958, 1998), 13. Miller had earlier presented his evidence against the validity of the relativity theory at the annual meeting, 28 Apr 1925, of the National Academy of Sciences. Miller believed he had, by a much-refined and improved repetition of the so-called Michelson-Morley experiment, shown that there is a definite and measurable motion of the earth through the ether. In 1955, a paper by R.S. Shankland, et al., in Rev. Modern Phys. (1955), 27, 167, concluded that statistical fluctuations and temperature effects in the data had simulated what Miller had taken to be he apparent ether drift.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (106)  |  Albert Einstein (575)  |  Evidence (175)  |  Fact (688)  |  Layman (17)  |  Objectivity (9)  |  Observation (438)  |  Relativity (54)  |  Respect (77)  |  Reverence (27)  |  Scientific Theory (23)  |  Theory (661)

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 (193)  |  Chemistry (242)  |  Elbow (2)  |  Electricity (132)  |  Lesson (38)  |  Nitrous Oxide (3)  |  Planet (254)  |  Science (1939)  |  Shock (13)  |  Spark (22)  |  Telescope (82)  |  Theory (661)  |  Volcano (39)  |  Worth (88)

The love of experiment was very strong in him [Charles Darwin], and I can remember the way he would say, “I shan't be easy till I have tried it,” as if an outside force were driving him. He enjoyed experimenting much more than work which only entailed reasoning, and when he was engaged on one of his books which required argument and the marshalling of facts, he felt experimental work to be a rest or holiday.
In Charles Darwin: His Life Told in an Autobiographical Chapter, and in a Selected Series of his Published Letters (1908), 95.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (231)  |  Book (238)  |  Charles Darwin (294)  |  Enjoyment (29)  |  Fact (688)  |  Holiday (4)  |  Reasoning (88)  |  Rest (89)

The loveliest theories are being overthrown by these damned experiments; it's no fun being a chemist anymore.
Liebig to Berzelius, 22 Jul 1834. Quoted in J. Carriere (ed.), Berzelius und Liebig: ihre Briefe (1898), 94. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemist (86)  |  Fun (30)  |  Overthrown (5)  |  Theory (661)

The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification.
'On the Advisableness of Improving Natural knowledge' (1866). In Collected Essays (1893), Vol. 1, 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Justification (38)  |  Research (568)  |  Scientific Method (163)  |  Verification (24)

The many who believe they are the wiser for reading accounts of experiments deceive themselves. It is as impossible to learn science from hearsay as to gain wisdom from proverbs.
Said by the fictional character Lydia in Cashel Byron’s Profession (1886, 1906), 87-88.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (61)  |  Belief (489)  |  Deceive (14)  |  Gain (64)  |  Hearsay (4)  |  Impossible (98)  |  Learn (255)  |  Proverb (24)  |  Read (130)  |  Science (1939)  |  Wisdom (172)  |  Wise (56)

The mathematics of cooperation of men and tools is interesting. Separated men trying their individual experiments contribute in proportion to their numbers and their work may be called mathematically additive. The effect of a single piece of apparatus given to one man is also additive only, but when a group of men are cooperating, as distinct from merely operating, their work raises with some higher power of the number than the first power. It approaches the square for two men and the cube for three. Two men cooperating with two different pieces of apparatus, say a special furnace and a pyrometer or a hydraulic press and new chemical substances, are more powerful than their arithmetical sum. These facts doubtless assist as assets of a research laboratory.
Quoted from a speech delivered at the fiftieth anniversary of granting of M.I.T's charter, in Guy Suits, 'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 352.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (32)  |  Arithmetic (102)  |  Assistance (10)  |  Chemical (76)  |  Cooperation (30)  |  Cube (11)  |  Doubtless (8)  |  Fact (688)  |  Furnace (10)  |  Group (62)  |  Higher (31)  |  Individual (205)  |  Laboratory (129)  |  Mathematics (1027)  |  Operation (111)  |  Power (337)  |  Powerful (62)  |  Press (21)  |  Proportion (67)  |  Research (568)  |  Special (64)  |  Square (20)  |  Substance (82)  |  Sum (40)  |  Three (10)  |  Tool (80)  |  Two (13)

The method of inquiry which all our ingenious Theorists of the Earth have pursued is certainly erroneous. They first form an hypothesis to solve the phenomena, but in fact the Phenomena are always used as a prop to the hypothesis.
Instead therefore of attempting to cut the gordian knot by Hypothetical analysis, we shall follow the synthetic method of inquiry and content ourselves with endeavouring to establish facts rather than attempt solutions and try by experiments how far that method may leave us thro' the mazes of this subject
Introduction to his lecture course. In Robert Jameson, edited by H. W. Scott, Lectures on Geology, (1966), 27. In Patrick Wyse Jackson, Four Centuries of Geological Travel (2007), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (76)  |  Fact (688)  |  Geology (196)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Theory (661)

The moment after, I began to respire 20 quarts of unmingled nitrous oxide. A thrilling, extending from the chest to the extremities, was almost immediately produced. I felt a sense of tangible extension highly pleasurable in every limb; my visible impressions were dazzling, and apparently magnified, I heard distinctly every sound in the room and was perfectly aware of my situation. By degrees, as the pleasurable sensations increased, I last all connection with external things; trains of vivid visible images rapidly passed through my mind, and were connected with words in such a manner, as to produce perceptions perfectly novel. I existed in a world of newly connected and newly modified ideas. I theorised—I imagined that I made discoveries. When I was awakened from this semi-delirious trance by Dr. Kinglake, who took the bag from my mouth, indignation and pride were the first feelings produced by the sight of the persons about me. My emotions were enthusiastic and sublime; and for a minute I walked round the room, perfectly regardless of what was said to me. As I recovered my former state of mind, I felt an inclination to communicate the discoveries I had made during the experiment. I endeavoured to recall the ideas, they were feeble and indistinct; one collection of terms, however, presented itself: and with the most intense belief and prophetic manner, I exclaimed to Dr Kinglake, 'Nothing exists but thoughts!—the universe is composed of impressions, ideas, pleasures and pains!'
Researches, Chemical and Philosophical (1800), in J. Davy (ed.), The Collected Works of Sir Humphry Davy (1839-40), Vol 3, 289-90.
Science quotes on:  |  Anaesthetic (2)  |  Biography (231)

The more experiences and experiments accumulate in the exploration of nature, the more precarious the theories become. But it is not always good to discard them immediately on this account. For every hypothesis which once was sound was useful for thinking of previous phenomena in the proper interrelations and for keeping them in context. We ought to set down contradictory experiences separately, until enough have accumulated to make building a new structure worthwhile.
Lichtenberg: Aphorisms & Letters (1969), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulation (30)  |  Context (22)  |  Contradiction (50)  |  Discard (19)  |  Experience (322)  |  Exploration (120)  |  Hypothesis (245)  |  Interrelation (7)  |  Nature (1154)  |  Phenomenon (256)  |  Precarious (5)  |  Structure (215)  |  Theory (661)  |  Thinking (227)  |  Usefulness (76)

The more important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplanted in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote. Nevertheless, it has been found that there are apparent exceptions to most of these laws, and this is particularly true when the observations are pushed to a limit, i.e., whenever the circumstances of experiment are such that extreme cases can be examined. Such examination almost surely leads, not to the overthrow of the law, but to the discovery of other facts and laws whose action produces the apparent exceptions. As instances of such discoveries, which are in most cases due to the increasing order of accuracy made possible by improvements in measuring instruments, may be mentioned: first, the departure of actual gases from the simple laws of the so-called perfe