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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and takes place along the straight line in which that force is impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index G > Category: Graduate

Graduate Quotes (13 quotes)

Consider the plight of a scientist of my age. I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1940. In the 41 years since then the amount of biological information has increased 16 fold; during these 4 decades my capacity to absorb new information has declined at an accelerating rate and now is at least 50% less than when I was a graduate student. If one defines ignorance as the ratio of what is available to be known to what is known, there seems no alternative to the conclusion that my ignorance is at least 25 times as extensive as it was when I got my bachelor’s degree. Although I am sure that my unfortunate condition comes as no surprise to my students and younger colleagues, I personally find it somewhat depressing. My depression is tempered, however, by the fact that all biologists, young or old, developing or senescing, face the same melancholy situation because of an interlocking set of circumstances.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 228.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (16)  |  Accelerate (8)  |  Age (178)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Amount (31)  |  Available (25)  |  Bachelor (3)  |  Berkeley (3)  |  Biological (35)  |  Biologist (41)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Colleague (23)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Condition (163)  |  Consider (81)  |  Decade (32)  |  Decline (17)  |  Define (49)  |  Degree (82)  |  Depressing (3)  |  Depression (19)  |  Develop (107)  |  Extensive (18)  |  Face (108)  |  Fact (733)  |  Find (408)  |  Fold (8)  |  Graduate Student (4)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Increase (146)  |  Information (122)  |  Interlocking (2)  |  Know (556)  |  Least (74)  |  Less (102)  |  Melancholy (9)  |  New (496)  |  Old (147)  |  Personally (7)  |  Plight (3)  |  Rate (29)  |  Ratio (19)  |  Same (156)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Seem (143)  |  Set (99)  |  Situation (52)  |  Student (203)  |  Surprise (71)  |  Temper (9)  |  Time (595)  |  Unfortunate (14)  |  University Of California (2)  |  Year (299)  |  Young (100)

Developmental Biology, in capitals, is the wave of the future. The creeping reductionism of biochemistry and molecular biology has taken over the cell and heredity, and looks covetously toward the heights of development and evolution. Recent literature is last year. Ancient literature is a decade ago. The rest is history, doubtfully alive. There is no time and often no opportunity to find and study the work of experimental biologists of 50 or 100 years ago, yet that was a time when the world was fresh.
Developmental biology was a lowercase phrase that graduated about 1950 and had previously lived under the cloak of Experimental Zoology
In obituary by Charles R. Scriver, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (Nov 1999), 45, 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (49)  |  Ancient (106)  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Biologist (41)  |  Biology (168)  |  Capital (15)  |  Cell (137)  |  Cloak (4)  |  Creep (9)  |  Decade (32)  |  Development (289)  |  Evolution (535)  |  Experimental (20)  |  Find (408)  |  Fresh (30)  |  Future (287)  |  Height (32)  |  Heredity (53)  |  History (369)  |  Literature (79)  |  Live (272)  |  Molecular Biology (24)  |  Often (106)  |  Opportunity (63)  |  Phrase (29)  |  Previously (11)  |  Recent (30)  |  Reductionism (4)  |  Rest (93)  |  Study (476)  |  Time (595)  |  Toward (45)  |  Wave (68)  |  Work (635)  |  World (898)  |  Year (299)  |  Zoology (31)

I should like to draw attention to the inexhaustible variety of the problems and exercises which it [mathematics] furnishes; these may be graduated to precisely the amount of attainment which may be possessed, while yet retaining an interest and value. It seems to me that no other branch of study at all compares with mathematics in this. When we propose a deduction to a beginner we give him an exercise in many cases that would have been admired in the vigorous days of Greek geometry. Although grammatical exercises are well suited to insure the great benefits connected with the study of languages, yet these exercises seem to me stiff and artificial in comparison with the problems of mathematics. It is not absurd to maintain that Euclid and Apollonius would have regarded with interest many of the elegant deductions which are invented for the use of our students in geometry; but it seems scarcely conceivable that the great masters in any other line of study could condescend to give a moment’s attention to the elementary books of the beginner.
In Conflict of Studies (1873), 10-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (30)  |  Admire (18)  |  Amount (31)  |  Apollonius (6)  |  Artificial (32)  |  Attainment (40)  |  Attention (121)  |  Beginner (9)  |  Benefit (73)  |  Book (257)  |  Branch (107)  |  Case (99)  |  Compare (38)  |  Comparison (64)  |  Conceivable (6)  |  Condescend (2)  |  Connect (33)  |  Deduction (69)  |  Draw (55)  |  Elegant (16)  |  Elementary (45)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Exercise (69)  |  Furnish (42)  |  Geometry (232)  |  Give (201)  |  Grammatical (2)  |  Great (534)  |  Greek (73)  |  Inexhaustible (13)  |  Insure (4)  |  Interest (237)  |  Invent (51)  |  Language (228)  |  Line (90)  |  Maintain (33)  |  Master (98)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Moment (107)  |  Possess (56)  |  Precisely (23)  |  Problem (497)  |  Propose (23)  |  Regard (95)  |  Retain (19)  |  Scarcely (13)  |  Seem (143)  |  Stiff (3)  |  Student (203)  |  Study (476)  |  Suit (11)  |  Value (242)  |  Variety (71)  |  Vigorous (20)

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 (43)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Expression (110)  |  Favorite (24)  |  Find (408)  |  God (535)  |  Hard (99)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  Light (347)  |  Love (224)  |  New (496)  |  Noise (31)  |  Notion (59)  |  Penny (5)  |  Reminder (13)  |  Search (105)  |  Signal (18)  |  Student (203)  |  Truth (928)  |  Trying (19)  |  Under (7)

It is still true, even at the graduate level, that students study to avoid the consequences of not studying.
In 'B.F. Skinner Addresses Standing-Room-Only Crowd at Conference', Engineering Education News (Aug 1980), 7, No. 2, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (55)  |  Consequence (114)  |  Education (347)  |  Student (203)  |  Study (476)

On graduating from school, a studious young man who would withstand the tedium and monotony of his duties has no choice but to lose himself in some branch of science or literature completely irrelevant to his assignment.
From memorandum 'Mémoire sur le service des officiers du Corps du Génie' (1776) to the minister of war, the comte de Saint-Germain. Reproduced as Appendix C in C. Stewart Gillmor, Coulomb and the Evolution of Physics and Engineering in Eighteenth Century France (1971), 255-261. Coulomb proposed (unsuccessfully) that the corps of military engineers in peacetime engage their skills in construction of public works. As cited in Charles Coulston Gillispie, Science and Polity in France: The End of the Old Regime (1980, 2004), 530.
Science quotes on:  |  Assignment (10)  |  Branch (107)  |  Duty (68)  |  Irrelevance (3)  |  Literature (79)  |  Lose (94)  |  Monotony (3)  |  School (119)  |  Science (2067)  |  Studious (2)  |  Tedium (3)  |  Withstand (3)  |  Young (100)

The explosive component in the contemporary scene is not the clamor of the masses but the self-righteous claims of a multitude of graduates from schools and universities. This army of scribes is clamoring for a society in which planning, regulation, and supervision are paramount and the prerogative of the educated. They hanker for the scribe’s golden age, for a return to something like the scribe-dominated societies of ancient Egypt, China, and Europe of the Middle Ages. There is little doubt that the present trend in the new and renovated countries toward social regimentation stems partly from the need to create adequate employment for a large number of scribes. And since the tempo of the production of the literate is continually increasing, the prospect is of ever-swelling bureaucracies.
In 'Scribe, Writer, and Rebel', The Ordeal of Change (1963), 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Adequate (25)  |  Ancient Egypt (3)  |  Army (25)  |  Bureaucracy (5)  |  China (20)  |  Claim (71)  |  Clamor (7)  |  Clamoring (2)  |  Component (16)  |  Contemporary (30)  |  Continually (16)  |  Country (147)  |  Create (153)  |  Doubt (160)  |  Educate (12)  |  Employment (24)  |  Europe (43)  |  Explosive (18)  |  Golden Age (8)  |  Increase (146)  |  Large (130)  |  Little (188)  |  Mass (78)  |  Middle Ages (7)  |  Multitude (20)  |  Need (287)  |  New (496)  |  Number (282)  |  Paramount (7)  |  Partly (5)  |  Plan (87)  |  Prerogative (3)  |  Present (176)  |  Production (117)  |  Prospect (22)  |  Regimentation (2)  |  Regulation (20)  |  Renovate (3)  |  Return (55)  |  Scene (14)  |  School (119)  |  Scribe (3)  |  Social (108)  |  Society (228)  |  Stem (12)  |  Supervision (4)  |  Tempo (3)  |  Toward (45)  |  Trend (17)  |  University (81)

There was a golden period that I look back upon with great regret, in which the cheapest of experimental animals were medical students. Graduate students were even better. In the old days, if you offered a graduate student a thiamine-deficient diet, he gladly went on it, for that was the only way he could eat. Science is getting to be more and more difficult.
In talk, 'Origin of Death' (1970).
Science quotes on:  |  Diet (46)  |  Difficulty (146)  |  Eating (21)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Student (203)

There’s a touch of the priesthood in the academic world, a sense that a scholar should not be distracted by the mundane tasks of day-to-day living. I used to have great stretches of time to work. Now I have research thoughts while making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Sure it’s impossible to write down ideas while reading “Curious George” to a two-year-old. On the other hand, as my husband was leaving graduate school for his first job, his thesis advisor told him, “You may wonder how a professor gets any research done when one has to teach, advise students, serve on committees, referee papers, write letters of recommendation, interview prospective faculty. Well, I take long showers.”
In 'In Her Own Words: Six Mathematicians Comment on Their Lives and Careers: Susan Landau', Notices of the AMS (Sep 1991), 38, No. 7, 704.
Science quotes on:  |  Advise (7)  |  Advisor (3)  |  Child (252)  |  Committee (15)  |  Distract (5)  |  Down (86)  |  Faculty (70)  |  First (314)  |  Husband (13)  |  Idea (580)  |  Impossible (113)  |  Interview (5)  |  Jelly (4)  |  Job (43)  |  Letter (51)  |  Living (56)  |  Long (174)  |  Mundane (2)  |  On The Other Hand (34)  |  Paper (83)  |  Priesthood (2)  |  Professor (54)  |  Prospective (5)  |  Read (145)  |  Recommendation (12)  |  Referee (6)  |  Research (590)  |  Scholar (38)  |  School (119)  |  Serve (58)  |  Shower (6)  |  Student (203)  |  Task (83)  |  Teach (188)  |  Thesis (11)  |  Thought (546)  |  Time (595)  |  Wonder (169)  |  Work (635)  |  Write (154)

What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school… It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it… That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.
From Lecture, the first in the first series of Alix G. Mauntner Lectures, trascribed and editted by Ralph Leighton, 'Introduction', QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter (1985, 1988), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Convince (23)  |  Fourth (8)  |  Nobody (49)  |  Physics (348)  |  School (119)  |  See (369)  |  Student (203)  |  Task (83)  |  Teach (188)  |  Tell (110)  |  Third (15)  |  Turn (118)  |  Understand (340)  |  Year (299)

When I received my B.S. degree in 1932, only two of the fundamental particles of physics were known. Every bit of matter in the universe was thought to consist solely of protons and electrons.
From Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1968). Collected in Yong Zhou (ed.), Nobel Lecture: Physics, 1963-1970 (2013), 241.
Science quotes on:  |  Consist (46)  |  Electron (72)  |  Fundamental (164)  |  Know (556)  |  Matter (343)  |  Particle (99)  |  Physics (348)  |  Proton (15)  |  Solely (9)  |  Thought (546)  |  Universe (686)

You can prepare yourself for work. The paintings of the great masters, the compositions of great musicians, the sermons of great preachers, the policies of great statesmen, and the campaigns of great generals, do not spring full bloom from barren rock. … If you are a true student you will be more dissatisfied with yourself when you graduate than you are now.
From Cameron Prize Lecture (1928), delivered before the University of Edinburgh. As quoted in J.B. Collip 'Frederick Grant Banting, Discoverer of Insulin', The Scientific Monthly (May 1941), 52, No. 5, 473-474.
Science quotes on:  |  Barren (15)  |  Bloom (9)  |  Campaign (6)  |  Composition (60)  |  Dissatisfaction (6)  |  Full (63)  |  General (160)  |  Great (534)  |  Master (98)  |  Musician (20)  |  Painting (43)  |  Policy (24)  |  Preacher (10)  |  Prepare (35)  |  Rock (125)  |  Sermon (6)  |  Spring (71)  |  Statesman (18)  |  Student (203)  |  True (208)  |  Work (635)

[De Morgan relates that some person had made up 800 anagrams on his name, of which he had seen about 650. Commenting on these he says:]
Two of these I have joined in the title-page:
[Ut agendo surgamus arguendo gustamus.]
A few of the others are personal remarks.
Great gun! do us a sum!
is a sneer at my pursuit; but,
Go! great sum! [integral of a to the power u to the power n with respect to u] is more dignified. …
Adsum, nugator, suge!
is addressed to a student who continues talking after the lecture has commenced: …
Graduatus sum! nego
applies to one who declined to subscribe for an M.A. degree.
In Budget of Paradoxes (1872), 82. [The Latin phrases translate as, respectively, “Such action will start arguing with taste”, “Here babbler suck!” and “I graduate! I reject.” —Webmaster]
Science quotes on:  |  Address (12)  |  Anagram (9)  |  Apply (77)  |  Argue (23)  |  Babble (2)  |  Commence (5)  |  Comment (11)  |  Continue (65)  |  Decline (17)  |  Degree (82)  |  Augustus De Morgan (45)  |  Dignified (4)  |  Great (534)  |  Gun (9)  |  Integral (15)  |  Join (25)  |  Lecture (68)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Name (170)  |  Page (30)  |  Person (154)  |  Personal (66)  |  Power (366)  |  Pursuit (79)  |  Relate (20)  |  Remark (27)  |  Say (228)  |  See (369)  |  Sneer (6)  |  Student (203)  |  Subscribe (2)  |  Suck (5)  |  Sum (41)  |  Talk (100)  |  Title (18)


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

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

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

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

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



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