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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index H > Category: Humbug

Humbug Quotes (5 quotes)

Aeroplanes are not designed by science, but by art in spite of some pretence and humbug to the contrary. I do not mean to suggest that engineering can do without science, on the contrary, it stands on scientific foundations, but there is a big gap between scientific research and the engineering product which has to be bridged by the art of the engineer.
In John D. North, 'The Case for Metal Construction', The Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, (Jan 1923), 27, 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Aeronautics (12)  |  Airplane (32)  |  Design (92)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Gap (20)  |  Pretence (5)  |  Research (517)  |  Science And Art (157)

Florey was not an easy personality. His drive and ambition were manifest from the day he arrived ... He could be ruthless and selfish; on the other hand, he could show kindliness, a warm humanity and, at times, sentiment and a sense of humour. He displayed utter integrity and he was scathing of humbug and pretence. His attitude was always—&ldqo;You must take me as you find me” But to cope with him at times, you had to do battle, raise your voice as high as his and never let him shout you down. You had to raise your pitch to his but if you insisted on your right he was always, in the end, very fair. I must say that at times, he went out of his way to cut people down to size with some very destructive criticism. But I must also say in the years I knew him he did not once utter a word of praise about himself.
Personal communication (1970) to Florey's Australian biographer, Lennard Bickel. By letter, Drury described his experience as a peer, being a research collaborator while Florey held a Studentship at Cambridge in the 1920s. This quote appears without naming Drury, in Eric Lax, The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat: The Story of the Penicillin Miracle (2004), 40. Dury is cited in Lennard Bickel, Rise Up to Life: A Biography of Howard Walter Florey Who Gave Penicillin to the World (1972), 24. Also in Eric Lax
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (25)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Battle (30)  |  Coping (3)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Display (22)  |  Drive (38)  |  Fairness (2)  |  Sir Howard Walter Florey (2)  |  Himself (10)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Insistence (9)  |  Integrity (11)  |  Manifestation (30)  |  Personality (40)  |  Praise (17)  |  Right (144)  |  Ruthlessness (3)  |  Selfishness (8)  |  Sentiment (9)  |  Shout (9)  |  Voice (41)  |  Word (221)

I look upon the whole system of giving pensions to literary and scientific people as a piece of gross humbug. It is not done for any good purpose; it ought never to have been done. It is gross humbug from beginning to end.
Words attributed to Melbourne in Fraser's Magazine (1835), 12, 707.
Science quotes on:  |  Pension (2)  |  Scientist (447)

There has never been an age so full of humbug. Humbug everywhere, even in science. For years now the scientists have been promising us every morning a new miracle, a new element, a new metal, guaranteeing to warm us with copper discs immersed in water, to feed us with nothing, to kill us at no expense whatever on a grand scale, to keep us alive indefinitely, to make iron out of heaven knows what. And all this fantastic, scientific humbugging leads to membership of the Institut, to decorations, to influence, to stipends, to the respect of serious people. In the meantime the cost of living rises, doubles, trebles; there is a shortage of raw materials; even death makes no progress—as we saw at Sebastopol, where men cut each other to ribbons—and the cheapest goods are still the worst goods in the world.
With co-author Jules de Goncourt (French writer, 1830-70)
Diary entry, 7 Jan 1857. In R. Baldick (ed. & trans.), Pages from the Goncourt Journal (1978), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Element (129)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Progress (317)

To smite all humbugs, however big; to give a nobler tone to science; to set an example of abstinence from petty personal controversies, and of toleration for everything but lying. … —are these my aims?
Journal entry (31 Dec 1856). In Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1901), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstinence (4)  |  Aim (58)  |  Controversy (16)  |  Example (57)  |  Lie (80)  |  Noble (41)  |  Personal (49)  |  Petty (5)  |  Science (1699)  |  Smite (4)  |  Toleration (5)  |  Tone (7)


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
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Ernest Rutherford
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- 90 -
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Euclid
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- 80 -
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Bible
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- 70 -
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- 60 -
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- 50 -
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- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
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JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
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- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
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- 20 -
Carl Sagan
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- 10 -
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