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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Environmental extremists ... wouldn’t let you build a house unless it looked like a bird’s nest.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index L > Category: Literary

Literary Quotes (13 quotes)

His “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American is one of the few bridges over C.P. Snow’s famous “gulf of mutual incomprehension’' that lies between technical and literary cultures.
In 'Martin Gardner: A “Documentary”', collected in Elwyn Berlekamp and Tom Rodgers (eds.), The Mathematician and the Pied Puzzler: A Collection in Tribute to Martin Gardner (1999), 9.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Bridge (47)  |  Column (15)  |  Culture (143)  |  Famous (10)  |  Game (101)  |  Gulf (18)  |  Incomprehension (3)  |  Lie (364)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific American (2)  |  Snow (37)  |  Baron C.P. Snow (20)  |  Technical (43)

How have people come to be taken in by The Phenomenon of Man? Just as compulsory primary education created a market catered for by cheap dailies and weeklies, so the spread of secondary and latterly of tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought … [The Phenomenon of Man] is written in an all but totally unintelligible style, and this is construed as prima-facie evidence of profundity.
Medawar’s book review of The Phenomenon of Man by Teilhard de Chardin first appeared as 'Critical Notice' in the journal Mind (1961), 70, No. 277, 105. The book review was reprinted in The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Analysis (233)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Capacity (100)  |  Cheap (11)  |  Compulsory (7)  |  Construed (2)  |  Created (6)  |  Daily (87)  |  Develop (268)  |  Developed (11)  |  Educated (12)  |  Education (378)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Large (394)  |  Man (2251)  |  Market (20)  |  People (1005)  |  Person (363)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Population (110)  |  Prima Facie (2)  |  Primary (80)  |  Profundity (6)  |  Secondary (14)  |  Spread (83)  |  Style (23)  |  Taste (90)  |  Tertiary (4)  |  Thought (953)  |  Undertake (33)  |  Unintelligible (15)  |  Written (6)

Science is vastly more stimulating to the imagination than are the classics, but the products of this stimulus do not normally see the light because scientific men as a class are devoid of any perception of literary form.
In Daedalus or Science and the Future (1924). Reprinted in Haldane's Daedalus Revisited (1995), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Class (164)  |  Classic (11)  |  Devoid (11)  |  Do (1908)  |  Form (959)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Light (607)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  More (2559)  |  Perception (97)  |  Product (160)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  See (1081)  |  Stimulus (26)

Scientific training gives its votaries freedom from the impositions of modern quackery. Those who know nothing of the laws and processes of Nature fall an easy prey to quacks and impostors. Perfectionism in the realm of religion; a score of frauds in the realm of medicine, as electric shoe soles, hair brushes and belts, electropises, oxydonors, insulating bed casters, and the like; Christian science. In the presence of whose unspeakable stillness and self-stultifying idealism a wise man knows not whether to laugh or cry; Prof. Weltmer's magnetic treatment of disease; divine healing and miracle working by long-haired peripatetics—these and a score of other contagious fads and rank impostures find their followers among those who have no scientific training. Among their deluded victims are thousands of men and women of high character, undoubted piety, good intentions, charitable impulses and literary culture, but none trained to scientific research. Vaccinate the general public with scientific training and these epidemics will become a thing of the past.
As quoted by S.D. Van Meter, Chairman, closing remarks for 'Report of Committee on Public Policy and Legislation', to the Colorado State Medical Society in Denver, printed in Colorado Medicine (Oct 1904), 1, No. 12, 363. Van Meter used the quote following his statement, “In conclusion, allow me to urge once more the necessity of education of the public as well as the profession if we ever expect to correct the evils we are striving to reach by State and Society legislation. Much can be accomplished toward this end by the publication of well edited articles in the secular press upon medical subjects the public is eager to know about.” Prof. Weitmer is presumably Sidney A. Weltmer, founder of The Weltmer Institute of Suggestive Therapeutics, who offered a Course in Magnetic Healing by mail order correspondance (1899).
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Become (815)  |  Bed (23)  |  Belt (3)  |  Brush (5)  |  Character (243)  |  Charity (11)  |  Christian (43)  |  Christian Science (3)  |  Contagious (4)  |  Cry (29)  |  Culture (143)  |  Deluded (7)  |  Disease (328)  |  Divine (112)  |  Eager (15)  |  Easy (204)  |  Education (378)  |  Electric (76)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Epidemic (7)  |  Fad (10)  |  Fall (230)  |  Find (998)  |  Follower (11)  |  Fraud (15)  |  Freedom (129)  |  General (511)  |  General Public (7)  |  Good (889)  |  Good Intention (2)  |  Hair (25)  |  Healing (25)  |  High (362)  |  Idealism (4)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Imposition (5)  |  Impostor (3)  |  Imposture (6)  |  Impulse (48)  |  Insulating (3)  |  Intelligent Design (5)  |  Intention (46)  |  Know (1518)  |  Laugh (47)  |  Law (894)  |  Long (790)  |  Magnetic (44)  |  Man (2251)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Miracle (83)  |  Modern (385)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Other (2236)  |  Past (337)  |  Perfectionism (2)  |  Peripatetic (3)  |  Piety (4)  |  Presence (63)  |  Prey (13)  |  Process (423)  |  Quack (18)  |  Quackery (4)  |  Rank (67)  |  Realm (85)  |  Religion (361)  |  Research (664)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Method (175)  |  Self (267)  |  Shoe (11)  |  Sole (49)  |  Stillness (5)  |  Stultify (5)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Train (114)  |  Trained (5)  |  Training (80)  |  Treatment (130)  |  Victim (35)  |  Votary (3)  |  Will (2355)  |  Wise (131)  |  Wise Man (15)  |  Woman (151)  |  Work (1351)

Since the days of Hippocrates, our father, the aphorism has been the literary vehicle of the doctor… Laymen have stolen the trick from time to time, but the aphorism remains the undisputed contribution of the doctor to literature.
[Coauthor with Ray Marr]
In Howard Fabing and Ray Marr (eds.), Fischerisms. Cited in epigraph, Robert Taylor, White Coat Tales: Medicine's Heroes, Heritage, and Misadventures (2010), 119.
Science quotes on:  |  Aphorism (21)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Father (110)  |  Hippocrates (49)  |  Literature (103)  |  Ray (114)  |  Remain (349)  |  Time (1877)  |  Trick (35)  |  Vehicle (11)

The authors of literary works may not have intended all the subtleties, complexities, undertones, and overtones that are attributed to them by critics and by students writing doctoral theses.” That’s what God says about geologists, I told him...
Basin and Range
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Attribute (61)  |  Author (167)  |  Complexity (111)  |  Critic (20)  |  Geologist (75)  |  God (757)  |  Intend (16)  |  Overtone (3)  |  Say (984)  |  Student (300)  |  Subtlety (19)  |  Tell (340)  |  Thesis (15)  |  Undertone (2)  |  Work (1351)  |  Write (230)  |  Writing (189)

The brown and charred rags that hung from the sides of it, I presently recognized as the decaying vestiges of books. They had long since dropped to pieces, and every semblance of print had left them. … Had I been a literary man I might, perhaps, have moralized upon the futility of all ambition.
In The Time Machine (1898), 160.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Ambition (43)  |  Book (392)  |  Brown (23)  |  Decay (53)  |  Dropped (17)  |  Futility (7)  |  Long (790)  |  Man (2251)  |  Piece (38)  |  Print (17)  |  Rag (2)  |  Recognize (125)  |  Resemblance (38)  |  Semblance (5)  |  Side (233)  |  Vestige (11)

The general knowledge of our author [Leonhard Euler] was more extensive than could well be expected, in one who had pursued, with such unremitting ardor, mathematics and astronomy as his favorite studies. He had made a very considerable progress in medical, botanical, and chemical science. What was still more extraordinary, he was an excellent scholar, and possessed in a high degree what is generally called erudition. He had attentively read the most eminent writers of ancient Rome; the civil and literary history of all ages and all nations was familiar to him; and foreigners, who were only acquainted with his works, were astonished to find in the conversation of a man, whose long life seemed solely occupied in mathematical and physical researches and discoveries, such an extensive acquaintance with the most interesting branches of literature. In this respect, no doubt, he was much indebted to an uncommon memory, which seemed to retain every idea that was conveyed to it, either from reading or from meditation.
In Philosophical and Mathematical Dictionary (1815), 493-494.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaint (9)  |  Acquaintance (37)  |  Age (499)  |  All (4108)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Ardor (5)  |  Astonish (37)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Attentive (14)  |  Author (167)  |  Botany (57)  |  Branch (150)  |  Call (769)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Civil (26)  |  Considerable (75)  |  Conversation (43)  |  Convey (16)  |  Degree (276)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Eminent (17)  |  Erudition (6)  |  Leonhard Euler (35)  |  Excellent (28)  |  Expect (200)  |  Extensive (33)  |  Extraordinary (79)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Favorite (37)  |  Find (998)  |  Foreigner (3)  |  General (511)  |  Generally (15)  |  High (362)  |  History (673)  |  Idea (843)  |  Indebted (7)  |  Interest (386)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Literature (103)  |  Long (790)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Meditation (19)  |  Memory (134)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Nation (193)  |  Occupied (45)  |  Physical (508)  |  Possess (156)  |  Progress (465)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Research (664)  |  Respect (207)  |  Retain (56)  |  Rome (19)  |  Scholar (48)  |  Science (3879)  |  Still (613)  |  Study (653)  |  Uncommon (14)  |  Work (1351)  |  Writer (86)

The intellectual life of the whole of western society is increasingly being split into two polar groups… Literary intellectuals at one pole—at the other scientists, and as the most representative, the physical scientists. Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension—sometimes (particularly among the young) hostility and dislike, but most of all lack of understanding.
The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution: The Reed Lecture (1959), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Being (1278)  |  Dislike (15)  |  Gulf (18)  |  Hostility (16)  |  Incomprehension (3)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Lack (119)  |  Life (1795)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mutual (52)  |  Other (2236)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Polar (12)  |  Pole (46)  |  Representative (14)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Society (326)  |  Two (937)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Western (45)  |  Whole (738)  |  Young (227)

The lives of scientists, considered as Lives, almost always make dull reading. For one thing, the careers of the famous and the merely ordinary fall into much the same pattern, give or take an honorary degree or two, or (in European countries) an honorific order. It could be hardly otherwise. Academics can only seldom lead lives that are spacious or exciting in a worldly sense. They need laboratories or libraries and the company of other academics. Their work is in no way made deeper or more cogent by privation, distress or worldly buffetings. Their private lives may be unhappy, strangely mixed up or comic, but not in ways that tell us anything special about the nature or direction of their work. Academics lie outside the devastation area of the literary convention according to which the lives of artists and men of letters are intrinsically interesting, a source of cultural insight in themselves. If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility; if a historian were to fail (as Ruskin did) to consummate his marriage, we should not suppose that our understanding of historical scholarship had somehow been enriched.
'J.B.S: A Johnsonian Scientist', New York Review of Books (10 Oct 1968), reprinted in Pluto's Republic (1982), and inThe Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science (1996), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (18)  |  According (237)  |  Artist (90)  |  Career (75)  |  Cogent (6)  |  Comic (4)  |  Company (59)  |  Consider (416)  |  Convention (14)  |  Culture (143)  |  Cut (114)  |  Degree (276)  |  Devastation (6)  |  Direction (175)  |  Distress (9)  |  Dull (54)  |  Ear (68)  |  Enrich (24)  |  Enrichment (7)  |  Evidence (248)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Exciting (47)  |  Fail (185)  |  Fall (230)  |  Fame (50)  |  Historian (54)  |  Historical (70)  |  Insight (102)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Lead (384)  |  Letter (109)  |  Library (48)  |  Lie (364)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Marriage (39)  |  Merely (316)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Order (632)  |  Ordinary (160)  |  Other (2236)  |  Outside (141)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Privacy (7)  |  Privation (5)  |  Reading (133)  |  John Ruskin (25)  |  Scholarship (20)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Sense (770)  |  Sensibility (4)  |  Somehow (48)  |  Special (184)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Tell (340)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Two (937)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Unhappiness (9)  |  Unhappy (16)  |  Way (1217)  |  Work (1351)

The persons who have been employed on these problems of applying the properties of matter and the laws of motion to the explanation of the phenomena of the world, and who have brought to them the high and admirable qualities which such an office requires, have justly excited in a very eminent degree the admiration which mankind feels for great intellectual powers. Their names occupy a distinguished place in literary history; and probably there are no scientific reputations of the last century higher, and none more merited, than those earned by great mathematicians who have laboured with such wonderful success in unfolding the mechanism of the heavens; such for instance as D ’Alembert, Clairaut, Euler, Lagrange, Laplace.
In Astronomy and General Physics (1833), Bk. 3, chap. 4, 327.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (19)  |  Admiration (59)  |  Apply (160)  |  Bring (90)  |  Century (310)  |  Alexis Claude Clairaut (2)  |  Jean le Rond D’Alembert (11)  |  Degree (276)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Distinguished (83)  |  Earn (7)  |  Eminent (17)  |  Employ (113)  |  Leonhard Euler (35)  |  Excited (8)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Feel (367)  |  Great (1574)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  High (362)  |  History (673)  |  Instance (33)  |  Intellectual (255)  |  Justly (6)  |  Labour (98)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (26)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (62)  |  Last (426)  |  Law (894)  |  Law Of Motion (14)  |  Laws Of Motion (10)  |  Mankind (339)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mechanism (96)  |  Merit (50)  |  More (2559)  |  Motion (310)  |  Name (333)  |  Occupy (26)  |  Office (71)  |  Person (363)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Place (177)  |  Power (746)  |  Probably (49)  |  Problem (676)  |  Properties Of Matter (7)  |  Quality (135)  |  Reputation (33)  |  Require (219)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Success (302)  |  Unfold (12)  |  Unfolding (16)  |  Wonderful (149)  |  World (1774)

When Cayley had reached his most advanced generalizations he proceeded to establish them directly by some method or other, though he seldom gave the clue by which they had first been obtained: a proceeding which does not tend to make his papers easy reading. …
His literary style is direct, simple and clear. His legal training had an influence, not merely upon his mode of arrangement but also upon his expression; the result is that his papers are severe and present a curious contrast to the luxuriant enthusiasm which pervades so many of Sylvester’s papers. He used to prepare his work for publication as soon as he carried his investigations in any subject far enough for his immediate purpose. … A paper once written out was promptly sent for publication; this practice he maintained throughout life. … The consequence is that he has left few arrears of unfinished or unpublished papers; his work has been given by himself to the world.
In Proceedings of London Royal Society (1895), 58, 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Advance (280)  |  Arrangement (91)  |  Arrears (2)  |  Carry (127)  |  Arthur Cayley (17)  |  Clear (100)  |  Clue (17)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Contrast (44)  |  Curious (91)  |  Direct (225)  |  Directly (22)  |  Easy (204)  |  Enough (340)  |  Enthusiasm (52)  |  Establish (57)  |  Expression (175)  |  Far (154)  |  First (1283)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Give (202)  |  Himself (461)  |  Immediate (95)  |  Influence (222)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Leave (130)  |  Legal (8)  |  Life (1795)  |  Maintain (105)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Merely (316)  |  Method (505)  |  Mode (41)  |  Most (1731)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paper (182)  |  Pervade (10)  |  Practice (204)  |  Prepare (37)  |  Present (619)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Proceeding (39)  |  Prompt (14)  |  Publication (101)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Reach (281)  |  Read (287)  |  Reading (133)  |  Result (677)  |  Seldom (65)  |  Send (22)  |  Severe (16)  |  Simple (406)  |  Soon (186)  |  Style (23)  |  Subject (521)  |  James Joseph Sylvester (58)  |  Tend (124)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Training (80)  |  Unfinished (4)  |  Unpublished (2)  |  Work (1351)  |  World (1774)  |  Write (230)

[In addition to classical, literary and philosophical studies,] I devoured without much appetite the Elements of Algebra and Geometry…. From these serious and scientific pursuits I derived a maturity of judgement, a philosophic spirit, of more value than the sciences themselves…. I could extract and digest the nutritive particles of every species of litterary food.
In The Autobiographies of Edward Gibbon (1896), 235. [“litterary” is sic.]
Science quotes on:  |  Addition (66)  |  Algebra (113)  |  Appetite (17)  |  Classical (45)  |  Derive (65)  |  Devour (29)  |  Digest (9)  |  Element (310)  |  Extract (40)  |  Food (199)  |  Geometry (255)  |  Judgement (7)  |  Maturity (14)  |  More (2559)  |  Nutrition (23)  |  Particle (194)  |  Philosophic (5)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Serious (91)  |  Species (401)  |  Spirit (265)  |  Study (653)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Value (365)


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.