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Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Mediocre

Mediocre Quotes (7 quotes)

A mathematician of the first rank, Laplace quickly revealed himself as only a mediocre administrator; from his first work we saw that we had been deceived. Laplace saw no question from its true point of view; he sought subtleties everywhere; had only doubtful ideas, and finally carried the spirit of the infinitely small into administration.
As quoted in E.T. Bell, Men of Mathematics (1937, 1965), 182. Without citation, except, “As it is often quoted as … Napoleon’s famous estimate of Laplace, of which he is reported to have delivered himself while he was a prisoner at St. Helena.” Laplace had a six-week tenure in the Ministry of the Interior.
Science quotes on:  |  Administration (11)  |  Administrator (10)  |  Deceive (16)  |  Doubtful (9)  |  First (313)  |  Idea (577)  |  Infinitely (13)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (61)  |  Mathematician (364)  |  Point Of View (41)  |  Question (404)  |  Rank (32)  |  Seek (104)  |  Small (161)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Subtlety (11)  |  True (201)

After all, it is only the mediocre who are always at their best.
Likely a false attribution, although often seen but without citation. For a much earlier version (1904), with primary source, see the page for Max Beerbohm: “Only mediocrity can be trusted to be always at its best.” Also of questionable originality, often seen but without citation, is W. Somerset Maugham: “Only a mediocre person is always at his best.” For example in John Peers, Gordon Bennett, 1,001 logical laws, accurate axioms,… (1979), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (172)

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
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Science quotes on:  |  Encounter (22)  |  Great (524)  |  Mind (743)  |  Opposition (34)  |  Spirit (152)  |  Violent (17)

The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
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Science quotes on:  |  Blindly (2)  |  Bow (10)  |  Choose (59)  |  Conventional (18)  |  Courageously (2)  |  Express (63)  |  Honestly (2)  |  Incapable (17)  |  Instead (19)  |  Mind (743)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Prejudice (66)  |  Refuse (23)  |  Understand (326)

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
In Thoughts of a Christian Optimist: The Words of William Arthur Ward (1968), 16
Science quotes on:  |  Demonstrate (50)  |  Explain (105)  |  Good (345)  |  Great (524)  |  Inspire (49)  |  Superior (40)  |  Teacher (119)  |  Tell (110)

The superior doctor prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor treats actual sickness.
Chinese Proverb. In North Manchurian Plague Prevention Service Reports (1925-1926) (1926), 292, 305.
Science quotes on:  |  Doctor (101)  |  Impending (2)  |  Inferior (19)  |  Medicine (343)  |  Physician (241)  |  Prevent (40)  |  Sickness (22)  |  Treat (34)

The world is full of signals that we don’t perceive. Tiny creatures live in a different world of unfamiliar forces. Many animals of our scale greatly exceed our range of perception for sensations familiar to us ... What an imperceptive lot we are. Surrounded by so much, so fascinating and so real, that we do not see (hear, smell, touch, taste) in nature, yet so gullible and so seduced by claims for novel power that we mistake the tricks of mediocre magicians for glimpses of a psychic world beyond our ken. The paranormal may be a fantasy; it is certainly a haven for charlatans. But ‘parahuman’ powers of perception lie all about us in birds, bees, and bacteria.
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Science quotes on:  |  Animal (356)  |  Bacterium (5)  |  Bee (27)  |  Beyond (104)  |  Bird (119)  |  Certainly (31)  |  Charlatan (8)  |  Claim (70)  |  Creature (154)  |  Different (178)  |  Exceed (9)  |  Familiar (42)  |  Fantasy (9)  |  Fascinating (22)  |  Force (249)  |  Full (63)  |  Glimpse (13)  |  Greatly (12)  |  Hear (60)  |  Ken (2)  |  Lie (115)  |  Live (269)  |  Lot (29)  |  Magician (13)  |  Mistake (131)  |  Nature (1211)  |  Novel (19)  |  Paranormal (3)  |  Perceive (40)  |  Perception (61)  |  Power (358)  |  Psychic (6)  |  Range (57)  |  Real (148)  |  Scale (62)  |  Seduce (4)  |  See (369)  |  Sensation (28)  |  Signal (18)  |  Smell (18)  |  Surround (29)  |  Taste (48)  |  Tiny (36)  |  Touch (76)  |  Trick (24)  |  Unfamiliar (8)  |  World (892)


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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- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
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John Keynes
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- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
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Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
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Robert Bunsen
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Andre Ampere
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- 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
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Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
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- 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



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