Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Dangerous... to take shelter under a tree, during a thunder-gust. It has been fatal to many, both men and beasts.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Method

Method Quotes (154 quotes)

Neumann, to a physicist seeking help with a difficult problem: Simple. This can be solved by using the method of characteristics.
Physicist: I'm afraid I don’t understand the method of characteristics.
Neumann: In mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
Attributed, as related by Dr. Felix Smith (Head of Molecular Physics, Stanford Research Institute) to author Gary Zukav, who quoted it in The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979, 2001), 208, footnote. The physicist (a friend of Dr. Smith) worked at Los Alamos after WW II. It should be noted that although the author uses quotation marks around the spoken remarks, that they represent the author's memory of Dr. Smith's recollection, who heard it from the physicist. Therefore the fourth-hand wording is very likely not verbatim. Webmaster finds Zukav's book seems to be the only source for this quote.
Science quotes on:  |  Characteristic (66)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Solution (168)  |  Understanding (317)

Question: Explain why, in order to cook food by boiling, at the top of a high mountain, you must employ a different method from that used at the sea level.
Answer: It is easy to cook food at the sea level by boiling it, but once you get above the sea level the only plan is to fry it in its own fat. It is, in fact, impossible to boil water above the sea level by any amount of heat. A different method, therefore, would have to be employed to boil food at the top of a high mountain, but what that method is has not yet been discovered. The future may reveal it to a daring experimentalist.
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), 178-9, Question 11. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Boiling (3)  |  Cooking (7)  |  Difference (208)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Examination (60)  |  Experimenter (18)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Fat (10)  |  Food (139)  |  Frying (2)  |  Heat (90)  |  Howler (15)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Plan (69)  |  Question (315)  |  Sea Level (4)

Question: State what are the conditions favourable for the formation of dew. Describe an instrument for determining the dew point, and the method of using it.
Answer: This is easily proved from question 1. A body of gas as it ascends expands, cools, and deposits moisture; so if you walk up a hill the body of gas inside you expands, gives its heat to you, and deposits its moisture in the form of dew or common sweat. Hence these are the favourable conditions; and moreover it explains why you get warm by ascending a hill, in opposition to the well-known law of the Conservation of Energy.
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), 179, Question 12. (*From a collection in which Answers are not given verbatim et literatim, and some instances may combine several students' blunders.)
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Ascension (2)  |  Body (193)  |  Condition (119)  |  Cooling (3)  |  Deposition (3)  |  Description (72)  |  Determination (53)  |  Dew (6)  |  Easy (56)  |  Examination (60)  |  Expansion (25)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Favor (22)  |  Formation (54)  |  Gas (46)  |  Heat (90)  |  Hill (19)  |  Howler (15)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Moisture (10)  |  Opposition (29)  |  Proof (192)  |  Question (315)  |  State (96)  |  Sweat (12)  |  Use (70)  |  Walk (56)  |  Well-Known (4)

Standardization does not produce although admirable as an efficiency method.
Aphorism listed Frederick Seitz, The Cosmic Inventor: Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866-1932) (1999), 55, being Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Held at Philadelphia For Promoting Useful Knowledge, Vol. 86, Pt. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (34)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Production (105)  |  Standardization (2)

A DNA sequence for the genome of bacteriophage ΦX174 of approximately 5,375 nucleotides has been determined using the rapid and simple “plus and minus” method. The sequence identifies many of the features responsible for the production of the proteins of the nine known genes of the organism, including initiation and termination sites for the proteins and RNAs. Two pairs of genes are coded by the same region of DNA using different reading frames.
[Paper co-author]
Frederick Sanger, et al., 'Nucleotide Sequence of Bacteriophage ΦX174 DNA', Nature (1977), 265, 687.
Science quotes on:  |  Code (12)  |  Determination (53)  |  Difference (208)  |  DNA (67)  |  Feature (34)  |  Frame (17)  |  Gene (68)  |  Identification (11)  |  Initiation (4)  |  Nucleotide (2)  |  Organism (126)  |  Production (105)  |  Protein (43)  |  Reading (51)  |  Region (26)  |  Sequence (32)  |  Site (11)  |  Termination (3)

A good method of discovery is to imagine certain members of a system removed and then see how what is left would behave: for example, where would we be if iron were absent from the world: this is an old example.
Aphorism 258 in Notebook J (1789-1793), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Absence (16)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Certain (84)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Example (57)  |  Good (228)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Iron (53)  |  Member (27)  |  Remainder (2)  |  Removal (10)  |  System (141)  |  World (667)

A great surgeon performs operations for stone by a single method; later he makes a statistical summary of deaths and recoveries, and he concludes from these statistics that the mortality law for this operation is two out of five. Well, I say that this ratio means literally nothing scientifically and gives us no certainty in performing the next operation; for we do not know whether the next case will be among the recoveries or the deaths. What really should be done, instead of gathering facts empirically, is to study them more accurately, each in its special determinism. We must study cases of death with great care and try to discover in them the cause of mortal accidents so as to master the cause and avoid the accidents.
From An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865), as translated by Henry Copley Greene (1957), 137-138. (Note that Bernard overlooks how the statistical method can be useful: a surgeon announcing a mortality rate of 40% invites comparison. A surgeon with worse outcomes should adopt this method. If a surgeon has a better results, that method should be adopted.)
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (54)  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Avoidance (9)  |  Cause (231)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Death (270)  |  Determinism (7)  |  Discover (115)  |  Empirical (15)  |  Fact (609)  |  Gather (29)  |  Great (300)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Law (418)  |  Master (55)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Mortality (13)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Operation (96)  |  Performing (2)  |  Ratio (15)  |  Recovery (18)  |  Scientifically (3)  |  Single (72)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Stone (57)  |  Study (331)  |  Summary (4)  |  Surgeon (43)

A noteworthy and often-remarked similarity exists between the facts and methods of geology and those of linguistic study. The science of language is, as it were, the geology of the most modern period, the Age of the Man, having for its task to construct the history of development of the earth and its inhabitants from the time when the proper geological record remains silent … The remains of ancient speech are like strata deposited in bygone ages, telling of the forms of life then existing, and of the circumstances which determined or affected them; while words are as rolled pebbles, relics of yet more ancient formations, or as fossils, whose grade indicates the progress of organic life, and whose resemblances and relations show the correspondence or sequence of the different strata; while, everywhere, extensive denudation has marred the completeness of the record, and rendered impossible a detailed exhibition of the whole course of development.
In Language and the Study of Language (1867), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Ancient (68)  |  Construction (69)  |  Denudation (2)  |  Development (228)  |  Earth (487)  |  Fact (609)  |  Formation (54)  |  Fossil (107)  |  Geology (187)  |  History (302)  |  Inhabitant (19)  |  Language (155)  |  Life (917)  |  Man (345)  |  Modern (104)  |  Organic (48)  |  Pebble (17)  |  Period (49)  |  Progress (317)  |  Record (56)  |  Sequence (32)  |  Speech (40)  |  Stratum (7)  |  Task (68)  |  Word (221)

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 (92)  |  Evaluation (5)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Objective (49)

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 (125)  |  Construct (25)  |  Development (228)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Force (194)  |  Funny (9)  |  Hybridoma (2)  |  Importance (183)  |  Lack (52)  |  Lead (101)  |  Original (36)  |  Production (105)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Success (202)  |  Want (120)

Another diversity of Methods is according to the subject or matter which is handled; for there is a great difference in delivery of the Mathematics, which are the most abstracted of knowledges, and Policy, which is the most immersed ... , yet we see how that opinion, besides the weakness of it, hath been of ill desert towards learning, as that which taketh the way to reduce learning to certain empty and barren generalities; being but the very husks and shells of sciences, all the kernel being forced out and expulsed with the torture and press of the method.
Advancement of Learning, Book 2. In James Spedding, The Works of Francis Bacon (1863), Vol. 6, 292-293 . Peter Pešić, explains that 'By Mathematics, he had in mind a sterile and rigid scheme of logical classifications, called dichotomies in his time,' inLabyrinth: A Search for the Hidden Meaning of Science (2001), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Barrenness (2)  |  Delivery (4)  |  Difference (208)  |  Diversity (46)  |  Empty (26)  |  Generality (22)  |  Husk (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learning (174)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Policy (23)  |  Shell (35)  |  Subject (129)  |  Torture (13)

As geology is essentially a historical science, the working method of the geologist resembles that of the historian. This makes the personality of the geologist of essential importance in the way he analyzes the past.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 453.
Science quotes on:  |  Analyze (3)  |  Essential (87)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Geologist (42)  |  Geology (187)  |  Historian (30)  |  Historical (10)  |  Importance (183)  |  Past (109)  |  Personality (40)  |  Resemble (16)  |  Science (1699)  |  Working (20)

As soon as we touch the complex processes that go on in a living thing, be it plant or animal, we are at once forced to use the methods of this science [chemistry]. No longer will the microscope, the kymograph, the scalpel avail for the complete solution of the problem. For the further analysis of these phenomena which are in flux and flow, the investigator must associate himself with those who have labored in fields where molecules and atoms, rather than multicellular tissues or even unicellular organisms, are the units of study.
'Experimental and Chemical Studies of the Blood with an Appeal for More Extended Chemical Training for the Biological and Medical Investigator', Science (6 Aug 1915), 42, 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Animal (309)  |  Atom (251)  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Biology (150)  |  Cell (125)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Flow (31)  |  Flux (8)  |  Investigator (28)  |  Life (917)  |  Microscope (68)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Organism (126)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Plant (173)  |  Problem (362)  |  Process (201)  |  Scalpel (2)  |  Solution (168)  |  Study (331)  |  Tissue (24)

Bacon first taught the world the true method of the study of nature, and rescued science from that barbarism in which the followers of Aristotle, by a too servile imitation of their master.
A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts (1845), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Sir Francis Bacon (167)  |  Barbarism (3)  |  Follower (7)  |  Imitation (17)  |  Master (55)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Rescue (8)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Servile (3)  |  Study (331)

But ... the working scientist ... is not consciously following any prescribed course of action, but feels complete freedom to utilize any method or device whatever which in the particular situation before him seems likely to yield the correct answer. ... No one standing on the outside can predict what the individual scientist will do or what method he will follow.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Answer (201)  |  Complete (43)  |  Consciously (4)  |  Correct (53)  |  Course (57)  |  Device (24)  |  Feel (93)  |  Follow (66)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Individual (177)  |  Likely (23)  |  Outside (37)  |  Particular (54)  |  Predict (12)  |  Prescribe (6)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Seem (89)  |  Situation (41)  |  Stand (60)  |  Utilize (6)  |  Work (457)  |  Yield (23)

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.
Confucius
Quoted in Kim Lim (ed.), 1,001 Pearls of Spiritual Wisdom: Words to Enrich, Inspire, and Guide Your Life (2014), 109
Science quotes on:  |  Bitter (12)  |  Easy (56)  |  Experience (268)  |  First (174)  |  Imitation (17)  |  Learn (160)  |  Nobl (4)  |  Reflection (50)  |  Second (33)  |  Third (11)  |  Wisdom (151)

Chemistry is one of those branches of human knowledge which has built itself upon methods and instruments by which truth can presumably be determined. It has survived and grown because all its precepts and principles can be re-tested at any time and anywhere. So long as it remained the mysterious alchemy by which a few devotees, by devious and dubious means, presumed to change baser metals into gold, it did not flourish, but when it dealt with the fact that 56 g. of fine iron, when heated with 32 g. of flowers of sulfur, generated extra heat and gave exactly 88 g. of an entirely new substance, then additional steps could be taken by anyone. Scientific research in chemistry, since the birth of the balance and the thermometer, has been a steady growth of test and observation. It has disclosed a finite number of elementary reagents composing an infinite universe, and it is devoted to their inter-reaction for the benefit of mankind.
Address upon receiving the Perkin Medal Award, 'The Big Things in Chemistry', The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (Feb 1921), 13, No. 2, 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemy (28)  |  Balance (43)  |  Base (43)  |  Branch (61)  |  Building (51)  |  Change (291)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Determination (53)  |  Devious (2)  |  Devotee (3)  |  Element (129)  |  Fact (609)  |  Flourishing (5)  |  Gold (55)  |  Heat (90)  |  Human (445)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Iron (53)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Means (109)  |  Metal (38)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Observation (418)  |  Precept (6)  |  Presumption (11)  |  Principle (228)  |  Research (517)  |  Stoichiometry (2)  |  Sulphur (15)  |  Survival (49)  |  Test (96)  |  Thermometer (6)  |  Truth (750)

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 (128)  |  Clue (14)  |  Combination (69)  |  Dominate (13)  |  Thomas Edison (74)  |  Empirical (15)  |  Exhaust (12)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Exponent (3)  |  Extraordinary (32)  |  Idea (440)  |  Incredible (18)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Mind (544)  |  Permutation (2)  |  Persistence (16)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Random (21)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Resource (47)  |  Success (202)  |  Test (96)  |  Trial (23)  |  Vigor (3)

Either one or the other [analysis or synthesis] may be direct or indirect. The direct procedure is when the point of departure is known-direct synthesis in the elements of geometry. By combining at random simple truths with each other, more complicated ones are deduced from them. This is the method of discovery, the special method of inventions, contrary to popular opinion.
Ampère gives this example drawn from geometry to illustrate his meaning for “direct synthesis” when deductions following from more simple, already-known theorems leads to a new discovery. In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 159. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Combination (69)  |  Complication (20)  |  Contrary (22)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Departure (4)  |  Direct (44)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Element (129)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Indirect (8)  |  Invention (283)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Point (72)  |  Popular (21)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Random (21)  |  Simple (111)  |  Special (51)  |  Synthesis (38)  |  Truth (750)

Engineering is the art or science of utilizing, directing or instructing others in the utilization of the principles, forces, properties and substance of nature in the production, manufacture, construction, operation and use of things ... or of means, methods, machines, devices and structures ...
(1920}
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Construction (69)  |  Device (24)  |  Direct (44)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Force (194)  |  Instruction (51)  |  Machine (133)  |  Manufacture (12)  |  Means (109)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Operation (96)  |  Principle (228)  |  Production (105)  |  Property (96)  |  Science (1699)  |  Structure (191)  |  Substance (73)  |  Utilization (7)  |  Utilize (6)

Essentially only one thing in life interests us: our psychical constitution, the mechanism of which was and is wrapped in darkness. All human resources, art, religion, literature, philosophy and historical sciences, all of them join in bringing lights in this darkness. But man has still another powerful resource: natural science with its strictly objective methods. This science, as we all know, is making huge progress every day. The facts and considerations which I have placed before you at the end of my lecture are one out of numerous attempts to employ a consistent, purely scientific method of thinking in the study of the mechanism of the highest manifestations of life in the dog, the representative of the animal kingdom that is man's best friend.
'Physiology of Digestion', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1904). In Nobel Lectures: Physiology or Medicine 1901-1921 (1967), 134
Science quotes on:  |  Animal Kingdom (9)  |  Art (205)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Consistency (21)  |  Constitution (26)  |  Darkness (25)  |  Dog (39)  |  Employment (22)  |  Essential (87)  |  Fact (609)  |  History (302)  |  Human (445)  |  Interest (170)  |  Lecture (54)  |  Life (917)  |  Literature (64)  |  Manifestation (30)  |  Mechanism (41)  |  Numerous (21)  |  Objective (49)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Progress (317)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Religion (210)  |  Representative (9)  |  Resource (47)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Strictness (2)  |  Study (331)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Wrap (4)

Events and developments, such as … the Copernican Revolution, … occurred only because some thinkers either decided not to be bound by certain “obvious” methodological rules, or because they unwittingly broke them.
Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975, 1993), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Binding (8)  |  Breaking (3)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (44)  |  Decision (58)  |  Development (228)  |  Event (97)  |  Obvious (54)  |  Occurrence (30)  |  Revolution (56)  |  Rule (135)  |  Thinker (15)  |  Unwittingly (2)

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 (309)  |  Character (82)  |  Combination (69)  |  Discoverer (9)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Failure (118)  |  Fearful (6)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Objection (16)  |  Realm (40)  |  Rejection (24)  |  Success (202)  |  Torture (13)  |  Trial (23)  |  Truth (750)  |  Vivisection (7)

Facts may belong to the past history of mankind, to the social statistics of our great cities, to the atmosphere of the most distant stars, to the digestive organs of a worm, or to the life of a scarcely visible bacillus. It is not the facts themselves which form science, but the method in which they are dealt with.
From The Grammar of Science (1892), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Bacillus (8)  |  City (37)  |  Digestion (23)  |  Fact (609)  |  Form (210)  |  History (302)  |  Life (917)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Microscopic (10)  |  Organ (60)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Social (93)  |  Star (251)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Worm (25)

For me, a rocket is only a means--only a method of reaching the depths of space—and not an end in itself… There's no doubt that it's very important to have rocket ships since they will help mankind to settle elsewhere in the universe. But what I'm working for is this resettling… The whole idea is to move away from the Earth to settlements in space.
Science quotes on:  |  Mankind (196)  |  Means (109)  |  Migration (7)  |  Rocket (29)  |  Settle (10)  |  Space (154)  |  Universe (563)

Gold is found in our own part of the world; not to mention the gold extracted from the earth in India by the ants, and in Scythia by the Griffins. Among us it is procured in three different ways; the first of which is in the shape of dust, found in running streams. … A second mode of obtaining gold is by sinking shafts or seeking among the debris of mountains …. The third method of obtaining gold surpasses the labors of the giants even: by the aid of galleries driven to a long distance, mountains are excavated by the light of torches, the duration of which forms the set times for work, the workmen never seeing the light of day for many months together.
In Pliny and John Bostock (trans.), The Natural History of Pliny (1857), Vol. 6, 99-101.
Science quotes on:  |  Debris (7)  |  Dust (42)  |  Earth (487)  |  Excavate (3)  |  Gallery (2)  |  Gold (55)  |  India (15)  |  Labor (53)  |  Light (246)  |  Month (21)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Procure (4)  |  Run (33)  |  Seek (57)  |  Shaft (3)  |  Stream (27)  |  Surpass (12)  |  Torch (7)  |  Work (457)  |  Workman (9)  |  World (667)

Good methods can teach us to develop and use to better purpose the faculties with which nature has endowed us, while poor methods may prevent us from turning them to good account. Thus the genius of inventiveness, so precious in the sciences, may be diminished or even smothered by a poor method, while a good method may increase and develop it.
Science quotes on:  |  Develop (55)  |  Genius (186)  |  Increase (107)  |  Inventiveness (5)  |  Precious (22)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Smother (2)

Hardly a year passes that fails to find a new, oft-times exotic, research method or technique added to the armamentarium of political inquiry. Anyone who cannot negotiate Chi squares, assess randomization, statistical significance, and standard deviations
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Add (26)  |  Anyone (26)  |  Armamentarium (2)  |  Assess (2)  |  Exotic (4)  |  Fail (34)  |  Find (248)  |  Hardly (12)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Negotiate (2)  |  New (340)  |  Pass (60)  |  Political (31)  |  Research (517)  |  Significance (60)  |  Square (10)  |  Statistical (4)  |  Technique (41)  |  Year (214)

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 (12)  |  Experiment (543)  |  General (92)  |  Instruction (51)  |  Learning (174)  |  Particular (54)  |  Proceed (25)

He who seeks for methods without having a definite problem in mind seeks for the most part in vain.
'Mathematical Problems', Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (Jul 1902), 8, 444.
Science quotes on:  |  Problem (362)

His [Thomas Edison] method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90 per cent of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor's instinct and practical American sense. In view of this, the truly prodigious amount of his actual accomplishments is little short of a miracle.
As quoted in 'Tesla Says Edison Was an Empiricist', The New York Times (19 Oct 1931), 25. In 1884, Tesla had moved to America to assist Edison in the designing of motors and generators.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  American (34)  |  Book (181)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Contempt (11)  |  Thomas Edison (74)  |  Extreme (36)  |  Inefficient (2)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Labor (53)  |  Learning (174)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Practical (93)  |  Prodigious (6)  |  Saving (19)  |  Theory (582)  |  Trust (40)  |  Witness (18)

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 (36)  |  Badly (9)  |  Base (43)  |  Black Holes (3)  |  Capable (26)  |  Comparative (8)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Data (100)  |  Different (110)  |  Directly (15)  |  Electron (66)  |  Event (97)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Firm (19)  |  Gravity (89)  |  Historical (10)  |  History (302)  |  Inference (26)  |  Invariant (3)  |  Law (418)  |  Less (54)  |  Mode (29)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Observation (418)  |  Observational (2)  |  Past (109)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Represent (27)  |  Restrict (8)  |  Richness (14)  |  Root (48)  |  Science (1699)  |  See (197)  |  Subsumption (2)  |  Unvarnished (2)  |  Usually (20)  |  Work (457)

How thoroughly it is ingrained in mathematical science that every real advance goes hand in hand with the invention of sharper tools and simpler methods which, at the same time, assist in understanding earlier theories and in casting aside some more complicated developments.
In 'Mathematical Problems', Lecture at the International Congress of Mathematics, Paris, (8 Aug 1900). Translated by Dr. Maby Winton Newson in Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (1902), 8, 479. As quoted and cited in Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomath's Quotation-book (1914), 94-95. It is reprinted in Jeremy Gray, The Hilbert Challenge (2000), 282.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Development (228)  |  Ingrained (4)  |  Invention (283)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Sharp (12)  |  Simpler (5)  |  Theory (582)  |  Thoroughly (7)  |  Tool (70)  |  Understanding (317)

I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way.
In 'Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution', The American Biology Teacher (Mar 1973), 125-129.
Science quotes on:  |  Billion (52)  |  Creation (211)  |  Creationist (15)  |  Event (97)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Evolutionist (7)  |  God (454)  |  Happen (63)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Process (201)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Still (4)  |  Year (214)

I conclude that, while it is true that science cannot decide questions of value, that is because they cannot be intellectually decided at all, and lie outside the realm of truth and falsehood. Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.
Religion and Science (1935), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Attainment (35)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Decision (58)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Falsehood (19)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Question (315)  |  Realm (40)  |  Truth (750)  |  Value (180)

I do not forget that Medicine and Veterinary practice are foreign to me. I desire judgment and criticism upon all my contributions. Little tolerant of frivolous or prejudiced contradiction, contemptuous of that ignorant criticism which doubts on principle, I welcome with open arms the militant attack which has a method of doubting and whose rule of conduct has the motto “More light.”
In Louis Pasteur and Harold Clarence Ernst (trans), The Germ Theory and Its Application to Medicine and Surgery, Chap. 12. Reprinted in Charles W. Eliot (ed.), The Harvard Classics: Scientific Papers: Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology (1897, 1910), Vol. 38, 401-402. Cited as read before French Academy of Science (20 Apr 1878), published in Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences, 84, 1037-43.
Science quotes on:  |  Attack (29)  |  Conduct (23)  |  Contradiction (44)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Frivolous (3)  |  Ignorant (27)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Light (246)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Militant (2)  |  Motto (22)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Principle (228)  |  Rule (135)  |  Tolerant (3)  |  Welcome (6)

I do not think we can impose limits on research. Through hundreds of thousands of years, man’s intellectual curiosity has been essential to all the gains we have made. Although in recent times we have progressed from chance and hit-or-miss methods to consciously directed research, we still cannot know in advance what the results may be. It would be regressive and dangerous to trammel the free search for new forms of truth.
In Margaret Mead and Rhoda Bubendey Métraux (ed.), Margaret Mead, Some Personal Views (1979), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Chance (122)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Dangerous (45)  |  Directed (2)  |  Essential (87)  |  Free (59)  |  Gain (48)  |  Hit (14)  |  Impose (17)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Know (321)  |  Limit (86)  |  Miss (16)  |  New (340)  |  Progress (317)  |  Research (517)  |  Result (250)  |  Search (85)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Truth (750)  |  Year (214)

I have no fault to find with those who teach geometry. That science is the only one which has not produced sects; it is founded on analysis and on synthesis and on the calculus; it does not occupy itself with the probable truth; moreover it has the same method in every country.
In Oeuvres de Frederic Le Grand edited by J.D.E. Preuss (1849), Vol. 7, 100. In Robert Édouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica (1917), 310.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Calculus (23)  |  Geometry (99)  |  International (18)  |  Synthesis (38)  |  Truth (750)

I respect Kirkpatrick both for his sponges and for his numinous nummulosphere. It is easy to dismiss a crazy theory with laughter that debars any attempt to understand a man’s motivation–and the nummulosphere is a crazy theory. I find that few men of imagination are not worth my attention. Their ideas may be wrong, even foolish, but their methods often repay a close study ... The different drummer often beats a fruitful tempo.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (94)  |  Attention (76)  |  Beat (15)  |  Both (52)  |  Close (40)  |  Crazy (11)  |  Different (110)  |  Dismiss (6)  |  Drummer (2)  |  Easy (56)  |  Find (248)  |  Foolish (16)  |  Fruitful (31)  |  Idea (440)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Laughter (22)  |  Motivation (21)  |  Often (69)  |  Repay (2)  |  Respect (57)  |  Sponge (9)  |  Study (331)  |  Tempo (2)  |  Theory (582)  |  Understand (189)  |  Worth (74)  |  Wrong (116)

I see with much pleasure that you are working on a large work on the integral Calculus [ ... ] The reconciliation of the methods which you are planning to make, serves to clarify them mutually, and what they have in common contains very often their true metaphysics; this is why that metaphysics is almost the last thing that one discovers. The spirit arrives at the results as if by instinct; it is only on reflecting upon the route that it and others have followed that it succeeds in generalising the methods and in discovering its metaphysics.
Letter to S. F. Lacroix, 1792. Quoted in S. F. Lacroix, Traité du calcul differentiel et du calcul integral (1797), Vol. 1, xxiv, trans. Ivor Grattan-Guinness.
Science quotes on:  |  Calculus (23)  |  Clarification (6)  |  Follow (66)  |  Generalization (26)  |  Instinct (50)  |  Integration (12)  |  Metaphysics (30)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Reconciliation (9)  |  Route (11)  |  Spirit (113)

I think equation guessing might be the best method to proceed to obtain the laws for the part of physics which is presently unknown.
In his 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), 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Equation (69)  |  Guess (36)  |  Law (418)  |  Obtain (21)  |  Physics (301)  |  Proceed (25)  |  Unknown (87)

If a mathematician wishes to disparage the work of one of his colleagues, say, A, the most effective method he finds for doing this is to ask where the results can be applied. The hard pressed man, with his back against the wall, finally unearths the researches of another mathematician B as the locus of the application of his own results. If next B is plagued with a similar question, he will refer to another mathematician C. After a few steps of this kind we find ourselves referred back to the researches of A, and in this way the chain closes.
From final remarks in 'The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics' (1944), collected in Leonard Linsky (ed.), Semantics and the Philosophy of Language: A Collection of Readings (1952), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (15)  |  Chain (38)  |  Colleague (19)  |  Disparage (4)  |  Effective (20)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Question (315)  |  Research (517)  |  Result (250)  |  Work (457)

If I had my life to live over again I would not devote it to develop new industrial processes: I would try to add my humble efforts to use Science to the betterment of the human race.
I despair of the helter-skelter methods of our vaulted homo sapiens, misguided by his ignorance and his politicians. If we continue our ways, there is every possibility that the human race may follow the road of former living races of animals whose fossils proclaim that they were not fit to continue. Religion, laws and morals is not enough. We need more. Science can help us.
Letter to a friend (14 Jan 1934). In Savage Grace (1985, 2007), 62.
Science quotes on:  |  Betterment (4)  |  Despair (25)  |  Devotion (24)  |  Effort (94)  |  Extinction (55)  |  Fossil (107)  |  Help (68)  |  Homo Sapiens (19)  |  Human Race (49)  |  Humility (20)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Industry (91)  |  Law (418)  |  Life (917)  |  Misguiding (2)  |  Need (211)  |  Politician (22)  |  Process (201)  |  Religion (210)  |  Science (1699)

If it were possible for a metaphysician to be a golfer, he might perhaps occasionally notice that his ball, instead of moving forward in a vertical plane (like the generality of projectiles, such as brickbats and cricket balls), skewed away gradually to the right. If he did notice it, his methods would naturally lead him to content himself with his caddies's remark-'ye heeled that yin,' or 'Ye jist sliced it.' ... But a scientific man is not to be put off with such flimsy verbiage as that. He must know more. What is 'Heeling', what is 'slicing', and why would either operation (if it could be thoroughly carried out) send a ball as if to cover point, thence to long slip, and finally behind back-stop? These, as Falstaff said, are 'questions to be asked.'
'The Unwritten Chapter on Golf, Nature (1887), 36, 502.
Science quotes on:  |  Ball (20)  |  Contentment (10)  |  Cricket (6)  |  Flimsy (2)  |  Forward (21)  |  Generalization (26)  |  Gradual (18)  |  Metaphysician (4)  |  Movement (65)  |  Notice (20)  |  Occasion (12)  |  Operation (96)  |  Plane (15)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Projection (4)  |  Right (144)  |  Verbiage (2)  |  Vertical (3)

If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must employ methods never before attempted.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Achieve (36)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Employ (14)  |  Result (250)

If you want to find out anything from the theoretical physicists about the methods they use, I advise you to stick closely to one principle: don't listen to their words, fix your attention on their deeds. To him who is a discoverer in this field the products of his imagination appear so necessary and natural that he regards them, and would like to have them regarded by others, not as creations of thought but as given realities.
From 'On the Method of Theoretical Physics', in Essays in Science (1934, 2004), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (33)  |  Attention (76)  |  Closely (8)  |  Creation (211)  |  Deed (17)  |  Discoverer (9)  |  Field (119)  |  Finding (30)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Listening (8)  |  Natural (128)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Principle (228)  |  Product (72)  |  Reality (140)  |  Regard (58)  |  Stick (19)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Thought (374)  |  Word (221)

If you wish to learn from the theoretical physicist anything about the methods which he uses, I would give you the following piece of advice: Don’t listen to his words, examine his achievements. For to the discoverer in that field, the constructions of his imagination appear so necessary and so natural that he is apt to treat them not as the creations of his thoughts but as given realities.
In Herbert Spencer Lecture at Oxford (10 Jun 1933), 'On the Methods of Theoretical Physics'. Printed inPhilosophy of Science (Apr 1934), 1, No. 2, 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Advice (33)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Construction (69)  |  Creation (211)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Examine (24)  |  Field (119)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Learn (160)  |  Listen (26)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Reality (140)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Thought (374)  |  Wish (62)  |  Word (221)

In 1847 I gave an address at Newton, Mass., before a Teachers’ Institute conducted by Horace Mann. My subject was grasshoppers. I passed around a large jar of these insects, and made every teacher take one and hold it while I was speaking. If any one dropped the insect, I stopped till he picked it up. This was at that time a great innovation, and excited much laughter and derision. There can be no true progress in the teaching of natural science until such methods become general.
Science quotes on:  |  Address (7)  |  Conducting (2)  |  Derision (6)  |  Drop (27)  |  Excitement (33)  |  General (92)  |  Grasshopper (4)  |  Great (300)  |  Hold (56)  |  Innovation (38)  |  Insect (57)  |  Institute (7)  |  Jar (9)  |  Laughter (22)  |  Horace Mann (16)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Pass (60)  |  Pick (14)  |  Progress (317)  |  Speak (49)  |  Stop (56)  |  Subject (129)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Time (439)  |  True (120)

In a sense, of course, probability theory in the form of the simple laws of chance is the key to the analysis of warfare;… My own experience of actual operational research work, has however, shown that its is generally possible to avoid using anything more sophisticated. … In fact the wise operational research worker attempts to concentrate his efforts in finding results which are so obvious as not to need elaborate statistical methods to demonstrate their truth. In this sense advanced probability theory is something one has to know about in order to avoid having to use it.
In 'Operations Research', Physics Today (Nov 1951), 19. As cited by Maurice W. Kirby and Jonathan Rosenhead, 'Patrick Blackett (1897)' in Arjang A. Assad (ed.) and Saul I. Gass (ed.),Profiles in Operations Research: Pioneers and Innovators (2011), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Advanced (10)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Chance (122)  |  Concentrate (11)  |  Demonstrate (25)  |  Effort (94)  |  Elaborate (13)  |  Experience (268)  |  Finding (30)  |  Key (38)  |  Law (418)  |  Obvious (54)  |  Probability (83)  |  Result (250)  |  Simple (111)  |  Sophisticated (11)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)  |  Warfare (6)  |  Wise (43)

In early times, when the knowledge of nature was small, little attempt was made to divide science into parts, and men of science did not specialize. Aristotle was a master of all science known in his day, and wrote indifferently treatises on physics or animals. As increasing knowledge made it impossible for any one man to grasp all scientific subjects, lines of division were drawn for convenience of study and of teaching. Besides the broad distinction into physical and biological science, minute subdivisions arose, and, at a certain stage of development, much attention was, given to methods of classification, and much emphasis laid on the results, which were thought to have a significance beyond that of the mere convenience of mankind.
But we have reached the stage when the different streams of knowledge, followed by the different sciences, are coalescing, and the artificial barriers raised by calling those sciences by different names are breaking down. Geology uses the methods and data of physics, chemistry and biology; no one can say whether the science of radioactivity is to be classed as chemistry or physics, or whether sociology is properly grouped with biology or economics. Indeed, it is often just where this coalescence of two subjects occurs, when some connecting channel between them is opened suddenly, that the most striking advances in knowledge take place. The accumulated experience of one department of science, and the special methods which have been developed to deal with its problems, become suddenly available in the domain of another department, and many questions insoluble before may find answers in the new light cast upon them. Such considerations show us that science is in reality one, though we may agree to look on it now from one side and now from another as we approach it from the standpoint of physics, physiology or psychology.
In article 'Science', Encyclopedia Britannica (1911), 402.
Science quotes on:  |  Accumulated (2)  |  Animal (309)  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Barrier (19)  |  Biology (150)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Classification (79)  |  Coalesce (2)  |  Data (100)  |  Development (228)  |  Difference (208)  |  Divide (24)  |  Domain (21)  |  Geology (187)  |  Indifferent (9)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Master (55)  |  Men Of Science (97)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Physics (301)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Radioactivity (26)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sociology (31)  |  Specialize (2)  |  Treatise (19)

In light of new knowledge ... an eventual world state is not just desirable in the name of brotherhood, it is necessary for survival ... Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking and methods did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Affair (24)  |  Brotherhood (5)  |  Central (23)  |  Certain (84)  |  Competition (26)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Desirable (5)  |  Disaster (36)  |  Eventual (5)  |  Face (69)  |  Fact (609)  |  Future (229)  |  International (18)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Light (246)  |  Name (118)  |  Necessary (89)  |  New (340)  |  Otherwise (16)  |  Past (109)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Secure (13)  |  State (96)  |  Survival (49)  |  Think (205)  |  Today (86)  |  War (144)  |  World (667)

In our search after the Knowledge of Substances, our want of Ideas, that are suitable to such a way of proceeding, obliges us to a quite different method. We advance not here, as in the other (where our abstract Ideas are real as well as nominal Essences) by contemplating our Ideas, and considering their Relations and Correspondencies; that helps us very little, for the Reasons, and in another place we have at large set down. By which, I think it is evident, that Substances afford Matter of very little general Knowledge; and the bare Contemplation of their abstract Ideas, will carry us but a very little way in the search of Truth and Certainty. What then are we to do for the improvement of our Knowledge in Substantial beings? Here we are to take a quite contrary Course, the want of Ideas of their real essences sends us from our own Thoughts, to the Things themselves, as they exist.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 4, Chapter 12, Section 9, 644.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Being (39)  |  Contemplation (37)  |  Correspondence (8)  |  Essence (42)  |  Existence (254)  |  Idea (440)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Matter (270)  |  Reason (330)  |  Relation (96)  |  Substance (73)  |  Thought (374)

In science men have discovered an activity of the very highest value in which they are no longer, as in art, dependent for progress upon the appearance of continually greater genius, for in science the successors stand upon the shoulders of their predecessors; where one man of supreme genius has invented a method, a thousand lesser men can apply it. … In art nothing worth doing can be done without genius; in science even a very moderate capacity can contribute to a supreme achievement.
Essay, 'The Place Of Science In A Liberal Education.' In Mysticism and Logic: and Other Essays (1919), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Application (117)  |  Art (205)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Genius (186)  |  Invention (283)  |  Moderate (4)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Science (1699)  |  Successor (6)  |  Supreme (24)

In the beginning (if there was such a thing), God created Newton’s laws of motion together with the necessary masses and forces. This is all; everything beyond this follows from the development of appropriate mathematical methods by means of deduction.
Autobiographical Notes (1946), 19. In Albert Einstein, Alice Calaprice, Freeman Dyson , The Ultimate Quotable Einstein (2011), 397.
Science quotes on:  |  Appropriate (18)  |  Beginning (114)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Development (228)  |  Everything (120)  |  Following (16)  |  Force (194)  |  God (454)  |  Laws Of Motion (3)  |  Mass (61)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Means (109)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)

In the discovery of lemmas the best aid is a mental aptitude for it. For we may see many who are quick at solutions and yet do not work by method ; thus Cratistus in our time was able to obtain the required result from first principles, and those the fewest possible, but it was his natural gift which helped him to the discovery.
Proclus
As given in Euclid, The Thirteen Books of Euclid's Elements, translated from the text of Johan Ludvig Heiberg by Sir Thomas Little Heath, Vol. 1, Introduction and Books 1,2 (1908), 133. The passage also states that Proclus gives the definition of the term lemma as a proposition not proved beforehand. Glenn Raymond Morrow in A Commentary on the First Book of Euclid's Elements (1992), 165, states nothing more seems to be known of Cratistus.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Aid (23)  |  Aptitude (10)  |  Best (129)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Fewest (3)  |  First (174)  |  Gift (47)  |  Mind (544)  |  Natural (128)  |  Obtaining (5)  |  Principle (228)  |  Quick (7)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Result (250)  |  Solution (168)  |  Work (457)

In the fight which we have to wage incessantly against ignorance and quackery among the masses and follies of all sorts among the classes, diagnosis, not drugging, is our chief weapon of offence. Lack of systematic personal training in the methods of the recognition of disease leads to the misapplication of remedies, to long courses of treatment when treatment is useless, and so directly to that lack of confidence in our methods which is apt to place us in the eyes of the public on a level with empirics and quacks.
Address to the Canadian Medical Association, Montreal (17 Sep 1902), 'Chauvinism in Medicine', published in The Montreal Medical Journal (1902), 31, 267. Collected in Aequanimitas, with Other Addresses to Medical Students, Nurses and Practitioners of Medicine (1904), 299.
Science quotes on:  |  Confidence (32)  |  Diagnosis (61)  |  Disease (257)  |  Drug (40)  |  Folly (27)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Lack (52)  |  Public (82)  |  Quackery (3)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Remedy (46)  |  Training (39)  |  Treatment (88)  |  Useless (24)

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 (29)  |  Calculation (67)  |  Choice (64)  |  Determination (53)  |  Ease (29)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Intricacy (6)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Problem (362)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Science (1699)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Suitability (11)  |  Theory (582)  |  Work (457)

Intelligence is important in psychology for two reasons. First, it is one of the most scientifically developed corners of the subject, giving the student as complete a view as is possible anywhere of the way scientific method can be applied to psychological problems. Secondly, it is of immense practical importance, educationally, socially, and in regard to physiology and genetics.
From Intelligence: Its Structure, Growth and Action: Its Structure, Growth and Action (1987), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied (15)  |  Corner (24)  |  Developed (8)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Immense (28)  |  Importance (183)  |  Important (124)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Possible (100)  |  Practical (93)  |  Problem (362)  |  Psychological (10)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Reason (330)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Socially (2)  |  Subject (129)  |  View (115)

Is it possible that a promiscuous Jumble of Printing Letters should often fall into a Method and Order, which should stamp on Paper a coherent Discourse; or that a blind fortuitous Concourse of Atoms, not guided by an Understanding Agent, should frequently constitute the Bodies of any Species of Animals.
In 'Of Wrong Assent, or Error', An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (1706), Book 4, 601.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (27)  |  Animal (309)  |  Atom (251)  |  Blind (35)  |  Body (193)  |  Coherent (12)  |  Concourse (5)  |  Constitute (19)  |  Discourse (13)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fall (89)  |  Fortuitous (7)  |  Frequently (13)  |  Guided (2)  |  Jumble (4)  |  Letter (36)  |  Order (167)  |  Paper (52)  |  Printing (12)  |  Probability (83)  |  Species (181)  |  Stamp (14)

It has been recognized that hydrogen bonds restrain protein molecules to their native configurations, and I believe that as the methods of structural chemistry are further applied to physiological problems it will be found that the significance of the hydrogen bond for physiology is greater than that of any other single structural feature.
Nature of the Chemical Bond and the Structure of Molecules and Crystals (1939), 265.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Belief (400)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Configuration (4)  |  Feature (34)  |  Hydrogen Bond (3)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Native (11)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Problem (362)  |  Protein (43)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Restraint (8)  |  Significance (60)  |  Structure (191)

It is almost a miracle that modern teaching methods have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiousity of inquiry; for what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Delicate (11)  |  Entirely (23)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Holy (14)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Little (126)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Modern (104)  |  Need (211)  |  Plant (173)  |  Stimulation (12)  |  Strangle (2)  |  Teach (102)

It seems perfectly clear that Economy, if it is to be a science at all, must be a mathematical science. There exists much prejudice against attempts to introduce the methods and language of mathematics into any branch of the moral sciences. Most persons appear to hold that the physical sciences form the proper sphere of mathematical method, and that the moral sciences demand some other method—I know not what.
The Theory of Political Economy (1871), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Economy (46)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Moral (100)  |  Physical Science (54)

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 (99)  |  Deal (25)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Good (228)  |  Interest (170)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Least (43)  |  People (269)  |  Plan (69)  |  Properly (14)  |  Say (126)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Seem (89)  |  Talk (61)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Think (205)  |  Venture (12)  |  Work (457)

Mathematics, including not merely Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and the higher Calculus, but also the applied Mathematics of Natural Philosophy, has a marked and peculiar method or character; it is by preeminence deductive or demonstrative, and exhibits in a nearly perfect form all the machinery belonging to this mode of obtaining truth. Laying down a very small number of first principles, either self-evident or requiring very little effort to prove them, it evolves a vast number of deductive truths and applications, by a procedure in the highest degree mathematical and systematic.
In Education as a Science (1879), 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (36)  |  Applied Mathematics (10)  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Calculus (23)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Demonstration (51)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Natural Philosophy (21)  |  Principle (228)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Systematic (25)  |  Truth (750)

Method means that arrangement of subject matter which makes it most effective in use. Never is method something outside of the material.
Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (1916), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Education (280)  |  Effectiveness (10)  |  Material (124)  |  Outside (37)  |  Subject (129)

Methods of fishing are becoming more and more efficient, but the whole fishing industry is based on the exploitation of a wild population. This is almost a prehistoric concept on land, but it has never been questioned at sea.
Men, Machines, and Sacred Cows
Science quotes on:  |  Base (43)  |  Become (100)  |  Concept (102)  |  Efficient (20)  |  Exploitation (8)  |  Fish (85)  |  Industry (91)  |  Land (83)  |  Population (71)  |  Prehistoric (5)  |  Question (315)  |  Sea (143)  |  Whole (122)  |  Wild (39)

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 (122)  |  Direction (56)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Invention (283)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  New (340)  |  Nice (9)  |  Order (167)  |  Possessing (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Setting (6)  |  System (141)  |  Work (457)

My [algebraic] methods are really methods of working and thinking; this is why they have crept in everywhere anonymously.
Letter to H. Hasse (1931). As quoted in Israel Kleiner, A History of Abstract Algebra (2007), 100. The author used the quote to remark on Noether’s widespread influence, either directly or indirectly, for the introduction of algebra (her specialty) or its terminology into a variety of mathematical fields in the twentieth century.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (36)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Working (20)

Nominally a great age of scientific inquiry, ours has become an age of superstition about the infallibility of science; of almost mystical faith in its non-mystical methods; above all—which perhaps most explains the expert's sovereignty—of external verities; of traffic-cop morality and rabbit-test truth.
In Company Manners: A Cultural Inquiry into American Life (1954), 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Expert (42)  |  Explanation (161)  |  External (45)  |  Faith (131)  |  Great (300)  |  Infallibility (4)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Morality (33)  |  Mystical (7)  |  Rabbit (6)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Sovereignty (6)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Truth (750)  |  Verity (2)

Ordinarily logic is divided into the examination of ideas, judgments, arguments, and methods. The two latter are generally reduced to judgments, that is, arguments are reduced to apodictic judgments that such and such conclusions follow from such and such premises, and method is reduced to judgments that prescribe the procedure that should be followed in the search for truth.
Ampére expresses how arguments have a logical structure which he expected should be applied to relate scientific theories to experimental evidence. In James R. Hofmann, André-Marie Ampère (1996), 158. Cites Académie des Sciences Ampère Archives, École Normale lecture 15 notes, box 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (59)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Division (27)  |  Examination (60)  |  Following (16)  |  Generality (22)  |  Idea (440)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Latter (13)  |  Logic (187)  |  Ordinary (44)  |  Premise (14)  |  Prescription (14)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Search (85)  |  Truth (750)

Our indirect methods have taught us a mountain of things about horses, but if you wished to learn even more, would you rather be Whirlaway in the stretch, than interview Eddie Arcaro afterwards?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Horse (40)  |  Indirect (8)  |  Interview (3)  |  Learn (160)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Stretch (8)  |  Teach (102)  |  Wish (62)

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 (19)  |  Attend (9)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Discuss (14)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Experimental (12)  |  Experimentation (6)  |  Hope (129)  |  Initiate (4)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Movement (65)  |  Name (118)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Odd (12)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Reality (140)  |  Representation (27)  |  Say (126)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Seriously (13)  |  Technology (199)  |  Theory (582)  |  World (667)

Physio-philosophy has to show how, and in accordance indeed with what laws, the Material took its origin; and, therefore, how something derived its existence from nothing. It has to portray the first periods of the world's development from nothing; how the elements and heavenly bodies originated; in what method by self-evolution into higher and manifold forms, they separated into minerals, became finally organic, and in Man attained self-consciousness.
In Lorenz Oken, trans. by Alfred Tulk, Elements of Physiophilosophy (1847), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Accordance (8)  |  Body (193)  |  Creation (211)  |  Definition (152)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Development (228)  |  Element (129)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Existence (254)  |  First (174)  |  Form (210)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Law (418)  |  Man (345)  |  Manifold (7)  |  Material (124)  |  Mineral (37)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Organic (48)  |  Origin (77)  |  Origination (7)  |  Period (49)  |  Separation (32)  |  Showing (6)  |  World (667)

Plainly, then, these are the causes, and this is how many they are. They are four, and the student of nature should know them all, and it will be his method, when stating on account of what, to get back to them all: the matter, the form, the thing which effects the change, and what the thing is for.
Aristotle
From Physics, Book II, Part 7, 198a21-26. As quoted in Stephen Everson, 'Aristotle on the Foundations of the State', Political Studies (1988), 36, 89-101. Reprinted in Lloyd P. Gerson (ed.), Aristotle: Politics, Rhetoric and Aesthetics (1999), 74.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (231)  |  Change (291)  |  Effect (133)  |  Explain (61)  |  Form (210)  |  Know (321)  |  Matter (270)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Student (131)

Psychologism is, I believe, correct only in so far as it insists upon what may be called 'methodological individualism' as opposed to 'methodological collectivism'; it rightly insists that the 'behaviour' and the 'actions' of collectives, such as states or social groups, must be reduced to the behaviour and to the actions of human individuals. But the belief that the choice of such an individualist method implies the choice of a psychological method is mistaken.
The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945), Vol. 22, 87.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Behaviour (24)  |  Belief (400)  |  Choice (64)  |  Collective (16)  |  Collectivism (2)  |  Correctness (11)  |  Group (52)  |  Human (445)  |  Implication (14)  |  Individual (177)  |  Individualism (2)  |  Insistence (9)  |  Methodology (8)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Opposite (39)  |  Psychological (10)  |  Society (188)  |  State (96)

Pure mathematics and physics are becoming ever more closely connected, though their methods remain different. One may describe the situation by saying that the mathematician plays a game in which he himself invents the rules while the while the physicist plays a game in which the rules are provided by Nature, but as time goes on it becomes increasingly evident that the rules which the mathematician finds interesting are the same as those which Nature has chosen. … Possibly, the two subjects will ultimately unify, every branch of pure mathematics then having its physical application, its importance in physics being proportional to its interest in mathematics.
From Lecture delivered on presentation of the James Scott prize, (6 Feb 1939), 'The Relation Between Mathematics And Physics', printed in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1938-1939), 59, Part 2, 124.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Branch (61)  |  Closely (8)  |  Connected (7)  |  Describe (38)  |  Different (110)  |  Evident (14)  |  Game (45)  |  Importance (183)  |  Interest (170)  |  Invent (30)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Physical (94)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Physics (301)  |  Play (60)  |  Pure (62)  |  Pure Mathematics (27)  |  Rule (135)  |  Situation (41)  |  Subject (129)  |  Ultimately (11)  |  Unify (4)

Science finds it methods.
Journal excerpt in 'Notes', collected in The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1903), 380.
Science quotes on:  |  Find (248)  |  Science (1699)

Science has hitherto been proceeding without the guidance of any rational theory of logic, and has certainly made good progress. It is like a computer who is pursuing some method of arithmetical approximation. Even if he occasionally makes mistakes in his ciphering, yet if the process is a good one they will rectify themselves. But then he would approximate much more rapidly if he did not commit these errors; and in my opinion, the time has come when science ought to be provided with a logic. My theory satisfies me; I can see no flaw in it. According to that theory universality, necessity, exactitude, in the absolute sense of these words, are unattainable by us, and do not exist in nature. There is an ideal law to which nature approximates; but to express it would require an endless series of modifications, like the decimals expressing surd. Only when you have asked a question in so crude a shape that continuity is not involved, is a perfectly true answer attainable.
Letter to G. F. Becker, 11 June 1893. Merrill Collection, Library of Congress. Quoted in Nathan Reingold, Science in Nineteenth-Century America: A Documentary History (1966), 231-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Answer (201)  |  Approximation (16)  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Attainment (35)  |  Commitment (11)  |  Computer (84)  |  Crudity (3)  |  Decimal (11)  |  Endless (20)  |  Error (230)  |  Exactitude (6)  |  Existence (254)  |  Flaw (8)  |  Good (228)  |  Guidance (12)  |  Hitherto (3)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Logic (187)  |  Modification (31)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Perfection (71)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Progress (317)  |  Provision (15)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Question (315)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Rationality (11)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Series (38)  |  Theory (582)  |  Time (439)  |  Truth (750)  |  Universality (11)  |  Word (221)

Science has to be understood in its broadest sense, as a method for apprehending all observable reality, and not merely as an instrument for acquiring specialized knowledge.
In Alfred Armand Montapert, Words of Wisdom to Live By: An Encyclopedia of Wisdom in Condensed Form (1986), 217, without citation. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquiring (5)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Observation (418)  |  Reality (140)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Specialized (4)  |  Understanding (317)

Science is a method for testing claims about the natural world, not an immutable compendium of absolute truths. The fundamentalists, by ‘knowing’ the answers before they start, and then forcing nature into the straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of science–or of any honest intellectual inquiry.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Answer (201)  |  Claim (52)  |  Compendium (5)  |  Discredit (7)  |  Domain (21)  |  Force (194)  |  Fundamentalist (4)  |  Honest (26)  |  Immutable (9)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Know (321)  |  Lie (80)  |  Natural World (21)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Outside (37)  |  Preconception (10)  |  Science (1699)  |  Start (68)  |  Straitjacket (2)  |  Test (96)  |  Truth (750)

Science is a method of logical analysis of nature’s operations. It has lessened human anxiety about the cosmos by demonstrating the materiality of nature’s forces, and their frequent predictability.
In Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Anxiety (15)  |  Cosmos (39)  |  Force (194)  |  Frequent (10)  |  Human (445)  |  Lessen (4)  |  Logic (187)  |  Materiality (2)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Operation (96)  |  Predictability (5)  |  Science (1699)

Science is not a system of certain, or -established, statements; nor is it a system which steadily advances towards a state of finality... And our guesses are guided by the unscientific, the metaphysical (though biologically explicable) faith in laws, in regularities which we can uncover—discover. Like Bacon, we might describe our own contemporary science—'the method of reasoning which men now ordinarily apply to nature'—as consisting of 'anticipations, rash and premature' and as 'prejudices'.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959), 278.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (36)  |  Anticipation (11)  |  Application (117)  |  Biology (150)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Faith (131)  |  Finality (2)  |  Guess (36)  |  Guidance (12)  |  Law (418)  |  Metaphysics (30)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Premature (17)  |  Rashness (2)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Regularity (24)  |  Science (1699)  |  Statement (56)  |  System (141)  |  Uncover (6)  |  Unscientific (7)  |  Well-Established (2)

Science is often regarded as the most objective and truth-directed of human enterprises, and since direct observation is supposed to be the favored route to factuality, many people equate respectable science with visual scrutiny–just the facts ma’am, and palpably before my eyes. But science is a battery of observational and inferential methods, all directed to the testing of propositions that can, in principle, be definitely proven false ... At all scales, from smallest to largest, quickest to slowest, many well-documented conclusions of science lie beyond the strictly limited domain of direct observation. No one has ever seen an electron or a black hole, the events of a picosecond or a geological eon.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Battery (7)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Black Hole (14)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Definitely (3)  |  Direct (44)  |  Domain (21)  |  Electron (66)  |  Enterprise (20)  |  Eon (8)  |  Equate (3)  |  Event (97)  |  Eye (159)  |  Fact (609)  |  Factuality (2)  |  False (79)  |  Favore (4)  |  Geological (11)  |  Human (445)  |  Large (82)  |  Lie (80)  |  Limit (86)  |  Objective (49)  |  Observation (418)  |  Observational (2)  |  Often (69)  |  Palpably (2)  |  People (269)  |  Principle (228)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Prove (60)  |  Quick (7)  |  Regard (58)  |  Respectable (3)  |  Route (11)  |  Scale (49)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scrutiny (13)  |  See (197)  |  Slow (36)  |  Small (97)  |  Strictly (6)  |  Suppose (29)  |  Test (96)  |  Visual (9)

Science quickens and cultivates directly the faculty of observation, which in very many persons lies almost dormant through life, the power of accurate and rapid generalizations, and the mental habit of method and arrangement; it accustoms young persons to trace the sequence of cause and effect; it familiarizes then with a kind of reasoning which interests them, and which they can promptly comprehend; and it is perhaps the best corrective for that indolence which is the vice of half-awakened minds, and which shrinks from any exertion that is not, like an effort of memory, merely mechanical.
Anonymous
Report of the Royal Commission on Education (1861), Parliamentary Papers (1864), Vol 20, 32-33, as cited in Paul White, Thomas Huxley: Making the "Man of Science" (2003), 77, footnote. Also quoted in John Lubbock, The Pleasures of Life (1887, 2007), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Awakening (4)  |  Cause And Effect (11)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Cultivation (23)  |  Effort (94)  |  Exertion (8)  |  Faculty (36)  |  Familiarization (2)  |  Generalization (26)  |  Habit (78)  |  Indolence (5)  |  Interest (170)  |  Life (917)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Memory (81)  |  Mind (544)  |  Observation (418)  |  Power (273)  |  Promptness (2)  |  Quickening (2)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Reason (330)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sequence (32)  |  Shrink (10)  |  Trace (39)  |  Vice (15)

Science will continue to surprise us with what it discovers and creates; then it will astound us by devising new methods to surprise us. At the core of science’s self-modification is technology. New tools enable new structures of knowledge and new ways of discovery. The achievement of science is to know new things; the evolution of science is to know them in new ways. What evolves is less the body of what we know and more the nature of our knowing.
'Speculations on the Future of Science'. In Clifford A. Pickover, Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them (2008), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Astound (3)  |  Body (193)  |  Continue (38)  |  Core (11)  |  Create (98)  |  Devise (11)  |  Discover (115)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Enable (25)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Know (321)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Less (54)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Science (1699)  |  Structure (191)  |  Surprise (44)  |  Technology (199)  |  Tool (70)

Scientists and particularly the professional students of evolution are often accused of a bias toward mechanism or materialism, even though believers in vitalism and in finalism are not lacking among them. Such bias as may exist is inherent in the method of science. The most successful scientific investigation has generally involved treating phenomena as if they were purely materialistic, rejecting any metaphysical hypothesis as long as a physical hypothesis seems possible. The method works. The restriction is necessary because science is confined to physical means of investigation and so it would stultify its own efforts to postulate that its subject is not physical and so not susceptible to its methods.
The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man (1949), 127.
Science quotes on:  |  Accusation (5)  |  Belief (400)  |  Bias (15)  |  Confinement (3)  |  Effort (94)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Inherent (27)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Lacking (2)  |  Materialism (6)  |  Means (109)  |  Mechanism (41)  |  Metaphysics (30)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Physical (94)  |  Postulate (23)  |  Professional (27)  |  Rejection (24)  |  Restriction (6)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Student (131)  |  Stultify (4)  |  Subject (129)  |  Success (202)  |  Treatment (88)  |  Vitalism (5)

Since religion intrinsically rejects empirical methods, there should never be any attempt to reconcile scientific theories with religion. [An infinitely old universe, always evolving may not be compatible with the Book of Genesis. However, religions such as Buddhism get along without having any explicit creation mythology and are in no way contradicted by a universe without a beginning or end.] Creatio ex nihilo, even as religious doctrine, only dates to around AD 200. The key is not to confuse myth and empirical results, or religion and science.
Quoted in Anthony L. Peratt, 'Dean of the Plasma Dissidents', Washington Times, supplement: The World and I (May 1988),196.
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (94)  |  Creatio Ex Nihilo (2)  |  Creation (211)  |  Empiricism (16)  |  Myth (43)  |  Reconcile (10)  |  Reject (21)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Theory (582)

Since the seventeenth century, physical intuition has served as a vital source for mathematical porblems and methods. Recent trends and fashions have, however, weakened the connection between mathematics and physics; mathematicians, turning away from their roots of mathematics in intuition, have concentrated on refinement and emphasized the postulated side of mathematics, and at other times have overlooked the unity of their science with physics and other fields. In many cases, physicists have ceased to appreciate the attitudes of mathematicians. This rift is unquestionably a serious threat to science as a whole; the broad stream of scientific development may split into smaller and smaller rivulets and dry out. It seems therefore important to direct our efforts towards reuniting divergent trends by classifying the common features and interconnections of many distinct and diverse scientific facts.
As co-author with David Hilbert, in Methods of Mathematical Physics (1937, 1989), Preface, v.
Science quotes on:  |  17th Century (10)  |  Appreciation (19)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Ceasing (2)  |  Classification (79)  |  Common (92)  |  Concentration (14)  |  Connection (86)  |  Directing (5)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Divergence (4)  |  Diverse (6)  |  Effort (94)  |  Emphasis (14)  |  Fact (609)  |  Fashion (24)  |  Feature (34)  |  Importance (183)  |  Interconnection (7)  |  Intuition (39)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Overlooking (3)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Physics (301)  |  Postulate (23)  |  Problem (362)  |  Recent (23)  |  Refinement (12)  |  Rift (2)  |  Root (48)  |  Science (1699)  |  Serious (37)  |  Serving (4)  |  Source (71)  |  Threat (24)  |  Trend (16)  |  Turning (5)  |  Unity (43)  |  Unquestionably (2)  |  Vital (32)  |  Weakening (2)  |  Whole (122)

Sociology is the science with the greatest number of methods and the least results.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Great (300)  |  Least (43)  |  Number (179)  |  Result (250)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sociology (31)

The analysis of variance is not a mathematical theorem, but rather a convenient method of arranging the arithmetic.
Remarking on the paper, ‘Statistics in Agricultural Research’ by J. Wishart, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Supplement (1934), 1, 52. As cited in Michael Cowle, Statistics in Psychology: An Historical Perspective (2005), 210.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Arranging (3)  |  Convenience (25)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Theorem (46)  |  Variance (4)

The chemists work with inaccurate and poor measuring services, but they employ very good materials. The physicists, on the other hand, use excellent methods and accurate instruments, but they apply these to very inferior materials. The physical chemists combine both these characteristics in that they apply imprecise methods to impure materials.
Quoted in Ralph Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Application (117)  |  Characteristic (66)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Combination (69)  |  Employment (22)  |  Excellence (28)  |  Good (228)  |  Inaccuracy (3)  |  Inferiority (7)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Material (124)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Poor (46)  |  Service (54)

The classification of facts and the formation of absolute judgments upon the basis of this classification—judgments independent of the idiosyncrasies of the individual mind—essentially sum up the aim and method of modern science. The scientific man has above all things to strive at self-elimination in his judgments, to provide an argument which is as true for each individual mind as for his own.
From The Grammar of Science (1892), 7-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Aim (58)  |  Argument (59)  |  Basis (60)  |  Classification (79)  |  Essential (87)  |  Fact (609)  |  Formation (54)  |  Idiosyncrasy (2)  |  Independent (41)  |  Individual (177)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Mind (544)  |  Provide (48)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Strive (35)  |  Truth (750)

The concepts and methods on which the classification of hominid taxa is based do not differ in principle from those used for other zoological taxa. Indeed, the classification of living human populations or of samples of fossil hominids is a branch of animal taxonomy.
Opening sentence of 'The Taxonomic Evaluation of Fossil Hominids' (1963). Collected in Sherwood L. Washburn, Classification and Human Evolution (1964), 332.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Branch (61)  |  Classification (79)  |  Concept (102)  |  Fossil (107)  |  Hominid (4)  |  Human Being (54)  |  Population (71)  |  Principle (228)  |  Sample (8)  |  Taxonomy (16)  |  Zoological (5)

The difference between the amoeba and Einstein is that, although both make use of the method of trial and error elimination, the amoeba dislikes erring while Einstein is intrigued by it.
In Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach (1972), 70. As cited in Alexander Naraniecki, Returning to Karl Popper: A Reassessment of his Politics and Philosophy (2014), 89, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Difference (208)  |  Dislike (11)  |  Albert Einstein (535)  |  Elimination (17)  |  Error (230)  |  Intrigued (2)  |  Trial And Error (5)

The full impact of the Lobatchewskian method of challenging axioms has probably yet to be felt. It is no exaggeration to call Lobatchewsky the Copernicus of Geometry [as did Clifford], for geometry is only a part of the vaster domain which he renovated; it might even be just to designate him as a Copernicus of all thought.
From a page of quotations, without citations, in G.E. Martin The Foundations of Geometry and the Non-Euclidean Plane (1975), 225. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Axiom (26)  |  Challenge (37)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (44)  |  Designation (10)  |  Domain (21)  |  Exaggeration (7)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Impact (21)  |  Renovation (2)  |  Thought (374)

The great difference between science and technology is a difference of initial attitude. The scientific man follows his method whithersoever it may take him. He seeks acquaintance with his subject­matter, and he does not at all care about what he shall find, what shall be the content of his knowledge when acquaintance-with is transformed into knowledge-about. The technologist moves in another universe; he seeks the attainment of some determinate end, which is his sole and obsessing care; and he therefore takes no heed of anything that he cannot put to use as means toward that end.
Systematic Psychology: Prolegomena (1929), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquaintance (13)  |  Attainment (35)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Care (73)  |  Content (39)  |  Determinate (5)  |  Difference (208)  |  End (141)  |  Find (248)  |  Follow (66)  |  Heed (7)  |  Initial (13)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Means (109)  |  Obsession (8)  |  Science (1699)  |  Subject (129)  |  Technologist (5)  |  Technology (199)  |  Transforming (4)  |  Universe (563)

The greatest invention of the nineteenth century was the invention of the method of invention.
In Science and the Modern World (1925, 1997), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (22)  |  Greatest (53)  |  Invention (283)

The Historic Method may be described as the comparison of the forms of an idea, or a usage, or a belief, at any given time, with the earlier forms from which they were evolved, or the later forms into which they were developed and the establishment from such a comparison, of an ascending and descending order among the facts. It consists in the explanation of existing parts in the frame of society by connecting them with corresponding parts in some earlier frame; in the identification of present forms in the past, and past forms in the present. Its main process is the detection of corresponding customs, opinions, laws, beliefs, among different communities, and a grouping of them into general classes with reference to some one common feature. It is a certain way of seeking answers to various questions of origin, resting on the same general doctrine of evolution, applied to moral and social forms, as that which is being applied with so much ingenuity to the series of organic matter.
On Compromise (1874), 22-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Class (64)  |  Community (65)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Connection (86)  |  Custom (24)  |  Detection (12)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fact (609)  |  Feature (34)  |  Frame (17)  |  Group (52)  |  Idea (440)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Law (418)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Order (167)  |  Society (188)

The history of science teaches only too plainly the lesson that no single method is absolutely to be relied upon, that sources of error lurk where they are least expected, and that they may escape the notice of the most experienced and conscientious worker.
Transactions of the Sections', Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1883), 438.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Error (230)  |  Escape (34)  |  Expectation (46)  |  Experience (268)  |  History Of Science (53)  |  Least (43)  |  Lesson (32)  |  Lurking (2)  |  Notice (20)  |  Reliance (9)  |  Single (72)  |  Source (71)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Worker (23)

The hybridoma technology was a by-product of basic research. Its success in practical applications is to a large extent the result of unexpected and unpredictable properties of the method. It thus represents another clear-cut example of the enormous practical impact of an investment in research which might not have been considered commercially worthwhile, or of immediate medical relevance. It resulted from esoteric speculations, for curiosity’s sake, only motivated by a desire to understand nature.
From Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1984), collected in Tore Frängsmyr and ‎Jan Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures in Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 267-268.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Basic (52)  |  Basic Research (9)  |  Byproduct (3)  |  Clear-Cut (7)  |  Commercial (25)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Desire (101)  |  Enormous (33)  |  Esoteric (2)  |  Example (57)  |  Hybridoma (2)  |  Immediate (27)  |  Impact (21)  |  Investment (8)  |  Medical (18)  |  Motivation (21)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Practical (93)  |  Property (96)  |  Relevance (12)  |  Research (517)  |  Result (250)  |  Sake (17)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Success (202)  |  Technology (199)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Unexpected (26)  |  Unpredictable (10)  |  Worthwhile (9)

The idea of a method that contains firm, unchanging, and absolutely binding principles for conducting the business of science meets considerable difficulty when confronted with the results of historical research. We find, then, that there is not a single rule, however plausible, and however firmly grounded in epistemology, that is not violated at some time or another.
Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975, 1993), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Binding (8)  |  Business (71)  |  Confrontation (6)  |  Considerable (11)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Epistemology (7)  |  Firm (19)  |  History (302)  |  Idea (440)  |  Meet (16)  |  Plausibility (6)  |  Principle (228)  |  Research (517)  |  Result (250)  |  Rule (135)  |  Science (1699)  |  Time (439)

The idea of making a fault a subject of study and not an object to be merely determined has been the most important step in the course of my methods of observation. If I have obtained some new results it is to this that I owe it.
'Notice sur les Travaux Scientifiques de Marcel Bertrand' (1894). In Geological Society of London, The Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London (May 1908), 64, li.
Science quotes on:  |  Determine (45)  |  Fault (27)  |  Idea (440)  |  Object (110)  |  Observation (418)  |  Obtain (21)  |  Owe (15)  |  Result (250)  |  Step (67)  |  Study (331)  |  Subject (129)

The institutional goal of science is the extension of certified knowledge. The technical methods employed toward this end provide the relevant definition of knowledge: empirically confirmed and logically consistent predictions. The institutional imperatives (mores) derive from the goal and the methods. The entire structure of technical and moral norms implements the final objective. The technical norm of empirical evidence, adequate, valid and reliable, is a prerequisite for sustained true prediction; the technical norm of logical consistency, a prerequisite for systematic and valid prediction. The mores of science possess a methodologic rationale but they are binding, not only because they are procedurally efficient, but because they are believed right and good. They are moral as well as technical prescriptions. Four sets of institutional imperatives–universalism, communism, disinterestedness, organized scepticism–comprise the ethos of modern science.
Social Theory and Social Structure (1957), 552-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Binding (8)  |  Communism (8)  |  Consistency (21)  |  Definition (152)  |  Disinterest (6)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Empiricism (16)  |  Extension (20)  |  Goal (81)  |  Good (228)  |  Imperative (8)  |  Institution (32)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Methodology (8)  |  Modern (104)  |  Moral (100)  |  Organisation (5)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Prerequisite (4)  |  Prescription (14)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Rationale (5)  |  Relevance (12)  |  Reliability (14)  |  Right (144)  |  Skepticism (18)  |  Technical (26)  |  Validity (22)

The method I take to do this is not yet very usual; for instead of using only comparative and superlative Words, and intellectual Arguments, I have taken the course (as a Specimen of the Political Arithmetic I have long aimed at) to express myself in Terms of Number, Weight, or Measure; to use only Arguments of Sense, and to consider only such Causes, as have visible Foundations in Nature.
From Essays in Political Arithmetic (1679, 1755), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (59)  |  Cause (231)  |  Comparative (8)  |  Considering (6)  |  Expressing (2)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Measure (70)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Number (179)  |  Sense (240)  |  Superlative (3)  |  Term (87)  |  Visible (20)  |  Weight (61)  |  Word (221)

The method of arithmetical teaching is perhaps the best understood of any of the methods concerned with elementary studies.
In Education as a Science (1879), 288.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Elementary (30)  |  Study (331)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Understanding (317)

The method of definition is the method of discovering what the thing under consideration is by means of the definition of that thing in so far as it makes it known. This method involves two procedures, one being by composition and the other by resolution.
As quoted in Alistair Cameron Crombie, Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science, 1100-1700 (1971), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Composition (52)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Definition (152)  |  Discover (115)  |  Involve (27)  |  Know (321)  |  Means (109)  |  Procedure (16)  |  Resolution (16)

The methods of science aren’t foolproof, but they are indefinitely perfectible. Just as important: there is a tradition of criticism that enforces improvement whenever and wherever flaws are discovered. The methods of science, like everything else under the sun, are themselves objects of scientific scrutiny, as method becomes methodology, the analysis of methods. Methodology in turn falls under the gaze of epistemology, the investigation of investigation itself—nothing is off limits to scientific questioning. The irony is that these fruits of scientific reflection, showing us the ineliminable smudges of imperfection, are sometimes used by those who are suspicious of science as their grounds for denying it a privileged status in the truth-seeking department—as if the institutions and practices they see competing with it were no worse off in these regards. But where are the examples of religious orthodoxy being simply abandoned in the face of irresistible evidence? Again and again in science, yesterday’s heresies have become today’s new orthodoxies. No religion exhibits that pattern in its history.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Arent (3)  |  Badly (9)  |  Become (100)  |  Compete (4)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Deny (29)  |  Department (33)  |  Discover (115)  |  Enforce (5)  |  Epistemology (7)  |  Everything (120)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Example (57)  |  Exhibit (12)  |  Face (69)  |  Fall (89)  |  Flaw (8)  |  Foolproof (3)  |  Fruit (63)  |  Gaze (12)  |  Ground (63)  |  Heresy (7)  |  History (302)  |  Imperfection (19)  |  Important (124)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Indefinitely (9)  |  Institution (32)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Irony (6)  |  Irresistible (6)  |  Limit (86)  |  Methodology (8)  |  New (340)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Object (110)  |  Orthodoxy (7)  |  Pattern (56)  |  Practice (67)  |  Privilege (16)  |  Question (315)  |  Reflection (50)  |  Regard (58)  |  Religion (210)  |  Religious (44)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Scrutiny (13)  |  See (197)  |  Show (55)  |  Simply (34)  |  Sometimes (27)  |  Status (18)  |  Sun (211)  |  Suspicious (3)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Today (86)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Turn (72)  |  Whenever (8)  |  Yesterday (14)

The one lesson that comes out of all our theorizing and experimenting is that there is only one really scientific progressive method; and that is the method of trial and error.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (543)  |  Lesson (32)  |  Really (50)  |  Trial And Error (5)

The one who stays in my mind as the ideal man of science is, not Huxley or Tyndall, Hooker or Lubbock, still less my friend, philosopher and guide Herbert Spencer, but Francis Galton, whom I used to observe and listen to—I regret to add, without the least reciprocity—with rapt attention. Even to-day. I can conjure up, from memory’s misty deep, that tall figure with its attitude of perfect physical and mental poise; the clean-shaven face, the thin, compressed mouth with its enigmatical smile; the long upper lip and firm chin, and, as if presiding over the whole personality of the man, the prominent dark eyebrows from beneath which gleamed, with penetrating humour, contemplative grey eyes. Fascinating to me was Francis Galton’s all-embracing but apparently impersonal beneficence. But, to a recent and enthusiastic convert to the scientific method, the most relevant of Galton’s many gifts was the unique contribution of three separate and distinct processes of the intellect; a continuous curiosity about, and rapid apprehension of individual facts, whether common or uncommon; the faculty for ingenious trains of reasoning; and, more admirable than either of these, because the talent was wholly beyond my reach, the capacity for correcting and verifying his own hypotheses, by the statistical handling of masses of data, whether collected by himself or supplied by other students of the problem.
In My Apprenticeship (1926), 134-135.
Science quotes on:  |  Admirable (11)  |  Apprehension (9)  |  Attention (76)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Beneficence (3)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Collected (2)  |  Compressed (3)  |  Conjuring (3)  |  Continuous (24)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Convert (15)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Data (100)  |  Deep (81)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Enigma (5)  |  Enthusiastic (2)  |  Eye (159)  |  Eyebrow (2)  |  Face (69)  |  Fact (609)  |  Faculty (36)  |  Fascinating (17)  |  Figure (32)  |  Firm (19)  |  Friend (63)  |  Sir Francis Galton (16)  |  Gift (47)  |  Grey (6)  |  Guide (46)  |  Handling (7)  |  Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (12)  |  Humour (101)  |  Thomas Henry Huxley (119)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Impersonal (4)  |  Individual (177)  |  Ingenious (18)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Lip (3)  |  Listen (26)  |  John Lubbock (Lord Avebury) (25)  |  Man Of Science (27)  |  Memory (81)  |  Mental (57)  |  Misty (3)  |  Mouth (16)  |  Observation (418)  |  Penetrating (3)  |  Perfect (46)  |  Personality (40)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Physical (94)  |  Poise (2)  |  Problem (362)  |  Process (201)  |  Prominent (5)  |  Rapid (17)  |  Rapt (5)  |  Reach (68)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Regret (16)  |  Relevant (3)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Separate (46)  |  Smile (13)  |  Herbert Spencer (35)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Student (131)  |  Talent (49)  |  Tall (8)  |  Thin (7)  |  Train (25)  |  Uncommon (7)  |  Unique (24)  |  Upper (3)

The Patent-Office Commissioner knows that all machines in use have been invented and re-invented over and over; that the mariner’s compass, the boat, the pendulum, glass, movable types, the kaleidoscope, the railway, the power-loom, etc., have been many times found and lost, from Egypt, China and Pompeii down; and if we have arts which Rome wanted, so also Rome had arts which we have lost; that the invention of yesterday of making wood indestructible by means of vapor of coal-oil or paraffine was suggested by the Egyptian method which has preserved its mummy-cases four thousand years.
In Lecture, second in a series given at Freeman Place Chapel, Boston (Mar 1859), 'Quotation and Originality', Letters and Social Aims (1875, 1917), 178-179.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (205)  |  Boat (13)  |  China (17)  |  Commissioner (2)  |  Compass (19)  |  Egypt (18)  |  Find (248)  |  Glass (35)  |  Indestructible (7)  |  Invention (283)  |  Kaleidoscope (4)  |  Lost (28)  |  Machine (133)  |  Make (23)  |  Mariner (7)  |  Means (109)  |  Movable (2)  |  Patent Office (3)  |  Pendulum (13)  |  Pompeii (2)  |  Power Loom (2)  |  Preservation (28)  |  Railway (13)  |  Rome (11)  |  Suggest (15)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Time (439)  |  Type (34)  |  Vapor (6)  |  Want (120)  |  Wood (33)  |  Year (214)  |  Yesterday (14)

The physicist, in his study of natural phenomena, has two methods of making progress: (1) the method of experiment and observation, and (2) the method of mathematical reasoning. The former is just the collection of selected data; the latter enables one to infer results about experiments that have not been performed. There is no logical reason why the second method should be possible at all, but one has found in practice that it does work and meets with reasonable success.
From Lecture delivered on presentation of the James Scott prize, (6 Feb 1939), 'The Relation Between Mathematics And Physics', printed in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1938-1939), 59, Part 2, 122.
Science quotes on:  |  Collection (38)  |  Data (100)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Infer (10)  |  Logical (20)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Meet (16)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Observation (418)  |  Performed (3)  |  Physics (301)  |  Practice (67)  |  Progress (317)  |  Reasonable (18)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Result (250)  |  Study (331)  |  Success (202)  |  Theoretical Physics (15)  |  Work (457)

The picture of scientific method drafted by modern philosophy is very different from traditional conceptions. Gone is the ideal of a universe whose course follows strict rules, a predetermined cosmos that unwinds itself like an unwinding clock. Gone is the ideal of the scientist who knows the absolute truth. The happenings of nature are like rolling dice rather than like revolving stars; they are controlled by probability laws, not by causality, and the scientist resembles a gambler more than a prophet. He can tell you only his best posits—he never knows beforehand whether they will come true. He is a better gambler, though, than the man at the green table, because his statistical methods are superior. And his goal is staked higher—the goal of foretelling the rolling dice of the cosmos. If he is asked why he follows his methods, with what title he makes his predictions, he cannot answer that he has an irrefutable knowledge of the future; he can only lay his best bets. But he can prove that they are best bets, that making them is the best he can do—and if a man does his best, what else can you ask of him?
The Rise of Scientific Philosophy (1951, 1973), 248-9. Collected in James Louis Jarrett and Sterling M. McMurrin (eds.), Contemporary Philosophy: A Book of Readings (1954), 376.
Science quotes on:  |  Absoluteness (3)  |  Asking (23)  |  Best (129)  |  Bet (7)  |  Causality (7)  |  Clock (26)  |  Conception (63)  |  Cosmos (39)  |  Course (57)  |  Dice (13)  |  Difference (208)  |  Draft (5)  |  Foretelling (4)  |  Future (229)  |  Gambler (4)  |  Goal (81)  |  Happening (32)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Irrefutable (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Modern (104)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Picture (55)  |  Posit (2)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Probability (83)  |  Proof (192)  |  Prophet (8)  |  Roll (7)  |  Rule (135)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Stake (14)  |  Star (251)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Superiority (9)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Truth (750)  |  Universe (563)

The priest persuades a humble people to endure their hard lot, a politician urges them to rebel against it, and a scientist thinks of a method that does away with the hard lot altogether.
Max Percy
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Altogether (6)  |  Endure (12)  |  Hard (70)  |  Humble (23)  |  Lot (23)  |  People (269)  |  Persuade (10)  |  Politician (22)  |  Priest (16)  |  Rebel (4)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Think (205)  |  Urge (10)

The problem is not to find the best or most efficient method to proceed to a discovery, but to find any method at all.
In his 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), 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Efficient (20)  |  Find (248)  |  Problem (362)  |  Proceed (25)

The process of discovery is very simple. An unwearied and systematic application of known laws to nature, causes the unknown to reveal themselves. Almost any mode of observation will be successful at last, for what is most wanted is method.
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1873), 384.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Law (418)  |  Mode (29)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Observation (418)  |  Process (201)  |  Revelation (29)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Success (202)  |  System (141)  |  Unknown (87)  |  Want (120)  |  Weariness (5)

The second [argument about motion] is the so-called Achilles, and it amounts to this, that in a race the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead.
Statement of the Achilles and the Tortoise paradox in the relation of the discrete to the continuous.; perhaps the earliest example of the reductio ad absurdum method of proof.
Zeno
Aristotle, Physics, 239b, 14-6. In Jonathan Barnes (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (1984), Vol. 1, 404.
Science quotes on:  |  Achilles (2)  |  Argument (59)  |  Continuous (24)  |  Discrete (6)  |  Lead (101)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Motion (127)  |  Paradox (35)  |  Proof (192)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Race (76)  |  Tortoise (8)

The study of mathematics is apt to commence in disappointment. The important applications of the science, the theoretical interest of its ideas, and the logical rigour of its methods all generate the expectation of a speedy introduction to processes of interest. We are told that by its aid the stars are weighed and the billions of molecules in a drop of water are counted. Yet, like the ghost of Hamlet's father, this great science eludes the efforts of our mental weapons to grasp it.
Opening to An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Billion (52)  |  Commencement (6)  |  Disappointment (11)  |  Drop (27)  |  Effort (94)  |  Eluding (2)  |  Expectation (46)  |  Father (44)  |  Ghost (20)  |  Grasping (2)  |  Hamlet (3)  |  Idea (440)  |  Importance (183)  |  Interest (170)  |  Introduction (31)  |  Logic (187)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mental (57)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Process (201)  |  Rigour (10)  |  Science (1699)  |  Star (251)  |  Study (331)  |  Theory (582)  |  Water (244)  |  Weapon (57)

The theory of the method of knowing which is advanced in these pages may be termed pragmatic. ... Only that which has been organized into our disposition so as to enable us to adapt the environment to our needs and adapt our aims and desires to the situation in which we live is really knowledge.
Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education (1916), 400.
Science quotes on:  |  Adaptation (40)  |  Aim (58)  |  Desire (101)  |  Disposition (14)  |  Enable (25)  |  Environment (138)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Need (211)  |  Organization (79)  |  Situation (41)

The traditional mathematics professor of the popular legend is absentminded. He usually appears in public with a lost umbrella in each hand. He prefers to face a blackboard and to turn his back on the class. He writes a, he says b, he means c, but it should be d. Some of his sayings are handed down from generation to generation:
“In order to solve this differential equation you look at it till a solution occurs to you.”
“This principle is so perfectly general that no particular application of it is possible.”
“Geometry is the science of correct reasoning on incorrect figures.”
“My method to overcome a difficulty is to go round it.”
“What is the difference between method and device? A method is a device which you used twice.”
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Absent-Minded (2)  |  Application (117)  |  Back (55)  |  Blackboard (6)  |  Class (64)  |  Correct (53)  |  Device (24)  |  Difference (208)  |  Differential Equation (9)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Face (69)  |  Figure (32)  |  Generality (22)  |  Generation (111)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Incorrect (6)  |  Legend (8)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Occurrence (30)  |  Overcoming (3)  |  Particular (54)  |  Popular (21)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Principle (228)  |  Professor (39)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  French Saying (61)  |  Solution (168)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Twice (11)  |  Using (6)  |  Writing (72)

The traditional method of confronting the student not with the problem but with the finished solution means depriving him of all excitement, to shut off the creative impulse, to reduce the adventure of mankind to a dusty heap of theorems.
In The Act of Creation (1964), 266.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (36)  |  Confront (9)  |  Creative (41)  |  Deprived (2)  |  Dusty (3)  |  Excitement (33)  |  Heap (12)  |  Impulse (24)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Problem (362)  |  Reduce (32)  |  Solution (168)  |  Student (131)  |  Theorem (46)  |  Traditional (9)

The transition from a paradigm in crisis to a new one from which a new tradition of normal science can emerge is far from a cumulative process, one achieved by an articulation or extension of the old paradigm. Rather it is a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals, a reconstruction that changes some of the field's most elementary theoretical generalizations as well as many of its paradigm methods and applications. During the transition period there will be a large but never complete overlap between the problems that can be solved by the old and by the new paradigm. But there will also be a decisive difference in the modes of solution. When the transition is complete, the profession will have changed its view of the field, its methods, and its goals.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), 84-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Crisis (13)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Goal (81)  |  Paradigm (10)  |  Problem (362)  |  Process (201)  |  Reconstruction (13)  |  Solution (168)  |  Theory (582)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Transition (15)

The true method of discovery is like the flight of an aeroplane. It starts from the ground of particular observation; it makes a flight in the thin air of imaginative generalization; and it again lands for renewed observation rendered acute by rational interpretation.
Gifford lectures delivered in the University of Edinburgh during the session 1927-28. Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology (1929, 1979), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Acute (6)  |  Air (151)  |  Airplane (32)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Flight (45)  |  Generalization (26)  |  Ground (63)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Interpretation (61)  |  Observation (418)  |  Particular (54)  |  Rational (42)  |  Renew (7)  |  True (120)

The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true. We have a method, and that method helps us to reach not absolute truth, only asymptotic approaches to the truth—never there, just closer and closer, always finding vast new oceans of undiscovered possibilities. Cleverly designed experiments are the key.
In 'Wonder and Skepticism', Skeptical Enquirer (Jan-Feb 1995), 19, No. 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (33)  |  Asymptote (2)  |  Cleverness (9)  |  Closer (6)  |  Consonant (3)  |  Contradiction (44)  |  Design (92)  |  Desperation (4)  |  Determination (53)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Finding (30)  |  Grapple (3)  |  Key (38)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Preference (18)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  True (120)  |  Truth (750)  |  Undiscovered (7)  |  Vast (56)  |  Work (457)

The visible universe is subject to quantification, and is so by necessity. … Between you and me only reason will be the judge … since you proceed according to the rational method, so shall I. … I will also give reason and take it. … This generation has an innate vice. It can’t accept anything that has been discovered by a contemporary!
As quoted in James Burke, The Day the Universe Changed (1985), 41. Burke also quotes the first sentence in The Axemaker's Gift (1995), 112, but after the first ellipsis, is substituted “If you wish to hear more from me, give and take reason, because I am not the kind of man to satisfy his hunger on the picture of a steak!”
Science quotes on:  |  Accepting (4)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Generation (111)  |  Innate (7)  |  Judge (43)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Quantification (2)  |  Rational (42)  |  Reason (330)  |  Universe (563)  |  Vice (15)  |  Visible (20)

The way of pure research is opposed to all the copy-book maxims concerning the virtues of industry and a fixed purpose, and the evils of guessing, but it is damned useful when it comes off. It is the diametrical opposite of Edison’s reputed method of trying every conceivable expedient until he hit the right one. It requires, not diligence, but experience, information, and a good nose for the essence of a problem.
Letter to Paul de Kruif (3 Aug 1933), as quoted in Nathan Reingold, Science in America: A Documentary History 1900-1939 (1981), 409.
Science quotes on:  |  Diligence (14)  |  Thomas Edison (74)  |  Evil (67)  |  Expedience (2)  |  Experience (268)  |  Guess (36)  |  Industry (91)  |  Information (102)  |  Maxim (13)  |  Nose (9)  |  Opposed (2)  |  Opposite (39)  |  Problem (362)  |  Pure (62)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Research (517)  |  Right (144)  |  Trying (18)  |  Usefulness (70)  |  Virtue (55)

The X-ray spectrometer opened up a new world. It proved to be a far more powerful method of analysing crystal structure…. One could examine the various faces of a crystal in succession, and by noting the angles at which and the intensity with which they reflected the X-rays, one could deduce the way in which the atoms were arranged in sheets parallel to these faces. The intersections of these sheets pinned down the positions of the atoms in space.… It was like discovering an alluvial gold field with nuggets lying around waiting to be picked up.… It was a glorious time when we worked far into every night with new worlds unfolding before us in the silent laboratory.
In The History of X-ray Analysis (1943), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Alluvial (2)  |  Analyse (3)  |  Angle (15)  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Atom (251)  |  Crystal (47)  |  Deduce (8)  |  Discover (115)  |  Examine (24)  |  Face (69)  |  Glorious (17)  |  Gold (55)  |  Intensity (19)  |  Intersection (2)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Lying (6)  |  New (340)  |  Night (73)  |  Nugget (2)  |  Parallel (16)  |  Pick Up (4)  |  Position (54)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Reflect (17)  |  Sheet (6)  |  Space (154)  |  Structure (191)  |  Waiting (9)  |  Work (457)  |  World (667)

There are few enough people with sufficient independence to see the weaknesses and follies of their contemporaries and remain themselves untouched by them. And these isolated few usually soon lose their zeal for putting things to rights when they have come face to face with human obduracy. Only to a tiny minority is it given to fascinate their generation by subtle humour and grace and to hold the mirror up to it by the impersonal agency of art. To-day I salute with sincere emotion the supreme master of this method, who has delighted–and educated–us all.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Agency (13)  |  Art (205)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Delight (51)  |  Educate (7)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Face To Face (2)  |  Fascinate (5)  |  Folly (27)  |  Generation (111)  |  Give (117)  |  Grace (13)  |  Hold (56)  |  Human (445)  |  Humour (101)  |  Impersonal (4)  |  Independence (32)  |  Isolate (10)  |  Lose (53)  |  Master (55)  |  Minority (16)  |  Mirror (21)  |  People (269)  |  Remain (77)  |  Right (144)  |  Salute (2)  |  See (197)  |  Sincere (2)  |  Soon (17)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Sufficient (24)  |  Supreme (24)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Tiny (25)  |  To-Day (5)  |  Untouched (2)  |  Usually (20)  |  Weakness (31)  |  Zeal (7)

There are two processes which we adopt consciously or unconsciously when we try to prophesy. We can seek a period in the past whose conditions resemble as closely as possible those of our day, and presume that the sequel to that period will, save for some minor alterations, be similar. Secondly, we can survey the general course of development in our immediate past, and endeavor to prolong it into the near future. The first is the method the historian; the second that of the scientist. Only the second is open to us now, and this only in a partial sphere.
From 'Fifty Years Hence', Strand Magazine (Dec 1931). Reprinted in Popular Mechanics (Mar 1932), 57, No. 3, 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Alteration (22)  |  Condition (119)  |  Consciously (4)  |  Course (57)  |  Development (228)  |  Endeavor (33)  |  First (174)  |  Future (229)  |  General (92)  |  Historian (30)  |  Minor (7)  |  Open (38)  |  Partial (2)  |  Past (109)  |  Possible (100)  |  Presume (5)  |  Process (201)  |  Prolong (8)  |  Prophesy (7)  |  Resemble (16)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Sequel (2)  |  Similar (22)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Survey (14)  |  Unconsciously (3)

There are two ways of extending life: firstly by moving the two points “born” and “died” farther away from one another… The other method is to go more slowly and leave the two points wherever God wills they should be, and this method is for the philosophers.
Aphorism 22 in Notebook B (1768-1771), as translated by R.J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 21.
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (81)  |  Death (270)  |  Extending (3)  |  Life (917)  |  Philosopher (132)

There is as much difference between a collection of mentally free citizens and a community molded by modern methods of propaganda as there is between a heap of raw materials and a battleship.
From An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish (1937, 1943), 9. Collected in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (2009), 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Citizen (23)  |  Collection (38)  |  Community (65)  |  Difference (208)  |  Free (59)  |  Heap (12)  |  Material (124)  |  Mental (57)  |  Modern (104)  |  Mold (26)  |  Propaganda (6)  |  Raw (10)

There is no area in our minds reserved for superstition, such as the Greeks had in their mythology; and superstition, under cover of an abstract vocabulary, has revenged itself by invading the entire realm of thought. Our science is like a store filled with the most subtle intellectual devices for solving the most complex problems, and yet we are almost incapable of applying the elementary principles of rational thought. In every sphere, we seem to have lost the very elements of intelligence: the ideas of limit, measure, degree, proportion, relation, comparison, contingency, interdependence, interrelation of means and ends. To keep to the social level, our political universe is peopled exclusively by myths and monsters; all it contains is absolutes and abstract entities. This is illustrated by all the words of our political and social vocabulary: nation, security, capitalism, communism, fascism, order, authority, property, democracy. We never use them in phrases such as: There is democracy to the extent that... or: There is capitalism in so far as... The use of expressions like “to the extent that” is beyond our intellectual capacity. Each of these words seems to represent for us an absolute reality, unaffected by conditions, or an absolute objective, independent of methods of action, or an absolute evil; and at the same time we make all these words mean, successively or simultaneously, anything whatsoever. Our lives are lived, in actual fact, among changing, varying realities, subject to the casual play of external necessities, and modifying themselves according to specific conditions within specific limits; and yet we act and strive and sacrifice ourselves and others by reference to fixed and isolated abstractions which cannot possibly be related either to one another or to any concrete facts. In this so-called age of technicians, the only battles we know how to fight are battles against windmills. [p.222]
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Abstract (43)  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Accord (21)  |  Act (80)  |  Action (151)  |  Actual (34)  |  Age (137)  |  Apply (38)  |  Area (18)  |  Authority (50)  |  Battle (30)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Casual (6)  |  Change (291)  |  Communism (8)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Complex (78)  |  Concrete (21)  |  Condition (119)  |  Contain (37)  |  Contingency (11)  |  Cover (23)  |  Degree (48)  |  Democracy (21)  |  Device (24)  |  Element (129)  |  Elementary (30)  |  End (141)  |  Entire (29)  |  Entity (23)  |  Evil (67)  |  Exclusively (8)  |  Expression (82)  |  Extent (30)  |  External (45)  |  Fact (609)  |  Far (77)  |  Fascism (3)  |  Fight (37)  |  Fill (35)  |  Fix (10)  |  Greek (46)  |  Idea (440)  |  Illustrate (5)  |  Incapable (11)  |  Independent (41)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Interrelation (6)  |  Invade (4)  |  Isolate (10)  |  Keep (47)  |  Know (321)  |  Level (51)  |  Limit (86)  |  Live (186)  |  Lose (53)  |  Mean (63)  |  Means (109)  |  Measure (70)  |  Mind (544)  |  Modify (11)  |  Monster (21)  |  Myth (43)  |  Mythology (11)  |  Nation (111)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Objective (49)  |  Order (167)  |  Ourselves (34)  |  P (2)  |  People (269)  |  Phrase (21)  |  Play (60)  |  Political (31)  |  Possibly (9)  |  Principle (228)  |  Problem (362)  |  Property (96)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Rational (42)  |  Reality (140)  |  Realm (40)  |  Reference (17)  |  Relate (5)  |  Relation (96)  |  Represent (27)  |  Reserve (7)  |  Revenge (6)  |  Sacrifice (24)  |  Same (92)  |  Science (1699)  |  Security (27)  |  Seem (89)  |  Simultaneous (12)  |  So-Called (18)  |  Social (93)  |  Solve (41)  |  Specific (30)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Store (17)  |  Strive (35)  |  Subject (129)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Technician (5)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Thought (374)  |  Time (439)  |  Unaffected (4)  |  Universe (563)  |  Vary (14)  |  Vocabulary (3)  |  Whatsoever (6)  |  Windmill (4)  |  Word (221)

There is, however, no universal recipe for scientific advance. It is a matter of groping forward into terra incognita of the outer world by means of methods which should be adapted to the circumstances.
In 'The Scientific Character of Geology', The Journal of Geology (Jul 1961), 69, No. 4, 455.
Science quotes on:  |  Adapt (18)  |  Advance (123)  |  Circumstance (48)  |  Forward (21)  |  Groping (3)  |  Recipe (7)  |  Research (517)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Universal (70)

This example illustrates the differences in the effects which may be produced by research in pure or applied science. A research on the lines of applied science would doubtless have led to improvement and development of the older methods—the research in pure science has given us an entirely new and much more powerful method. In fact, research in applied science leads to reforms, research in pure science leads to revolutions, and revolutions, whether political or industrial, are exceedingly profitable things if you are on the winning side.
In Lord Rayleigh, The Life of Sir J. J. Thomson (1943), 199
Science quotes on:  |  Applied Science (28)  |  Development (228)  |  Difference (208)  |  Effect (133)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Profit (28)  |  Pure Science (18)  |  Reform (10)  |  Research (517)  |  Revolution (56)  |  Win (25)

This method is, to define as the number of a class the class of all classes similar to the given class. Membership of this class of classes (considered as a predicate) is a common property of all the similar classes and of no others; moreover every class of the set of similar classes has to the set of a relation which it has to nothing else, and which every class has to its own set. Thus the conditions are completely fulfilled by this class of classes, and it has the merit of being determinate when a class is given, and of being different for two classes which are not similar. This, then, is an irreproachable definition of the number of a class in purely logical terms.
The Principles of Mathematics (1903), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Class (64)  |  Common (92)  |  Condition (119)  |  Definition (152)  |  Determination (53)  |  Difference (208)  |  Fulfillment (9)  |  Irreproachable (2)  |  Logic (187)  |  Membership (4)  |  Merit (25)  |  Number (179)  |  Predicate (2)  |  Property (96)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Set (56)  |  Similarity (17)  |  Term (87)

Though Hippocrates understood not the Circulation of the Blood, yet by accurately observing the Effects of the Disease, which he looked upon as an unknown Entity, and by remarking the Endeavours of Nature, by which the Disease tended to either Health or Recovery, did from thence deduce a proper Method of Cure, namely by assisting the salutary Endeavours of Nature, and by resisting those of the Disease; and thus Hippocrates, ignorant of the Causes, cured Disease as well as ourselves, stocked with so many Discoveries.
In Dr. Boerhaave's Academical Lectures on the Theory of Physic (1746), Vol. 6, 352.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurately (6)  |  Blood (95)  |  Cause (231)  |  Circulation (17)  |  Cure (88)  |  Deduce (8)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Disease (257)  |  Effect (133)  |  Endeavor (33)  |  Entity (23)  |  Health (136)  |  Hippocrates (49)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Observing (2)  |  Proper (27)  |  Recovery (18)  |  Salutary (5)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Unknown (87)

Time is that which is measured by a clock. This is a sound way of looking at things. A quantity like time, or any other physical measurement, does not exist in a completely abstract way. We find no sense in talking about something unless we specify how we measure it. It is the definition by the method of measuring a quantity that is the one sure way of avoiding talking nonsense about this kind of thing.
From Relativity and Common Sense: A New Approach to Einstein (1980), 65.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Avoiding (2)  |  Clock (26)  |  Completely (19)  |  Definition (152)  |  Exist (89)  |  Find (248)  |  Kind (99)  |  Looking (25)  |  Measured (2)  |  Measurement (148)  |  Nonsense (32)  |  Physical (94)  |  Quantity (35)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sound (59)  |  Specify (6)  |  Talking (10)  |  Time (439)

To bring scientific investigation to a happy end once appropriate methods have been determined, we must hold firmly in mind the goal of the project. The object here is to focus the train of thought on more and more complex and accurate associations between images based on observation and ideas slumbering in the unconscious.
From Reglas y Consejos sobre Investigacíon Cientifica: Los tónicos de la voluntad. (1897), as translated by Neely and Larry W. Swanson, in Advice for a Young Investigator (1999), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Accurate (21)  |  Appropriate (18)  |  Association (15)  |  Based (4)  |  Complex (78)  |  Determined (8)  |  End (141)  |  Focus (21)  |  Goal (81)  |  Happy (22)  |  Idea (440)  |  Image (38)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Observation (418)  |  Project (22)  |  Thought (374)  |  Train (25)  |  Unconscious (13)

To demonstrate experimentally that a microscopic organism actually is the cause of a disease and the agent of contagion, I know no other way, in the present state of Science, than to subject the microbe (the new and happy term introduced by M. Sédillot) to the method of cultivation out of the body.
Paper read to the French Academy of Sciences (29 Apr 1878), published in Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences, 86, 1037-43, as translated by H.C.Ernst. Collected in Charles W. Eliot (ed.) The Harvard Classics, Vol. 38; Scientific Papers: Physiology, Medicine, Surgery, Geology (1910), 364.
Science quotes on:  |  Agent (27)  |  Body (193)  |  Cause (231)  |  Contagion (4)  |  Cultivation (23)  |  Demonstration (51)  |  Disease (257)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Introduce (27)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Microbe (17)  |  Microscopic (10)  |  Nomenclature (129)  |  Organism (126)  |  Present (103)

Two years ago 1 tried to appeal to Rockefeller’s conscience about the absurd method of allocating grants, unfortunately without success. Bohr has now gone to see him, in an attempt to persuade him to take some action on behalf of the exiled German scientists.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (20)  |  Action (151)  |  Appeal (30)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Behalf (2)  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Conscience (36)  |  Exile (4)  |  Funding (12)  |  German (7)  |  Grant (21)  |  Persuade (10)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Success (202)  |  Unfortunately (14)

We have all heard of the puzzle given to Archimedes…. His finding that the crown was of gold was a discovery; but he invented the method of determining the density of solids. Indeed, discoverers must generally be inventors; though inventors are not necessarily discoverers.
From 'How Discoveries Are Made', Cassell's Magazine, Illustrated (May 1908), 629.
Science quotes on:  |  Archimedes (22)  |  Crown (19)  |  Density (11)  |  Determining (2)  |  Discoverer (9)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Gold (55)  |  Invented (4)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Solid (34)

We may best hope to understand the nature and conditions of real knowledge, by studying the nature and conditions of the most certain and stable portions of knowledge which we already possess: and we are most likely to learn the best methods of discovering truth, by examining how truths, now universally recognised, have really been discovered.
In The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840), Vol. I, 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Condition (119)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Examining (2)  |  Hope (129)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learning (174)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Recognized (3)  |  Stability (17)  |  Study (331)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Universal (70)

We regard as 'scientific' a method based on deep analysis of facts, theories, and views, presupposing unprejudiced, unfearing open discussion and conclusions. The complexity and diversity of all the phenomena of modern life, the great possibilities and dangers linked with the scientific-technical revolution and with a number of social tendencies demand precisely such an approach, as has been acknowledged in a number of official statements.
Progress, Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom (1968), 25.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledgment (10)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Approach (33)  |  Danger (62)  |  Demand (52)  |  Fact (609)  |  Life (917)  |  Modern (104)  |  Official (5)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Revolution (56)  |  Science (1699)  |  Society (188)  |  Statement (56)  |  Technology (199)  |  Tendency (40)  |  Theory (582)  |  View (115)

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me that my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Examine (24)  |  Fantasy (7)  |  Gift (47)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mean (63)  |  Myself (22)  |  Positive (28)  |  Talent (49)  |  Thought (374)

When the principles of breeding and of inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining by an easy method whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ascertain (7)  |  Better (131)  |  Breed (18)  |  Easy (56)  |  Hear (33)  |  Ignorant (27)  |  Inheritance (19)  |  Injurious (2)  |  Legislature (3)  |  Marriage (31)  |  Member (27)  |  Plan (69)  |  Principle (228)  |  Reject (21)  |  Scorn (6)  |  Understand (189)

When we find facts within our knowledge exhibited by some new method, or even, it may be, described in a foreign language, they receive a peculiar charm of novelty and wear a fresh air.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Charm (18)  |  Describe (38)  |  Exhibit (12)  |  Fact (609)  |  Foreign (20)  |  Fresh (21)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Language (155)  |  New (340)  |  Novelty (19)  |  Peculiar (24)  |  Receive (39)  |  Wear (12)

While the method of the natural sciences is... analytic, the method of the social sciences is better described as compositive or synthetic. It is the so-called wholes, the groups of elements which are structurally connected, which we learn to single out from the totality of observed phenomena... Insofar as we analyze individual thought in the social sciences the purpose is not to explain that thought, but merely to distinguish the possible types of elements with which we shall have to reckon in the construction of different patterns of social relationships. It is a mistake... to believe that their aim is to explain conscious action ... The problems which they try to answer arise only insofar as the conscious action of many men produce undesigned results... If social phenomena showed no order except insofar as they were consciously designed, there would indeed be no room for theoretical sciences of society and there would be, as is often argued, only problems of psychology. It is only insofar as some sort of order arises as a result of individual action but without being designed by any individual that a problem is raised which demands a theoretical explanation... people dominated by the scientistic prejudice are often inclined to deny the existence of any such order... it can be shown briefly and without any technical apparatus how the independent actions of individuals will produce an order which is no part of their intentions... The way in which footpaths are formed in a wild broken country is such an instance. At first everyone will seek for himself what seems to him the best path. But the fact that such a path has been used once is likely to make it easier to traverse and therefore more likely to be used again; and thus gradually more and more clearly defined tracks arise and come to be used to the exclusion of other possible ways. Human movements through the region come to conform to a definite pattern which, although the result of deliberate decision of many people, has yet not be consciously designed by anyone.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Aim (58)  |  Analytic (4)  |  Analyze (3)  |  Answer (201)  |  Anyone (26)  |  Apparatus (30)  |  Argue (17)  |  Arise (32)  |  Belief (400)  |  Best (129)  |  Better (131)  |  Break (33)  |  Briefly (3)  |  Clearly (17)  |  Conform (5)  |  Connect (15)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Consciously (4)  |  Construction (69)  |  Country (121)  |  Decision (58)  |  Define (29)  |  Definite (27)  |  Deliberate (10)  |  Demand (52)  |  Deny (29)  |  Describe (38)  |  Design (92)  |  Different (110)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Dominate (13)  |  Easy (56)  |  Element (129)  |  Everyone (20)  |  Exclusion (11)  |  Existence (254)  |  Explain (61)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Fact (609)  |  First (174)  |  Form (210)  |  Gradually (13)  |  Group (52)  |  Human (445)  |  Inclined (7)  |  Independent (41)  |  Individual (177)  |  Instance (18)  |  Intention (25)  |  Learn (160)  |  Likely (23)  |  Merely (35)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Movement (65)  |  Natural Sciences (3)  |  Observe (48)  |  Often (69)  |  Order (167)  |  Part (146)  |  Path (59)  |  Pattern (56)  |  People (269)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Possible (100)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Problem (362)  |  Produce (63)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Raise (20)  |  Reckon (6)  |  Region (26)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Result (250)  |  Room (29)  |  Seek (57)  |  Seem (89)  |  Show (55)  |  Single (72)  |  So-Called (18)  |  Social (93)  |  Social Sciences (4)  |  Society (188)  |  Sort (32)  |  Structurally (2)  |  Synthetic (12)  |  Technical (26)  |  Theoretical (10)  |  Thought (374)  |  Totality (9)  |  Track (9)  |  Traverse (4)  |  Try (103)  |  Type (34)  |  Whole (122)  |  Wild (39)

You frequently state, and in your letter you imply, that I have developed a completely one-sided outlook and look at everything and think of everything in terms of science. Obviously my method of thought and reasoning is influenced by a scientific training—if that were not so my scientific training will have been a waste and a failure.
Letter to her father, Ellis Franklin, undated, perhaps summer 1940 while she was an undergraduate at Cambridge. Excerpted in Brenda Maddox, The Dark Lady of DNA (2002), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Failure (118)  |  Influence (110)  |  Outlook (12)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Thought (374)  |  Training (39)  |  Waste (57)

Young men, have confidence in those powerful and safe methods, of which we do not yet know all the secrets. And, whatever your career may be, do not let yourselves become tainted by a deprecating and barren skepticism … Live … until the time comes when you have the immense happiness of thinking that you have contributed in some way to the progress and to the good of humanity.
Acceptance speech (27 Dec 1892) when awarded a 70th birthday commemorative medal by the Academy of Sciences in the great theatre of the Sorbonne, as translated in René Vallery-Radot and Mrs R.L. Devonshire (trans.), The Life of Pasteur (1902), Vol. 2, 297-298. Pasteur addressed an audience that included “deep masses of students” and “boys from the lycées.”
Science quotes on:  |  Barren (9)  |  Career (54)  |  Confidence (32)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Good (228)  |  Happiness (82)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Immense (28)  |  Know (321)  |  Live (186)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Progress (317)  |  Safe (15)  |  Scepticism (5)  |  Secret (98)  |  Young (72)

[Having already asserted his opposition to communism in every respect by signing the regents' oath, his answer to a question why a non-Communist professor should refuse to take a non-Communist oath as a condition of University employment was that to do so would imply it was] up to an accused person to clear himself. ... That sort of thing is going on in Washington today and is a cause of alarm to thoughtful citizens. It is the method used in totalitarian countries. It sounds un-American to people who don’t like to be pushed around. If someone says I ought to do a certain thing the burden should be on him to show I why I should, not on me to show why I should not.
As quoted in 'Educator Scores Oath For Faculty', New York Times (16 Apr 1950), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Accusation (5)  |  Alarm (9)  |  Burden (23)  |  Cause (231)  |  Citizen (23)  |  Communism (8)  |  Country (121)  |  Employment (22)  |  Oath (5)  |  Push (22)  |  Refusal (20)  |  Show (55)  |  Thoughtful (10)  |  Totalitarian (6)  |  Unamerican (2)  |  University (51)  |  Washington (5)  |  Why (6)

[Jethro Tull] was the first Englishman—perhaps the first writer, ancient and modern—who has attempted, with any tolerable degree of success, to reduce the art of agriculture to certain and uniform principles; and it must be acknowledged that he has done more towards establishing a rational and practical method of husbandry than all the writers who have gone before him.
Anonymous
In Letter (18 Oct 1764), signed only “D.Y.” from Hungerford, in Sylvanus Urban (ed.), 'Observations on the late Improvements in Agriculture', The Gentleman’s Magazine (Nov 1764), 525.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (62)  |  Ancient (68)  |  Art (205)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Certain (84)  |  Englishman (3)  |  Establishing (7)  |  First (174)  |  Modern (104)  |  Practical (93)  |  Principle (228)  |  Rational (42)  |  Reduce (32)  |  Success (202)  |  Jethro Tull (2)  |  Uniform (14)  |  Writer (35)

[Regarding evolution believers:] Their business is not with the possible, but the actual—not with a world which might be, but with a world that is. This they explore with a courage not unmixed with reverence, and according to methods which, like the quality of a tree, are tested by their fruits. They have but one desire—to know the truth. They have but one fear—to believe a lie.
'Scientific Use of the Imagination', Discourse Delivered Before the British Association at Liverpool, (16 Sep 1870). Fragments of Science for Unscientific People: A Series of Detached Essays, Lectures, and Reviews (1892), Vol. 2, 134.
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (21)  |  Actuality (3)  |  Business (71)  |  Courage (39)  |  Desire (101)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Fear (113)  |  Fruit (63)  |  Lie (80)  |  Mixture (22)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Quality (65)  |  Reverence (24)  |  Test (96)  |  Tree (143)  |  Truth (750)  |  World (667)

[Society's rights to employ the scopolamine (“truth serum”) drug supersede those of a criminal.] It therefore stands to reason, that where there is a safe and humane method existing to evoke the truth from the consciousness of a suspect society is entitled to have that truth.
Quoted from presentation at the first annual meeting of the Eastern Society of Anesthetists at the Hotel McAlpin, as reported in '“Truth Serum” Test Proves Its Power', New York Times (22 Oct 1924), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Criminal (14)  |  Evoke (3)  |  Humane (5)  |  Right (144)  |  Safe (15)  |  Scopolamine (3)  |  Society (188)  |  Supersede (3)  |  Suspect (12)  |  Truth (750)  |  Truth Serum (2)

[The infinitely small] neither have nor can have theory; it is a dangerous instrument in the hands of beginners [ ... ] anticipating, for my part, the judgement of posterity, I would dare predict that this method will be accused one day, and rightly, of having retarded the progress of the mathematical sciences.
Annales des Mathematiques Pures et Appliquées (1814-5), 5, 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Accusation (5)  |  Anticipation (11)  |  Beginner (3)  |  Danger (62)  |  Differentiation (17)  |  Infinity (59)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Posterity (16)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Progress (317)  |  Retardation (4)  |  Theory (582)

[To give insight to statistical information] it occurred to me, that making an appeal to the eye when proportion and magnitude are concerned, is the best and readiest method of conveying a distinct idea.
In The Statistical Breviary: Shewing, on a Principle Entirely New, the Resources of Every State and Kingdom in Europe (1801), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (30)  |  Best (129)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Eye (159)  |  Idea (440)  |  Information (102)  |  Magnitude (21)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Statistics (125)


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.