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Who said: “I was going to record talking... the foil was put on; I then shouted 'Mary had a little lamb',... and the machine reproduced it perfectly.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index M > Category: Minutiae

Minutiae Quotes (6 quotes)

It is the care we bestow on apparently trifling, unattractive detail and very troublesome minutiae which determines the result.
As quoted in William Bulloch, Obituary, 'Theobald Smith', Journal of Pathology and Bacteriology (May 1935), 40, No. 3, 621-625.
Science quotes on:  |  Care (73)  |  Detail (65)  |  Determine (45)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Observation (418)  |  Research (517)  |  Result (250)  |  Trifle (10)  |  Troublesome (3)  |  Unattractive (3)

Modern cytological work involves an intricacy of detail, the significance of which can be appreciated by the specialist alone; but Miss Stevens had a share in a discovery of importance, and her work will be remembered for this, when the minutiae of detailed investigations that she carried out have become incorporated in the general body of the subject.
In obituary, 'The Scientific Work of Miss N.M. Steves', Science (11 Oct 1912), 36, No. 928, 468.
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None of the myriad scientific papers I’d read prepared me for the patience and diligence that go into scientific research. None had prepared me for the acute attention to minutiae that keeps science accurate, and scientific integrity intact. Or for the tedium. … I accepted the idea that finding out you don’t like something can be invaluable.
Recalling undergraduate junior year tropical biology program exploring Costa Rica’s forest jungles. In 'Concentration Crisis', Brown Alumni Magazine (Jul-Aug 2007)
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Attention (76)  |  Diligence (14)  |  Idea (440)  |  Integrity (11)  |  Invaluable (4)  |  Myriad (18)  |  Paper (52)  |  Patience (31)  |  Prepare (19)  |  Read (83)  |  Research (517)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Tedium (3)

So why fret and care that the actual version of the destined deed was done by an upper class English gentleman who had circumnavigated the globe as a vigorous youth, lost his dearest daughter and his waning faith at the same time, wrote the greatest treatise ever composed on the taxonomy of barnacles, and eventually grew a white beard, lived as a country squire just south of London, and never again traveled far enough even to cross the English Channel? We care for the same reason that we love okapis, delight in the fossil evidence of trilobites, and mourn the passage of the dodo. We care because the broad events that had to happen, happened to happen in a certain particular way. And something unspeakably holy –I don’t know how else to say this–underlies our discovery and confirmation of the actual details that made our world and also, in realms of contingency, assured the minutiae of its construction in the manner we know, and not in any one of a trillion other ways, nearly all of which would not have included the evolution of a scribe to record the beauty, the cruelty, the fascination, and the mystery.
…...
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The extraordinary development of modern science may be her undoing. Specialism, now a necessity, has fragmented the specialities themselves in a way that makes the outlook hazardous. The workers lose all sense of proportion in a maze of minutiae.
'The Old Humanities and the New Science' (1919). In G. L. Keynes (ed.), Selected Writings of Sir William Osler (1951), 27.
Science quotes on:  |  Development (228)  |  Extraordinary (32)  |  Fragment (24)  |  Hazard (11)  |  Loss (62)  |  Maze (9)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Outlook (12)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Science (1699)  |  Specialty (8)  |  Undoing (2)  |  Worker (23)

We take for granted the need to escape the self. Yet the self can also be a refuge. In totalitarian countries the great hunger is for private life. Absorption in the minutiae of an individual existence is the only refuge from the apocalyptic madhouse staged by maniacal saviors of humanity.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 35.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorption (8)  |  Country (121)  |  Escape (34)  |  Existence (254)  |  Grant (21)  |  Great (300)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Individual (177)  |  Madhouse (3)  |  Need (211)  |  Private Life (3)  |  Refuge (12)  |  Self (39)  |  Stage (39)  |  Totalitarian (6)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 90 -
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- 80 -
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- 70 -
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- 40 -
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- 30 -
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- 20 -
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