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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index O > Category: Obligation

Obligation Quotes (25 quotes)

Nous avons l’obligation aux Anciens de nous avoir épuisé la plus grande partie des idées fausses qu’on le pouvait faire
We are under obligation to the ancients for having exhausted all the false theories that could be formed.
In Digression sur les Anciens et les Modernes (1688), 165. Collected in Oeuvres Diverses (1727), Vol. 3, 139. English version as quoted in John Bagnell Bury, The Idea of Progress: An Inquiry Into Its Origin and Growth (1920), 104.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Ancient (189)  |  Exhaust (22)  |  False (100)  |  Form (959)  |  Plus (43)  |  Theory (970)

A man said to the universe,
“Sir, I exist.”
“However,” replied the universe,
“the fact has not created in me
a sense of obligation.”
In 'A Man Said to the Universe', Poem 21 in War Is Kind (1899). In Stephen Crane and Joseph Katz (ed.), The Complete Poems by Stephen Crane (1972), 139.
Science quotes on:  |  Create (235)  |  Exist (443)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Man (2251)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Reply (56)  |  Sense (770)  |  Universe (857)

A physician is obligated to consider more than a diseased organ, more than even the whole man—he must view the man in his world.
Attributed by Rene Dubos, Man Adapting (1965, 1980), Chap. 12, 342. Dubos introduces the quote with “is reported to have taught” and no other citation.
Science quotes on:  |  Consider (416)  |  Consideration (139)  |  Disease (328)  |  Man (2251)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Organ (115)  |  Physician (273)  |  View (488)  |  Whole (738)  |  World (1774)

Debunking bad science should be constant obligation of the science community, even if it takes time away from serious research or seems to be a losing battle. One takes comfort from the fact there is no Gresham’s laws in science. In the long run, good science drives out bad.
In preamble to 'Part III: Pseudoscience', The Night Is Large: Collected Essays 1938-1995 (1996), 171.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Bad (180)  |  Bad Science (5)  |  Comfort (59)  |  Community (104)  |  Constant (144)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Good (889)  |  In The Long Run (2)  |  Law (894)  |  Long (790)  |  Research (664)  |  Run (174)  |  Science (3879)  |  Serious (91)  |  Time (1877)

Every generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds… to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation.
…...
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Free (232)  |  Generation (242)  |  High (362)  |  Last (426)  |  Look (582)  |  Mind (1338)  |  New (1216)  |  New Worlds (5)  |  Plateau (6)  |  World (1774)

Honest pioneer work in the field of science has always been, and will continue to be, life’s pilot. On all sides, life is surrounded by hostility. This puts us under an obligation.
Function of the Orgasm
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Continue (165)  |  Field (364)  |  Honest (50)  |  Hostility (16)  |  Life (1795)  |  Pilot (13)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Science (3879)  |  Side (233)  |  Surround (30)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

I am a little tired of the word 'service' in connection with libraries, for such should be the obligation of all who live.
Quoted in 'Obituaries: Archibald Malloch, M.D., 1887-1953', Bulletin of the Medical Library Association (Jan 1954), 42(1), 153.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Connection (162)  |  Library (48)  |  Little (707)  |  Live (628)  |  Service (110)  |  Word (619)

I have been scientifically studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so-called,) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result profoundly humiliating to me. For it obliges me to renounce my allegiance to the Darwinian theory of the Ascent of Man from the Lower Animals; since it now seems plain to me that that theory ought to be vacated in favor of a new and truer one, this new and truer one to be named the Descent of Man from the Higher Animals.
From 'Man's Place in the Animal World' (1896) in What is Man?: and Other Philosophical Writings (1973), 81.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (617)  |  Ascent Of Man (6)  |  Call (769)  |  Charles Darwin (303)  |  Descent Of Man (6)  |  Disposition (42)  |  Favor (63)  |  Find (998)  |  Lower (11)  |  Man (2251)  |  New (1216)  |  Oblige (6)  |  Renounce (5)  |  Result (677)  |  Scent (7)  |  So-Called (71)  |  Studying (70)  |  Theory (970)  |  Truth (1057)

I have from my childhood, in conformity with the precepts of a mother void of all imaginary fear, been in the constant habit of taking toads in my hand, and applying them to my nose and face as it may happen. My motive for doing this very frequently is to inculcate the opinion I have held, since I was told by my mother, that the toad is actually a harmless animal; and to whose manner of life man is certainly under some obligation as its food is chiefly those insects which devour his crops and annoy him in various ways.
Letter to an unknown correspondent, quoted by Bowdler Sharpe, The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne (1900), Vol. 1, 69. In Averil M. Lysaght, Joseph Banks in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1766: his Diary, Manuscripts, and Collections (1971), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Animal (617)  |  Annoyance (3)  |  Biography (240)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Chiefly (47)  |  Childhood (38)  |  Conformity (14)  |  Constant (144)  |  Crop (25)  |  Devour (29)  |  Doing (280)  |  Face (212)  |  Fear (197)  |  Food (199)  |  Habit (168)  |  Happen (274)  |  Harmless (8)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Inculcate (6)  |  Insect (77)  |  Life (1795)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mother (114)  |  Motive (59)  |  Nose (11)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Precept (10)  |  Toad (10)  |  Various (200)  |  Void (31)  |  Way (1217)

It is time that science, having destroyed the religious basis for morality, accepted the obligation to provide a new and rational basis for human behavior—a code of ethics concerned with man’s needs on earth, not his rewards in heaven.
In 'Toward a New Morality,' IEEE Spectrum, 1972.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accept (191)  |  Basis (173)  |  Behavior (84)  |  Code (31)  |  Concern (228)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Earth (996)  |  Ethic (40)  |  Ethics (50)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Behavior (9)  |  Man (2251)  |  Morality (52)  |  New (1216)  |  Rational (90)  |  Religious (126)  |  Reward (68)  |  Science (3879)  |  Time (1877)

Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas which mere human language is as yet unable to express. Let them make the effort to express these ideas in appropriate words without the aid of symbols, and if they succeed they will not only lay us laymen under a lasting obligation, but, we venture to say, they will find themselves very much enlightened during the process, and will even be doubtful whether the ideas as expressed in symbols had ever quite found their way out of the equations into their minds.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (97)  |  Appropriate (61)  |  Doubtful (29)  |  Effort (227)  |  Enlighten (29)  |  Enlightened (24)  |  Equation (132)  |  Express (186)  |  Find (998)  |  Human (1468)  |  Idea (843)  |  Language (293)  |  Mathematician (387)  |  Mind (1338)  |  New (1216)  |  Possess (156)  |  Process (423)  |  Say (984)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Symbol (93)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Way (1217)  |  Will (2355)  |  Word (619)

My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as did my aversion to any obligation and dependence I do not regard as absolutely necessary. I always have a high regard for the individual and have an insuperable distaste for violence and clubmanship.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (39)  |  Aversion (8)  |  Bring (90)  |  Conflict (73)  |  Dependence (45)  |  Distaste (3)  |  Do (1908)  |  High (362)  |  Individual (404)  |  Insuperable (3)  |  Justice (39)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Often (106)  |  Passion (114)  |  People (1005)  |  Regard (305)  |  Social (252)  |  Violence (34)

Nothing in science has any value to society if it is not communicated, and scientists are beginning to learn their social obligations.
Anne Roe
The Making of a Scientist (1953), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Beginning (305)  |  Communication (94)  |  Learn (629)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Society (23)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Social (252)  |  Society (326)  |  Value (365)

Our ideals. laws and customs should he based on the proposition that each, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  Base (117)  |  Become (815)  |  Custodian (3)  |  Custom (42)  |  Future (429)  |  Generation (242)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Inheritance (34)  |  Law (894)  |  Owner (5)  |  Pass (238)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Resource (63)  |  Turn (447)

Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves, but also to the cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (189)  |  Cosmos (63)  |  Flourish (34)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Owe (71)  |  Spring (133)  |  Survive (79)  |  Vast (177)

Oxigen [oxygen], as you well know, is my hero as well as my foe, and being not only strong but inexhaustible in strategies and full of tricks, I was obliged to call up all my forces to lay hold of him, and make the subtle Being my prisoner.
Letter to Michael Faraday (11 Dec 1860), The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein, 1836-1862 (1899), 340.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Being (1278)  |  Call (769)  |  Foe (9)  |  Force (487)  |  Hero (42)  |  Hold (95)  |  Inexhaustible (24)  |  Know (1518)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Prisoner (7)  |  Strategy (13)  |  Strength (126)  |  Strong (174)  |  Subtle (35)  |  Trick (35)

Reality may avoid the obligation to be interesting, but ... hypotheses may not.
Lönnrot to Treviranus in 'Death and the Compass', trans. from the Spanish (1956) by Anthony Kerrigan, collected in Ficciones (1962), 130.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (116)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Interesting (153)  |  Reality (261)

The farthest Thunder that I heard
Was nearer than the Sky
And rumbles still, though torrid Noons
Have lain their missiles by-
The Lightning that preceded it
Struck no one but myself-
But I would not exchange the Bolt
For all the rest of Life-
Indebtedness to Oxygen
The Happy may repay,
But not the obligation
To Electricity-
It founds the Homes and decks the Days
And every clamor bright
Is but the gleam concomitant
Of that waylaying Light-
The Thought is quiet as a Flake-
A Crash without a Sound,
How Life’s reverberation
Is Explanation found-—
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Bolt (9)  |  Bright (79)  |  Crash (9)  |  Electricity (159)  |  Exchange (37)  |  Explanation (234)  |  Happy (105)  |  Home (170)  |  Indebtedness (4)  |  Life (1795)  |  Light (607)  |  Lightning (45)  |  Missile (5)  |  Myself (212)  |  Nearer (45)  |  Noon (14)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Poem (96)  |  Quiet (36)  |  Rest (280)  |  Reverberation (3)  |  Sky (161)  |  Sound (183)  |  Still (613)  |  Thought (953)  |  Thunder (20)

The statistician cannot excuse himself from the duty of getting his head clear on the principles of scientific inference, but equally no other thinking man can avoid a like obligation.
The Design of Experiments (1935), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (116)  |  Equally (130)  |  Excuse (25)  |  Himself (461)  |  Inference (45)  |  Man (2251)  |  Other (2236)  |  Principle (507)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Statistician (27)  |  Statistics (155)  |  Thinking (414)

There are many arts and sciences of which a miner should not be ignorant. First there is Philosophy, that he may discern the origin, cause, and nature of subterranean things; for then he will be able to dig out the veins easily and advantageously, and to obtain more abundant results from his mining. Secondly there is Medicine, that he may be able to look after his diggers and other workman ... Thirdly follows astronomy, that he may know the divisions of the heavens and from them judge the directions of the veins. Fourthly, there is the science of Surveying that he may be able to estimate how deep a shaft should be sunk … Fifthly, his knowledge of Arithmetical Science should be such that he may calculate the cost to be incurred in the machinery and the working of the mine. Sixthly, his learning must comprise Architecture, that he himself may construct the various machines and timber work required underground … Next, he must have knowledge of Drawing, that he can draw plans of his machinery. Lastly, there is the Law, especially that dealing with metals, that he may claim his own rights, that he may undertake the duty of giving others his opinion on legal matters, that he may not take another man’s property and so make trouble for himself, and that he may fulfil his obligations to others according to the law.
In De Re Metallica (1556), trans. H.C. and L.H. Hoover (1950), 3-4.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Abundant (22)  |  According (237)  |  Architecture (48)  |  Art (657)  |  Astronomy (229)  |  Calculate (54)  |  Cause (541)  |  Claim (146)  |  Construct (124)  |  Cost (86)  |  Deep (233)  |  Dig (21)  |  Direction (175)  |  Discern (33)  |  Division (65)  |  Draw (137)  |  Drawing (56)  |  Estimate (57)  |  First (1283)  |  Follow (378)  |  Heaven (258)  |  Heavens (125)  |  Himself (461)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Judge (108)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Learning (274)  |  Look (582)  |  Machine (257)  |  Machinery (56)  |  Man (2251)  |  Mathematics (1328)  |  Matter (798)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Metal (84)  |  Mine (76)  |  Mining (18)  |  More (2559)  |  Must (1526)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Next (236)  |  Obtain (163)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Origin (239)  |  Other (2236)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Plan (117)  |  Property (168)  |  Required (108)  |  Result (677)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Surveying (6)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Trouble (107)  |  Underground (11)  |  Undertake (33)  |  Various (200)  |  Vein (25)  |  Will (2355)  |  Work (1351)

Thus with every advance in our scientific knowledge new elements come up, often forcing us to recast our entire picture of physical reality. No doubt, theorists would much prefer to perfect and amend their theories rather than be obliged to scrap them continually. But this obligation is the condition and price of all scientific progress.
New Perspectives in Physics (1962), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (280)  |  All (4108)  |  Condition (356)  |  Doubt (304)  |  Element (310)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  New (1216)  |  Perfect (216)  |  Physical (508)  |  Picture (143)  |  Price (51)  |  Progress (465)  |  Reality (261)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientific Progress (14)  |  Theorist (44)  |  Theory (970)

Time, inexhaustible and ever accumulating his efficacy, can undoubtedly do much for the theorist in geology; but Force, whose limits we cannot measure, and whose nature we cannot fathom, is also a power never to be slighted: and to call in the one to protect us from the other, is equally presumptuous, to whichever of the two our superstition leans. To invoke Time, with ten thousand earthquakes, to overturn and set on edge a mountain-chain, should the phenomena indicate the change to have been sudden and not successive, would be ill excused by pleading the obligation of first appealing to known causes.
In History of the Inductive Sciences (1857), Vol. 3, 513-514.
Science quotes on:  |  Call (769)  |  Cause (541)  |  Chain (50)  |  Change (593)  |  Do (1908)  |  Earthquake (34)  |  Edge (47)  |  Equally (130)  |  Fathom (15)  |  First (1283)  |  Force (487)  |  Geology (220)  |  Indicate (61)  |  Inexhaustible (24)  |  Known (454)  |  Limit (280)  |  Measure (232)  |  Measurement (174)  |  Mountain (185)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Never (1087)  |  Other (2236)  |  Phenomenon (318)  |  Power (746)  |  Protect (58)  |  Set (394)  |  Slighted (3)  |  Successive (73)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Superstition (66)  |  Theorist (44)  |  Thousand (331)  |  Time (1877)  |  Two (937)

We are about to move into the Aquarian age of clearer thinking. Astrology and witchcraft both have a contribution to make to the new age, and it behooves the practitioners of both to realize their responsibilities and ob­ligations to the science and the religion.
In Diary of a Witch (1969), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (499)  |  Astrology (43)  |  Behoove (6)  |  Both (493)  |  Contribution (89)  |  Move (216)  |  New (1216)  |  New Age (6)  |  Practitioner (20)  |  Realize (147)  |  Religion (361)  |  Responsibility (66)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Religion (307)  |  Thinking (414)  |  Witchcraft (6)

We often observe in lawyers, who as Quicquid agunt homines is the matter of law suits, are sometimes obliged to pick up a temporary knowledge of an art or science, of which they understood nothing till their brief was delivered, and appear to be much masters of it.
In The Life of Samuel Johnson (1820), Vol. 1, 218. The Latin phrase translates as “what people do.”
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (140)  |  Art (657)  |  Brief (36)  |  Deliver (29)  |  Delivery (6)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Law (894)  |  Lawyer (27)  |  Master (178)  |  Mastery (34)  |  Matter (798)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Observe (168)  |  Science (3879)  |  Science And Art (184)  |  Temporary (23)  |  Understanding (513)  |  Understood (156)

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.
In Second Inaugural Address (21 Jan 2013) at the United States Capitol.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  American (46)  |  Avoid (116)  |  Belief (578)  |  Betray (8)  |  Change (593)  |  Children (200)  |  Climate (97)  |  Climate Change (61)  |  Crippling (2)  |  Deny (66)  |  Devastating (5)  |  Do (1908)  |  Drought (13)  |  Failure (161)  |  Fire (189)  |  Future (429)  |  Generation (242)  |  Impact (42)  |  Judgment (132)  |  Knowing (137)  |  More (2559)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Overwhelming (30)  |  People (1005)  |  Posterity (29)  |  Powerful (139)  |  Raging (2)  |  Respond (12)  |  Science (3879)  |  Still (613)  |  Storm (51)  |  Storms (18)  |  Threat (30)  |  Will (2355)


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.