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Who said: “Politics is more difficult than physics.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Politeness

Politeness Quotes (4 quotes)

Clarity is the sovereign politeness imposed on the one who wields a pen.
From the original French: “La clarté est la souveraine politesse imposée à qui manie une plume,” in 'La Nidification de Scarabée Sacré', Revue des questions scientifiques (Jul 1896), 10 (new series), 14.
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If, for example, I had some idea, which, as it turned out would, say, be quite wrong, was going off of the tangent, Watson would tell me in no uncertain terms this was nonsense, and vice-versa. If he had some idea I didn’t like and I would say so and this would shake his thinking about it and draw him back again. And in fact, it’s one of the requirements for collaboration of this sort that you must be perfectly candid, one might almost say rude, to the person you are working with. It’s useless, working with somebody who’s either much too junior than yourself, or much too senior, because then politeness creeps in. And this is the end of all real collaboration in science.
As quoted in Robert Olby, The Path to the Double Helix: The Discovery of the Double Helix, (1974, 1994), 316, citing Transcript of BBC TV program, The Prizewinners (1962).
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Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together.
In Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long (1973), 265.
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The exaggerated politeness touches on pride, because it keeps people at a distance.
From the original French, “La politesse exagérée touche à l’orgueil, parce qu’elle tient les gens à distance,” in Actes de l'Académie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts de Bordeaux (1872), 479. Translation by Webmaster using Google translate.
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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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