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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “A change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and takes place along the straight line in which that force is impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Problem

Problem Quotes (362 quotes)
Problems Quotes


Les mathématiciens parviennent à la solution d’un problême par le simple arrangement des données, & en réduisant le raisonnement à des opérations si simples, à des jugemens si courts, qu’ils ne perdent jamais de vue l’évidence qui leur sert de guide.
Mathematicians come to the solution of a problem by the simple arrangement of the data, and reducing the reasoning to such simple operations, to judgments so brief, that they never lose sight of the evidence that serves as their guide.
From a paper read to the Académie Royales des Sciences (18 Apr 1787), printed in Méthode de Nomenclature Chimique (1787), 12. Translation from the French by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Brief (14)  |  Data (100)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Guide (46)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Operation (96)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Simple (111)  |  Solution (168)

Quand les physiciens nous demandent la solution d'un problème, ce n'est pas une corvée qu'ils nous impsent, c'est nous au contraire qui leur doivent des remercîments.
When the physicists ask us for the solution of a problem, it is not drudgery that they impose on us, on the contrary, it is us who owe them thanks.
La valeur de la science. In Anton Bovier, Statistical Mechanics of Disordered Systems (2006), 111.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Solution (168)

Une même expression, dont les géomètres avaient considéré les propriétés abstraites, … représente'aussi le mouvement de la lumière dans l’atmosphère, quelle détermine les lois de la diffusion de la chaleur dans la matière solide, et quelle entre dans toutes les questions principales de la théorie des probabilités.
The same expression whose abstract properties geometers had considered … represents as well the motion of light in the atmosphere, as it determines the laws of diffusion of heat in solid matter, and enters into all the chief problems of the theory of probability.
From Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur (1822), translated by Alexander Freeman in The Analytical Theory of Heat (1878), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Chief (25)  |  Determine (45)  |  Diffusion (7)  |  Expression (82)  |  Geometer (6)  |  Heat (90)  |  Law (418)  |  Light (246)  |  Matter (270)  |  Motion (127)  |  Probability (83)  |  Property (96)  |  Represent (27)  |  Same (92)  |  Solid (34)  |  Theory (582)

A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millenium (1998), 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (59)  |  Authority (50)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Contradict (7)  |  Dogma (25)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Lesson (32)  |  Publication (83)  |  Science (1699)  |  Understanding (317)

A chess problem is genuine mathematics, but it is in some way “trivial” mathematics. However, ingenious and intricate, however original and surprising the moves, there is something essential lacking. Chess problems are unimportant. The best mathematics is serious as well as beautiful—“important” if you like, but the word is very ambiguous, and “serious” expresses what I mean much better.
'A Mathematician's Apology', in James Roy Newman, The World of Mathematics (2000), 2029.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Chess (18)  |  Essential (87)  |  Important (124)  |  Ingenious (18)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Original (36)  |  Serious (37)  |  Surprise (44)  |  Trivial (30)  |  Unimportant (4)

A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Avoid (34)  |  Clever (14)  |  Person (114)  |  Solve (41)  |  Wise (43)

A designer must always think about the unfortunate production engineer who will have to manufacture what you have designed; try to understand his problems.
On the official Raymond Loewry website.
Science quotes on:  |  Design (92)  |  Designer (6)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Manufacturing (21)  |  Production (105)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Unfortunate (6)

A good deal of my research in physics has consisted in not setting out to solve some particular problem, but simply examining mathematical quantities of a kind that physicists use and trying to fit them together in an interesting way, regardless of any application that the work may have. It is simply a search for pretty mathematics. It may turn out later to have an application. Then one has good luck. At age 78.
International Journal of Theoretical Physics (1982), 21, 603. In A. Pais, 'Playing With Equations, the Dirac Way'. Behram N. Kursunoglu (Ed.) and Eugene Paul Wigner (Ed.), Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac: Reminiscences about a Great Physicist (1990), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Equation (69)  |  Luck (25)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Physics (301)  |  Research (517)

A great discovery solves a great problem, but there is a grain of discovery in the solution of any problem. Your problem may be modest, but if it challenges your curiosity and brings into play your inventive faculties, and if you solve it by your own means, you may experience the tension and enjoy the triumph of discovery.
From Preface to the first printing, reprinted in How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Challenge (37)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Enjoyment (27)  |  Experience (268)  |  Faculty (36)  |  Grain (24)  |  Invention (283)  |  Means (109)  |  Modest (4)  |  Solution (168)  |  Tension (7)  |  Triumph (33)

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
In Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long (1987), 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (45)  |  Act (80)  |  Alone (61)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Balance (43)  |  Bone (57)  |  Building (51)  |  Butcher (6)  |  Change (291)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Computer (84)  |  Cooking (7)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Death (270)  |  Design (92)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Equation (69)  |  Fight (37)  |  Hog (4)  |  Human (445)  |  Insect (57)  |  Invasion (7)  |  Manure (6)  |  Meal (14)  |  New (340)  |  Order (167)  |  Pitch (7)  |  Plan (69)  |  Program (32)  |  Set (56)  |  Ship (33)  |  Solution (168)  |  Sonnet (4)  |  Specialization (12)  |  Wall (20)  |  Writing (72)

A million years is a short time - the shortest worth messing with for most problems. You begin tuning your mind to a time scale that is the planet’s time scale. For me, it is almost unconscious now and is a kind of companionship with the earth.
Basin and Range
Science quotes on:  |  Begin (52)  |  Companionship (3)  |  Earth (487)  |  Kind (99)  |  Mess (10)  |  Million (89)  |  Mind (544)  |  Planet (199)  |  Scale (49)  |  Short (31)  |  Time (439)  |  Tune (9)  |  Unconscious (13)  |  Worth (74)  |  Year (214)

A multidisciplinary study group ... estimated that it would be 1980 before developments in artificial intelligence make it possible for machines alone to do much thinking or problem solving of military significance. That would leave, say, five years to develop man-computer symbiosis and 15 years to use it. The 15 may be 10 or 500, but those years should be intellectually the most creative and exciting in the history of mankind.
From article 'Man-Computer Symbiosis', in IRE Transactions on Human Factors in Electronics (Mar 1960), Vol. HFE-1, 4-11.
Science quotes on:  |  Artificial Intelligence (8)  |  Computer (84)  |  Creative (41)  |  Development (228)  |  Exciting (14)  |  History (302)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Military (24)  |  Significance (60)  |  Solving (6)  |  Symbiosis (2)  |  Thinking (222)

A principle of induction would be a statement with the help of which we could put inductive inferences into a logically acceptable form. In the eyes of the upholders of inductive logic, a principle of induction is of supreme importance for scientific method: “... this principle”, says Reichenbach, “determines the truth of scientific theories. To eliminate it from science would mean nothing less than to deprive science of the power to decide the truth or falsity of its theories. Without it, clearly, science would no longer have the right to distinguish its theories from the fanciful and arbitrary creations of the poet’s mind.” Now this principle of induction cannot be a purely logical truth like a tautology or an analytic statement. Indeed, if there were such a thing as a purely logical principle of induction, there would be no problem of induction; for in this case, all inductive inferences would have to be regarded as purely logical or tautological transformations, just like inferences in inductive logic. Thus the principle of induction must be a synthetic statement; that is, a statement whose negation is not self-contradictory but logically possible. So the question arises why such a principle should be accepted at all, and how we can justify its acceptance on rational grounds.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Acceptable (5)  |  Acceptance (41)  |  Analytic (4)  |  Arbitrary (16)  |  Arise (32)  |  Case (64)  |  Clearly (17)  |  Creation (211)  |  Decide (25)  |  Deprive (9)  |  Determine (45)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Eliminate (15)  |  Eye (159)  |  Falsity (12)  |  Fanciful (4)  |  Form (210)  |  Ground (63)  |  Help (68)  |  Importance (183)  |  Induction (45)  |  Inference (26)  |  Justify (19)  |  Less (54)  |  Logic (187)  |  Logical (20)  |  Long (95)  |  Mean (63)  |  Mind (544)  |  Negation (2)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Poet (59)  |  Possible (100)  |  Power (273)  |  Principle (228)  |  Purely (15)  |  Question (315)  |  Rational (42)  |  Regard (58)  |  Right (144)  |  Say (126)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Statement (56)  |  Supreme (24)  |  Synthetic (12)  |  Tautology (4)  |  Theory (582)  |  Transformation (47)  |  Truth (750)

A problem is really a springboard for a leap into the unknown.
In 'The Arts and the Sciences', American Scientist (Jul 1953). Epigraph in Meta Riley Emberger and Marian Ross Hall, Scientific Writing (1955),
Science quotes on:  |  Leap (23)  |  Unknown (87)

A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.
Science quotes on:  |  Solution (168)

A research problem is not solved by apparatus; it is solved in a man's head.
Science quotes on:  |  Research (517)

A scientist works largely by intuition. Given enough experience, a scientist examining a problem can leap to an intuition as to what the solution ‘should look like.’ ... Science is ultimately based on insight, not logic.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Base (43)  |  Examine (24)  |  Experience (268)  |  Give (117)  |  Insight (57)  |  Intuition (39)  |  Largely (12)  |  Leap (23)  |  Logic (187)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Solution (168)  |  Ultimately (11)  |  Work (457)

A strong feeling of adventure is animating those who are working on bacterial viruses, a feeling that they have a small part in the great drive towards a fundamental problem in biology.
From 'Experiments with Bacterial Viruses (Bacteriophages)', Harvey Lecture (1946), 41, 187. As cited in Robert Olby, The Path of the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA (1974, 1994), 238.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (36)  |  Animate (6)  |  Bacteria (32)  |  Biology (150)  |  Drive (38)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Great (300)  |  Part (146)  |  Small (97)  |  Virus (22)  |  Work (457)

A wonderful exhilaration comes from holding in the mind the deepest questions we can ask. Such questions animate all scientists. Many students of science were first attracted to the field as children by popular accounts of important unsolved problems. They have been waiting ever since to begin working on a mystery. [With co-author Arthur Zajonc]
In George Greenstein and Arthur Zajonc, The Quantum Challenge: Modern Research on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics (2006), xii.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (45)  |  Animate (6)  |  Ask (99)  |  Attract (15)  |  Begin (52)  |  Child (189)  |  Exhilaration (5)  |  Field (119)  |  First (174)  |  Important (124)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Popular (21)  |  Question (315)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Student (131)  |  Unsolved (7)  |  Wait (38)  |  Wonderful (37)  |  Work (457)

Accordingly, we find Euler and D'Alembert devoting their talent and their patience to the establishment of the laws of rotation of the solid bodies. Lagrange has incorporated his own analysis of the problem with his general treatment of mechanics, and since his time M. Poinsôt has brought the subject under the power of a more searching analysis than that of the calculus, in which ideas take the place of symbols, and intelligent propositions supersede equations.
J. C. Maxwell on Louis Poinsôt (1777-1859) in 'On a Dynamical Top' (1857). In W. D. Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 1, 248.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Calculus (23)  |  Jean le Rond D’Alembert (6)  |  Equation (69)  |  Establishment (29)  |  Leonhard Euler (10)  |  Idea (440)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (11)  |  Law (418)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Patience (31)  |  Proposition (47)  |  Rotation (6)  |  Symbol (35)  |  Talent (49)

After Gibbs, one the most distinguished [American scientists] was Langley, of the Smithsonian. … He had the physicist’s heinous fault of professing to know nothing between flashes of intense perception. … Rigidly denying himself the amusement of philosophy, which consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems, and liked to wander past them in a courteous temper, even bowing to them distantly as though recognizing their existence, while doubting their respectability.
The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography? (1918), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Fault (27)  |  Gibbs_Willard (3)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Samuel Pierpont Langley (3)  |  Perception (53)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Scientist (447)

After the discovery of spectral analysis no one trained in physics could doubt the problem of the atom would be solved when physicists had learned to understand the language of spectra. So manifold was the enormous amount of material that has been accumulated in sixty years of spectroscopic research that it seemed at first beyond the possibility of disentanglement. An almost greater enlightenment has resulted from the seven years of Röntgen spectroscopy, inasmuch as it has attacked the problem of the atom at its very root, and illuminates the interior. What we are nowadays hearing of the language of spectra is a true 'music of the spheres' in order and harmony that becomes ever more perfect in spite of the manifold variety. The theory of spectral lines will bear the name of Bohr for all time. But yet another name will be permanently associated with it, that of Planck. All integral laws of spectral lines and of atomic theory spring originally from the quantum theory. It is the mysterious organon on which Nature plays her music of the spectra, and according to the rhythm of which she regulates the structure of the atoms and nuclei.
Atombau und Spektrallinien (1919), viii, Atomic Structure and Spectral Lines, trans. Henry L. Brose (1923), viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Atomic Theory (13)  |  Niels Bohr (50)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Integral (6)  |  Interior (13)  |  Language (155)  |  Music Of The Spheres (2)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Nucleus (30)  |  Order (167)  |  Perfection (71)  |  Max Planck (62)  |  Quantum Theory (55)  |  Regulation (18)  |  Research (517)  |  Rhythm (12)  |  Wilhelm Röntgen (7)  |  Solution (168)  |  Spectral Analysis (2)  |  Spectral Line (3)  |  Spectroscopy (11)  |  Spectrum (23)  |  Structure (191)  |  Theory (582)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Variety (53)

All interpretations made by a scientist are hypotheses, and all hypotheses are tentative. They must forever be tested and they must be revised if found to be unsatisfactory. Hence, a change of mind in a scientist, and particularly in a great scientist, is not only not a sign of weakness but rather evidence for continuing attention to the respective problem and an ability to test the hypothesis again and again.
The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution and Inheritance (1982), 831.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Attention (76)  |  Change (291)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Forever (42)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Interpretation (61)  |  Mind (544)  |  Repetition (21)  |  Revise (4)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Sign (36)  |  Tentative (7)  |  Test (96)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Unsatisfactory (3)  |  Weakness (31)

All Nature bristles with the marks of interrogation—among the grass and the petals of flowers, amidst the feathers of birds and the hairs of mammals, on mountain and moorland, in sea and sky-everywhere. It is one of the joys of life to discover those marks of interrogation, these unsolved and half-solved problems and try to answer their questions.
In Riddles of Science (1932), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Bird (96)  |  Bristle (2)  |  Discover (115)  |  Feather (10)  |  Flower (65)  |  Grass (30)  |  Hair (19)  |  Interrogation (4)  |  Joy (61)  |  Life (917)  |  Mammal (28)  |  Mark (28)  |  Moorland (2)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Petal (2)  |  Question (315)  |  Sea (143)  |  Sky (68)  |  Unsolved (7)

All of modern physics is governed by that magnificent and thoroughly confusing discipline called quantum mechanics ... It has survived all tests and there is no reason to believe that there is any flaw in it.... We all know how to use it and how to apply it to problems; and so we have learned to live with the fact that nobody can understand it.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Apply (38)  |  Belief (400)  |  Call (68)  |  Confuse (13)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Fact (609)  |  Flaw (8)  |  Govern (13)  |  Know (321)  |  Learn (160)  |  Live (186)  |  Magnificent (15)  |  Modern Physics (12)  |  Nobody (38)  |  Quantum Mechanics (31)  |  Reason (330)  |  Survive (28)  |  Test (96)  |  Thoroughly (7)  |  Understand (189)

All that can be said upon the number and nature of elements is, in my opinion, confined to discussions entirely of a metaphysical nature. The subject only furnishes us with indefinite problems, which may be solved in a thousand different ways, not one of which, in all probability, is consistent with nature. I shall therefore only add upon this subject, that if, by the term elements, we mean to express those simple and indivisible atoms of which matter is composed, it is extremely probable we know nothing at all about them; but, if we apply the term elements, or principles of bodies, to express our idea of the last point which analysis is capable of reaching, we must admit, as elements, all the substances into which we are capable, by any means, to reduce bodies by decomposition.
Elements of Chemistry (1790), trans. R. Kerr, Preface, xxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Atom (251)  |  Composition (52)  |  Decomposition (12)  |  Element (129)  |  Idea (440)  |  Indivisible (7)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Matter (270)  |  Metaphysics (30)  |  Principle (228)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Solution (168)  |  Substance (73)

All the events which occur upon the earth result from Law: even those actions which are entirely dependent on the caprices of the memory, or the impulse of the passions, are shown by statistics to be, when taken in the gross, entirely independent of the human will. As a single atom, man is an enigma; as a whole, he is a mathematical problem. As an individual, he is a free agent; as a species, the offspring of necessity.
In The Martyrdom of Man (1876), 185-186.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Agent (27)  |  Atom (251)  |  Caprice (2)  |  Dependent (14)  |  Enigma (5)  |  Entirely (23)  |  Event (97)  |  Free (59)  |  Gross (5)  |  Human (445)  |  Impulse (24)  |  Independent (41)  |  Individual (177)  |  Law (418)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Memory (81)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Offspring (15)  |  Passion (54)  |  Single (72)  |  Species (181)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Whole (122)

Almost every major systematic error which has deluded men for thousands of years relied on practical experience. Horoscopes, incantations, oracles, magic, witchcraft, the cures of witch doctors and of medical practitioners before the advent of modern medicine, were all firmly established through the centuries in the eyes of the public by their supposed practical successes. The scientific method was devised precisely for the purpose of elucidating the nature of things under more carefully controlled conditions and by more rigorous criteria than are present in the situations created by practical problems.
Personal Knowledge (1958), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Advent (4)  |  Care (73)  |  Century (94)  |  Circumstance (48)  |  Control (93)  |  Criteria (6)  |  Cure (88)  |  Delusion (13)  |  Devising (7)  |  Elucidation (6)  |  Error (230)  |  Establishment (29)  |  Experience (268)  |  Eye (159)  |  Horoscope (2)  |  Incantation (4)  |  Magic (67)  |  Major (24)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Modern (104)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Oracle (4)  |  Practicality (6)  |  Practitioner (12)  |  Precisely (11)  |  Public (82)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Reliance (9)  |  Rigor (12)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Situation (41)  |  Success (202)  |  Supposition (33)  |  System (141)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Witch Doctor (2)  |  Witchcraft (4)  |  Year (214)

Almost everyone... seems to be quite sure that the differences between the methodologies of history and of the natural sciences are vast. For, we are assured, it is well known that in the natural sciences we start from observation and proceed by induction to theory. And is it not obvious that in history we proceed very differently? Yes, I agree that we proceed very differently. But we do so in the natural sciences as well.
In both we start from myths—from traditional prejudices, beset with error—and from these we proceed by criticism: by the critical elimination of errors. In both the role of evidence is, in the main, to correct our mistakes, our prejudices, our tentative theories—that is, to play a part in the critical discussion, in the elimination of error. By correcting our mistakes, we raise new problems. And in order to solve these problems, we invent conjectures, that is, tentative theories, which we submit to critical discussion, directed towards the elimination of error.
The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality (1993), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Conjecture (22)  |  Correction (28)  |  Criticism (52)  |  Difference (208)  |  Discussion (37)  |  Elimination (17)  |  Error (230)  |  Everyone (20)  |  Evidence (157)  |  History (302)  |  Induction (45)  |  Methodology (8)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Myth (43)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Observation (418)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Theory (582)  |  Tradition (43)

Altering a gene in the gene line to produce improved offspring is likely to be very difficult because of the danger of unwanted side effects. It would also raise obvious ethical problems.
Science quotes on:  |  Alter (19)  |  Danger (62)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Ethical (10)  |  Gene (68)  |  Improve (39)  |  Offspring (15)  |  Raise (20)  |  Reproduction (57)

An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Infinite (88)  |  Number (179)  |  Solution (168)  |  Undefined (2)

Any problem can be solved using the materials in the room.
In Peter C. Wensberg, Land's Polaroid: A Company and the Man Who Invented It (1987).
Science quotes on:  |  Material (124)  |  Room (29)  |  Solution (168)

Any scientist of any age who wants to make important discoveries must study important problems. Dull or piffling problems yield dull or piffling answers. It is not not enough that a problem should be “interesting.” … The problem must be such that it matters what the answer is—whether to science generally or to mankind.
From 'What Shall I Do Research On?', Advice to a Young Scientist (1979), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Benefit (54)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Dull (26)  |  Importance (183)  |  Interesting (38)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Study (331)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Microscope (68)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Organism (126)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Plant (173)  |  Process (201)  |  Scalpel (2)  |  Solution (168)  |  Study (331)  |  Tissue (24)

As the world of science has grown in size and in power, its deepest problems have changed from the epistemological to the social.
Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems (1971), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (291)  |  Epistemology (7)  |  Power (273)  |  Science (1699)  |  Size (47)  |  Society (188)  |  World (667)

At a given instant everything the surgeon knows suddenly becomes important to the solution of the problem. You can't do it an hour later, or tomorrow. Nor can you go to the library and look it up.
Quoted in 'The Best Hope of All', Time (3 May 1963)
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Physician (232)  |  Solution (168)  |  Surgeon (43)

At the present time there exist problems beyond our ability to solve, not because of theoretical difficulties, but because of insufficient means of mechanical computation.
In 'Proposed Automatic Calculating Machine' (1937). As quoted in I. Bernard Cohen, Gregory W. Welch (eds.), Makin' Numbers: Howard Aiken and the Computer (1999), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Computation (11)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Exist (89)  |  Insufficient (6)  |  Means (109)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Present (103)  |  Solve (41)  |  Theoretical (10)  |  Time (439)

Atoms for peace. Man is still the greatest miracle and the greatest problem on earth. [Message tapped out by Sarnoff using a telegraph key in a tabletop circuit demonstrating an RCA atomic battery as a power source.]
The Wisdom of Sarnoff and the World of RCA (1967), 251.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (251)  |  Atomic Power (7)  |  Battery (7)  |  Earth (487)  |  Man (345)  |  Miracle (55)  |  Peace (58)

Behold the mighty dinosaur,
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his power and strength
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe by these remains
The creature had two sets of brains—
One in his head (the usual place),
The other at his spinal base.
Thus he could reason 'A priori'
As well as 'A posteriori'.
No problem bothered him a bit
He made both head and tail of it.
So wise was he, so wise and solemn,
Each thought filled just a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong
It passed a few ideas along.
If something slipped his forward mind
'Twas rescued by the one behind.
And if in error he was caught
He had a saving afterthought.
As he thought twice before he spoke
He had no judgment to revoke.
Thus he could think without congestion
Upon both sides of every question.
Oh, gaze upon this model beast
Defunct ten million years at least.
'The Dinosaur: A Poem' (1912). In E. H. Colbert (ed.), The Dinosaur Book (1951), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  A Priori (16)  |  Afterthought (6)  |  Bother (6)  |  Brain (181)  |  Congestion (2)  |  Dinosaur (23)  |  Error (230)  |  Gaze (12)  |  Head (52)  |  Idea (440)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Million (89)  |  Mind (544)  |  Model (64)  |  Question (315)  |  Rescue (8)  |  Solemnity (4)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Spinal Column (2)  |  Spine (5)  |  Tail (13)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thought (374)  |  Twice (11)  |  Wisdom (151)

Beware of the problem of testing too many hypotheses; the more you torture the data, the more likely they are to confess, but confessions obtained under duress may not be admissible in the court of scientific opinion.
'Testing Hypotheses or fitting Models? Another Look at Mass Extinctions'. In Matthew H. Nitecki and Antoni Hoffman (eds.), Neutral Models in Biology (1987), 148.
Science quotes on:  |  Admissible (3)  |  Beware (7)  |  Confession (5)  |  Court (16)  |  Data (100)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Test (96)  |  Torture (13)

Biology occupies a position among the sciences both marginal and central. Marginal because, the living world, constituting only a tiny and very “special” part of the universe, it does not seem likely that the study of living beings will ever uncover general laws applicable outside the biosphere. But if the ultimate aim of the whole of science is indeed, as I believe, to clarify man's relationship to the universe, then biology must be accorded a central position, since of all the disciplines it is the one that endeavours to go most directly to the heart of the problems that must be resolved before that of “human nature” can even be framed in other than metaphysical terms.
In Jacques Monod and Austryn Wainhouse (trans.), Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (1971), xi.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Biosphere (10)  |  Central (23)  |  Clarify (2)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Endeavour (24)  |  Human Nature (51)  |  Life (917)  |  Metaphysics (30)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Universe (563)

By relieving the brain of all unnecessary work, a good notation sets it free to concentrate on more advanced problems, and in effect increases the mental power of the race.
In An Introduction to Mathematics (1911), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Advanced (10)  |  Brain (181)  |  Concentration (14)  |  Mind (544)  |  Notation (9)  |  Relief (13)

Can any thoughtful person admit for a moment that, in a society so constituted that these overwhelming contrasts of luxury and privation are looked upon as necessities, and are treated by the Legislature as matters with which it has practically nothing do, there is the smallest probability that we can deal successfully with such tremendous social problems as those which involve the marriage tie and the family relation as a means of promoting the physical and moral advancement of the race? What a mockery to still further whiten the sepulchre of society, in which is hidden ‘all manner of corruption,’ with schemes for the moral and physical advancement of the race!
In 'Human Selection', Fortnightly Review (1890),48, 330.
Science quotes on:  |  Admit (22)  |  Advancement (36)  |  Constituted (5)  |  Contrast (16)  |  Corruption (9)  |  Deal (25)  |  Family (37)  |  Further (6)  |  Hidden (34)  |  Involve (27)  |  Legislature (3)  |  Luxury (12)  |  Manner (35)  |  Marriage (31)  |  Matter (270)  |  Mean (63)  |  Mockery (2)  |  Moment (61)  |  Moral (100)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Overwhelming (18)  |  Person (114)  |  Physical (94)  |  Practically (9)  |  Privation (4)  |  Probability (83)  |  Promoting (7)  |  Race (76)  |  Relation (96)  |  Scheme (20)  |  Sepulchre (3)  |  Smallest (6)  |  Social (93)  |  Society (188)  |  Successfully (2)  |  Thoughtful (10)  |  Tie (21)  |  Treated (2)  |  Tremendous (11)

Cancer is a biological, not a statistical problem.
Anonymous
'Shoot Out in Marlboro Country', Mother Jones Magazine (Jan 1979), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Cancer (44)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Research (517)  |  Statistics (125)

Change requires experimentation. But no problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it. Our job is to dream—and to make those dreams happen.
In interview article, 'Designing For The Future', Newsweek (15 May 2005).
Science quotes on:  |  Change (291)  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Creation (211)  |  Dream (92)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Happen (63)  |  Job (33)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Solution (168)

Chess problems are the hymn-tunes of mathematics.
'A Mathematician's Apology', in James Roy Newman, The World of Mathematics (2000), 2028.
Science quotes on:  |  Chess (18)  |  Hymn (3)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Tune (9)

Clarity about the aims and problems of socialism is of greatest significance in our age of transition. Since, under present circumstances, free and unhindered discussion of these problems has come under a powerful taboo, I consider the foundation of this magazine to be an important public service.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Aim (58)  |  Circumstance (48)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Consider (45)  |  Discussion (37)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Free (59)  |  Great (300)  |  Important (124)  |  Magazine (19)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Present (103)  |  Public Service (3)  |  Significance (60)  |  Socialism (4)  |  Taboo (4)  |  Transition (15)

Clean water is a great example of something that depends on energy. And if you solve the water problem, you solve the food problem.
In Lecture (2003) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in Golden, Colorado, as quoted in obituary, Barnaby J. Feder, 'Richard E. Smalley, 62, Dies; Chemistry Nobel Winner:', New York Times (29 Oct 2005), Late Edition (East Coast), C16.
Science quotes on:  |  Clean (20)  |  Depend (56)  |  Energy (185)  |  Example (57)  |  Food (139)  |  Solve (41)  |  Water (244)

Committees are dangerous things that need most careful watching. I believe that a research committee can do one useful thing and one only. It can find the workers best fitted to attack a particular problem, bring them together, give them the facilities they need, and leave them to get on with the work. It can review progress from time to time, and make adjustments; but if it tries to do more, it will do harm.
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Adjustment (12)  |  Attack (29)  |  Belief (400)  |  Best (129)  |  Bring (53)  |  Careful (12)  |  Committee (8)  |  Dangerous (45)  |  Facility (7)  |  Find (248)  |  Fitted (2)  |  Harm (31)  |  Leave (63)  |  Need (211)  |  Particular (54)  |  Progress (317)  |  Research (517)  |  Review (5)  |  Time (439)  |  Together (48)  |  Try (103)  |  Useful (66)  |  Watching (10)  |  Work (457)

Consciously and systematically Klein sought to enthrall me with the problems of mathematical physics, and to win me over to his conception of these problems as developed it in lecture courses in previous years. I have always regarded Klein as my real teacher only in things mathematical, but also in mathematical physics and in my conception of mechanics.
As quoted in Paul Forman and Armin Hermann, 'Sommerfeld, Arnold (Johannes Wilhelm)', Biography in Dictionary of Scientific Biography (1975), Vol. 12, 526. Cited from 'Autobiographische Skizze', Gesammelte Schriften, Vol 4, 673–682.
Science quotes on:  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Conception (63)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Course (57)  |  Develop (55)  |  Felix Klein (5)  |  Lecture (54)  |  Mathematical Physics (3)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Real (95)  |  Regard (58)  |  Systematic (25)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Win (25)

Consider a cow. A cow doesn’t have the problem-solving skill of a chimpanzee, which has discovered how to get termites out of the ground by putting a stick into a hole. Evolution has developed the brain’s ability to solve puzzles, and at the same time has produced in our brain a pleasure of solving problems.
In John Tierney, 'For Decades, Puzzling People With Mathematics', New York Times (20 Oct 2009), D2.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Brain (181)  |  Chimpanzee (12)  |  Consider (45)  |  Cow (27)  |  Development (228)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Ground (63)  |  Hole (11)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Puzzle (30)  |  Skill (50)  |  Solution (168)  |  Stick (19)  |  Termite (5)

Dad [Walter C. Alvarez] … advised me to sit every few months in my reading chair for an entire evening, close my eyes and try to think of new problems to solve. I took his advice very seriously and have been glad ever since that he did.
In Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist (1987), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (33)  |  Chair (9)  |  Entirety (3)  |  Evening (12)  |  Father (44)  |  Gladness (4)  |  New (340)  |  Reading (51)  |  Seriousness (9)  |  Sitting (5)  |  Solution (168)

Despite the recurrence of events in which the debris-basin system fails in its struggle to contain the falling mountains, people who live on the front line are for the most part calm and complacent. It appears that no amount of front-page or prime-time attention will ever prevent such people from masking out the problem.
The Control of Nature
Science quotes on:  |  Amount (20)  |  Appear (55)  |  Attention (76)  |  Calm (13)  |  Complacent (4)  |  Contain (37)  |  Despite (3)  |  Event (97)  |  Fail (34)  |  Fall (89)  |  Front (10)  |  Line (44)  |  Live (186)  |  Mask (7)  |  Mountain (111)  |  Part (146)  |  People (269)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Recurrence (3)  |  Struggle (60)  |  System (141)

Do not worry about your problems in mathematics. I assure you, my problems with mathematics are much greater than yours.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Assure (11)  |  Great (300)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Worry (27)

During the half-century that has elapsed since the enunciation of the cell-theory by Schleiden and Schwann, in 1838-39, it has became ever more clearly apparent that the key to all ultimate biological problems must, in the last analysis, be sought in the cell. It was the cell-theory that first brought the structure of plants and animals under one point of view by revealing their common plan of organization. It was through the cell-theory that Kolliker and Remak opened the way to an understanding of the nature of embryological development, and the law of genetic continuity lying at the basis of inheritance. It was the cell-­theory again which, in the hands of Virchaw and Max Schultze, inaugurated a new era in the history of physiology and pathology, by showing that all the various functions of the body, in health and in disease, are but the outward expression of cell­-activities. And at a still later day it was through the cell-theory that Hertwig, Fol, Van Beneden, and Strasburger solved the long-standing riddle of the fertilization of the egg, and the mechanism of hereditary transmission. No other biological generalization, save only the theory of organic evolution, has brought so many apparently diverse phenomena under a common point of view or has accomplished more far the unification of knowledge. The cell-theory must therefore be placed beside the evolution-theory as one of the foundation stones of modern biology.
In The Cell in Development and Inheritance (1896), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Development (228)  |  Embryo (22)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Fertilization (15)  |  Heredity (51)  |  Oskar Hertwig (2)  |  Key (38)  |  Pathology (11)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Robert Remak (2)  |  Riddle (18)  |  Theodor Schwann (12)  |  Structure (191)  |  Rudolf Virchow (38)

During the time that [Karl] Landsteiner gave me an education in the field of imununology, I discovered that he and I were thinking about the serologic problem in very different ways. He would ask, What do these experiments force us to believe about the nature of the world? I would ask, What is the most. simple and general picture of the world that we can formulate that is not ruled by these experiments? I realized that medical and biological investigators were not attacking their problems the same way that theoretical physicists do, the way I had been in the habit of doing.
‘Molecular Disease’, Pfizer Spectrum (1958), 6:9, 234.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (23)  |  Belief (400)  |  Difference (208)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Education (280)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Field (119)  |  Formulation (20)  |  Generality (22)  |  Habit (78)  |  Immunology (13)  |  Karl Landsteiner (8)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Picture (55)  |  Realization (33)  |  Research (517)  |  Rule (135)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Theoretical Physicist (12)  |  Theoretical Physics (15)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Way (36)  |  World (667)

Dust consisting of fine fibers of asbestos, which are insoluble and virtually indestructible, may become a public health problem in the near future. At a recent international conference on the biological effects of asbestos sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences, participants pointed out on the one hand that workers exposed to asbestos dust are prone in later life to develop lung cancer, and on the other hand that the use of this family of fibrous silicate compounds has expanded enormously during the past few decades. A laboratory curiosity 100 years ago, asbestos today is a major component of building materials.
Magazine
In Scientific American (Sep 1964). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 Years Ago', Scientific American (Dec 2014), 311, No. 6, 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Asbestos (3)  |  Becoming (13)  |  Biology (150)  |  Building (51)  |  Century (94)  |  Component (14)  |  Compound (53)  |  Conference (8)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Development (228)  |  Dust (42)  |  Effect (133)  |  Exposure (5)  |  Family (37)  |  Fiber (10)  |  Future (229)  |  Hand (103)  |  Health (136)  |  Indestructible (7)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  International (18)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Later (11)  |  Life (917)  |  Lung Cancer (7)  |  Major (24)  |  Material (124)  |  Participant (3)  |  Point Out (2)  |  Prone (6)  |  Public (82)  |  Today (86)  |  Virtually (3)  |  Worker (23)

Each new scientific development is due to the pressure of some social need. Of course … insatiable curiosity … is still nothing but a response either to an old problem of nature, or to one arising from new social circumstances.
In 'The Teaching of the History of Science', The Scientific Monthly (Sep 1918), 194.
Science quotes on:  |  Arising (3)  |  Circumstance (48)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Development (228)  |  Insatiable (4)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  New (340)  |  Old (104)  |  Pressure (31)  |  Response (24)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Social (93)

Electronic calculators can solve problems which the man who made them cannot solve but no government-subsidized commission of engineers and physicists could create a worm.
March The Twelve Seasons
Science quotes on:  |  Calculator (4)  |  Commission (3)  |  Create (98)  |  Electronic (10)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Solve (41)  |  Worm (25)

Engineering is the conscious application of science to the problems of economic production.
1910
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Economic (21)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Production (105)  |  Science (1699)

Engineers apply the theories and principles of science and mathematics to research and develop economical solutions to practical technical problems. Their work is the link between scientific discoveries and commercial applications. Engineers design products, the machinery to build those products, the factories in which those products are made, and the systems that ensure the quality of the product and efficiency of the workforce and manufacturing process. They design, plan, and supervise the construction of buildings, highways, and transit systems. They develop and implement improved ways to extract, process, and use raw materials, such as petroleum and natural gas. They develop new materials that both improve the performance of products, and make implementing advances in technology possible. They harness the power of the sun, the earth, atoms, and electricity for use in supplying the Nation’s power needs, and create millions of products using power. Their knowledge is applied to improving many things, including the quality of health care, the safety of food products, and the efficient operation of financial systems.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2000) as quoted in Charles R. Lord. Guide to Information Sources in Engineering (2000), 5. This definition has been revised and expanded over time in different issues of the Handbook.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Application (117)  |  Applied (15)  |  Atom (251)  |  Build (80)  |  Building (51)  |  Commercial (25)  |  Construction (69)  |  Create (98)  |  Design (92)  |  Develop (55)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Earth (487)  |  Economical (7)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Efficient (20)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Ensure (8)  |  Extract (13)  |  Factory (13)  |  Finance (2)  |  Food (139)  |  Harness (15)  |  Health Care (7)  |  Highway (10)  |  Implement (5)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Machinery (25)  |  Manufacturing (21)  |  Material (124)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Million (89)  |  Nation (111)  |  Natural Gas (2)  |  Need (211)  |  Operation (96)  |  Performance (27)  |  Petroleum (7)  |  Plan (69)  |  Power (273)  |  Practical (93)  |  Principle (228)  |  Process (201)  |  Product (72)  |  Quality (65)  |  Raw (10)  |  Research (517)  |  Safety (39)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Solution (168)  |  Sun (211)  |  Supervise (2)  |  System (141)  |  Technical (26)  |  Technology (199)  |  Theory (582)  |  Using (6)

Even fairly good students, when they have obtained the solution of the problem and written down neatly the argument, shut their books and look for something else. Doing so, they miss an important and instructive phase of the work. ... A good teacher should understand and impress on his students the view that no problem whatever is completely exhausted.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (59)  |  Book (181)  |  Completeness (9)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Good (228)  |  Importance (183)  |  Impress (9)  |  Instruction (51)  |  Look (46)  |  Miss (16)  |  Obtain (21)  |  Phase (14)  |  Shut (5)  |  Solution (168)  |  Student (131)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Understanding (317)  |  View (115)  |  Work (457)  |  Writing (72)

Even mistaken hypotheses and theories are of use in leading to discoveries. This remark is true in all the sciences. The alchemists founded chemistry by pursuing chimerical problems and theories which are false. In physical science, which is more advanced than biology, we might still cite men of science who make great discoveries by relying on false theories. It seems, indeed, a necessary weakness of our mind to be able to reach truth only across a multitude of errors and obstacles.
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865, translation 1927, 1957), 170.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Alchemist (14)  |  Biology (150)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Chimera (5)  |  Cite (5)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Error (230)  |  False (79)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Lead (101)  |  Men Of Science (97)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Multitude (14)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Obstacle (21)  |  Physical Science (54)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Reach (68)  |  Reliance (9)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)  |  Weakness (31)

Every complex problem has a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (78)  |  Neat (2)  |  Simple (111)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wrong (116)

Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos.
In David Chronenberg and Chris Rodley (ed.), Chronenberg on Chronenberg (1992), 7. As cited in Carl Royer, B Lee Cooper, The Spectacle of Isolation in Horror Films: Dark Parades (2013), 55.
Science quotes on:  |  Chaos (63)  |  Everybody (16)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  Life (917)  |  Madness (26)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Solution (168)  |  Trying (18)

Experience hobbles progress and leads to abandonment of difficult problems; it encourages the initiated to walk on the shady side of the street in the direction of experiences that have been pleasant. Youth without experience attacks the unsolved problems which maturer age with experience avoids, and from the labors of youth comes progress. Youth has dreams and visions, and will not be denied.
From speech 'In the Time of Henry Jacob Bigelow', given to the Boston Surgical Society, Medalist Meeting (6 Jun 1921). Printed in Journal of the Medical Association (1921), 77, 599.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Age (137)  |  Attack (29)  |  Avoid (34)  |  Denial (13)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Direction (56)  |  Dream (92)  |  Encouragement (17)  |  Experience (268)  |  Initiated (2)  |  Labor (53)  |  Mature (7)  |  Pleasant (16)  |  Progress (317)  |  Street (17)  |  Unsolved (7)  |  Vision (55)  |  Walk (56)  |  Youth (57)

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Complex (78)  |  Neat (2)  |  Simple (111)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wrong (116)

For me, the first challenge for computing science is to discover how to maintain order in a finite, but very large, discrete universe that is intricately intertwined. And a second, but not less important challenge is how to mould what you have achieved in solving the first problem, into a teachable discipline: it does not suffice to hone your own intellect (that will join you in your grave), you must teach others how to hone theirs. The more you concentrate on these two challenges, the clearer you will see that they are only two sides of the same coin: teaching yourself is discovering what is teachable.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (36)  |  Challenge (37)  |  Clear (52)  |  Coin (9)  |  Compute (10)  |  Concentrate (11)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Discover (115)  |  Discrete (6)  |  Finite (22)  |  First (174)  |  Grave (20)  |  Important (124)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Intertwine (3)  |  Join (15)  |  Large (82)  |  Less (54)  |  Maintain (22)  |  Mold (26)  |  Order (167)  |  Same (92)  |  Science (1699)  |  Second (33)  |  See (197)  |  Side (36)  |  Solve (41)  |  Suffice (3)  |  Teach (102)  |  Theirs (3)  |  Universe (563)

For some months the astronomer Halley and other friends of Newton had been discussing the problem in the following precise form: what is the path of a body attracted by a force directed toward a fixed point, the force varying in intensity as the inverse of the distance? Newton answered instantly, “An ellipse.” “How do you know?” he was asked. “Why, I have calculated it.” Thus originated the imperishable Principia, which Newton later wrote out for Halley. It contained a complete treatise on motion.
In The Handmaiden of the Sciences (1937), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomer (50)  |  Calculate (15)  |  Discuss (14)  |  Ellipse (4)  |  Edmond Halley (8)  |  Motion (127)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Principia (6)  |  Treatise (19)

FORTRAN —’the infantile disorder’—, by now nearly 20 years old, is hopelessly inadequate for whatever computer application you have in mind today: it is now too clumsy, too risky, and too expensive to use. PL/I —’the fatal disease’— belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration. The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offence. APL is a mistake, carried through to perfection. It is the language of the future for the programming techniques of the past: it creates a new generation of coding bums.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Basic (52)  |  Belong (33)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Bum (3)  |  Carry (35)  |  Clumsy (4)  |  Code (12)  |  Computer (84)  |  Create (98)  |  Criminal (14)  |  Cripple (2)  |  Disease (257)  |  Disorder (19)  |  Expensive (5)  |  Exposure (5)  |  Fatal (10)  |  Fortran (3)  |  Future (229)  |  Generation (111)  |  Good (228)  |  Hope (129)  |  Hopelessly (3)  |  Impossible (68)  |  Inadequate (13)  |  Infantile (4)  |  Language (155)  |  Mentally (3)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Mutilated (2)  |  Nearly (19)  |  New (340)  |  Offence (4)  |  Old (104)  |  Past (109)  |  Perfection (71)  |  Potential (34)  |  Practically (9)  |  Prior (5)  |  Program (32)  |  Programmer (3)  |  Regard (58)  |  Regeneration (4)  |  Risky (4)  |  Set (56)  |  Solution (168)  |  Student (131)  |  Teach (102)  |  Technique (41)  |  Today (86)  |  Year (214)

Free men are aware of the imperfection inherent in human affairs, and they are willing to fight and die for that which is not perfect. They know that basic human problems can have no final solutions, that our freedom, justice, equality, etc. are far from absolute, and that the good life is compounded of half measures, compromises, lesser evils, and gropings toward the perfect. The rejection of approximations and the insistence on absolutes are the manifestation of a nihilism that loathes freedom, tolerance, and equity.
In The Temper of Our Time (1967), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Approximation (16)  |  Aware (18)  |  Basic (52)  |  Compound (53)  |  Compromise (4)  |  Die (46)  |  Equality (21)  |  Equity (2)  |  Evil (67)  |  Far (77)  |  Fight (37)  |  Final (33)  |  Free (59)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Good (228)  |  Half (35)  |  Human (445)  |  Human Affairs (5)  |  Imperfection (19)  |  Inherent (27)  |  Insistence (9)  |  Justice (24)  |  Know (321)  |  Lesser (2)  |  Life (917)  |  Loathe (4)  |  Manifestation (30)  |  Measure (70)  |  Nihilism (2)  |  Perfect (46)  |  Rejection (24)  |  Solution (168)  |  Tolerance (5)  |  Toward (29)

From the point of view of the pure morphologist the recapitulation theory is an instrument of research enabling him to reconstruct probable lines of descent; from the standpoint of the student of development and heredity the fact of recapitulation is a difficult problem whose solution would perhaps give the key to a true understanding of the real nature of heredity.
Form and Function: A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology (1916), 312-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Descent (14)  |  Development (228)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Fact (609)  |  Heredity (51)  |  Instrument (73)  |  Key (38)  |  Line (44)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Probability (83)  |  Reality (140)  |  Recapitulation (2)  |  Reconstruction (13)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)  |  Standpoint (8)  |  Student (131)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understanding (317)  |  View (115)

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:  |  Method (154)

Here I shall present, without using Analysis [mathematics], the principles and general results of the Théorie, applying them to the most important questions of life, which are indeed, for the most part, only problems in probability. One may even say, strictly speaking, that almost all our knowledge is only probable; and in the small number of things that we are able to know with certainty, in the mathematical sciences themselves, the principal means of arriving at the truth—induction and analogy—are based on probabilities, so that the whole system of human knowledge is tied up with the theory set out in this essay.
Philosophical Essay on Probabilities (1814), 5th edition (1825), trans. Andrew I. Dale (1995), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (46)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Importance (183)  |  Induction (45)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Principle (228)  |  Probability (83)  |  Question (315)  |  Result (250)  |  Theory (582)  |  Truth (750)

How is it that there are so many minds that are incapable of understanding mathematics? ... the skeleton of our understanding, ... and actually they are the majority. ... We have here a problem that is not easy of solution, but yet must engage the attention of all who wish to devote themselves to education.
Science and Method (1914, 2003), 117-118.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (76)  |  Education (280)  |  Incapable (11)  |  Majority (32)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mind (544)  |  Skeleton (15)  |  Solution (168)  |  Understanding (317)

Hypotheses are cradle-songs by which the teacher lulls his scholars to sleep. The thoughtful and honest observer is always learning more and more of his limitations; he sees that the further knowledge spreads, the more numerous are the problems that make their appearance.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 195.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Cradle (10)  |  Honest (26)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learn (160)  |  Limitation (20)  |  Numerous (21)  |  Observer (33)  |  Scholar (31)  |  See (197)  |  Sleep (42)  |  Song (18)  |  Spread (19)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Thoughtful (10)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Dumb (7)  |  Next (23)  |  Scientist (447)

I believe that, as men occupied with the study and treatment of disease, we cannot have too strong a conviction that the problems presented to us are physical problems, which perhaps we may never solve, but still admitting of solution only in one way, namely, by regarding them as part of an unbroken series, running up from the lowest elementary conditions of matter to the highest composition of organic structure.
From Address (7 Aug 1868), the Hunterian Oration, 'Clinical Observation in Relation to medicine in Modern Times' delivered to a meeting of the British Medical Association, Oxford. Collected in Sir William Withey Gull and Theodore Dyke Acland (ed.), A Collection of the Published Writings of William Withey Gull (1896), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Composition (52)  |  Condition (119)  |  Conviction (57)  |  Disease (257)  |  Elementary (30)  |  Matter (270)  |  Organic (48)  |  Part (146)  |  Physical (94)  |  Series (38)  |  Solution (168)  |  Structure (191)  |  Study (331)  |  Treatment (88)  |  Unbroken (9)

I came to realize that exaggerated concern about what others are doing can be foolish. It can paralyze effort, and stifle a good idea. One finds that in the history of science almost every problem has been worked out by someone else. This should not discourage anyone from pursuing his own path.
From Theodore von Karman and Lee Edson (ed.), The Wind and Beyond: Theodore von Karman, Pioneer in Aviation and Pathfinder in Science (1967).
Science quotes on:  |  Concern (76)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Effort (94)  |  Exaggeration (7)  |  Find (248)  |  Foolish (16)  |  Good (228)  |  History Of Science (53)  |  Idea (440)  |  Paralysis (6)  |  Path (59)  |  Pursuing (2)  |  Realization (33)  |  Stifle (4)  |  Work (457)

I can’t recall a single problem in my life, of any sort, that I ever started on that I didn't solve, or prove that I couldn’t solve it. I never let up, until I had done everything that I could think of, no matter how absurd it might seem as a means to the end I was after.
As quoted in French Strother, 'The Modern Profession of Inventing', World's Work and Play (Jul 1905), 6, No. 32, 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurd (20)  |  Means (109)  |  Prove (60)  |  Recall (7)  |  Seem (89)  |  Solve (41)  |  Think (205)

I carried this problem around in my head basically the whole time. I would wake up with it first thing in the morning, I would be thinking about it all day, and I would be thinking about it when I went to sleep. Without distraction I would have the same thing going round and round in my mind.
Recalling the degree of focus and determination that eventually yielded the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.
Quoted in interview for PBS TV program Nova. In William Byers, How Mathematicians Think (2007), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Determination (53)  |  Distraction (5)  |  Pierre de Fermat (8)  |  Focus (21)  |  Proof (192)  |  Theorem (46)

I contend that the continued racial classification of Homo sapiens represents an outmoded approach to the general problem of differentiation within a species. In other words, I reject a racial classification of humans for the same reasons that I prefer not to divide into subspecies the prodigiously variable West Indian land snails that form the subject of my own research.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (33)  |  Classification (79)  |  Contend (4)  |  Continue (38)  |  Differentiation (17)  |  Divide (24)  |  Form (210)  |  General (92)  |  Homo Sapiens (19)  |  Human (445)  |  In Other Words (4)  |  Indian (17)  |  Land (83)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Racial (2)  |  Reason (330)  |  Reject (21)  |  Represent (27)  |  Research (517)  |  Same (92)  |  Snail (6)  |  Species (181)  |  Subject (129)  |  Subspecies (2)  |  Variable (9)  |  West (13)

I decided to study science and, on arrival at Cambridge, became extremely excited and interested in biochemistry when I first heard about it…. It seemed to me that here was a way to really understand living matter and to develop a more scientific basis to many medical problems.
From biographical sketch in Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.) Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 1980, (1981).
Science quotes on:  |  Basis (60)  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Develop (55)  |  Excited (6)  |  Interest (170)  |  Life (917)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Science (1699)  |  Understand (189)

I distinguish two kinds of "applied" research: problem-solving research — government or commercially initiated, centrally managed and institutionally coupled to a plan for application of the results, useful science—investigator-initiated, competitively evaluated and widely communicated. Then we have basic science—useful also, also investigator-initiated, competitively evaluated and widely communicated.
In Confessions of a Technophile (1994), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic (52)  |  Commercial (25)  |  Distinguishing (14)  |  Government (85)  |  Institutional (3)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)

I do not think words alone will solve humanity’s present problems. The sound of bombs drowns out men’s voices. In times of peace I have great faith in the communication of ideas among thinking men, but today, with brute force dominating so many millions of lives, I fear that the appeal to man’s intellect is fast becoming virtually meaningless.
In 'I Am an American' (22 Jun 1940), Einstein Archives 29-092. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 470. It was during a radio broadcast for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, interviewed by a State Department Official. Einstein spoke following an examination on his application for American citizenship in Trenton, New Jersey. The attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war on Japan was still over a year in the future.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (30)  |  Bomb (17)  |  Brute (12)  |  Communication (58)  |  Drown (9)  |  Faith (131)  |  Fear (113)  |  Force (194)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Idea (440)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Life (917)  |  Meaningless (15)  |  Million (89)  |  Peace (58)  |  Solve (41)  |  Sound (59)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Today (86)  |  Voice (41)  |  War (144)  |  Word (221)

I don’t like rats but there’s not much else I don’t like. The problem with rats is they have no fear of human beings, they’re loaded with foul diseases, they would run the place given half the chance…
Interview by Simon Gage in 'David Attenborough: I’m not an animal lover', Metro (29 Jan 2013, London).
Science quotes on:  |  Disease (257)  |  Fear (113)  |  Like (18)  |  Rat (19)

I feel that I have at last struck the solution of a great problem—and the day is coming when telegraph wires will be laid on to houses just like water or gas—and friends converse with each other without leaving home.
Letter (10 Mar 1876) to his father on the day his first words were sent by wire to Mr. Watson. As quoted in Robert V. Bruce, Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude (1973, 1990), 181.
Science quotes on:  |  Converse (4)  |  Friend (63)  |  Gas (46)  |  Home (58)  |  House (36)  |  Solution (168)  |  Telegraph (31)  |  Telephone (21)  |  Utility (23)  |  Water (244)  |  Wire (18)

I have been able to solve a few problems of mathematical physics on which the greatest mathematicians since Euler have struggled in vain … But the pride I might have held in my conclusions was perceptibly lessened by the fact that I knew that the solution of these problems had almost always come to me as the gradual generalization of favorable examples, by a series of fortunate conjectures, after many errors. I am fain to compare myself with a wanderer on the mountains who, not knowing the path, climbs slowly and painfully upwards and often has to retrace his steps because he can go no further—then, whether by taking thought or from luck, discovers a new track that leads him on a little till at length when he reaches the summit he finds to his shame that there is a royal road by which he might have ascended, had he only the wits to find the right approach to it. In my works, I naturally said nothing about my mistake to the reader, but only described the made track by which he may now reach the same heights without difficulty.
(1891) As quoted in translation in Leo Koenigsberger and Frances A. Welby (trans.), Hermann von Helmholtz (1906), 180-181.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (230)  |  Luck (25)  |  Solution (168)

I have no doubt that the fundamental problem the planet faces is the enormous increase in the human population. You see it overrunning everywhere. Places that were very remote when I went there 50 years ago are now overrun.
From interview with Michael Bond, 'It’s a Wonderful Life', New Scientist (14 Dec 2002), 176, No. 2373, 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Overpopulation (3)  |  Planet (199)

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
Quoted in William Thorpe, 'Reduction v. Organicism,' New Scientist, 25 Sep 1969, 43, No 66, 638. In Carl C. Gaither, Statistically Speaking: A Dictionary of Quotations (1996), 187.
Science quotes on:  |  Research (517)

I keep looking for some … problem where someone has made an observation that doesn’t fit into my picture of the universe. If it doesn't fit in, then I find some way of fitting it in.
Interview with George B. Kauffman and Laurie M. Kauffman, in 'Linus Pauling: Reflections', American Scientist (Nov-Dec 1994), 82, No. 6, 522.
Science quotes on:  |  Fit (31)  |  Observation (418)  |  Picture (55)  |  Research (517)  |  Universe (563)

I know of no department of natural science more likely to reward a man who goes into it thoroughly than anthropology. There is an immense deal to be done in the science pure and simple, and it is one of those branches of inquiry which brings one into contact with the great problems of humanity in every direction.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Anthropology (51)  |  Branch (61)  |  Bring (53)  |  Contact (24)  |  Deal (25)  |  Department (33)  |  Direction (56)  |  Great (300)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Immense (28)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Know (321)  |  Likely (23)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Pure (62)  |  Reward (38)  |  Science (1699)  |  Simple (111)  |  Thoroughly (7)

I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
Attributed. Quoted in James GleickChaos (1988), 38. Contact webmaster if you know a primary print source.
Science quotes on:  |  Colleague (19)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Teach (102)  |  Truth (750)

I never allow myself to become discouraged under any circumstances. … After we had conducted thousands of experiments on a certain project without solving the problem, … we had learned something. For we had learned for a certainty that the thing couldn’t be done that way, and that we would have to try some other way. We sometimes learn a lot from our failures if we have put into the effort the best thought and work we are capable of.
As quoted from an interview by B.C. Forbes in The American Magazine (Jan 1921), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Circumstance (48)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Failure (118)  |  Learning (174)  |  Persistence (16)  |  Solution (168)

I should not like to leave an impression that all structural problems can be settled by X-ray analysis or that all crystal structures are easy to solve. I seem to have spent much more of my life not solving structures than solving them.
In 'X-ray Analysis of Complicated Molecules', Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1964). In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1942-1962 (1964), 88.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Easy (56)  |  Impression (51)  |  Settle (10)  |  Solve (41)  |  Structure (191)  |  X-ray Crystallography (11)

I think that our cooperative conservation approaches get people to sit down and grapple with problem solving.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Approach (33)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Cooperative (2)  |  Down (44)  |  Grapple (3)  |  People (269)  |  Sit (24)  |  Solve (41)  |  Think (205)

If a photographic plate under the center of a lens focused on the heavens is exposed for hours, it comes to reveal stars so far away that even the most powerful telescopes fail to reveal them to the naked eye. In a similar way, time and concentration allow the intellect to perceive a ray of light in the darkness of the most complex problem.
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), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Allow (24)  |  Complex (78)  |  Concentration (14)  |  Darkness (25)  |  Exposed (3)  |  Fail (34)  |  Far (77)  |  Focused (2)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Hour (42)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Lens (11)  |  Light (246)  |  Naked Eye (7)  |  Perceive (18)  |  Photographic (2)  |  Plate (5)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Ray (32)  |  Reveal (32)  |  Star (251)  |  Telescope (74)  |  Time (439)

If a problem is clearly stated, it has no further interest to the physicist.
In Richard Hamming, Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers (1973), 704, footnote, without citation.
Science quotes on:  |  Interest (170)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Statement (56)

If I’m concerned about what an electron does in an amorphous mass then I become an electron. I try to have that picture in my mind and to behave like an electron, looking at the problem in all its dimensions and scales.
Quoted in Timothy L. O’Brien, 'Not Invented here: Are U.S. Innovators Losing Their Competitive Edge?', New York Times (13 Nov 2005), B6.
Science quotes on:  |  Amorphous (3)  |  Behave (13)  |  Dimension (26)  |  Electron (66)  |  Mind (544)  |  Picture (55)  |  Scale (49)

If the observation of the amount of heat the sun sends the earth is among the most important and difficult in astronomical physics, it may also be termed the fundamental problem of meteorology, nearly all whose phenomena would become predictable, if we knew both the original quantity and kind of this heat.
In Report of the Mount Whitney Expedition, quoted in Charles Greeley Abbot, Adventures in the World of Science (1958), 17. Also quoted and cited in David H. Devorkin, 'Charles Greeley Abbot', Biographical Memoirs (1998), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Astrophysics (12)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Earth (487)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Heat (90)  |  Important (124)  |  Kind (99)  |  Know (321)  |  Meteorology (29)  |  Observation (418)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Predictable (9)  |  Quantity (35)  |  Sun (211)

If there is a problem you can’t solve, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.
Quoted in Preface, How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), xxi.
Science quotes on:  |  Easier (8)  |  Find (248)  |  Solution (168)

If thou art able, O stranger, to find out all these things and gather them together in your mind, giving all the relations, thou shalt depart crowned with glory and knowing that thou hast been adjudged perfect in this species of wisdom.
From a letter to Eratosthenes, the chief librarian at Alexandria, containing the Cattle Problem, an exceedingly difficult calculation involving huge numbers (which was not solved exactly until the use of a supercomputer in 1981). In David J. Darling, The Universal Book of Mathematics (2004), 23. The debate by scholars regarding whether Archimedes is the true author is in T. L. Heath (ed.), The Works of Archimedes (1897), xxxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Glory (44)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wisdom (151)

If two masters of the same art differ in their statement of it, in all likelihood the insoluble problem lies midway between them.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Differ (13)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Master (55)  |  Midway (3)  |  Statement (56)

If we look at the problems raised by Aristotle, we are astonished at his gift of observation. What wonderful eyes the Greeks had for many things! Only they committed the mistake of being overhasty, of passing straightway from the phenomenon to the explanation of it, and thereby produced certain theories that are quite inadequate. But this is the mistake of all times, and still made in our own day.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 195.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (141)  |  Astonished (4)  |  Commit (17)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Eye (159)  |  Gift (47)  |  Greek (46)  |  Hasty (4)  |  Inadequate (13)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Observation (418)  |  Pass (60)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Produce (63)  |  Straightway (2)  |  Theory (582)  |  Wonderful (37)

If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar.
In 'The Value of Science,' What Do You Care What Other People Think? (1988, 2001), 247. Collected in The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (2000), 149.
Science quotes on:  |  Door (25)  |  Learning (174)  |  Never (22)  |  Solution (168)

If you ask me whether science has solved, or is likely to solve, the problem of this universe, I must shake my head in doubt. We have been talking of matter and force; but whence came matter, and whence came force? You remember the first Napoleon’s question, when the savans who accompanied him to Egypt discussed in his presence the problem of the universe, and solved it to their apparent satisfaction. He looked aloft to the starry heavens, and said—“It is all very well, gentlemen, but who made all these!” That question still remains unanswered, and science makes no attempt to answer it.
Lecture 'On Matter and Force', to nearly 3,000 working men, at the Dundee Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (Sep 1867), reported in 'Dundee Meeting, 1867', Chemical News and Journal of Physical Science (Nov 1867)
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (18)  |  Aloft (4)  |  Answer (201)  |  Apparent (26)  |  Ask (99)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte (11)  |  Discuss (14)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Egypt (18)  |  Force (194)  |  Gentleman (17)  |  Head (52)  |  Heaven (118)  |  Look (46)  |  Make (23)  |  Matter (270)  |  Presence (26)  |  Question (315)  |  Remain (77)  |  Remember (53)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Science (1699)  |  Shake (19)  |  Solve (41)  |  Star (251)  |  Talk (61)  |  Universe (563)

If you don’t work on important problems, it’s not likely that you'll do important work.
As quoted in obituary for Richard Hamming, by Herschel H. Loomis and David S. Potter, in National Academy of Engineering, Memorial Tributes (2002), 123.
Science quotes on:  |  Work (457)

If you walk along the street you will encounter a number of scientific problems. Of these, about 80 per cent are insoluble, while 19½ per cent are trivial. There is then perhaps half a per cent where skill, persistence, courage, creativity and originality can make a difference. It is always the task of the academic to swim in that half a per cent, asking the questions through which some progress can be made.
'The Making of a Scientist', Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, June 1983, 406.
Science quotes on:  |  Enquiry (75)  |  Men Of Science (97)

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
The Descent of Man (1871), Vol. 1, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Knowledge (1128)

In a sense Shapley’s telling me that space was transparent, which I shouldn’t have believed, illustrates a fundamental problem in science, believing what people tell you. Go and find it out for yourself. That same error has persisted in my life and in many other people’s. Authorities are not always authorities on everything; they often cling to their own mistakes.
Oral History Transcript of interview with Dr. Jesse Greenstein by Paul Wright (31 Jul 1974), on website of American Institute of Physics.
Science quotes on:  |  Authority (50)  |  Belief (400)  |  Clinging (3)  |  Error (230)  |  Everything (120)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Illustration (24)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Science (1699)  |  Harlow Shapley (13)  |  Space (154)  |  Transparent (4)

In fact a favourite problem of [Tyndall] is—Given the molecular forces in a mutton chop, deduce Hamlet or Faust therefrom. He is confident that the Physics of the Future will solve this easily.
Letter to Herbert Spencer (3 Aug 1861). In L. Huxley, The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1900), Vol. 1, 249.
Science quotes on:  |  Literature (64)  |  Physics (301)  |  William Shakespeare (90)  |  John Tyndall (46)

In less than eight years “The Origin of Species” has produced conviction in the minds of a majority of the most eminent living men of science. New facts, new problems, new difficulties as they arise are accepted, solved, or removed by this theory; and its principles are illustrated by the progress and conclusions of every well established branch of human knowledge.
From a review of four books on the subject 'Mimicry, and Other Protective Resemblances Among Animals', in The Westminster Review (Jul 1867), 88, 1. Wallace is identified as the author in the article as reprinted in William Beebe, The Book of Naturalists: An Anthology of the Best Natural History (1988), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Acceptance (41)  |  Branch (61)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Conviction (57)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Eminence (11)  |  Establishment (29)  |  Fact (609)  |  Illustration (24)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Majority (32)  |  Men Of Science (97)  |  Mind (544)  |  New (340)  |  Origin Of Species (39)  |  Principle (228)  |  Production (105)  |  Progress (317)  |  Removal (10)  |  Solution (168)  |  Theory (582)

In scientific matters there was a common language and one standard of values; in moral and political problems there were many. … Furthermore, in science there is a court of last resort, experiment, which is unavailable in human affairs.
In Enrico Fermi: Physicist (1970), 149. Segrè refers to the issues regarding the consequences of mastering the release of atomic energy.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Common (92)  |  Court (16)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Human Affairs (5)  |  Language (155)  |  Matter (270)  |  Moral (100)  |  Politics (77)  |  Resort (5)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Standard (41)  |  Value (180)

In short, the greatest contribution to real security that science can make is through the extension of the scientific method to the social sciences and a solution of the problem of complete avoidance of war.
In "Science and Security", Science (25 Jun 1948), 107, 665. Written while Director of the U.S. National Bureau of Standards.
Science quotes on:  |  Avoidance (9)  |  Completion (15)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Extension (20)  |  Greatest (53)  |  Making (26)  |  Reality (140)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Security (27)  |  Social Science (18)  |  Solution (168)

In so far as such developments utilise the natural energy running to waste, as in water power, they may be accounted as pure gain. But in so far as they consume the fuel resources of the globe they are very different. The one is like spending the interest on a legacy, and the other is like spending the legacy itself. ... [There is] a still hardly recognised coming energy problem.
Matter and Energy (1911), 139.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (45)  |  Consumption (11)  |  Development (228)  |  Difference (208)  |  Energy (185)  |  Energy Conservation (3)  |  Fuel (27)  |  Gain (48)  |  Globe (39)  |  Interest (170)  |  Legacy (6)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Resource (47)  |  Running (8)  |  Spending (7)  |  Utilization (7)  |  Waste (57)  |  Water Power (4)

In the end, poverty, putridity and pestilence; work, wealth and worry; health, happiness and hell, all simmer down into village problems.
Science quotes on:  |  Happiness (82)  |  Health (136)  |  Hell (29)  |  Money (125)  |  Pestilence (8)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Work (457)

In the modern world, science and society often interact in a perverse way. We live in a technological society, and technology causes political problems. The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, “Sorry, but we don’t know.” The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities. So it happens that the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future, and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true, and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong. That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed.
Frederick S. Pardee Distinguished Lecture (Oct 2005), Boston University. Collected in 'Heretical Thoughts About Science and Society', A Many-Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe (2007), 43-44.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Belief (400)  |  Cause (231)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Confidence (32)  |  Dogma (25)  |  Expert (42)  |  Fashion (24)  |  Heretic (5)  |  Interaction (28)  |  Need (211)  |  Perversity (2)  |  Politics (77)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Public (82)  |  Question (315)  |  Science And Society (21)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Technology (199)  |  Tend (23)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Truth (750)  |  Wrong (116)

In the past, you wouldn’t have had any problem in getting a countryman to explain the difference between a blackbird and a song thrush, but you might have that difficulty with a kid now. Equally, if you asked a chap about gorillas in the 19th-century, he wouldn’t have heard of the creatures, but today an urban boy knows all about them.
Explaining how the success of nature documentaries may result in children who know more about gorillas than the wildlife in their own gardens. As reported by Adam Lusher in 'Sir David Attenborough', Daily Mail (28 Feb 2014).
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (22)  |  Blackbird (2)  |  Boy (33)  |  Countryman (3)  |  Difference (208)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Explain (61)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Kid (12)  |  Know (321)  |  Thrush (2)  |  Urban (7)

In the sphere of natural science let us remember that we have always to deal with an insoluble problem. Let us prove keen and honest in attending to anything which is in any way brought to our notice, most of all when it does not fit in with our previous ideas. For it is only thereby that we perceive the problem, which does indeed lie in nature, but still more in man.
In The Maxims and Reflections of Goethe (1906), 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Attend (9)  |  Honest (26)  |  Idea (440)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Keen (8)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Notice (20)  |  Perceive (18)  |  Previous (8)  |  Sphere (40)

In the training and in the exercise of medicine a remoteness abides between the field of neurology and that of mental health, psychiatry. It is sometimes blamed to prejudice on the part of the one side or the other. It is both more grave and less grave than that. It has a reasonable basis. It is rooted in the energy-mind problem. Physiology has not enough to offer about the brain in relation to the mind to lend the psychiatrist much help.
In 'The Brain Collaborates With Psyche', Man On His Nature: The Gifford Lectures, Edinburgh 1937-8 (1940), 283.
Science quotes on:  |  Blame (17)  |  Brain (181)  |  Exercise (35)  |  Help (68)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Mental Health (4)  |  Mind (544)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Prejudice (58)  |  Psychiatrist (13)  |  Psychiatry (19)  |  Remoteness (7)  |  Training (39)

In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another. … The old problems, such as the relation of science and religion, are still with us, and I believe present as difficult dilemmas as ever, but they are not often publicly discussed because of the limitations of specialization.
Opening statement, in transcript of talk to the Caltech Lunch Forum (2 May 1956), 'The Relation of Science and Religion', collected in Richard Phillips Feynman and Jeffrey Robbins (ed.), The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (1999, 2005), 245-246.
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Belief (400)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Dilemma (6)  |  Discussion (37)  |  Field (119)  |  Incompetent (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Limitation (20)  |  Old (104)  |  Public (82)  |  Relation (96)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Specialization (12)  |  Thorough (7)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Science (1699)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Suitability (11)  |  Theory (582)  |  Work (457)

Inspiration in the field of science by no means plays any greater role, as academic conceit fancies, than it does in the field of mastering problems of practical life by a modern entrepreneur. On the other hand, and this also is often misconstrued, inspiration plays no less a role in science than it does in the realm of art.
Max Weber
In 'Wissenschart aIs Berur', Gessammelte Aufslitze zur Wlssenschaftslehre (1922), 524-525. Originally a Speech at Munich University. Translated as 'Science as a Vocation', reprinted in H. H. Gerlh and C. Wright-Mills (eds.), Max Weber (1974), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (12)  |  Art (205)  |  Conceit (9)  |  Entrepreneur (5)  |  Fancy (16)  |  Field (119)  |  Greater (36)  |  Hand (103)  |  Inspiration (50)  |  Less (54)  |  Life (917)  |  Mastering (4)  |  Mean (63)  |  Modern (104)  |  Often (69)  |  Play (60)  |  Practical (93)  |  Realm (40)  |  Role (35)  |  Science (1699)

Intelligence is an extremely subtle concept. It’s a kind of understanding that flourishes if it's combined with a good memory, but exists anyway even in the absence of good memory. It’s the ability to draw consequences from causes, to make correct inferences, to foresee what might be the result, to work out logical problems, to be reasonable, rational, to have the ability to understand the solution from perhaps insufficient information. You know when a person is intelligent, but you can be easily fooled if you are not yourself intelligent.
In Irv Broughton (ed.), The Writer's Mind: Interviews with American Authors (1990), Vol. 2, 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (75)  |  Absence (16)  |  Cause (231)  |  Combine (15)  |  Concept (102)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Correct (53)  |  Flourish (10)  |  Fool (70)  |  Foresee (8)  |  Inference (26)  |  Information (102)  |  Insufficient (6)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Logic (187)  |  Memory (81)  |  Rational (42)  |  Reasonable (18)  |  Result (250)  |  Solution (168)  |  Subtle (26)  |  Understanding (317)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Possible (100)  |  Practical (93)  |  Psychological (10)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Reason (330)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Socially (2)  |  Subject (129)  |  View (115)

Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it.
In Winberg Chai, The Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China (1972), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Birth (81)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Pregnancy (6)  |  Solution (168)

It appears that the solution of the problem of time and space is reserved to philosophers who, like Leibniz, are mathematicians, or to mathematicians who, like Einstein, are philosophers.
Collected in Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (1959), Vol. 1, 307. Also, in James Louis Jarrett and Sterling M. McMurrin (eds.), Contemporary Philosophy: A Book of Readings (1954), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Albert Einstein (535)  |  Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (27)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Solution (168)  |  Time And Space (30)

It appears, nevertheless, that all such simple solutions of the problem of vertebrate ancestry are without warrant. They arise from a very common tendency of the mind, against which the naturalist has to guard himself,—a tendency which finds expression in the very widespread notion that the existing anthropoid apes, and more especially the gorilla, must be looked upon as the ancestors of mankind, if once the doctrine of the descent of man from ape-like forefathers is admitted. A little reflexion suffices to show that any given living form, such as the gorilla, cannot possibly be the ancestral form from which man was derived, since ex-hypothesi that ancestral form underwent modification and development, and in so doing, ceased to exist.
'Vertebrata', entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th edition (1899), Vol. 24, 180.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (35)  |  Anthropoid (4)  |  Ape (39)  |  Descent Of Man (5)  |  Development (228)  |  Exist (89)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mind (544)  |  Modification (31)  |  Naturalist (49)  |  Solution (168)  |  Vertebrate (13)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Native (11)  |  Physiology (66)  |  Protein (43)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Restraint (8)  |  Significance (60)  |  Structure (191)

It is a curious property of research activity that after the problem has been solved the solution seems obvious. This is true not only for those who have not previously been acquainted with the problem, but also for those who have worked over it for years.
Address at the Franklin Institute (1937). Journal of the Franklin Institute (1937), 224, 277. Also see Paul C. Wensberg, Land's Polaroid: A Company and the Man who Invented It (1987), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Curious (24)  |  Obvious (54)  |  Property (96)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)

It is a strange fact, characteristic of the incomplete state of our present knowledge, that totally opposing conclusions are drawn about prehistoric conditions on our planet, depending on whether the problem is approached from the biological or the geophysical viewpoint.
In The Origins of Continents and Oceans (4th ed. 1929), trans. John Biram (1966), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Approached (2)  |  Biological (21)  |  Characteristic (66)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Condition (119)  |  Depending (2)  |  Drawn (2)  |  Fact (609)  |  Incomplete (14)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Planet (199)  |  Prehistoric (5)  |  Present (103)  |  State (96)  |  Strange (61)  |  Totally (4)  |  Viewpoint (6)

It is an occupational risk of biologists to claim, towards the end of their careers, that the problems which they have not solved are insoluble.
'Popper's World', The London Review of Books (18-31 August 1983), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Biologist (31)  |  Career (54)  |  Claim (52)  |  Occupation (37)  |  Risk (29)  |  Solution (168)

It is better to do the right problem the wrong way than the wrong problem the right way.
Quoted in Julie K. Petersen, Fiber Optics Illustrated Dictionary (2003), 435.
Science quotes on:  |  Solution (168)

It is by no means hopeless to expect to make a machine for really very difficult mathematical problems. But you would have to proceed step-by-step. I think electricity would be the best thing to rely on.
In Charles Sanders Peirce, ‎Max Harold Fisch, ‎Christian J. W. Kloesel Writings of Charles S. Peirce: 1884-1886 (1993), 422.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Computer Science (10)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Expect (27)  |  Hopeless (9)  |  Machine (133)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Proceed (25)  |  Step (67)  |  Think (205)

It is evident, therefore, that one of the most fundamental problems of psychology is that of investigating the laws of mental growth. When these laws are known, the door of the future will in a measure be opened; determination of the child's present status will enable us to forecast what manner of adult he will become.
In The Intelligence of School Children: How Children Differ in Ability, the Use of Mental Tests in School Grading and the Proper Education of Exceptional Children (1919), 136
Science quotes on:  |  Adult (11)  |  Become (100)  |  Child (189)  |  Determination (53)  |  Door (25)  |  Enable (25)  |  Forecast (8)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Future (229)  |  Growth (111)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Law (418)  |  Mental (57)  |  Present (103)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Status (18)

It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and literacy, of superstition and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people. ... The future belongs to science and to those who make friends with science.
Address to the Indian Institute of Science, Proceedings of the National Institute of Science of India (1960), 27, 564, cited in Mary Midgley, The myths We live By (2004), 14., x. In Vinoth Ramachandra, Subverting Global Myths: Theology and the Public Issues Shaping our World (2008), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (61)  |  Belong (33)  |  Country (121)  |  Friend (63)  |  Future (229)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Inhabit (13)  |  Literacy (7)  |  People (269)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Resource (47)  |  Rich (48)  |  Run (33)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)  |  Starvation (9)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Vast (56)  |  Waste (57)

It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, of a rich country inhabited by starving people… Who indeed could afford to ignore science today? At every turn we have to seek its aid … the future belongs to science and those who make friends with science.
From address to the Indian Science Congress (26 Dec 1937). As cited in M.J. Vinod and Meena Deshpande, Contemporary Political Theory (2013), 507. An earlier, longer version of the quote is in Atma Ram, 'The Making of Optical Glass in India: Its Lessons for Industrial Development', Proceedings of the National Institute of Sciences of India (1961), 27, 564-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (23)  |  Country (121)  |  Custom (24)  |  Friend (63)  |  Future (229)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Ignore (22)  |  Illiteracy (6)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Resource (47)  |  Sanitation (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Superstition (50)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Waste (57)  |  Wealth (50)

It is the business of science to offer rational explanations for all the events in the real world, and any scientist who calls on God to explain something is falling down on his job. This applies as much to the start of the expansion as to any other event. If the explanation is not forthcoming at once, the scientist must suspend judgment: but if he is worth his salt he will always maintain that a rational explanation will eventually be found. This is the one piece of dogmatism that a scientist can allow himself—and without it science would be in danger of giving way to superstition every time that a problem defied solution for a few years.
The Mystery of the Expanding Universe (1964), 122.
Science quotes on:  |  Big Bang (38)  |  Enquiry (75)  |  God (454)  |  Superstition (50)

It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem.
'The Point of a Pin', in The Scandal of Father Brown (1935,2000), 142.
Science quotes on:  |  See (197)  |  Solution (168)

It sometimes seems necessary to suspend one's normal critical faculties not to find the problems of fusion overwhelming.
Science (1976). In Ervan G. Garrison, A History of Engineering and Technology
Science quotes on:  |  Fusion (9)  |  Overwhelming (18)  |  Thinking (222)

It was Plato, according to Sosigenes, who set this as a problem for those concerned with these things, through what suppositions of uniform and ordered movements the appearances concerning the movements of the wandering heavenly bodies could be preserved.
Plato
Simplicius, On Aristotle's On the Heavens, 488.21. Trans. R. W. Sharples.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Movement (65)  |  Planet (199)  |  Preservation (28)  |  Supposition (33)  |  Uniform (14)  |  Wandering (5)

It's much more effective to allow solutions to problems to emerge from the people close to the problem rather than to impose them from higher up.
Interviewed in 'Simple, Yet Complex', CIO (15 Apr 1998), 64.
Science quotes on:  |  Allow (24)  |  Close (40)  |  Effectiveness (10)  |  Emergence (21)  |  Higher (28)  |  Imposition (5)  |  People (269)  |  Solution (168)

It’s important for students to be put in touch with real-world problems. The curriculum should include computer science. Mathematics should include statistics. The curriculums should really adjust.
From address at a conference on Google campus, co-hosted with Common Sense Media and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop 'Breakthrough Learning in the Digital Age'. As quoted in Technology blog report by Dan Fost, 'Google co-founder Sergey Brin wants more computers in schools', Los Angeles Times (28 Oct 2009). On latimesblogs.latimes.com website. As quoted, without citation, in Can Akdeniz, Fast MBA (2014), 280.
Science quotes on:  |  Adjust (5)  |  Computer Science (10)  |  Curriculum (9)  |  Importance (183)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Student (131)

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Long (95)  |  Smart (13)  |  Stay (15)

I’m not sure what solutions we’ll find to deal with all our environmental problems, but I’m sure of this: They will be provided by industry; they will be products of technology. Where else can they come from?
Nation's Business (12 Jun 1988).
Science quotes on:  |  Deal (25)  |  Environmental (8)  |  Find (248)  |  Industry (91)  |  Product (72)  |  Provide (48)  |  Solution (168)  |  Technology (199)

I’ve met a lot of people in important positions, and he [Wernher von Braun] was one that I never had any reluctance to give him whatever kind of credit they deserve. He owned his spot, he knew what he was doing, and he was very impressive when you met with him. He understood the problems. He could come back and straighten things out. He moved with sureness whenever he came up with a decision. Of all the people, as I think back on it now, all of the top management that I met at NASA, many of them are very, very good. But Wernher, relative to the position he had and what he had to do, I think was the best of the bunch.
From interview with Ron Stone (24 May 1999) for NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project on NASA website.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (129)  |  Wernher von Braun (28)  |  Credit (16)  |  Decision (58)  |  Deserve (14)  |  Impressive (11)  |  Manager (4)  |  NASA (9)  |  Reluctance (4)  |  Spot (11)  |  Sureness (2)  |  Understood (9)

I’ve tried to make the men around me feel as I do, that we are embarked as pioneers upon a new science and industry in which our problems are so new and unusual that it behooves no one to dismiss any novel idea with the statement, “It can’t be done.”
Start of Boeing’s quote, inscribed on his memorial at the Boeing Developmental Center, Tukwila, WA, as given in Mike Lombardi, 'Historical Perspective: 50 years at the Leading Edge', Boeing Frontiers (Aug 2009), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Behoove (2)  |  Dismiss (6)  |  Embark (4)  |  Idea (440)  |  Industry (91)  |  New (340)  |  Novel (16)  |  Pioneer (23)  |  Science (1699)  |  Statement (56)  |  Unusual (13)

Language is a guide to 'social reality.' Though language is not ordinarily thought of as essential interest to the students of social science, it powerfully conditions all our thinking about social problems and processes. Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the 'real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built up on the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.
'The Status of Linguistics as a Science', Language (1929), 5, 207-14. In David Mandelbaum (ed.), Selected Writings of Edward Sapir in Language, Culture, and Personality (1949), 162.
Science quotes on:  |  Condition (119)  |  Difference (208)  |  Essential (87)  |  Habit (78)  |  Human (445)  |  Illusion (38)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Incidental (8)  |  Label (11)  |  Language (155)  |  Objective (49)  |  Reality (140)  |  Social Science (18)  |  Society (188)  |  Solution (168)  |  Thinking (222)

Liebig was not a teacher in the ordinary sense of the word. Scientifically productive himself in an unusual degree, and rich in chemical ideas, he imparted the latter to his advanced pupils, to be put by them to experimental proof; he thus brought his pupils gradually to think for themselves, besides showing and explaining to them the methods by which chemical problems might be solved experimentally.
As quoted in G. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1980), 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (543)  |  Justus von Liebig (38)  |  Proof (192)  |  Student (131)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Thinking (222)

Life arose as a living molecule or protogene, the progression from this stage to that of the ameba is at least as great as from ameba to man. All the essential problems of living organisms are already solved in the one-celled (or, as many now prefer to say, noncellular) protozoan and these are only elaborated in man or the other multicellular animals. The step from nonlife to life may not have been so complex, after all, and that from cell to multicellular organism is readily comprehensible. The change from protogene to protozoan was probably the most complex that has occurred in evolution, and it may well have taken as long as the change from protozoan to man.
The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man (1949), 16
Science quotes on:  |  Amoeba (20)  |  Animal (309)  |  Cell (125)  |  Change (291)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Elaboration (6)  |  Essential (87)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Life (917)  |  Man (345)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Nonlife (2)  |  Occurrence (30)  |  Organism (126)  |  Progression (9)  |  Protozoan (2)  |  Solution (168)  |  Stage (39)

Life is too complicated to permit a complete understanding through the study of whole organisms. Only by simplifying a biological problem—breaking it down into a multitude of individual problems—can you get the answers.
From interview with Neil A. Campbell, in 'Crossing the Boundaries of Science', BioScience (Dec 1986), 36, No. 11, 738.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Biology (150)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Individual (177)  |  Life (917)  |  Multitude (14)  |  Organism (126)  |  Simplify (6)  |  Study (331)  |  Understand (189)

Listen to the community: it's defining its own problems, and may well know what to do about them.
As quoted in 'Aphorism of the Month', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (Nov 2007), 61, No. 11, 932.
Science quotes on:  |  Community (65)  |  Defining (3)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Listen (26)

Littlewood, on Hardy's own estimate, is the finest mathematician he has ever known. He was the man most likely to storm and smash a really deep and formidable problem; there was no one else who could command such a combination of insight, technique and power. (1943)
In Béla Bollobás, Littlewood's Miscellany (1986), Foreward, 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Deep (81)  |  G. H. Hardy (69)  |  Insight (57)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Power (273)  |  Proof (192)  |  Smash (3)  |  Technique (41)

Man is born, not to solve the problems of the universe, but to find out where the problem applies, and then to restrain himself within the limits of the comprehensible.
Wed. 12 Oct 1825. Johann Peter Eckermann, Conversations with Goethe, ed. J. K. Moorhead and trans. J. Oxenford (1971), 120.

Man is not a machine, ... although man most certainly processes information, he does not necessarily process it in the way computers do. Computers and men are not species of the same genus. .... No other organism, and certainly no computer, can be made to confront genuine human problems in human terms. ... However much intelligence computers may attain, now or in the future, theirs must always be an intelligence alien to genuine human problems and concerns.
Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation, (1976) 203 and 223. Also excerpted in Ronald Chrisley (ed.), Artificial Intelligence: Critical Concepts (2000), Vol. 3, 313 and 321. Note that the second ellipsis spans 8 pages.
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (25)  |  Artificial Intelligence (8)  |  Attainment (35)  |  Computer (84)  |  Concern (76)  |  Confront (9)  |  Future (229)  |  Genuine (19)  |  Genus (16)  |  Human (445)  |  Information (102)  |  Machine (133)  |  Man (345)  |  Necessity (125)  |  Organism (126)  |  Process (201)  |  Species (181)  |  Term (87)

Marxists are more right than wrong when they argue that the problems scientists take up,. the way they go about solving them, and even the solutions they arc inclined to accept, arc conditioned by the intellectual, social, and economic environments in which they live and work.
In Mankind Evolving: The Evolution of the Human Species, 128. As cited in Ted Woods & Alan Grant, Reason in Revolt - Dialectical Philosophy and Modern Science (2003), Vol. 2, 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Argue (17)  |  Economic (21)  |  Environment (138)  |  Inclined (7)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Live (186)  |  Right (144)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Social (93)  |  Solution (168)  |  Solving (6)  |  Work (457)  |  Wrong (116)

Modern Physics impresses us particularly with the truth of the old doctrine which teaches that there are realities existing apart from our sense-perceptions, and that there are problems and conflicts where these realities are of greater value for us than the richest treasures of the world of experience.
In The Universe in the Light of Modern Physics (1931), 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Conflict (49)  |  Doctrine (53)  |  Exist (89)  |  Experience (268)  |  Greater (36)  |  Impress (9)  |  Modern Physics (12)  |  Old (104)  |  Particularly (12)  |  Perception (53)  |  Quantum Mechanics (31)  |  Reality (140)  |  Rich (48)  |  Sense (240)  |  Teach (102)  |  Treasure (35)  |  Truth (750)  |  Value (180)  |  World (667)

More and more of out colleagues fail to understand our work because of the high specialization of research problems. We must not be discouraged if the products of our labor are not read or even known to exist. The joy of research must be found in doing since every other harvest is uncertain.
Letter to Dr. E. B. Krumhaar (11 Oct 1933), in Journal of Bacteriology (Jan 1934), 27, No. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Colleague (19)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Doing (36)  |  Existence (254)  |  Failure (118)  |  Harvest (14)  |  Joy (61)  |  Labor (53)  |  Product (72)  |  Reading (51)  |  Research (517)  |  Specialization (12)  |  Uncertainty (37)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Work (457)

My life as a surgeon-scientist, combining humanity and science, has been fantastically rewarding. In our daily patients we witness human nature in the raw–fear, despair, courage, understanding, hope, resignation, heroism. If alert, we can detect new problems to solve, new paths to investigate.
In Tore Frängsmyr and Jan E. Lindsten (eds.), Nobel Lectures: Physiology Or Medicine: 1981-1990 (1993), 565.
Science quotes on:  |  Courage (39)  |  Despair (25)  |  Detect (9)  |  Fear (113)  |  Heroism (7)  |  Hope (129)  |  Human Nature (51)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Investigate (49)  |  New (340)  |  Path (59)  |  Patient (116)  |  Resignation (2)  |  Rewarding (2)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)  |  Surgeon (43)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Witness (18)

Mythology is wondrous, a balm for the soul. But its problems cannot be ignored. At worst, it buys inspiration at the price of physical impossibility ... At best, it purveys the same myopic view of history that made this most fascinating subject so boring and misleading in grade school as a sequential take of monarchs and battles.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bad (78)  |  Battle (30)  |  Best (129)  |  Boring (3)  |  Buy (14)  |  Fascinating (17)  |  Grade (10)  |  History (302)  |  Ignore (22)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Inspiration (50)  |  Misleading (12)  |  Monarch (2)  |  Myopic (2)  |  Mythology (11)  |  Physical (94)  |  Price (26)  |  Same (92)  |  School (87)  |  Soul (139)  |  Subject (129)  |  View (115)  |  Wondrous (7)

Nazis started the Science of Eugenics. It’s the theory that to them, justified the holocaust. The problem is the Science has been broadly accepted around the world, including the United States. We even went as far as to hire the Scientists that were working on it and brought them over here rather then charging them with war crimes. [Project Paperclip] I think it is a very dangerous Science that contains ideologies that are a grave danger to the entire world.
James Dye
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accept (37)  |  Bring (53)  |  Charge (29)  |  Contain (37)  |  Crime (20)  |  Danger (62)  |  Dangerous (45)  |  Entire (29)  |  Eugenics (4)  |  Far (77)  |  Grave (20)  |  Hire (4)  |  Ideology (7)  |  Include (27)  |  Justify (19)  |  Nazi (7)  |  Project (22)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Start (68)  |  Theory (582)  |  Think (205)  |  Usa (6)  |  War (144)  |  Work (457)  |  World (667)

Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals.
As quoted, without citation, in David Suzuki and ‎Holly Dressel , From Naked Ape to Superspecies: Humanity and the Global Eco-Crisis (1999, 2009), 347.
Science quotes on:  |  Depend (56)  |  Founded (10)  |  Government (85)  |  Guide (46)  |  Individual (177)  |  Institution (32)  |  Motivated (2)  |  Movement (65)  |  Passion (54)  |  Social (93)  |  Solve (41)

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that a planned economy is not yet socialism. A planned economy as such may be accompanied by the complete enslavement of the individual. The achievement of socialism requires the solution of some extremely difficult socio-political problems: how is it possible, in view of the far-reaching centralisation of political and economic power, to prevent bureaucracy from becoming all-powerful and overweening? How can the rights of the individual be protected and therewith a democratic counterweight to the power of bureaucracy be assured?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accompany (18)  |  Achievement (128)  |  All-Powerful (2)  |  Assure (11)  |  Become (100)  |  Bureaucracy (5)  |  Complete (43)  |  Democratic (7)  |  Difficult (62)  |  Economic (21)  |  Economy (46)  |  Enslavement (3)  |  Extremely (10)  |  Far-Reaching (4)  |  Individual (177)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Plan (69)  |  Political (31)  |  Possible (100)  |  Power (273)  |  Prevent (27)  |  Protect (26)  |  Remember (53)  |  Require (33)  |  Right (144)  |  Socialism (4)  |  Solution (168)  |  View (115)

New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.
Address on the 25th anniversary of the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft (Jan 1936). Quoted in Surviving the Swastika: Scientific Research in Nazi Germany (1993), 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Community (65)  |  Head (52)  |  Idea (440)  |  Individual (177)  |  Inspiration (50)  |  Lonely (7)  |  Moment (61)  |  Organization (79)  |  Point (72)  |  Researcher (17)  |  Science (1699)  |  Single (72)  |  Spring (47)  |  Struggle (60)  |  Thought (374)  |  Unite (13)

No problem can be solved until it is reduced to some simple form. The changing of a vague difficulty into a specific, concrete form is a very essential element in thinking.
Seen, for example, in The Grain and Feed Review (1931), 21, 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Changing (6)  |  Concrete (21)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Element (129)  |  Essential (87)  |  Form (210)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Simple (111)  |  Solution (168)  |  Specific (30)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Vague (10)

No research will answer all queries that the future may raise. It is wiser to praise the work for what it has accomplished and then to formulate the problems still to be solved.
Letter to Dr. E. B. Krumhaar (11 Oct 1933), in Journal of Bacteriology (Jan 1934), 27, No. 1, 19.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Answer (201)  |  Formulation (20)  |  Future (229)  |  Praise (17)  |  Query (3)  |  Raise (20)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wisdom (151)  |  Work (457)

No scientist is admired for failing in the attempt to solve problems that lie beyond his competence. … Good scientists study the most important problems they think they can solve. It is, after all, their professional business to solve problems, not merely to grapple with them.
The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science (1967), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (34)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Business (71)  |  Competence (6)  |  Failure (118)  |  Grappling (2)  |  Importance (183)  |  Merely (35)  |  Professional (27)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Solution (168)  |  Study (331)

Now, it may be stretching an analogy to compare epidemics of cholera—caused by a known agent—with that epidemic of violent crime which is destroying our cities. It is unlikely that our social problems can be traced to a single, clearly defined cause in the sense that a bacterial disease is ‘caused’ by a microbe. But, I daresay, social science is about as advanced in the late twentieth century as bacteriological science was in the mid nineteenth century. Our forerunners knew something about cholera; they sensed that its spread was associated with misdirected sewage, filth, and the influx of alien poor into crowded, urban tenements. And we know something about street crime; nowhere has it been reported that a member of the New York Stock Exchange has robbed ... at the point of a gun. Indeed, I am naively confident that an enlightened social scientist of the next century will be able to point out that we had available to us at least some of the clues to the cause of urban crime.
'Cholera at the Harvey,' Woods Hole Cantata: Essays on Science and Society (1985).
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (22)  |  20th Century (25)  |  Advance (123)  |  Agent (27)  |  Alien (25)  |  Analogy (46)  |  Associate (9)  |  Available (18)  |  Bacteria (32)  |  Cause (231)  |  Cholera (2)  |  City (37)  |  Clearly (17)  |  Clue (14)  |  Compare (15)  |  Crime (20)  |  Crowd (12)  |  Define (29)  |  Destroy (63)  |  Disease (257)  |  Enlightened (4)  |  Epidemic (6)  |  Filth (4)  |  Forerunner (3)  |  Gun (7)  |  Know (321)  |  Late (28)  |  Member (27)  |  Microbe (17)  |  Misdirect (2)  |  New York (14)  |  Nowhere (19)  |  Point (72)  |  Point Out (2)  |  Report (31)  |  Rob (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sewage (5)  |  Single (72)  |  Social (93)  |  Social Science (18)  |  Social Scientist (3)  |  Spread (19)  |  Stock Exchange (2)  |  Street (17)  |  Stretch (8)  |  Teenager (4)  |  Trace (39)  |  Unlikely (12)  |  Urban (7)  |  Violent (15)

Nowadays everyone knows that the US is the world’s biggest polluter, and that with only one 20th of the world’s population it produces a quarter of its greenhouse gas emissions. But the US government, in an abdication of leadership of epic proportions, is refusing to take the problem seriously. … Emissions from the US are up 14% on those in 1990 and are projected to rise by a further 12% over the next decade.
In 'Global Warming is Now a Weapon of Mass Destruction', The Guardian (28 Jul 2003).
Science quotes on:  |  Biggest (7)  |  Decade (19)  |  Emission (16)  |  Epic (5)  |  Government (85)  |  Greenhouse Gas (3)  |  Leadership (5)  |  Polluter (2)  |  Population (71)  |  Produce (63)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Rise (51)  |  Seriously (13)  |  World (667)

Often the great scientists, by turning the problem around a bit, changed a defect to an asset. For example, many scientists when they found they couldn't do a problem finally began to study why not. They then turned it around the other way and said, “But of course, this is what it is” and got an important result.
'You and Your Research', Bell Communications Research Colloquium Seminar, 7 Mar 1986.
Science quotes on:  |  Asset (3)  |  Change (291)  |  Defect (14)  |  Importance (183)  |  Result (250)  |  Studying (7)  |  Turn (72)

One is always a long way from solving a problem until one actually has the answer.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Actually (14)  |  Answer (201)  |  Long (95)  |  Solve (41)

One never knows how hard a problem is until it has been solved. You don’t necessarily know that you will succeed if you work harder or longer.
From interview with Neil A. Campbell, in 'Crossing the Boundaries of Science', BioScience (Dec 1986), 36, No. 11, 739.
Science quotes on:  |  Know (321)  |  Research (517)  |  Solve (41)  |  Succeed (11)  |  Work (457)

One of the first and foremost duties of the teacher is not to give his students the impression that mathematical problems have little connection with each other, and no connection at all with anything else. We have a natural opportunity to investigate the connections of a problem when looking back at its solution.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Back (55)  |  Connection (86)  |  Duty (51)  |  First (174)  |  Foremost (8)  |  Giving (11)  |  Impression (51)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Look (46)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Natural (128)  |  Opportunity (43)  |  Solution (168)  |  Student (131)  |  Teacher (90)

One of the most important choices any researcher makes is picking a significant topic to study. If you choose the right problem, you get important results that transform our perception of the underlying structure of the universe. If you don’t choose the right problem, you may work very hard but only get an interesting result.
Unverified - source citation needed. Can you help?
Science quotes on:  |  Choose (35)  |  Important (124)  |  Interesting (38)  |  Perception (53)  |  Pick (14)  |  Researcher (17)  |  Result (250)  |  Right (144)  |  Significant (26)  |  Structure (191)  |  Study (331)  |  Topic (6)  |  Transform (20)  |  Universe (563)  |  Work (457)

One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world’s problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it will stand in awe of nature, and submit to the tutelage of medicine men.
In Reflections on the Human Condition (1973), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Awe (24)  |  Demand (52)  |  Equip (3)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Generation (111)  |  Instant (10)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Modern (104)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  Primitive (37)  |  Produce (63)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Solution (168)  |  Stand (60)  |  Submit (12)  |  Technology (199)  |  Value (180)  |  Wonder (134)  |  World (667)

Our atom of carbon enters the leaf, colliding with other innumerable (but here useless) molecules of nitrogen and oxygen. It adheres to a large and complicated molecule that activates it, and simultaneously receives the decisive message from the sky, in the flashing form of a packet of solar light; in an instant, like an insect caught by a spider, it is separated from its oxygen, combined with hydrogen and (one thinks) phosphous, and finally inserted in a chain, whether long or short does not matter, but it is the chain of life. All this happens swiftly, in silence, at the temperature and pressure of the atmosphere, and gratis: dear colleagues, when we learn to do likewise we will be sicut Deus [like God], and we will have also solved the problem of hunger in the world.
Levi Primo and Raymond Rosenthal (trans.), The Periodic Table (1975, 1984), 227-228. In this final section of his book, Levi imagines the life of a carbon atom. He calls this his first “literary dream”. It came to him at Auschwitz.
Science quotes on:  |  Activation (5)  |  Adherence (2)  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Atom (251)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Catch (21)  |  Chain (38)  |  Collision (9)  |  Combination (69)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Decisive (9)  |  Flash (25)  |  Form (210)  |  Gratis (2)  |  Happening (32)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Hydrogen (37)  |  Innumerable (17)  |  Insect (57)  |  Insertion (2)  |  Instant (10)  |  Large (82)  |  Leaf (43)  |  Learning (174)  |  Life (917)  |  Light (246)  |  Likewise (2)  |  Long (95)  |  Message (30)  |  Molecule (125)  |  Nitrogen (18)  |  Oxygen (49)  |  Packet (2)  |  Phosphorus (15)  |  Photon (10)  |  Photosynthesis (15)  |  Pressure (31)  |  Receive (39)  |  Separation (32)  |  Short (31)  |  Simultaneity (3)  |  Sky (68)  |  Solar (6)  |  Solution (168)  |  Spider (8)  |  Sun (211)  |  Swiftness (3)  |  Temperature (42)  |  Uselessness (21)  |  World (667)

Our contemporary culture, primed by population growth and driven by technology, has created problems of environmental degradation that directly affect all of our senses: noise, odors and toxins which bring physical pain and suffering, and ugliness, barrenness, and homogeneity of experience which bring emotional and psychological suffering and emptiness. In short, we are jeopardizing our human qualities by pursuing technology as an end rather than a means. Too often we have failed to ask two necessary questions: First, what human purpose will a given technology or development serve? Second, what human and environmental effects will it have?
Report of the Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution (7 Aug 1969). 'Environmental Quality: Summary and Discussion of Major Provisions', U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Legal Compilation, (Jan 1973), Water, Vol. 3, 1365. EPA website.
Science quotes on:  |  Barrenness (2)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  Culture (85)  |  Degradation (12)  |  Development (228)  |  Drive (38)  |  Effect (133)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Environment (138)  |  Experience (268)  |  Noise (24)  |  Odor (7)  |  Pain (82)  |  Population Growth (4)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Question (315)  |  Sense (240)  |  Suffering (26)  |  Technology (199)  |  Toxin (6)  |  Ugliness (2)

Our present work sets forth mathematical principles of philosophy. For the basic problem of philosophy seems to be to discover the forces of nature from the phenomena of motions and then to demonstrate the other phenomena from these forces. It is to these ends that the general propositions in books 1 and 2 are directed, while in book 3 our explanation of the system of the world illustrates these propositions.
The Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687), 3rd edition (1726), trans. I. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman (1999), Preface to the first edition, 382.
Science quotes on:  |  Demonstrate (25)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Force (194)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Motion (127)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Principle (228)

Our problem is that the climate crisis hatched in our laps at a moment in history when political and social conditions were uniquely hostile to a problem of this nature and magnitude—that moment being the tail end of the go-go ’80s, the blastoff point for the crusade to spread deregulated capitalism around the world. Climate change is a collective problem demanding collective action the likes of which humanity has never actually accomplished. Yet it entered mainstream consciousness in the midst of an ideological war being waged on the very idea of the collective sphere.
In 'The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External', The Nation (12 May 2014).
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Action (151)  |  Actually (14)  |  Capitalism (7)  |  Change (291)  |  Climate Change (56)  |  Collective (16)  |  Condition (119)  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Crisis (13)  |  Crusade (4)  |  Demanding (2)  |  Deregulation (2)  |  History (302)  |  Hostile (4)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Idea (440)  |  Ideological (3)  |  Lap (4)  |  Magnitude (21)  |  Mainstream (3)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Political (31)  |  Social (93)  |  Spreading (5)  |  War (144)  |  World (667)

Our problem is, in fact, to lit the world to our perceptions, and not our perceptions to the world.
In The Organisation of Thought: Educational and Scientific (1917), 228.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (609)  |  Light (246)  |  Perception (53)  |  World (667)

People are the quintessential element in all technology... Once we recognize the inescapable human nexus of all technology our attitude toward the reliability problem is fundamentally changed.
Skeptic (Jul-Aug 1976).
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (47)  |  Change (291)  |  Element (129)  |  Fundamentally (3)  |  Human (445)  |  Inescapable (4)  |  Nexus (3)  |  People (269)  |  Quintessential (2)  |  Recognize (41)  |  Reliability (14)  |  Technology (199)  |  Toward (29)

Perhaps the central problem we face in all of computer science is how we are to get to the situation where we build on top of the work of others rather than redoing so much of it in a trivially different way.
From Turing Award lecture (1968), 'One Man's View of Computer Science', collected in ACM Turing Award Lectures: The First Twenty Years, 1966 to 1985 (1987), 216. ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery. The lecture is also published in Journal of the ACM (Jan 1969), 16, No. 1, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Building (51)  |  Center (30)  |  Computer Science (10)  |  Difference (208)  |  Other (25)  |  Situation (41)  |  Top (20)  |  Trivial (30)  |  Way (36)  |  Work (457)

Perhaps the problem is the seeming need that people have of making black-and-white cutoffs when it comes to certain mysterious phenomena, such as life and consciousness. People seem to want there to be an absolute threshold between the living and the nonliving, and between the thinking and the “merely mechanical,” ... But the onward march of science seems to force us ever more clearly into accepting intermediate levels of such properties.
‘Shades of Gray Along the Consciousness Continuum’, Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought (1995), 310.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Acceptance (41)  |  Certain (84)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Force (194)  |  Intermediate (16)  |  Level (51)  |  Life (917)  |  Make (23)  |  March (15)  |  Mechanical (31)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Need (211)  |  Nonliving (4)  |  Onward (4)  |  People (269)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Property (96)  |  Science (1699)  |  Seem (89)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Threshold (7)

Philosophers no longer write for the intelligent, only for their fellow professionals. The few thousand academic philosophers in the world do not stint themselves: they maintain more than seventy learned journals. But in the handful that cover more than one subdivision of philosophy, any given philosopher can hardly follow more than one or two articles in each issue. This hermetic condition is attributed to “technical problems” in the subject. Since William James, Russell, and Whitehead, philosophy, like history, has been confiscated by scholarship and locked away from the contamination of general use.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (12)  |  Article (15)  |  Attribute (22)  |  Condition (119)  |  Contamination (4)  |  Cover (23)  |  Fellow (29)  |  Follow (66)  |  General (92)  |  Give (117)  |  Handful (6)  |  Hardly (12)  |  Hermetic (2)  |  History (302)  |  Intelligent (35)  |  Issue (37)  |  William James (42)  |  Journal (13)  |  Learn (160)  |  Lock (9)  |  Long (95)  |  Maintain (22)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Professional (27)  |  Scholarship (13)  |  Seventy (2)  |  Subdivision (2)  |  Subject (129)  |  Technical (26)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Whitehead (2)  |  World (667)  |  Write (87)

Philosophy is that part of science which at present people chose to have opinions about, but which they have no knowledge about. Therefore every advance in knowledge robs philosophy of some problems which formerly it had …and will belong to science.
'The Philosophy of Logical Atomism' (1918). In Betrand Russell and Robert Charles Marsh (Ed.), Logic and Knowledge: Essays, 1901-1950 (1988), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Science (1699)

Philosophy … consists chiefly in suggesting unintelligible answers to insoluble problems..
In The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (1918), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Unintelligible (7)

Physics is becoming so unbelievably complex that it is taking longer and longer to train a physicist. It is taking so long, in fact, to train a physicist to the place where he understands the nature of physical problems that he is already too old to solve them.
As quoted by Colin Pittendrigh (1971). In George C. Beakley, Ernest G. Chilton, Introduction to Engineering Design and Graphics (1973), 40
Science quotes on:  |  Age (137)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Education (280)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Solution (168)  |  Understand (189)

Probably the most important skill that children learn is how to learn. … Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. This is a mistake.
In 'Observing the Brain Through a Cat's Eyes', Saturday Review World (1974), 2, 132.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Child (189)  |  Importance (183)  |  Learning (174)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Remembering (7)  |  Skill (50)  |  Solving (6)

Problems are the price of progress. Don’t bring me anything but trouble. Good news weakens me.
Science quotes on:  |  Progress (317)

Reflexion is careful and laborious thought, and watchful attention directed to the agreeable effect of one’s plan. Invention, on the other hand, is the solving of intricate problems and the discovery of new principles by means of brilliancy and versatility.
Vitruvius
In De Architectura, Book 1, Chap 2, Sec. 2. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Agreeable (6)  |  Attention (76)  |  Careful (12)  |  Direct (44)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Effect (133)  |  Genius (186)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Invention (283)  |  Laborious (3)  |  Means (109)  |  New (340)  |  Plan (69)  |  Principle (228)  |  Reflection (50)  |  Solving (6)  |  Thought (374)  |  Versatile (4)

Research has deserted the individual and entered the group. The individual worker find the problem too large, not too difficult. He must learn to work with others.
Letter to Dr. E. B. Krumhaar (11 Oct 1933), in Journal of Bacteriology (Jan 1934), 27, No. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Group (52)  |  Individual (177)  |  Large (82)  |  Learning (174)  |  Research (517)  |  Researcher (17)  |  Worker (23)  |  Working (20)

Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”
In 'Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught', Indiscrete Thoughts (2008), 202.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (33)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Dormant (3)  |  Dozen (5)  |  Favorite (18)  |  Richard P. Feynman (107)  |  Fond (9)  |  Genius (186)  |  Hear (33)  |  Help (68)  |  Hit (14)  |  Keep (47)  |  Mind (544)  |  New (340)  |  People (269)  |  Present (103)  |  Read (83)  |  Result (250)  |  State (96)  |  Test (96)  |  Trick (19)  |  Twelve (4)

Rutherford was as straightforward and unpretentious as a physicist as he was elsewhere in life, and that no doubt was one of the secrets of his success. “I was always a believer in simplicity, being a simple man myself,” he said. If a principle of physics could not be explained to a barmaid, he insisted, the problem was with the principle, not the barmaid.
In Great Physicists (2001), 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Believer (8)  |  Explain (61)  |  Life (917)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Physics (301)  |  Principle (228)  |  Sir Ernest Rutherford (52)  |  Secret (98)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Straightforward (4)  |  Success (202)

Science by itself produces a very badly deformed man who becomes rounded out into a useful creative being only with great difficulty and large expenditure of time. … It is a much smaller matter to both teach and learn pure science than it is to intelligently apply this science to the solution of problems as they arise in daily life.
As quoted in Gary W. Matkin, Technology Transfer and the University (1990), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Apply (38)  |  Arise (32)  |  Bad (78)  |  Become (100)  |  Creative (41)  |  Daily (19)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Expenditure (4)  |  Great (300)  |  Intelligent (35)  |  Large (82)  |  Learn (160)  |  Life (917)  |  Matter (270)  |  Produce (63)  |  Pure (62)  |  Pure Science (18)  |  Round (15)  |  Science (1699)  |  Smaller (4)  |  Solution (168)  |  Teach (102)  |  Time (439)  |  Useful (66)

Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.
'How Easy to See the Future'. In Asimov on Science Fiction (1981), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Catastrophe (17)  |  Foresee (8)  |  Inevitable (17)  |  Science Fiction (28)  |  Solution (168)  |  Writer (35)

Science has not solved problems, only shifted the points of problems.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Point (72)  |  Science (1699)  |  Shift (21)  |  Solve (41)

Science is a dynamic undertaking directed to lowering the degree of the empiricism involved in solving problems; or, if you prefer, science is a process of fabricating a web of interconnected concepts and conceptual schemes arising from experiments and ob
Modern Science and Modern Man, p. 62, New York (1952).
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (32)  |  Concept (102)  |  Conceptual (8)  |  Degree (48)  |  Direct (44)  |  Dynamic (11)  |  Empiricism (16)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fabricate (3)  |  Involve (27)  |  Lowering (4)  |  Prefer (18)  |  Process (201)  |  Scheme (20)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)  |  Undertake (14)  |  Web (11)

Science is a game—but a game with reality, a game with sharpened knives … If a man cuts a picture carefully into 1000 pieces, you solve the puzzle when you reassemble the pieces into a picture; in the success or failure, both your intelligences compete. In the presentation of a scientific problem, the other player is the good Lord. He has not only set the problem but also has devised the rules of the game—but they are not completely known, half of them are left for you to discover or to deduce. The experiment is the tempered blade which you wield with success against the spirits of darkness—or which defeats you shamefully. The uncertainty is how many of the rules God himself has permanently ordained, and how many apparently are caused by your own mental inertia, while the solution generally becomes possible only through freedom from its limitations.
Quoted in Walter Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought (1989), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Blade (5)  |  Competition (26)  |  Cut (36)  |  Darkness (25)  |  Deduction (49)  |  Defeat (13)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Failure (118)  |  Freedom (76)  |  Game (45)  |  Inertia (10)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Knife (10)  |  Limitation (20)  |  Mind (544)  |  Ordain (3)  |  Picture (55)  |  Piece (32)  |  Presentation (12)  |  Reality (140)  |  Rule (135)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sharp (12)  |  Solution (168)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Success (202)  |  Uncertainty (37)

Science is always wrong, it never solves a problem without creating ten more.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Create (98)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)  |  Wrong (116)

Science is measurement. If I cannot make measurements, I cannot study a problem scientifically.
In 'Musical Acoustics Today', New Scientist (1 Nov 1962), 16 No. 311, 257.
Science quotes on:  |  Measurement (148)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientifically (3)  |  Study (331)

Science is the search for truth. It is not a game in which one tries to beat his opponent, to do harm to others. We need to have the spirit of science in international affairs, to make the conduct of international affairs the effort to find the right solution, the just solution of international problems, not the effort by each nation to get the better of other nations, to do harm to them when it is possible.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (24)  |  Beat (15)  |  Better (131)  |  Conduct (23)  |  Effort (94)  |  Find (248)  |  Game (45)  |  Harm (31)  |  International (18)  |  Nation (111)  |  Need (211)  |  Opponent (10)  |  Possible (100)  |  Right (144)  |  Science (1699)  |  Search (85)  |  Solution (168)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Truth (750)  |  Try (103)

Science itself, therefore, may be regarded as a minimal problem, consisting of the completest possible presentment of facts with the least possible expenditure of thought.
Ernst Mach and Thomas Joseph McCormick (trans.), The Science of Mechanics: a Critical and Historical Account of its Development (1919), 490.
Science quotes on:  |  Complete (43)  |  Science (1699)  |  Thought (374)

Science, in the very act of solving problems, creates more of them.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Act (80)  |  Create (98)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)

Scientists come in two varieties, hedgehogs and foxes. I borrow this terminology from Isaiah Berlin (1953), who borrowed it from the ancient Greek poet Archilochus. Archilochus told us that foxes know many tricks, hedgehogs only one. Foxes are broad, hedgehogs are deep. Foxes are interested in everything and move easily from one problem to another. Hedgehogs are only interested in a few problems that they consider fundamental, and stick with the same problems for years or decades. Most of the great discoveries are made by hedgehogs, most of the little discoveries by foxes. Science needs both hedgehogs and foxes for its healthy growth, hedgehogs to dig deep into the nature of things, foxes to explore the complicated details of our marvelous universe. Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble were hedgehogs. Charley Townes, who invented the laser, and Enrico Fermi, who built the first nuclear reactor in Chicago, were foxes.
In 'The Future of Biotechnology', A Many-Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe (2007), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Archilochus (3)  |  Broad (18)  |  Complication (20)  |  Deep (81)  |  Detail (65)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Albert Einstein (535)  |  Enrico Fermi (17)  |  Fox (8)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Hedgehog (2)  |  Edwin Powell Hubble (17)  |  Invention (283)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Laser (4)  |  Marvel (24)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Charles Townes (3)  |  Trick (19)  |  Universe (563)  |  Variety (53)

Scientists like ripping problems apart, collecting as much data as possible and then assembling the parts back together to make a decision. [Reflecting on being president of Princeton University.]
As quoted by Diane Cole in 'Shirley Tilghman, Educator: From Lab Table to President's Chair', U.S. News & World Reports (12 Nov 2007)
Science quotes on:  |  Assembly (5)  |  Collection (38)  |  Data (100)  |  Decision (58)  |  Scientist (447)

Scientists often have a naive faith that if only they could discover enough facts about a problem, these facts would somehow arrange themselves in a compelling and true solution.
In Mankind Evolving: The Evolution of the Human Species, 128. As cited in Ted Woods & Alan Grant, Reason in Revolt - Dialectical Philosophy and Modern Science (2003), Vol. 2, 183.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrange (15)  |  Compelling (7)  |  Discover (115)  |  Fact (609)  |  Faith (131)  |  Naive (8)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Solution (168)  |  True (120)

Search the scriptures of human achievement and you cannot find any to equal in beneficence the introduction of Anæsthesia, Sanitation, with ail that it includes, and Asepsis—a short half century’s contribution towards the practical solution of the problems of human suffering, regarded as eternal and insoluble.
Address to the Canadian Medical association, Montreal (1902). Collected in 'Chavinism in Medicine', Aequanimitas (1904), 283.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Anaesthesia (3)  |  Asepsis (2)  |  Beneficence (3)  |  Century (94)  |  Contribution (49)  |  Eternal (43)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Introduction (31)  |  Practical (93)  |  Sanitation (3)  |  Scripture (9)  |  Solution (168)  |  Suffering (26)  |  Toward (29)

Since my first discussions of ecological problems with Professor John Day around 1950 and since reading Konrad Lorenz's “King Solomon's Ring,” I have become increasingly interested in the study of animals for what they might teach us about man, and the study of man as an animal. I have become increasingly disenchanted with what the thinkers of the so-called Age of Enlightenment tell us about the nature of man, and with what the formal religions and doctrinaire political theorists tell us about the same subject.
'Autobiography of Allan M. Cormack,' Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures 1979, editted by Wilhelm Odelberg.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Doctrine (53)  |  Ecology (55)  |  Formal (11)  |  Interest (170)  |  Men (17)  |  Nature Of Man (4)  |  Religion (210)  |  Study (331)  |  Teach (102)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Overlooking (3)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Physics (301)  |  Postulate (23)  |  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)

Sir Robert Chiltern. You think science cannot grapple with the problem of women?
Mrs. Cheveley. Science can never grapple with the irrational. That is why it has no future before it in this world.
In play, An Ideal Husband (1912, 2001), Act 1, 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Grapple (3)  |  Irrational (7)  |  Science (1699)

Solving big problems is easier than solving little problems.
Quoted as “Mr Page likes to say” in 'Enlightenment Man', Technology Quarterly (4 Dec 2008).
Science quotes on:  |  Big (33)  |  Easier (8)  |  Little (126)  |  Solve (41)

Some mathematics problems look simple, and you try them for a year or so, and then you try them for a hundred years, and it turns out that they're extremely hard to solve. There's no reason why these problems shouldn't be easy, and yet they turn out to be extremely intricate. [Fermat's] Last Theorem is the most beautiful example of this.
From interview for PBS website on the NOVA program, 'The Proof'.
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Easy (56)  |  Example (57)  |  Extremely (10)  |  Pierre de Fermat (8)  |  Hard (70)  |  Hundred (46)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Reason (330)  |  Simple (111)  |  Solve (41)  |  Try (103)  |  Turns Out (3)  |  Year (214)

Some of Feynman’s ideas about cosmology have a modern ring. A good example is his attitude toward the origin of matter. The idea of continuous matter creation in the steady state cosmology does not seriously offend him (and he notes … that the big bang cosmology has a problem just as bad, to explain where all the matter came from in the beginning). … He emphasizes that the total energy of the universe could really be zero, and that matter creation is possible because the rest energy of the matter is actually canceled by its gravitational potential energy. “It is exciting to think that it costs nothing to create a new particle, …”
In John Preskill and Kip S. Thorne, 'Foreword to Feynman Lectures on Gravitation' (15 May 1995). Feynman delivered his lectures in 1962–63.
Science quotes on:  |  Attitude (47)  |  Beginning (114)  |  Big Bang (38)  |  Cancel (3)  |  Continuous Creation (2)  |  Cosmology (17)  |  Cost (31)  |  Create (98)  |  Emphasize (6)  |  Energy (185)  |  Exciting (14)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Richard P. Feynman (107)  |  Gravitation (27)  |  Idea (440)  |  Matter (270)  |  Modern (104)  |  New (340)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Offend (4)  |  Origin (77)  |  Particle (90)  |  Potential Energy (3)  |  Steady State (3)  |  Think (205)  |  Total (29)  |  Universe (563)  |  Zero (15)

Sometime between 1740 and 1780, electricians were for the first time enabled to take the foundations for their field for granted. From that point they pushed on to more concrete and recondite problems.
From The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1970, 2012), 21-22.
Science quotes on:  |  Concrete (21)  |  Electrician (3)  |  Foundation (75)  |  Recondite (2)

Suppose [an] imaginary physicist, the student of Niels Bohr, is shown an experiment in which a virus particle enters a bacterial cell and 20 minutes later the bacterial cell is lysed and 100 virus particles are liberated. He will say: “How come, one particle has become 100 particles of the same kind in 20 minutes? That is very interesting. Let us find out how it happens! How does the particle get in to the bacterium? How does it multiply? Does it multiply like a bacterium, growing and dividing, or does it multiply by an entirely different mechanism ? Does it have to be inside the bacterium to do this multiplying, or can we squash the bacterium and have the multiplication go on as before? Is this multiplying a trick of organic chemistry which the organic chemists have not yet discovered ? Let us find out. This is so simple a phenomenon that the answers cannot be hard to find. In a few months we will know. All we have to do is to study how conditions will influence the multiplication. We will do a few experiments at different temperatures, in different media, with different viruses, and we will know. Perhaps we may have to break into the bacteria at intermediate stages between infection and lysis. Anyhow, the experiments only take a few hours each, so the whole problem can not take long to solve.”
[Eight years later] he has not got anywhere in solving the problem he set out to solve. But [he may say to you] “Well, I made a slight mistake. I could not do it in a few months. Perhaps it will take a few decades, and perhaps it will take the help of a few dozen other people. But listen to what I have found, perhaps you will be interested to join me.”
From 'Experiments with Bacterial Viruses (Bacteriophages)', Harvey Lecture (1946), 41, 161-162. As cited in Robert Olby, The Path of the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA (1974, 1994), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Bacteria (32)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Decade (19)  |  Divide (24)  |  Grow (66)  |  Infection (18)  |  Lysis (2)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Multiply (10)  |  Organic Chemistry (33)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Solve (41)  |  Temperature (42)  |  Virus (22)

Technology can relieve the symptoms of a problem without affecting the underlying causes. Faith in technology as the ultimate solution to all problems can thus divert our attention from the most fundamental problem—the problem of growth in a finite system
et al., The Limits to Growth (1972).
Science quotes on:  |  Affect (10)  |  Attention (76)  |  Cause (231)  |  Divert (3)  |  Faith (131)  |  Finite (22)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Growth (111)  |  Relieve (3)  |  Solution (168)  |  Symptom (16)  |  System (141)  |  Technology (199)  |  Ultimate (61)  |  Underlying (14)

That man can interrogate as well as observe nature was a lesson slowly learned in his evolution. Of the two methods by which he can do this, the mathematical and the experimental, both have been equally fruitful—by the one he has gauged the starry heights and harnessed the cosmic forces to his will; by the other he has solved many of the problems of life and lightened many of the burdens of humanity.
In 'The Evolution of the Idea of Experiment in Medicine', in C.G. Roland, Sir William Osler, 1849-1919: A Selection for Medical Students (1982), 103. As cited in William Osler and Mark E. Silverman (ed.), The Quotable Osler (2002), 249
Science quotes on:  |  Burden (23)  |  Cosmic (34)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fruitful (31)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Interrogation (4)  |  Lesson (32)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Observation (418)

That’s the whole problem with science. You’ve got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Bunch (5)  |  Describe (38)  |  Empiricist (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Try (103)  |  Unimaginable (4)  |  Whole (122)  |  Wonder (134)

The advances of biology during the past 20 years have been breathtaking, particularly in cracking the mystery of heredity. Nevertheless, the greatest and most difficult problems still lie ahead. The discoveries of the 1970‘s about the chemical roots of memory in nerve cells or the basis of learning, about the complex behavior of man and animals, the nature of growth, development, disease and aging will be at least as fundamental and spectacular as those of the recent past.
As quoted in 'H. Bentley Glass', New York Times (12 Jan 1970), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Aging (4)  |  Animal (309)  |  Behaviour (24)  |  Biology (150)  |  Cell (125)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Decade (19)  |  Development (228)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Disease (257)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Future (229)  |  Growth (111)  |  Heredity (51)  |  Learning (174)  |  Man (345)  |  Memory (81)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Nerve (66)  |  Root (48)  |  Spectacular (8)

The American Businessman has a problem: if he comes up with something new, the Russians invent it six months later and the Japanese make it cheaper.
Anonymous
In E.C. McKenzie, 14,000 Quips and Quotes for Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers (1990), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  American (34)  |  Cheaper (5)  |  Invention (283)  |  Japanese (3)  |  Russian (2)

The answers are always inside the problem, not outside.
(Attributed ??) This quote is often seen, but without a citation, even on the official Marshall McLuhan website. If you known a primary print source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Inside (16)  |  Outside (37)

The architect does not demand things which cannot be found or made ready without great expense. For example: it is not everywhere that there is plenty of pitsand, rubble, fir, clear fir, and marble… Where there is no pitsand, we must use the kinds washed up by rivers or by the sea… and other problems we must solve in similar ways.
Vitruvius
In De Architectura, Book 1, Chap 2, Sec. 8. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Architect (15)  |  Demand (52)  |  Economy (46)  |  Expense (10)  |  Marble (10)  |  River (68)  |  Sand (25)  |  Sea (143)  |  Solve (41)

The art of research [is] the art of making difficult problems soluble by devising means of getting at them.
Pluto's Republic (1982), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Devising (7)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Means (109)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)

The carbon output that melts the ice in the Arctic also causes ocean acidification, which results from the ocean absorbing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (the same carbon dioxide that is the primary cause of global warming, hence the nickname “the other carbon problem”).
In 'What do the Arctic, a Thermostat and COP15 Have in Common?', Huffington Post (18 Mar 2010).
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Acidification (3)  |  Arctic (4)  |  Atmosphere (63)  |  Carbon (48)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Cause (231)  |  Excess (8)  |  Global Warming (26)  |  Ice (29)  |  Melt (15)  |  Nickname (2)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Output (9)  |  Primary (29)  |  Result (250)

The central problem of biological evolution is the nature of mutation, but hitherto the occurrence of this has been wholly refractory and impossible to influence by artificial means, although a control of it might obviously place the process of evolution in our hands.
'The Recent Findings in Heredity' (unpublished lecture, 1916, Lilly Library), 3. Quoted in Elof Axel Carlson, Genes, Radiation, and Society: The Life and Work of H. J. Muller (1981), 104.
Science quotes on:  |  Biology (150)  |  Evolution (482)  |  Mutation (25)  |  Occurrence (30)  |  Process (201)

The century of biology upon which we are now well embarked is no matter of trivialities. It is a movement of really heroic dimensions, one of the great episodes in man’s intellectual history. The scientists who are carrying the movement forward talk in terms of nucleo-proteins, of ultracentrifuges, of biochemical genetics, of electrophoresis, of the electron microscope, of molecular morphology, of radioactive isotopes. But do not be misled by these horrendous terms, and above all do not be fooled into thinking this is mere gadgetry. This is the dependable way to seek a solution of the cancer and polio problems, the problems of rheumatism and of the heart. This is the knowledge on which we must base our solution of the population and food problems. This is the understanding of life.
Letter to H. M. H. Carsan (17 Jun 1949). Quoted in Raymond B. Fosdick, The Story of the Rockefeller Foundation (1952), 166.
Science quotes on:  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Biology (150)  |  Cancer (44)  |  Century (94)  |  Electrophoresis (2)  |  Food (139)  |  Gadget (2)  |  Genetic (11)  |  Heart (110)  |  History (302)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Isotope (4)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Morphology (18)  |  Movement (65)  |  Overpopulation (3)  |  Polio (5)  |  Population (71)  |  Protein (43)  |  Radioactive (7)  |  Rheumatism (3)  |  Understanding (317)

The certainties of one age are the problems of the next.
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926, 2008), 282.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (97)

The chief problem of the commercial farmers is overproduction. The chief problem of the low-income farmers is poverty.
In Public Papers of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Fifty-Third Governor of the State of New York (1959), Vol. 1, 1206.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (62)  |  Commercial (25)  |  Farmer (23)  |  Income (8)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Production (105)

The definition of a good mathematical problem is the mathematics it generates rather than the problem itself.
From interview for PBS website on the NOVA program, 'The Proof'.
Science quotes on:  |  Definition (152)  |  Generate (11)  |  Good (228)  |  Mathematics (587)

The difficulty lies not in solving problems but expressing them.
From 'The Evolution of Chastity' (Feb 1934), as translated by René Hague in Toward the Future (1975), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Express (32)  |  Solution (168)

The distributed architecture and its technique of packet switching were built around the problem of getting messages delivered despite blockages, holes and malfunctions. Imagine the poor censor faced with such a system. There is no central exchange to seize and hold; messages actively “seek out” alternative routes so that even if one path is blocked another may open up. Here is the civil libertarian’s dream.
As quoted in Richard Rogers, 'The Internet Treats Censorship as a Malfunction and Routes Around It? : A New Media Approach to the Study of State Internet Censorship', collected in Jussi Parikka and Tony D. Sampson (eds.), The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Alternative (22)  |  Architecture (35)  |  Block (8)  |  Censor (2)  |  Central (23)  |  Civil (2)  |  Delivery (4)  |  Distribute (5)  |  Dream (92)  |  Exchange (11)  |  Hold (56)  |  Malfunction (3)  |  Message (30)  |  Open (38)  |  Path (59)  |  Route (11)  |  Seek (57)  |  Seize (10)  |  Technique (41)

The dropping of the Atomic Bomb is a very deep problem... Instead of commemorating Hiroshima we should celebrate... man's triumph over the problem [of transmutation], and not its first misuse by politicians and military authorities.
Address to New Europe Group meeting on the third anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb. Quoted in New Europe Group, In Commemoration of Professor Frederick Soddy (1956), 6-7.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Authority (50)  |  Celebration (6)  |  Deep (81)  |  Hiroshima (13)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Military (24)  |  Misuse (9)  |  Politician (22)  |  Transmutation (13)  |  Triumph (33)

The empirical domain of objective contemplation, and the delineation of our planet in its present condition, do not include a consideration of the mysterious and insoluble problems of origin and existence.
In lecture, 'Organic Life', collected in Cosmos, the Elements of the Physical World (1849), 348, as translated by E.C. Otté. Also seen translated as “The mysterious and unsolved problem of how things came to be does not enter the empirical province of objective research, which is confined to a description of things as they are.”
Science quotes on:  |  Description (72)  |  Empirical (15)  |  Existence (254)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Mysterious (21)  |  Objective (49)  |  Origin (77)  |  Research (517)

The equation of animal and vegetable life is too complicated a problem for human intelligence to solve, and we can never know how wide a circle of disturbance we produce in the harmonies of nature when we throw the smallest pebble into the ocean of organic life.
Man and Nature, (1864), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Disturbance (19)  |  Equation (69)  |  Harmony (55)  |  Intelligence (138)  |  Life (917)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Ocean (115)  |  Organic Life (2)  |  Pebble (17)  |  Solution (168)  |  Vegetable (19)

The essence of engineering consists not so much in the mere construction of the spectacular layouts or developments, but in the invention required—the analysis of the problem, the design, the solution by the mind which directs it all.
As quoted, “he said to the writer in effect,” Robert Fletcher, 'William Hood '67, Chief Engineer of the Southern Pacific Railroad Lines, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (1919), Vol. 11, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Bridge (22)  |  Construction (69)  |  Design (92)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Essence (42)  |  Invention (283)  |  Mind (544)  |  Solution (168)  |  Spectacular (8)  |  Tunnel (7)

The fact remains that, if the supply of energy failed, modern civilization would come to an end as abruptly as does the music of an organ deprived of wind.
Matter and Energy (1911), 251.
Science quotes on:  |  Abrupt (3)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Deprivation (5)  |  End (141)  |  Energy (185)  |  Energy Conservation (3)  |  Failure (118)  |  Future (229)  |  Modern (104)  |  Music (66)  |  Organ (60)  |  Supply (31)  |  Wind (52)

The fact that death from cancer is on the increase is not only a problem of medicine, but its at the same time testifies to the wonderful efficiency of medical science... [as it] enables more persons top live long enough to develop some kind of cancer in old and less resistant tissues.
Charles H. Mayo and William A. Hendricks, 'Carcinoma of the Right Segment of the Colon', presented to Southern Surgical Assoc. (15 Dec 1925). In Annals of Surgery (Mar 1926), 83, 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Cancer (44)  |  Death (270)  |  Development (228)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Increase (107)  |  Life (917)  |  Medical Science (4)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Old Age (18)  |  Resistance (23)  |  Testimony (10)  |  Tissue (24)  |  Wonder (134)

The fact that human life can be prolonged with fewer physical problems requires that we give increasing attention to improving the quality of life. As the poet Edwin Markham stated: “We are all fools until we know that in the common plan, nothing is worth the building if it does not build the man; why build these temples glorious, if man unbuilded goes?”
In 'Millenial Musings', Chemical & Engineering News (6 Dec 1999), 77, No. 49, 48.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (76)  |  Building (51)  |  Fewer (5)  |  Fool (70)  |  Glorious (17)  |  Human Life (25)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Physical (94)  |  Plan (69)  |  Poet (59)  |  Prolong (8)  |  Quality (65)  |  Temple (22)  |  Worth (74)

The first step in finding the solution to a problem often involves discovering a problem with the existing solution.
Anonymous
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Existing (9)  |  Finding (30)  |  First (174)  |  Involving (2)  |  Solution (168)  |  Step (67)

The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.
In Albert Einstein and Léopold Infeld, The Evolution of Physics: The Growth of Ideas from Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta (1938, 1966), 92.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (66)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Imagination (209)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Progress (317)  |  Question (315)  |  Solution (168)

The fundamental problem in the origin of species is not the origin of differences in appearance, since these arise at the level of the geographical race, but the origin of genetic segregation. The test of species-formation is whether, when two forms meet, they interbreed and merge, or whether they keep distinct.
Darwin's Finches (1947), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Breed (18)  |  Difference (208)  |  Genetics (98)  |  Origin Of Species (39)  |  Race (76)  |  Segregation (2)

The future mathematician ... should solve problems, choose the problems which are in his line, meditate upon their solution, and invent new problems. By this means, and by all other means, he should endeavor to make his first important discovery: he should discover his likes and dislikes, his taste, his own line.
How to Solve it: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (1957), 206.
Science quotes on:  |  Career (54)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Dislike (11)  |  Endeavour (24)  |  Future (229)  |  Like (18)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Solution (168)

The genesis of mathematical creation is a problem which should intensely interest the psychologist.
In 'Mathematical Creation', The Value of Science, collected in Henri Poincaré and George bruce Halsted (trans.), The Foundations of Science (1913), 383.
Science quotes on:  |  Creation (211)  |  Genesis (13)  |  Intense (11)  |  Interest (170)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Psychologist (11)

The Golden Gate Bridge is a giant moving math problem.
Quoted on web site for PBS American Experience episode for 'Golden Gate Bridge.'
Science quotes on:  |  Bridge (22)  |  Bridge Engineering (8)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Giant (28)  |  Golden Gate Bridge (2)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Moving (11)

The great problem of today is, how to subject all physical phenomena to dynamical laws. With all the experimental devices, and all the mathematical appliances of this generation, the human mind has been baffled in its attempts to construct a universal science of physics.
'President's Address', Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1874), 23, 34-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (543)  |  Law (418)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mind (544)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Physics (301)

The greatest problem of communication is the illusion that it has been achieved.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (36)  |  Communication (58)  |  Great (300)  |  Illusion (38)

The ideal engineer is a composite ... He is not a scientist, he is not a mathematician, he is not a sociologist or a writer; but he may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving engineering problems.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Composite (3)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Engineer (72)  |  Engineering (115)  |  Ideal (52)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Sociologist (2)  |  Solve (41)  |  Technique (41)  |  Writer (35)

The ideal engineer is a composite. … He is not a scientist, he is not a mathematician, he is not a sociologist or a writer. But he may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving problems.
Student, Teacher, and Engineer: Selected Speeches and Articles of Nathan W Dougherty (1972), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Engineer (72)

The inherent unpredictability of future scientific developments—the fact that no secure inference can be drawn from one state of science to another—has important implications for the issue of the limits of science. It means that present-day science cannot speak for future science: it is in principle impossible to make any secure inferences from the substance of science at one time about its substance at a significantly different time. The prospect of future scientific revolutions can never be precluded. We cannot say with unblinking confidence what sorts of resources and conceptions the science of the future will or will not use. Given that it is effectively impossible to predict the details of what future science will accomplish, it is no less impossible to predict in detail what future science will not accomplish. We can never confidently put this or that range of issues outside “the limits of science”, because we cannot discern the shape and substance of future science with sufficient clarity to be able to say with any assurance what it can and cannot do. Any attempt to set “limits” to science—any advance specification of what science can and cannot do by way of handling problems and solving questions—is destined to come to grief.
The Limits of Science (1984), 102-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  Advance (123)  |  Assurance (8)  |  Clarity (31)  |  Confidence (32)  |  Detail (65)  |  Discerning (7)  |  Effectiveness (10)  |  Future (229)  |  Handling (7)  |  Implication (14)  |  Importance (183)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Inference (26)  |  Inherent (27)  |  Issue (37)  |  Limit (86)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Present (103)  |  Principle (228)  |  Range (38)  |  Science (1699)  |  Security (27)  |  Shape (52)  |  Speaking (38)  |  Specification (5)  |  State (96)  |  Substance (73)  |  Unpredictability (5)

The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know why or how.
Quoted in Forbes (15 Sep 1974). In Larry Chang, Wisdom for the Soul (2006), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Intuition (39)  |  Solution (168)

The investigation of causal relations between economic phenomena presents many problems of peculiar difficulty, and offers many opportunities for fallacious conclusions. Since the statistician can seldom or never make experiments for himself, he has to accept the data of daily experience, and discuss as best he can the relations of a whole group of changes; he cannot, like the physicist, narrow down the issue to the effect of one variation at a time. The problems of statistics are in this sense far more complex than the problems of physics.
Udny Yule
In 'On the Theory of Correlation', Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (Dec 1897), 60, 812, as cited in Stephen M. Stigler, The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty Before 1900 (1986), 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (231)  |  Change (291)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Data (100)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Economics (30)  |  Effect (133)  |  Experience (268)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fallacious (2)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Narrow (33)  |  Opportunity (43)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Physics (301)  |  Relation (96)  |  Statistician (16)  |  Statistics (125)  |  Time (439)  |  Variation (50)

The life and soul of science is its practical application, and just as the great advances in mathematics have been made through the desire of discovering the solution of problems which were of a highly practical kind in mathematical science, so in physical science many of the greatest advances that have been made from the beginning of the world to the present time have been made in the earnest desire to turn the knowledge of the properties of matter to some purpose useful to mankind.
From 'Electrical Units of Measurement', a lecture delivered at the Institution of Civil Engineers, London (3 May 1883), Popular Lectures and Addresses Vol. 1 (1891), 86-87.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Application (117)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Life (917)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Physical Science (54)  |  Practical (93)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Solution (168)  |  Soul (139)

The line separating investment and speculation, which is never bright and clear, becomes blurred still further when most market participants have recently enjoyed triumphs. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know that overstaying the festivities—that is, continuing to speculate in companies that have gigantic valuations relative to the cash they are likely to generate in the future—will eventually bring on pumpkins and mice. But they nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Akin (3)  |  Ball (20)  |  Become (100)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Blur (4)  |  Bright (26)  |  Bring (53)  |  Cash (2)  |  Clear (52)  |  Clock (26)  |  Company (28)  |  Continue (38)  |  Dance (14)  |  Dose (12)  |  Drift (6)  |  Effortless (2)  |  Enjoy (23)  |  Eventually (14)  |  Experience (268)  |  Far (77)  |  Future (229)  |  Generate (11)  |  Giddy (3)  |  Gigantic (16)  |  Hand (103)  |  Hate (26)  |  Heady (2)  |  Investment (8)  |  Kind (99)  |  Know (321)  |  Large (82)  |  Leave (63)  |  Likely (23)  |  Line (44)  |  Market (9)  |  Midnight (7)  |  Minute (25)  |  Miss (16)  |  Money (125)  |  Mouse (24)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Overstay (2)  |  Participant (3)  |  Party (16)  |  People (269)  |  Plan (69)  |  Rationality (11)  |  Relative (24)  |  Room (29)  |  Second (33)  |  Sensible (22)  |  Separate (46)  |  Single (72)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Triumph (33)  |  Valuation (3)

The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them.
Wind, Sand, and Stars (1939).
Science quotes on:  |  Deeply (13)  |  Great (300)  |  Isolate (10)  |  Machine (133)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Plunge (7)

The major credit I think Jim and I deserve … is for selecting the right problem and sticking to it. It's true that by blundering about we stumbled on gold, but the fact remains that we were looking for gold. Both of us had decided, quite independently of each other, that the central problem in molecular biology was the chemical structure of the gene. … We could not see what the answer was, but we considered it so important that we were determined to think about it long and hard, from any relevant point of view.
In What Mad Pursuit (1990), 74-75.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Autobiography (55)  |  Credit (16)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Importance (183)  |  Molecular Biology (23)  |  Structure Of DNA (5)  |  Stumble (11)  |  James Watson (33)

The meaning of time has become terribly problematic in contemporary physics. The situation is so uncomfortable that by far the best thing to do is declare oneself an agnostic.
Quoted by Tim Folger in 'Newsflash: Time May Not Exist', Discover Magazine (Jun 2007).
Science quotes on:  |  Agnostic (7)  |  Time (439)

The message from the Moon which we have flashed to the far corners of this planet is that no problem need any longer be considered insoluble.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Consider (45)  |  Corner (24)  |  Far (77)  |  Flash (25)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Long (95)  |  Message (30)  |  Moon (132)  |  Need (211)  |  Planet (199)

The most direct, and in a sense the most important, problem which our conscious knowledge of Nature should enable us to solve is the anticipation of future events.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Anticipation (11)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Direct (44)  |  Enable (25)  |  Event (97)  |  Future (229)  |  Important (124)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Sense (240)  |  Solve (41)

The most important and urgent problems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by technology of yesterday.
Innovations: Scientific Technological and Social (1970), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Archetype (4)  |  Damage (18)  |  Evil (67)  |  Importance (183)  |  Need (211)  |  Primary (29)  |  Repair (7)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Technology (199)  |  Today (86)  |  Urgent (7)  |  Wish (62)  |  Yesterday (14)

The mystery of life is certainly the most persistent problem ever placed before the thought of man. There is no doubt that from the time humanity began to think it has occupied itself with the problem of its origin and its future which undoubtedly is the problem of life. The inability of science to solve it is absolute. This would be truly frightening were it not for faith.
Address (10 Sep 1934) to the International Congress of Electro-Radio Biology, Venice. In Associated Press, 'Life a Closed Book, Declares Marconi', New York Times (11 Sep 1934), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (65)  |  Certainty (97)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Faith (131)  |  Frightening (3)  |  Future (229)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Inability (4)  |  Life (917)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Occupation (37)  |  Origin (77)  |  Origin Of Life (32)  |  Persistence (16)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Solution (168)  |  Thinking (222)

The next decade will perhaps raise us a step above despair to a cleaner, clearer wisdom and biology cannot fail to help in this. As we become increasingly aware of the ethical problems raised by science and technology, the frontiers between the biological and social sciences are clearly of critical importance—in population density and problems of hunger, psychological stress, pollution of the air and water and exhaustion of irreplaceable resources.
As quoted in 'H. Bentley Glass', New York Times (12 Jan 1970), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (151)  |  Awareness (23)  |  Biology (150)  |  Cleaner (2)  |  Clearer (4)  |  Decade (19)  |  Despair (25)  |  Environment (138)  |  Ethics (30)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Frontier (16)  |  Help (68)  |  Hunger (13)  |  Importance (183)  |  Irreplaceable (2)  |  Pollution (37)  |  Population (71)  |  Psychology (125)  |  Resource (47)  |  Science (1699)  |  Social Science (18)  |  Stress (8)  |  Technology (199)  |  Water (244)  |  Wisdom (151)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Misty (3)  |  Mouth (16)  |  Observation (418)  |  Penetrating (3)  |  Perfect (46)  |  Personality (40)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Physical (94)  |  Poise (2)  |  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 only difference between a problem and a solution is that people understand the solution.
Science quotes on:  |  Solution (168)

The open secret of real success is to throw your whole personality into your problem.
How to Solve it: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (1957), 207.
Science quotes on:  |  Personality (40)  |  Secret (98)  |  Success (202)

The pace of science forces the pace of technique. Theoretical physics forces atomic energy on us; the successful production of the fission bomb forces upon us the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb. We do not choose our problems, we do not choose our products; we are pushed, we are forced—by what? By a system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Appendix (4)  |  Atomic Energy (21)  |  Bomb (17)  |  Choose (35)  |  Fission (7)  |  Force (194)  |  Goal (81)  |  Hydrogen Bomb (7)  |  Manufacture (12)  |  Pace (4)  |  Product (72)  |  Production (105)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Push (22)  |  Science (1699)  |  Successful (20)  |  System (141)  |  Technique (41)  |  Theoretical Physics (15)  |  Transcend (9)

The physicians surely are the natural advocates of the poor and the social problem largely falls within their scope.
In 'The Aims of the Journal “Medical Reform”' (1848), collected in L. J. Rather (ed.), Collected Essays on Public Health and Epidemiology (1985), Vol. 1, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Advocate (10)  |  Natural (128)  |  Physician (232)  |  Poor (46)  |  Scope (13)  |  Society (188)

The prediction of nuclear winter is drawn not, of course, from any direct experience with the consequences of global nuclear war, but rather from an investigation of the governing physics. (The problem does not lend itself to full experimental verification—at least not more than once.)[co-author with American atmospheric chemist Richard P. Turco (1943- )]
A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race (1990), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Experience (268)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Global (14)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Nuclear (24)  |  Nuclear Winter (3)  |  Physics (301)  |  Verification (20)  |  War (144)  |  Winter (22)

The present rate of progress [in X-ray crystallography] is determined, not so much by the lack of problems to investigate or the limited power of X-ray analysis, as by the restricted number of investigators who have had a training in the technique of the new science, and by the time it naturally takes for its scientific and technical importance to become widely appreciated.
Concluding remark in Lecture (1936) on 'Forty Years of Crystal Physics', collected in Needham and Pagel (eds.) in Background to Modern Science: Ten Lectures at Cambridge Arranged by the History of Science Committee, (1938), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Appreciate (17)  |  Become (100)  |  Determine (45)  |  Importance (183)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Investigator (28)  |  Lack (52)  |  Limited (13)  |  Naturally (7)  |  New (340)  |  Number (179)  |  Power (273)  |  Present (103)  |  Progress (317)  |  Rate (22)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Take (8)  |  Technical (26)  |  Technique (41)  |  Time (439)  |  Training (39)  |  Widely (5)  |  X-ray Crystallography (11)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Proceed (25)

The problem of modern democracy is not that the people have lost their power, but that they have lost their appreciation for the extraordinary power they wield. Consider one astonishing truth: Famine has never struck a democracy.
In Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein, The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World (2007), 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciation (19)  |  Astonishing (7)  |  Democracy (21)  |  Extraordinary (32)  |  Famine (8)  |  Lose (53)  |  Modern (104)  |  People (269)  |  Power (273)  |  Strike (21)  |  Truth (750)

The problem with linear theory is that it is not nonlinear.
Epigraph in Mathematics in Nature: Modeling Patterns in the Natural World (2003), 173. Quoting from his own first professional presentation as a first-year graduate student.
Science quotes on:  |  Nonlinear (3)

The problems of analyzing war operations are … rather nearer, in general, to many problems, say of biology or of economics, than to most problems of physics, where usually a great deal of numerical data are ascertainable about relatively simple phenomena.
In report at the British Association Annual Meeting, Dundee (30 Aug 1947), published in 'Operational Research in War and Peace', The Advancement of Science (1948), 17, 320-332. Collected in P.M.S. Blackett, Studies of War: Nuclear and Conventional (1962), 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Biology (150)  |  Data (100)  |  Economics (30)  |  Operation (96)  |  Physics (301)  |  War (144)

The real achievement in discoveries … is seeing an analogy where no one saw one before. … The essence of discovery is that unlikely marriage of … previously unrelated forms of reference or universes of discourse, whose union will solve the previously insoluble problem.
Arthur Koestler, Act of Creation (1964), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)  |  Analogy (46)  |  Discourse (13)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Essence (42)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Marriage (31)  |  Solution (168)  |  Union (16)  |  Unlikely (12)  |  Unrelated (6)

The real problem in speech is not precise language. The problem is clear language. The desire is to have the idea clearly communicated to the other person. [But] precise language is not precise in any sense if you deal with the real objects of the world, and is overly pedantic and quite confusing to use it unless there are some special subtleties which have to be carefully distinguished.
Criticizing “overly pedantic” language in proposed textbooks for a modified arithmetic course for grades 1-8 in California schools. In article, 'New Textbooks for the ‘New’ Mathematics', Engineering and Science (Mar 1965), 28, No. 6. Collected in Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard Feynman (2008), 454. He was writing as a member of the California State Curriculum Committee
Science quotes on:  |  Clear (52)  |  Confusion (34)  |  Definition (152)  |  Distinguishing (14)  |  Language (155)  |  Pedantic (2)  |  Precise (17)  |  Real (95)  |  Speech (40)  |  Subtlety (9)

The real value of science is in the getting, and those who have tasted the pleasure of discovery alone know what science is. A problem solved is dead. A world without problems to be solved would be devoid of science.
In Matter and Energy (1912), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Alone (61)  |  Devoid (5)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Reality (140)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solution (168)  |  Taste (35)  |  Without (13)  |  World (667)

The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one ... I do not believe that civilization will be wiled out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two thirds of the people of the Earth will be killed.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Atomic Energy (21)  |  Belief (400)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Create (98)  |  Earth (487)  |  Exist (89)  |  Fight (37)  |  Kill (37)  |  Merely (35)  |  Necessity (125)  |  New (340)  |  People (269)  |  Release (15)  |  Solve (41)  |  Urgent (7)  |  War (144)

The same society which receives the rewards of technology must, as a cooperating whole, take responsibility for control. To deal with these new problems will require a new conservation. We must not only protect the countryside and save it from destruction, we must restore what has been destroyed and salvage the beauty and charm of our cities. Our conservation must be not just the classic conservation of protection and development, but a creative conservation of restoration and innovation. Its concern is not with nature alone, but with the total relation between man and the world around him. Its object is not just man's welfare, but the dignity of man's spirit.
In his 'Message to Congress on Conservation and Restoration of Natural Beauty' written to Congress (8 Feb 1965). It was a broad initiative aimed at beautifying America, guaranteeing water and air quality, and preserving natural areas. In Lyndon B. Johnson: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President (1965), Vol.1, 156. United States. President (1963-1969 : Johnson), Lyndon Baines Johnson, United States. Office of the Federal Register - 1970
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Charm (18)  |  City (37)  |  Classic (4)  |  Concern (76)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Control (93)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Countryside (3)  |  Creativity (66)  |  Destruction (80)  |  Development (228)  |  Dignity (18)  |  Environment (138)  |  Innovation (38)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Nature (1029)  |  New (340)  |  Object (110)  |  Protection (23)  |  Relationship (59)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Responsibility (47)  |  Restoration (4)  |  Reward (38)  |  Salvage (2)  |  Saving (19)  |  Society (188)  |  Spirit (113)  |  Technology (199)  |  Welfare (16)  |  World (667)

The scientific method of examining facts is not peculiar to one class of phenomena and to one class of workers; it is applicable to social as well as to physical problems, and we must carefully guard ourselves against supposing that the scientific frame of mind is a peculiarity of the professional scientist.
From The Grammar of Science (1892), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Applicable (2)  |  Care (73)  |  Class (64)  |  Examination (60)  |  Fact (609)  |  Guard (12)  |  Peculiar (24)  |  Peculiarity (15)  |  Physical (94)  |  Professional (27)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Social (93)  |  Supposition (33)  |  Worker (23)

The scientist, by the very nature of his commitment, creates more and more questions, never fewer. Indeed the measure of our intellectual maturity, one philosopher suggests, is our capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better problems.
Becoming: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality (1955), 67.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (201)  |  Capacity (42)  |  Commitment (11)  |  Create (98)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Maturity (7)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Question (315)  |  Satisfy (14)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Suggest (15)

The secret of science is to ask the right question, and it is the choice of problem more than anything else that marks the man of genius in the scientific world.
As quoted in the Inaugural Sir Henry Tizard Memorial Lecture at Westminster School (21 Feb 1963) by Sir George Thomson 'Research in Theory and Practice'. As cited Ray Corrigan, Digital Decision Making: Back to the Future (2007), 142.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (99)  |  Choice (64)  |  Genius (186)  |  Mark (28)  |  Question (315)  |  Right (144)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Secret (98)  |  World (667)

The situation with regard to insulin is particularly clear. In many parts of the world diabetic children still die from lack of this hormone. ... [T]hose of us who search for new biological facts and for new and better therapeutic weapons should appreciate that one of the central problems of the world is the more equitable distribution and use of the medical and nutritional advances which have already been established. The observations which I have recently made in parts of Africa and South America have brought this fact very forcible to my attention.
'Studies on Diabetes and Cirrhosis', Proceedings, American Philosophical Society (1952) 96, No. 1, 29.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Africa (15)  |  Attention (76)  |  Child (189)  |  Death (270)  |  Diabetes (4)  |  Distribution (21)  |  Equity (2)  |  Hormone (7)  |  Insulin (8)  |  Lack (52)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Nutrition (15)  |  Observation (418)  |  Research (517)  |  Situation (41)  |  South America (4)  |  Therapy (10)  |  World (667)

The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found. The one is the man who studies the problem and the other is the man who gives us a formula, correct or incorrect, as the solution of it.
'My Religion', Essays and Soliloquies, translated by John Ernest Crawford Flitch (1925), 56. In Robert Andrews, The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993), 844:9.
Science quotes on:  |  Doubt (121)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Research (517)  |  Solution (168)

The stakes are immense, the task colossal, the time is short. But we may hope–we must hope–that man’s own creation, man’s own genius, will not destroy him. Scholars, indeed all men, must move forward in the faith of that philosopher who held that there is no problem the human reason can propound which the human reason cannot reason out.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Colossal (10)  |  Creation (211)  |  Destroy (63)  |  Faith (131)  |  Forward (21)  |  Genius (186)  |  Hold (56)  |  Hope (129)  |  Human (445)  |  Immense (28)  |  Move (58)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Propound (2)  |  Reason (330)  |  Scholar (31)  |  Short (31)  |  Stake (14)  |  Task (68)  |  Time (439)

The suppression of crime is not entirely a legal question. It is a problem for the physician, the economist and the lawyer. We, as physicians, should encourage the criminologist by lending to him the surgeon, the internist and all of the rest of the resources of medicine, just as we have done in the case of the flea man, the fly man, the mosquito man, the bed-bug man and all the other ologists.
From paper read at the Section on State Medicine and Public Hygiene of the State Medical Association of Texas at El Paso (11 May 1922), 'The Use Of Scopolamine In Criminology', published in Texas State Journal of Medicine (Sep 1922). Reprinted in The American Journal of Police Science (Jul-Aug 1931), 2, No. 4, 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Bedbug (2)  |  Case (64)  |  Crime (20)  |  Economist (13)  |  Entirely (23)  |  Flea (8)  |  Fly (65)  |  Lawyer (18)  |  Legal (6)  |  Medicine (322)  |  Mosquito (12)  |  Physician (232)  |  Question (315)  |  Resource (47)  |  Suppression (6)  |  Surgeon (43)

The teacher can seldom afford to miss the questions: What is the unknown? What are the data? What is the condition? The student should consider the principal parts of the problem attentively, repeatedly, and from various sides.
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 77
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (76)  |  Condition (119)  |  Data (100)  |  Part (146)  |  Principal (15)  |  Question (315)  |  Repeat (27)  |  Seldom (21)  |  Side (36)  |  Student (131)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Unknown (87)  |  Various (25)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  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)  |  Method (154)  |  Paradigm (10)  |  Process (201)  |  Reconstruction (13)  |  Solution (168)  |  Theory (582)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Transition (15)

The Unexpected stalks a farm in big boots like a vagrant bent on havoc. Not every farmer is an inventor, but the good ones have the seeds of invention within them. Economy and efficiency move their relentless tinkering and yet the real motive often seems to be aesthetic. The mind that first designed a cutter bar is not far different from a mind that can take the intractable steel of an outsized sickle blade and make it hum in the end. The question is how to reduce the simplicity that constitutes a problem (“It's simple; it's broke.”) to the greater simplicity that constitutes a solution.
In Making Hay (2003), 33-34.
Science quotes on:  |  Aestheticism (2)  |  Blade (5)  |  Boot (4)  |  Economy (46)  |  Efficiency (25)  |  Farm (17)  |  Farmer (23)  |  Havoc (5)  |  Hum (4)  |  Invention (283)  |  Inventor (49)  |  Mind (544)  |  Motive (26)  |  Question (315)  |  Reduce (32)  |  Relentless (5)  |  Seed (52)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Solution (168)  |  Stalk (4)  |  Steel (14)  |  Tinkering (2)  |  Unexpected (26)  |  Vagrant (4)

The United States is the most powerful technically advanced country in the world to-day. Its influence on the shaping of international relations is absolutely incalculable. But America is a large country and its people have so far not shown much interest in great international problems, among which the problem of disarmament occupies first place today. This must be changed, if only in the essential interests of the Americans. The last war has shown that there are no longer any barriers between the continents and that the destinies of all countries are closely interwoven. The people of this country must realize that they have a great responsibility in the sphere of international politics. The part of passive spectator is unworthy of this country and is bound in the end to lead to disaster all round.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Absolutely (24)  |  Advance (123)  |  America (74)  |  American (34)  |  Barrier (19)  |  Bind (18)  |  Change (291)  |  Closely (8)  |  Continent (39)  |  Country (121)  |  Destiny (26)  |  Disarmament (3)  |  Disaster (36)  |  End (141)  |  Essential (87)  |  Far (77)  |  First (174)  |  Great (300)  |  Influence (110)  |  Interest (170)  |  International (18)  |  Interwoven (6)  |  Large (82)  |  Lead (101)  |  Long (95)  |  Occupy (18)  |  Part (146)  |  Passive (5)  |  People (269)  |  Place (111)  |  Politics (77)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Realize (43)  |  Relation (96)  |  Responsibility (47)  |  Round (15)  |  Shape (52)  |  Show (55)  |  Spectator (6)  |  Sphere (40)  |  Technically (2)  |  To-Day (5)  |  Today (86)  |  Unworthy (8)  |  Usa (6)  |  War (144)  |  World (667)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  Nose (9)  |  Opposed (2)  |  Opposite (39)  |  Pure (62)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Research (517)  |  Right (144)  |  Trying (18)  |  Usefulness (70)  |  Virtue (55)

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (84)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Fanatic (5)  |  Fool (70)  |  Full (38)  |  People (269)  |  Themselves (45)  |  Whole (122)  |  Wise (43)  |  World (667)

The ‘mad idea’ which will lie at the basis of a future fundamental physical theory will come from a realization that physical meaning has some mathematical form not previously associated with reality. From this point of view the problem of the ‘mad idea’ is the problem of choosing, not of generating, the right idea. One should not understand that too literally. In the 1960s it was said (in a certain connection) that the most important discovery of recent years in physics was the complex numbers. The author [Yuri Manin] has something like that in mind.
Mathematics and Physics (1981), Foreward. Reprinted in Mathematics as Metaphor: Selected Essays of Yuri I. Manin (2007), 90.
Science quotes on:  |  Associate (9)  |  Author (39)  |  Basis (60)  |  Certain (84)  |  Choose (35)  |  Complex Number (2)  |  Connection (86)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Form (210)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Future (229)  |  Generate (11)  |  Idea (440)  |  Important (124)  |  Lie (80)  |  Literally (5)  |  Mad (15)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Mean (63)  |  Mind (544)  |  Physical (94)  |  Physics (301)  |  Point Of View (26)  |  Previously (7)  |  Reality (140)  |  Realization (33)  |  Recent (23)  |  Right (144)  |  Say (126)  |  Theory (582)  |  Understand (189)  |  Year (214)

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Child (189)  |  Long Ago (4)  |  Lose (53)  |  Mode (29)  |  Perception (53)  |  Physics (301)  |  Play (60)  |  Sensory (2)  |  Solve (41)  |  Street (17)  |  Top (20)

There are no small problems. Problems that appear small are large problems that are not understood
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), 17.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (77)  |  Large (82)  |  Small (97)  |  Understanding (317)

There are problems to whose solution I would attach an infinitely greater importance than to those of mathematics, for example touching ethics, or our relation to God, or concerning our destiny and our future; but their solution lies wholly beyond us and completely outside the province of science.
Quoted in J.R. Newman, The World of Mathematics (1956), 314.
Science quotes on:  |  Solution (168)

There are still psychologists who, in a basic misunderstanding, think that gestalt theory tends to underestimate the role of past experience. Gestalt theory tries to differentiate between and-summative aggregates, on the one hand, and gestalten, structures, on the other, both in sub-wholes and in the total field, and to develop appropriate scientific tools for investigating the latter. It opposes the dogmatic application to all cases of what is adequate only for piecemeal aggregates. The question is whether an approach in piecemeal terms, through blind connections, is or is not adequate to interpret actual thought processes and the role of the past experience as well. Past experience has to be considered thoroughly, but it is ambiguous in itself; so long as it is taken in piecemeal, blind terms it is not the magic key to solve all problems.
In Productive Thinking (1959), 65.
Science quotes on:  |  Actual (34)  |  Adequate (18)  |  Aggregate (8)  |  Ambiguous (4)  |  Application (117)  |  Approach (33)  |  Appropriate (18)  |  Basic (52)  |  Blind (35)  |  Connection (86)  |  Consider (45)  |  Develop (55)  |  Differentiate (6)  |  Dogmatic (4)  |  Experience (268)  |  Field (119)  |  Gestalt (3)  |  Interpret (15)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Key (38)  |  Magic (67)  |  Misunderstanding (8)  |  Oppose (16)  |  Past (109)  |  Piecemeal (3)  |  Process (201)  |  Psychologist (11)  |  Question (315)  |  Role (35)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Solve (41)  |  Structure (191)  |  Theory (582)  |  Think (205)  |  Thoroughly (7)  |  Thought (374)  |  Tool (70)  |  Total (29)  |  Try (103)  |  Underestimate (3)

There are, at present, fundamental problems in theoretical physics … the solution of which … will presumably require a more drastic revision of our fundmental concepts than any that have gone before. Quite likely, these changes will be so great that it will be beyond the power of human intelligence to get the necessary new ideas by direct attempts to formulate the experimental data in mathematical terms. The theoretical worker in the future will, therefore, have to proceed in a more direct way. The most powerful method of advance that can be suggested at present is to employ all the resources of pure mathematics in attempts to perfect and generalize the mathematical formalism that forms the existing basis of theoretical physics, and after each success in this direction, to try to interpret the new mathematical features in terms of physical entities.
At age 28.
Proceedings of the Royal Society (1931), A133, 60. In A. Pais, 'Playing With Equations, the Dirac Way'. Behram N. Kursunoglu (Ed.) and Eugene Paul Wigner (Ed.), Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac: Reminiscences about a Great Physicist (1990), 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Pure Mathematics (27)  |  Solution (168)  |  Theoretical Physics (15)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  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)  |  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 no counting the unsolved problems of Natural History.
In Riddles of Science (1932), 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Count (34)  |  Natural History (44)  |  Unsolved (7)

There is no one central problem in philosophy, but countless little problems. Philosophy is like trying to open a safe with a combination lock: each little adjustment of the dials seems to achieve nothing, only when everything is in place does the door open.
From conversation with Rush Rhees (1930) as given by Rush Rhees in Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections (1981), 96.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieving (3)  |  Adjustment (12)  |  Central (23)  |  Countless (13)  |  Dial (3)  |  Door (25)  |  Everything (120)  |  Little (126)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Opening (15)  |  Philosophy (213)  |  Place (111)  |  Safe (15)  |  Trying (18)

There was yet another disadvantage attaching to the whole of Newton’s physical inquiries, ... the want of an appropriate notation for expressing the conditions of a dynamical problem, and the general principles by which its solution must be obtained. By the labours of LaGrange, the motions of a disturbed planet are reduced with all their complication and variety to a purely mathematical question. It then ceases to be a physical problem; the disturbed and disturbing planet are alike vanished: the ideas of time and force are at an end; the very elements of the orbit have disappeared, or only exist as arbitrary characters in a mathematical formula
Address to the Mechanics Institute, 'An Address on the Genius and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton' (1835), excerpted in paper by Luis M. Laita, Luis de Ledesma, Eugenio Roanes-Lozano and Alberto Brunori, 'George Boole, a Forerunner of Symbolic Computation', collected in John A. Campbell and Eugenio Roanes-Lozano (eds.), Artificial Intelligence and Symbolic Computation: International Conference AISC 2000 (2001), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Arbitrary (16)  |  Character (82)  |  Complication (20)  |  Condition (119)  |  Disadvantage (8)  |  Disappearance (21)  |  Disturbance (19)  |  Dynamics (6)  |  Expression (82)  |  Force (194)  |  Formula (51)  |  Idea (440)  |  Inquiry (33)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (11)  |  Motion (127)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Notation (9)  |  Orbit (58)  |  Planet (199)  |  Pure Mathematics (27)  |  Question (315)  |  Solution (168)  |  Time (439)  |  Vanishing (8)  |  Variety (53)

They think that differential equations are not reality. Hearing some colleagues speak, it's as though theoretical physics was just playing house with plastic building blocks. This absurd idea has gained currency, and now people seem to feel that theoretical physicists are little more than dreamers locked away ivory towers. They think our games, our little houses, bear no relation to their everyday worries, their interests, their problems, or their welfare. But I'm going to tell you something, and I want you to take it as a ground rule for this course. From now on I will be filling this board with equations. ... And when I'm done, I want you to do the following: look at those numbers, all those little numbers and Greek letters on the board, and repeat to yourselves, “This is reality,” repeat it over and over.
Zig Zag, trans. Lisa Dillman (2008), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Board (5)  |  Differential Equation (9)  |  Dreamer (4)  |  Game (45)  |  Interest (170)  |  Ivory Tower (3)  |  Reality (140)  |  Repeat (27)  |  Theoretical Physics (15)  |  Welfare (16)  |  Worry (27)

Think of a single problem confronting the world today. Disease, poverty, global warming… If the problem is going to be solved, it is science that is going to solve it. Scientists tend to be unappreciated in the world at large, but you can hardly overstate the importance of the work they do. If anyone ever cures cancer, it will be a guy with a science degree. Or a woman with a science degree.
Quoted in Max Davidson, 'Bill Bryson: Have faith, science can solve our problems', Daily Telegraph (26 Sep 2010)
Science quotes on:  |  Cancer (44)  |  Cure (88)  |  Disease (257)  |  Global Warming (26)  |  Importance (183)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Research (517)  |  Science Degree (2)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Solution (168)

This integrative action in virtue of which the nervous system unifies from separate organs an animal possessing solidarity, an individual, is the problem before us.
The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906), 2.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Animal (309)  |  Individual (177)  |  Integration (12)  |  Nervous System (11)  |  Organ (60)  |  Possession (37)  |  Separate (46)  |  Unification (9)  |  Virtue (55)

This whole period was a golden age of immunology, an age abounding in important synthetic discoveries all over the world, a time we all thought it was good to be alive. We, who were working on these problems, all knew each other and met as often as we could to exchange ideas and hot news from the laboratory.
In Memoir of a Thinking Radish: An Autobiography (1986), 135.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Exchange (11)  |  Golden Age (5)  |  Idea (440)  |  Immunology (13)  |  Important (124)  |  Laboratory (120)  |  News (12)  |  Synthetic (12)  |  World (667)

Those who nod sagely and quote the tragedy of the commons in relation to environmental problems from pollution of the atmosphere to poaching of national parks tend to forget that Garrett Hardin revised his conclusions many times…. He recognized, most importantly, that anarchy did not prevail on the common pastures of medieval England in the way he had described…. “A managed commons, though it may have other defects, is not automatically subject to the tragic fate of the unmanaged commons,” wrote Hardin…. At sea, where a common exists in most waters… None of Hardin’s requirements for a successfully managed common is fulfilled by high-seas fishery regimes.
In The End of the Line: How Overfishing is Changing the World and what We Eat (2004), 153-155.
Science quotes on:  |  Anarchy (5)  |  Automatic (13)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Defect (14)  |  England (31)  |  Environment (138)  |  Fate (38)  |  Fishery (2)  |  Forget (40)  |  Fulfilled (2)  |  Garrett Hardin (2)  |  Medieval (6)  |  National Park (2)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  Pasture (11)  |  Pollution (37)  |  Prevail (13)  |  Recognized (3)  |  Regime (2)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Sea (143)  |  Subject (129)  |  Successful (20)  |  Tragic (8)  |  Water (244)  |  Write (87)

Though science can cause problems, it is not by ignorance that we will solve them.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Cause (231)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Science (1699)  |  Solve (41)

Through the discovery of Buchner, Biology was relieved of another fragment of mysticism. The splitting up of sugar into CO2 and alcohol is no more the effect of a 'vital principle' than the splitting up of cane sugar by invertase. The history of this problem is instructive, as it warns us against considering problems as beyond our reach because they have not yet found their solution.
The Dynamics of Living Matter (1906), 22.
Science quotes on:  |  Alcohol (16)  |  Biology (150)  |  Eduard Buchner (3)  |  Carbon Dioxide (20)  |  Insoluble (13)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Solution (168)  |  Sugar (13)

Thus, we have three principles for increasing adequacy of data: if you must work with a single object, look for imperfections that record historical descent; if several objects are available, try to render them as stages of a single historical process; if processes can be directly observed, sum up their effects through time. One may discuss these principles directly or recognize the ‘little problems’ that Darwin used to exemplify them: orchids, coral reefs, and worms–the middle book, the first, and the last.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Adequacy (6)  |  Available (18)  |  Book (181)  |  Darwin (12)  |  Data (100)  |  Descent (14)  |  Directly (15)  |  Discuss (14)  |  Effect (133)  |  Exemplify (2)  |  First (174)  |  Historical (10)  |  Imperfection (19)  |  Increase (107)  |  Little (126)  |  Middle (10)  |  Object (110)  |  Observe (48)  |  Orchid (2)  |  Principle (228)  |  Process (201)  |  Recognize (41)  |  Record (56)  |  Render (17)  |  Several (14)  |  Single (72)  |  Stage (39)  |  Sum Up (2)  |  Time (439)  |  Try (103)  |  Work (457)  |  Worm (25)

To my knowledge there are no written accounts of Fermi’s contributions to the [first atomic bomb] testing problems, nor would it be easy to reconstruct them in detail. This, however, was one of those occasions in which Fermi’s dominion over all physics, one of his most startling characteristics, came into its own. The problems involved in the Trinity test ranged from hydrodynamics to nuclear physics, from optics to thermodynamics, from geophysics to nuclear chemistry. Often they were closely interrelated, and to solve one’it was necessary to understand all the others. Even though the purpose was grim and terrifying, it was one of the greatest physics experiments of all time. Fermi completely immersed himself in the task. At the time of the test he was one of the very few persons (or perhaps the only one) who understood all the technical ramifications.
In Enrico Fermi: Physicist (1970), 145
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (101)  |  Dominion (6)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Enrico Fermi (17)  |  Geophysics (3)  |  Greatest (53)  |  Grim (4)  |  Hydrodynamics (2)  |  Nuclear Physics (4)  |  Optics (15)  |  Ramification (3)  |  Terror (16)  |  Test (96)  |  Thermodynamics (27)  |  Trinity (7)

To say that mind is a product or function of protoplasm, or of its molecular changes, is to use words to which we can attach no clear conception. You cannot have, in the whole, what does not exist in any of the parts; and those who argue thus should put forth a definite conception of matter, with clearly enunciated properties, and show, that the necessary result of a certain complex arrangement of the elements or atoms of that matter, will be the production of self-consciousness. There is no escape from this dilemma—either all matter is conscious, or consciousness is something distinct from matter, and in the latter case, its presence in material forms is a proof of the existence of conscious beings, outside of, and independent of, what we term matter. The foregoing considerations lead us to the very important conclusion, that matter is essentially force, and nothing but force; that matter, as popularly understood, does not exist, and is, in fact, philosophically inconceivable. When we touch matter, we only really experience sensations of resistance, implying repulsive force; and no other sense can give us such apparently solid proofs of the reality of matter, as touch does. This conclusion, if kept constantly present in the mind, will be found to have a most important bearing on almost every high scientific and philosophical problem, and especially on such as relate to our own conscious existence.
In 'The Limits of Natural Selection as Applied to Man', last chapter of Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection (1870), 365-366.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparently (11)  |  Argue (17)  |  Arrangement (45)  |  Atom (251)  |  Attach (8)  |  Bearing (8)  |  Being (39)  |  Case (64)  |  Certain (84)  |  Change (291)  |  Clear (52)  |  Clearly (17)  |  Complex (78)  |  Conception (63)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Conscious (25)  |  Consciousness (71)  |  Consideration (65)  |  Constantly (19)  |  Definite (27)  |  Dilemma (6)  |  Distinct (29)  |  Element (129)  |  Escape (34)  |  Especially (18)  |  Essentially (11)  |  Exist (89)  |  Existence (254)  |  Experience (268)  |  Fact (609)  |  Force (194)  |  Form (210)  |  Forth (4)  |  Found (11)  |  Function (90)  |  Give (117)  |  High (78)  |  Important (124)  |  Inconceivable (7)  |  Independent (41)  |  Latter (13)  |  Lead (101)  |  Material (124)  |  Matter (270)  |  Mind (544)  |  Molecular (3)  |  Necessary (89)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Outside (37)  |  Part (146)  |  Philosophical (14)  |  Presence (26)  |  Present (103)  |  Product (72)  |  Production (105)  |  Proof (192)  |  Property (96)  |  Protoplasm (12)  |  Reality (140)  |  Really (50)  |  Relate (5)  |  Repulsive (7)  |  Resistance (23)  |  Result (250)  |  Say (126)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Self-Consciousness (2)  |  Sensation (22)  |  Sense (240)  |  Show (55)  |  Solid (34)  |  Term (87)  |  Touch (48)  |  Understood (9)  |  Whole (122)  |  Word (221)

To solve a problem is to create new problems, new knowledge immediately reveals new areas of ignorance, and the need for new experiments. At least, in the field of fast reactions, the experiments do not take very long to perform.
From Nobel Lecture (11 Dec 1967), 'Flash Photolysis and Some of its Applications.' In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1963-1970 (1972), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fast (24)  |  Field (119)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Immediately (9)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  New (340)  |  Performance (27)  |  Reaction (59)  |  Solution (168)

Train yourselves. Don't wait to be fed knowledge out of a book. Get out and seek it. Make explorations. Do your own research work. Train your hands and your mind. Become curious. Invent your own problems and solve them. You can see things going on all about you. Inquire into them. Seek out answers to your own questions. There are many phenomena going on in nature the explanation of which cannot be found in books. Find out why these phenomena take place. Information a boy gets by himself is enormously more valuable than that which is taught to him in school.
In 'Dr. Irving Langmuir', Boys' Life (Jul 1941), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (33)  |  Answer (201)  |  Boy (33)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Enormous (33)  |  Enquiry (75)  |  Exploration (93)  |  Finding (30)  |  Hand (103)  |  Information (102)  |  Invention (283)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Learning (174)  |  Mind (544)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Question (315)  |  Research (517)  |  School (87)  |  Seek (57)  |  Solution (168)  |  Student (131)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Train (25)  |  Value (180)

True rigor is productive, being distinguished in this from another rigor which is purely formal and tiresome, casting a shadow over the problems it touches.
From address to the section of Algebra and Analysis, International Congress of Arts and Sciences, St. Louis (22 Sep 1904), 'On the Development of Mathematical Analysis and its Relation to Certain Other Sciences,' as translated by M.W. Haskell in Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society (May 1905), 11, 417.
Science quotes on:  |  Casting (3)  |  Distinguish (32)  |  Formal (11)  |  Productive (10)  |  Purely (15)  |  Rigor (12)  |  Shadow (35)  |  Touch (48)  |  True (120)

Truth and falsity, indeed understanding, is not necessarily something purely intellectual, remote from feelings and attitudes. ... It is in the total conduct of men rather than in their statements that truth or falsehood lives, more in what a man does, in his real reaction to other men and to things, in his will to do them justice, to live at one with them. Here lies the inner connection between truth and justice. In the realm of behavior and action, the problem recurs as to the difference between piece and part.
From 'On Truth', collected in Mary Henle (ed.), Documents of Gestalt Psychology (1961), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (151)  |  Attitude (47)  |  Behavior (49)  |  Conduct (23)  |  Connection (86)  |  Difference (208)  |  Falsehood (19)  |  Falsity (12)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Inner (27)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Life (917)  |  Man (345)  |  Part (146)  |  Piece (32)  |  Purely (15)  |  Reaction (59)  |  Real (95)  |  Realm (40)  |  Recur (3)  |  Remote (27)  |  Statement (56)  |  Total (29)  |  Truth (750)  |  Understanding (317)

Turbulence is the most important unsolved problem of classical physics.
In The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1964).
Science quotes on:  |  Classical Physics (5)  |  Importance (183)  |  Mechanics (44)  |  Turbulence (2)  |  Unsolved (7)

Typical of the fundamental scientific problems whose solution should lead to important industrial consequences are, for example, the release of atomic energy, which experiment has shown to exist in quantities millions of times greater than is liberated by combustion.
An early speculation on using the amount of energy that could be released from uranium atoms. In a letter to Henry Ford (18 May 1931). He recorded earlier thoughts on the subject in his Research Notebook, entry for 23 Jul 1930, in Arthur H. Compton Notebooks, Washington University, St. Louis, and AIP. Cited by Stanley Coben, in 'The Scientific Establishment and the Transmission of Quantum Mechanics to the United States, 1919-32', The American Historical Review (Apr 1971), 76, No. 2, 466.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Energy (21)  |  Combustion (10)  |  Consequence (76)  |  Exist (89)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Greater (36)  |  Industry (91)  |  Liberate (8)  |  Million (89)  |  Quantity (35)  |  Release (15)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Solution (168)  |  Typical (10)

Watson and I had been often discussing the problem, the ways you could go wrong solving problems of this sort, the techniques you have to use, and in particular, such rather curious things as you mustn’t pay too much attention to the all the experimental evidence, some of it may be wrong, for example.
From Transcript of BBC TV program, The Prizewinners (1962).
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (76)  |  Curious (24)  |  Discuss (14)  |  Evidence (157)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Solve (41)  |  Technique (41)  |  James Watson (33)  |  Wrong (116)

We academic scientists move within a certain sphere, we can go on being useless up to a point, in the confidence that sooner or later some use will be found for our studies. The mathematician, of course, prides himself on being totally useless, but usually turns out to be the most useful of the lot. He finds the solution but he is not interested in what the problem is: sooner or later, someone will find the problem to which his solution is the answer.
'Concluding Remarks', Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, A Discussion of New Materials, 1964, 282, 152-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Scientist (447)

We are fishing out the top of the food chain, and it’s pretty crucial because about 200 million people depend on fish and fishing for their livelihood, and about a billion people, mostly in poorer countries, depend on fish for their protein. So this is a big problem. Good news is, it’s fixable.
From transcript of PBS TV interview by Tavis Smiley (28 Mar 2011).
Science quotes on:  |  Big (33)  |  Billion (52)  |  Country (121)  |  Crucial (8)  |  Depend (56)  |  Fish (85)  |  Fishing (12)  |  Food Chain (6)  |  Good News (2)  |  Livelihood (8)  |  Million (89)  |  Overfishing (25)  |  People (269)  |  Poorer (2)  |  Protein (43)

We call the one side [of humanity] religion, and we call the other science. Religion is always right. ... Science is always wrong; it is the very artifice of men. Science can never solve one problem without raising ten more problems.
Speech at the Einstein Dinner, Savoy Hotel, London (28 Oct 1930). Reproduced in George Bernard Shaw and Warren Sylvester Smith (ed.), The Religious Speeches of George Bernard Shaw (1963), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Artifice (3)  |  Humanity (104)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Religion (267)  |  Solution (168)  |  Wrong (116)

We called the new [fourth] quark the “charmed quark” because we were pleased, and fascinated by the symmetry it brought to the subnuclear world. “Charm” also means a “a magical device to avert evil,” and in 1970 it was realized that the old three quark theory ran into very serious problems. ... As if by magic the existence of the charmed quark would [solve those problems].
From asppearance in the BBC-TV program written by Nigel Calder, 'The Key to the Universe,' (27 Jan 1977). As cited in Arthur Lewis Caso, 'The Production of New Scientific Terms', American Speech (Summer 1980), 55, No. 2, 102.
Science quotes on:  |  Avert (2)  |  Bringing (10)  |  Charm (18)  |  Device (24)  |  Evil (67)  |  Existence (254)  |  Fascination (26)  |  Magic (67)  |  Particle (90)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Quark (6)  |  Serious (37)  |  Solution (168)  |  Symmetry (26)  |  Theory (582)

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Create (98)  |  Kind (99)  |  Same (92)  |  Solve (41)  |  Think (205)

We have gone a long way towards solving a problem when we are able to formulate it.
In Le Phénomène Humain (1955) as translated by Bernard Wall in 'The Expansion of Life',The Phenomenon of Man (1959, 2008), 115.
Science quotes on:  |  Formulate (10)  |  Solution (168)

We live in a capitalist economy, and I have no particular objection to honorable self-interest. We cannot hope to make the needed, drastic improvement in primary and secondary education without a dramatic restructuring of salaries. In my opinion, you cannot pay a good teacher enough money to recompense the value of talent applied to the education of young children. I teach an hour or two a day to tolerably well-behaved near-adults–and I come home exhausted. By what possible argument are my services worth more in salary than those of a secondary-school teacher with six classes a day, little prestige, less support, massive problems of discipline, and a fundamental role in shaping minds. (In comparison, I only tinker with intellects already largely formed.)
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Already (16)  |  Apply (38)  |  Argument (59)  |  Capitalist (6)  |  Child (189)  |  Class (64)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Discipline (38)  |  Dramatic (5)  |  Drastic (2)  |  Economy (46)  |  Education (280)  |  Exhaust (12)  |  Form (210)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Good (228)  |  Home (58)  |  Honorable (5)  |  Hope (129)  |  Hour (42)  |  Improvement (67)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Largely (12)  |  Less (54)  |  Little (126)  |  Live (186)  |  Massive (2)  |  Mind (544)  |  Money (125)  |  Need (211)  |  Objection (16)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Particular (54)  |  Pay (30)  |  Possible (100)  |  Prestige (9)  |  Primary (29)  |  Recompense (2)  |  Role (35)  |  Salary (4)  |  Secondary (11)  |  Self-Interest (3)  |  Service (54)  |  Shape (52)  |  Support (63)  |  Talent (49)  |  Teach (102)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Tinker (5)  |  Value (180)  |  Worth (74)  |  Young (72)

We need people who can see straight ahead and deep into the problems. Those are the experts. But we also need peripheral vision and experts are generally not very good at providing peripheral vision.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Ahead (14)  |  Deep (81)  |  Expert (42)  |  Generally (9)  |  Good (228)  |  Need (211)  |  People (269)  |  Peripheral (2)  |  Provide (48)  |  See (197)  |  Straight (15)  |  Vision (55)

We often think, naïvely, that missing data are the primary impediments to intellectual progress–just find the right facts and all problems will dissipate. But barriers are often deeper and more abstract in thought. We must have access to the right metaphor, not only to the requisite information. Revolutionary thinkers are not, primarily, gatherers of fact s, but weavers of new intellectual structures.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (43)  |  Access (12)  |  Barrier (19)  |  Data (100)  |  Deep (81)  |  Dissipate (5)  |  Fact (609)  |  Find (248)  |  Gather (29)  |  Impediment (7)  |  Information (102)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Iuml (3)  |  Metaphor (19)  |  Miss (16)  |  Na (3)  |  New (340)  |  Often (69)  |  Primarily (9)  |  Primary (29)  |  Progress (317)  |  Requisite (6)  |  Revolutionary (14)  |  Right (144)  |  Structure (191)  |  Think (205)  |  Thinker (15)  |  Thought (374)

We wanted to fly. We also had such big egos that we felt that we could fly the crates they shipped these things in. We honestly felt that, with things that were wrong, we always had a mental workaround on them.
Rejecting concern about Apollo spacecraft safety. From interview with Ron Stone (24 May 1999) for NASA Johnson Space Center Oral History Project.
Science quotes on:  |  Apollo (5)  |  Astronaut (22)  |  Ego (14)  |  Fly (65)  |  Mental (57)  |  Safety (39)  |  Wanted (4)

What good your beautiful proof on [the transcendence of] π? Why investigate such problems, given that irrational numbers do not even exist?
Science quotes on:  |  Beautiful (81)  |  Exist (89)  |  Good (228)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Pi (7)  |  Proof (192)  |  Transcendence (2)

What I then got hold of, something frightful and dangerous, a problem with horns but not necessarily a bull, in any case a new problem—today I should say that it was the problem of science itself, science considered for the first time as problematic, as questionable. But the book in which my youthful courage and suspicion found an outlet—what an impossible book had to result from a task so uncongenial to youth! Constructed from a lot of immature, overgreen personal experiences, all of them close to the limits of communication, presented in the context of art—for the problem of science cannot be recognized in the context of science—a book perhaps for artists who also have an analytic and retrospective penchant (in other words, an exceptional type of artist for whom one might have to look far and wide and really would not care to look) …
In The Birth of Tragedy (1872). Collected in Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Kaufmann (trans.), The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner (1967), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (123)  |  Art (205)  |  Book (181)  |  Bull (2)  |  Communication (58)  |  Courage (39)  |  Dangerous (45)  |  Experience (268)  |  Horn (10)  |  Immature (3)  |  Impossible (68)  |  Outlet (3)  |  Questionable (3)  |  Result (250)  |  Science (1699)  |  Suspicion (25)  |  Uncongenial (2)  |  Youth (57)

What is important is the gradual development of a theory, based on a careful analysis of the ... facts. ... Its first applications are necessarily to elementary problems where the result has never been in doubt and no theory is actually required. At this early stage the application serves to corroborate the theory. The next stage develops when the theory is applied to somewhat more complicated situations in which it may already lead to a certain extent beyond the obvious and familiar. Here theory and application corroborate each other mutually. Beyond lies the field of real success: genuine prediction by theory. It is well known that all mathematized sciences have gone through these successive stages of evolution.
'Formulation of the Economic Problem' in Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1964), 8. Reprinted in John Von Neumann, F. Bródy (ed.) and Tibor Vámos (ed.), The Neumann Compendium (2000), 416.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (117)  |  Corroborate (2)  |  Fact (609)  |  Prediction (67)  |  Theory (582)

What makes planets go around the sun? At the time of Kepler, some people answered this problem by saying that there were angels behind them beating their wings and pushing the planets around an orbit. As you will see, the answer is not very far from the truth. The only difference is that the angels sit in a different direction and their wings push inward.
In The Character of Physical Law (1965), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Angel (25)  |  Answer (201)  |  Beating (3)  |  Difference (208)  |  Different (110)  |  Direction (56)  |  Inward (2)  |  Johannes Kepler (72)  |  Orbit (58)  |  People (269)  |  Planet (199)  |  Push (22)  |  Sun (211)  |  Truth (750)  |  Wing (36)

What renders a problem definite, and what leaves it indefinite, may best be understood from mathematics. The very important idea of solving a problem within limits of error is an element of rational culture, coming from the same source. The art of totalizing fluctuations by curves is capable of being carried, in conception, far beyond the mathematical domain, where it is first learnt. The distinction between laws and co-efficients applies in every department of causation. The theory of Probable Evidence is the mathematical contribution to Logic, and is of paramount importance.
In Education as a Science (1879), 151-152.
Science quotes on:  |  Definite (27)  |  Error (230)  |  Indefinite (7)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Solving (6)  |  Understanding (317)

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty … but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
Quoted in David J. Darling, The Universal Book of Mathematics (2004). 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (171)  |  Solution (168)

When the difficulty of a problem lies only in finding out what follows from certain fixed premises, mathematical methods furnish invaluable wings for flying over intermediate obstructions.
From The Economic Theory of the Location of Railways (1887, 1914), viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Find (248)  |  Fixed (11)  |  Fly (65)  |  Follow (66)  |  Furnish (18)  |  Intermediate (16)  |  Invaluable (4)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Obstruction (3)  |  Premise (14)  |  Wing (36)

When we had no computers, we had no programming problem either. When we had a few computers, we had a mild programming problem. Confronted with machines a million times as powerful, we are faced with a gigantic programming problem.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Computer (84)  |  Confront (9)  |  Face (69)  |  Gigantic (16)  |  Machine (133)  |  Mild (3)  |  Million (89)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Program (32)  |  Time (439)

Whenever the essential nature of things is analysed by the intellect, it must seem absurd or paradoxical. This has always been recognized by the mystics, but has become a problem in science only very recently.
In The Tao of Physics (1975), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (16)  |  Analysis (123)  |  Essential (87)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Paradox (35)  |  Recent (23)  |  Recognition (62)  |  Science (1699)

Whenever there is a simple error that most laymen fall for, there is always a slightly more sophisticated version of the same problem that experts fall for.
As quoted in Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation (2007), 70-71.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (400)  |  Error (230)  |  Expert (42)  |  Layman (13)  |  Simple (111)  |  Sophisticated (11)  |  Version (6)

Where should I start? Start from the statement of the problem. ... What can I do? Visualize the problem as a whole as clearly and as vividly as you can. ... What can I gain by doing so? You should understand the problem, familiarize yourself with it, impress its purpose on your mind.
How to Solve It: a New Aspect of Mathematical Method (1957), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Clearly (17)  |  Design (92)  |  Do (22)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Familiarize (3)  |  Gain (48)  |  Impress (9)  |  Mind (544)  |  Purpose (138)  |  Start (68)  |  Statement (56)  |  Understanding (317)  |  Visualize (5)  |  Vividly (3)

While knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
In Asimov's New Guide to Science (1984), 15.
Science quotes on:  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Solution (168)

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)  |  Method (154)  |  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)  |  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)

While we keep an open mind on this question of vitalism, or while we lean, as so many of us now do, or even cling with a great yearning, to the belief that something other than the physical forces animates the dust of which we are made, it is rather the business of the philosopher than of the biologist, or of the biologist only when he has served his humble and severe apprenticeship to philosophy, to deal with the ultimate problem. It is the plain bounden duty of the biologist to pursue his course unprejudiced by vitalistic hypotheses, along the road of observation and experiment, according to the accepted discipline of the natural and physical sciences. … It is an elementary scientific duty, it is a rule that Kant himself laid down, that we should explain, just as far as we possibly can, all that is capable of such explanation, in the light of the properties of matter and of the forms of energy with which we are already acquainted.
From Presidential Address to Zoological Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. As quoted in H.V. Neal, 'The Basis of Individuality in Organisms: A Defense of Vitalism', Science (21 Jul 1916), 44 N.S., No. 1125, 82.
Science quotes on:  |  Biologist (31)  |  Dust (42)  |  Duty (51)  |  Energy (185)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Immanuel Kant (43)  |  Matter (270)  |  Observation (418)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Property (96)  |  Scientific Method (155)  |  Vitalism (5)

Why does man behave like perfect idiot? This is the problem I wish to deal with.
The Crazy Ape (1970), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Behaviour (24)  |  Dealing (9)  |  Idiot (14)  |  Man (345)  |  Wish (62)

Why is it so easy to acquire the solutions of past problems and so difficult to solve current ones
(Attributed ??) This quote is often seen, but without a citation, even on the official Marshall McLuhan website. If you known a primary print source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquisition (32)  |  Current (43)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Past (109)  |  Solution (168)

Will it be possible to solve these problems? It is certain that nobody has thus far observed the transformation of dead into living matter, and for this reason we cannot form a definite plan for the solution of this problem of transformation. But we see that plants and animals during their growth continually transform dead into living matter, and that the chemical processes in living matter do not differ in principle from those in dead matter. There is, therefore, no reason to predict that abiogenesis is impossible, and I believe that it can only help science if the younger investigators realize that experimental abiogenesis is the goal of biology.
The Dynamics of Living Matter (1906), 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Biochemistry (46)  |  Death (270)  |  Decay (31)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Growth (111)  |  Life (917)  |  Plant (173)  |  Solution (168)

Willis Rodney Whitney ... once compared scientific research to a bridge being constructed by a builder who was fascinated by the construction problems involved. Basic research, he suggested, is such a bridge built wherever it strikes the builder's fancy—wherever the construction problems seem to him to be most challenging. Applied research, on the other hand, is a bridge built where people are waiting to get across the river. The challenge to the builder's ingenuity and skill, Whitney pointed out, can be as great in one case as the other.
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 351.
Science quotes on:  |  Basic Research (9)  |  Bridge (22)  |  Builder (10)  |  Challenge (37)  |  Comparison (53)  |  Construction (69)  |  Fancy (16)  |  Fascination (26)  |  Ingenuity (27)  |  Research (517)  |  River (68)  |  Skill (50)  |  Wait (38)  |  Willis R. Whitney (17)

With reference to … dyspepsia, it is saddening to see the perpetuation of the term “functional” as shorthand for “I don’t know the nature of the problem.”
In Letters, British Medical Journal (9 Feb 2002), 324, No. 7333, 364.
Science quotes on:  |  Dyspepsia (2)  |  Function (90)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Perpetuation (3)  |  Reference (17)  |  Sadness (26)

Without a commitment to science and rationality in its proper domain, there can be no solution to the problems that engulf us. Still, the Yahoos never rest.
Ever Since Darwin (1980),146.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (1699)  |  Solution (168)

You can't really discover the most interesting conflicts and problems in a subject until you've tried to write about them. At that point, one discovers discontinuities in the data, perhaps, or in one's own thinking; then the act of writing forces you to work harder to resolve these contradictions.
From Robert S. Grumet, 'An Interview with Anthony F. C. Wallace', Ethnohistory (Winter 1998), 45, No. 1, 109.
Science quotes on:  |  Conflict (49)  |  Contradiction (44)  |  Data (100)  |  Discontinuity (3)  |  Discover (115)  |  Harder (5)  |  Interesting (38)  |  Resolve (11)  |  Subject (129)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Try (103)  |  Work (457)  |  Write (87)

You propound a complicated arithmetical problem: say cubing a number containing four digits. Give me a slate and half an hour's time, and I can produce a wrong answer.
Cashel Byron's Profession (1886, 1901), xxiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (68)  |  Cube (9)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Solution (168)

[Blackett] came one morning, deep in thought, into the G (technical) Office at Stanmore. It was a bitterly cold day, and the staff were shivering in a garret warmed over only with an oil-stove. Without a word of greeting, Blackett stepped silently up on to the table and stood there pondering with his feet among the plans. After ten minutes somebody coughed uneasily and said, diffidently: “Wouldn’t you like a chair, sir … or something?” “No, thank you,” said Professor Blackett, “it is necessary to apply scientific methods. Hot air rises. The warmest spot in this room, therefore, will be near the ceiling.” At this, Colonel Krohn, my technical G.S.O., stepped up on the table beside the Professor, and for the next half-hour, the two stayed there in silence. At the end of this period Professor Blackett stepped down from the table saying: “Well! That’s that problem solved.” And so it was.
Anecdote as told by General Sir Frederick Pile, in Frederick Pile, Ack-Ack: Britain’s Defence Against Air Attack During Second World War (1949), 161. 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), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Ceiling (3)  |  Cold (38)  |  Heat (90)  |  Physics (301)  |  Rising (9)  |  Standing (11)  |  Stove (2)  |  Table (25)  |  Warmth (7)

[Certain students] suppose that because science has penetrated the structure of the atom it can solve all the problems of the universe. ... They are known in every ... college as the most insufferable, cocksure know-it-alls. If you want to talk to them about poetry, they are likely to reply that the "emotive response" to poetry is only a conditioned reflex .... If they go on to be professional scientists, their sharp corners are rubbed down, but they undergo no fundamental change. They most decidedly are not set apart from the others by their intellectual integrity and faith, and their patient humility in front of the facts of nature.... They are uneducated, in the fullest sense of the word, and they certainly are no advertisement for the claims of science teachers.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 18-19.
Science quotes on:  |  Advertisement (11)  |  Atom (251)  |  Change (291)  |  Claim (52)  |  College (27)  |  Emotion (62)  |  Faith (131)  |  Fundamental (122)  |  Humility (20)  |  Integrity (11)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Patience (31)  |  Pentration (2)  |  Poetry (96)  |  Profession (54)  |  Response (24)  |  Rub (2)  |  Sense Of The Word (2)  |  Solution (168)  |  Structure (191)  |  Student (131)  |  Supposition (33)  |  Uneducated (4)

[Dubious attribution] We are all continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.
Attributed. (?) Note: So far, Webmaster has been unable to find a primary source for this quote. It can be found seen quoted in several books, but always without citation. The earliest found with attribution to Mead is in Brian E. Walsh, Unleashing Your Brilliance (2005). However, earlier books attribute differently, for example to Lee Iacocca (2000), and to John Gardner (1986). Also found without any attribution (“it has been said”), without any citation, in Christopher H. Lovelock and Charles B. Weinberg, Readings in Public and Nonprofit Marketing (1978), 152. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Continually (14)  |  Face (69)  |  Great (300)  |  Opportunity (43)  |  Unsolvable (2)

[It] is not the nature of things for any one man to make a sudden, violent discovery; science goes step by step and every man depends on the work of his predecessors. When you hear of a sudden unexpected discovery—a bolt from the blue—you can always be sure that it has grown up by the influence of one man or another, and it is the mutual influence which makes the enormous possibility of scientific advance. Scientists are not dependent on the ideas of a single man, but on the combined wisdom of thousands of men, all thinking of the same problem and each doing his little bit to add to the great structure of knowledge which is gradually being erected.
Concluding remark in Lecture ii (1936) on 'Forty Years of Physics', revised and prepared for publication by J.A. Ratcliffe, collected in Needham and Pagel (eds.), Background to Modern Science: Ten Lectures at Cambridge Arranged by the History of Science Committee, (1938), 73-74. Note that the words as prepared for publication may not be verbatim as spoken in the original lecture by the then late Lord Rutherford.
Science quotes on:  |  Add (26)  |  Advance (123)  |  Bit (13)  |  Blue (30)  |  Bolt (4)  |  Bolt From The Blue (2)  |  Combined (3)  |  Depend (56)  |  Dependent (14)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Doing (36)  |  Enormous (33)  |  Erected (2)  |  Gradual (18)  |  Great (300)  |  Hear (33)  |  Idea (440)  |  Influence (110)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Little (126)  |  Make (23)  |  Mutual (22)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Possibility (96)  |  Predecessor (18)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Single (72)  |  Step By Step (8)  |  Structure (191)  |  Sudden (21)  |  Thinking (222)  |  Thousand (106)  |  Unexpected (26)  |  Violent (15)  |  Wisdom (151)  |  Work (457)

[King Hiero II] requested Archimedes to consider [whether a crown was pure gold or alloyed with silver]. The latter, while the case was still on his mind, happened to go to the bath, and on getting into a tub observed that the more his body sank into it the more water ran out over the tub. As this pointed out the way to explain the case in question, without a moment’s delay, and transported with joy, he jumped out of the tub and rushed home naked, crying with a loud voice that he had found what he was seeking; for as he ran he shouted repeatedly in Greek, “Eὕρηκα, εὕρηκα.”
Vitruvius
This famous anecdote, being written about two centuries after Archimedes, is of questionable authenticity, but Vitruvius provided the origin of the story as we know it. In De Architectura, Book 9, Introduction, Sec. 10. As translated in Morris Hicky Morgan (trans.), Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914), 254. Also seen translated as “While Archimedes was turning the problem over, he chanced to come to the place of bathing, and there, as he was sitting down in the tub, he noticed that the amount of water which flowed over the tub was equal to the amount by which his body was immersed. This showed him a means of solving the problem. … In his joy, he leapt out of the tub and, rushing naked towards his home, he cried out with a loud voice that he had found what he sought.” In Ivor Bulmer-Thomas, Selections Illustrating the History of Greek Mathematics (1939), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Archimedes (22)  |  Bath (7)  |  Buoyancy (6)  |  Crown (19)  |  Eureka (5)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Gold (55)  |  Naked (8)  |  Research (517)  |  Silver (26)  |  Water (244)

[My dream dinner guest is] Charles Darwin. It’s an obvious answer, but it’s the truth. Think of any problem and before you start theorising, just check up whether Charles Darwin mentioned it in one of those green books sitting on your shelf. Whether it’s earthworms, human gestures or the origin of species, the observations that man made are unbelievable. He touched on so many subjects. Then, Alexander von Humboldt, the last polymath. There was no aspect of the natural world that he wasn’t curious about or didn’t write about in Kosmos, an extraordinary book.
From interview with Alice Roberts, 'Attenborough: My Life on Earth', The Biologist (Aug 2015), 62, No. 4, 16.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (181)  |  Check (16)  |  Curious (24)  |  Charles Darwin (284)  |  Earthworm (5)  |  Extraordinary (32)  |  Gesture (2)  |  Guest (4)  |  Human (445)  |  Baron Alexander von Humboldt (16)  |  Natural World (21)  |  Observation (418)  |  Origin Of Species (39)  |  Unbelievable (2)  |  Write (87)

[On solving problems:] The first thing you do is scream.
As quoted in Frances Glennon, 'Student and Teacher of Human Ways', Life (14 Sep 1959), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  First (174)  |  Scream (4)  |  Solve (41)

[The purpose of flight research] is to separate the real from the imagined problems and to make known the overlooked and the unexpected.
Description of the purpose of the X-15 program given in a meeting at the Langley Research Center (Oct 1956). Quoted in Michael H. Gorn, Expanding the Envelope (2001), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Imagination (209)  |  Overlook (8)  |  Real (95)  |  Research (517)  |  Unexpected (26)

[The religion of science was] an implicit faith that by the methods of physical science, and by these methods alone, could be solved all the problems arising out of the relation of man to man and of man towards the universe.
In My Apprenticeship (1926), 89.
Science quotes on:  |  Faith (131)  |  Physical Science (54)  |  Solution (168)  |  Universe (563)

… our “Physick” and “Anatomy” have embraced such infinite varieties of being, have laid open such new worlds in time and space, have grappled, not unsuccessfully, with such complex problems, that the eyes of Vesalius and of Harvey might be dazzled by the sight of the tree that has grown out of their grain of mustard seed.
A Lay Sermon, delivered at St. Martin's Hall (7 Jan 1866), 'On the Advisableness of Improving Natural Knowledge', published in The Fortnightly Review (1866), Vol. 3, 629.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (59)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Dazzling (11)  |  Grain (24)  |  Grappling (2)  |  William Harvey (27)  |  Seed (52)  |  Time And Space (30)  |  Tree (143)  |  Variety (53)  |  Andreas Vesalius (14)

…forcing automakers to sell smaller cars to improve fuel economy [is like]… fighting the nation’s obesity problem by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell garments in only small sizes.
Bob Lutz
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Car (20)  |  Clothing (8)  |  Economy (46)  |  Fight (37)  |  Force (194)  |  Fuel (27)  |  Garment (6)  |  Improve (39)  |  Manufacturer (10)  |  Nation (111)  |  Obesity (5)  |  Sell (10)  |  Size (47)  |  Small (97)

“Yes,” he said. “But these things (the solutions to problems in solid geometry such as the duplication of the cube) do not seem to have been discovered yet.” “There are two reasons for this,” I said. “Because no city holds these things in honour, they are investigated in a feeble way, since they are difficult; and the investigators need an overseer, since they will not find the solutions without one. First, it is hard to get such an overseer, and second, even if one did, as things are now those who investigate these things would not obey him, because of their arrogance. If however a whole city, which did hold these things in honour, were to oversee them communally, the investigators would be obedient, and when these problems were investigated continually and with eagerness, their solutions would become apparent.”
Plato
In The Republic 7 528bc, trans. R.W. Sharples.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparent (26)  |  Arrogance (12)  |  City (37)  |  Community (65)  |  Continuity (23)  |  Cube (9)  |  Difficulty (113)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Eagerness (4)  |  Feebleness (2)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Honour (23)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Investigator (28)  |  Obedience (15)  |  Reason (330)  |  Solution (168)


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.