Celebrating 17 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: Professor

Professor Quotes (36 quotes)

Nun wie gehts?
How goes it?
[Werner’s perennial salutation to research students, hence his nickname, Professor Nunwiegehts.]
Quoted in Ralph Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 188.
Science quotes on:  |  Nickname (2)  |  Research (441)  |  Student (109)

[About the demand of the Board of Regents of the University of California that professors sign non-Communist loyalty oaths or lose their jobs within 65 days.] No conceivable damage to the university at the hands of hypothetical Communists among us could possibly have equaled the damage resulting from the unrest, ill-will and suspicion engendered by this series of events.
As quoted in 'Professors in West Call Oath “Indignity”', New York Times (26 Feb 1950), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Communist (3)  |  Conceivable (2)  |  Damage (15)  |  Demand (32)  |  Engendering (3)  |  Equal (42)  |  Hypothetical (2)  |  Loyalty (4)  |  Oath (5)  |  Result (197)  |  Sign (31)  |  Suspicion (21)

A man cannot be professor of zoölogy on one day and of chemistry on the next, and do good work in both. As in a concert all are musicians,—one plays one instrument, and one another, but none all in perfection.
Lecture at a teaching laboratory on Penikese Island, Buzzard's Bay. Quoted from the lecture notes by David Starr Jordan, Science Sketches (1911), 146.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (213)  |  Concert (2)  |  Instrument (63)  |  Musician (9)  |  Perfection (61)  |  Play (36)  |  Work (330)  |  Zoology (24)

A professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Sleep (32)

A schoolteacher or professor cannot educate individuals, he educates only species. A thought that deserves taking to heart.
Aphorism 5 in Notebook J (1789-1793), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale in Aphorisms (1990). Reprinted as The Waste Books (2000), 129.
Science quotes on:  |  Deserving (4)  |  Education (248)  |  Individual (110)  |  Species (140)  |  Teacher (77)  |  Thought (280)

After having a wash I proceeded to the bar where—believe it or not—there was a white-coated barman who was not only serving drinks but also cigarettes! I hastened forward and rather timidly said ‘Can I have some cigarettes?’
‘What’s your rank?’ was the slightly unexpected reply.
‘I am afraid I haven’t got one,’ I answered.
‘Nonsense—everyone who comes here has a rank.’
‘I’m sorry but I just don’t have one.’
‘Now that puts me in a spot,’ said the barman, ‘for orders about cigarettes in this camp are clear—twenty for officers and ten for other ranks. Tell me what exactly are you?’
Now I really wanted those cigarettes so I drew myself up and said ‘I am the Professor of Chemistry at Manchester University.’
The barman contemplated me for about thirty seconds and then said ‘I’ll give you five.’
Since that day I have had few illusions about the importance of professors!
In A Time to Remember: The Autobiography of a Chemist (1983), 59. This event took place after a visit to the Defence Research Establishment at Porton to observe a demonstration of a new chemical anti-tank weapon (1941).
Science quotes on:  |  Bar (4)  |  Belief (279)  |  Chemistry (213)  |  Cigarette (19)  |  Contemplation (32)  |  Defence (3)  |  Demonstration (48)  |  Drink (24)  |  Illusion (27)  |  Importance (165)  |  Manchester (4)  |  New (241)  |  Officer (5)  |  Order (110)  |  Proceeding (13)  |  Rank (16)  |  Second (17)  |  Serving (4)  |  Sorry (11)  |  Timid (2)  |  Unexpected (19)  |  University (45)  |  Want (77)  |  Wash (5)

At this point, however, I have no intention whatever of criticizing the false teachings of Galen, who is easily first among the professors of dissection, for I certainly do not wish to start off by gaining a reputation for impiety toward him, the author of all good things, or by seeming insubordinate to his authority. For I am well aware how upset the practitioners (unlike the followers of Aristotle) invariably become nowadays, when they discover in the course of a single dissection that Galen has departed on two hundred or more occasions from the true description of the harmony, function, and action of the human parts, and how grimly they examine the dissected portions as they strive with all the zeal at their command to defend him. Yet even they, drawn by their love of truth, are gradually calming down and placing more faith in their own not ineffective eyes and reason than in Galen’s writings.
From De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem: (1543), Book I, iv, as translated by William Frank Richardson, in On The Fabric of the Human Body: Book I: The Bones and Cartilages (1998), Preface, liv.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (130)  |  Author (33)  |  Authority (40)  |  Criticism (47)  |  Description (61)  |  Discovery (530)  |  Dissection (24)  |  Examine (17)  |  Eye (127)  |  Faith (101)  |  False (56)  |  Follower (5)  |  Galen (15)  |  Harmony (42)  |  Human (297)  |  Ineffective (4)  |  Practitioner (10)  |  Reason (245)  |  Reputation (13)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Truth (645)  |  Writing (71)  |  Zeal (5)

Basic research at universities comes in two varieties: research that requires big bucks and research that requires small bucks. Big bucks research is much like government research and in fact usually is government research but done for the government under contract. Like other government research, big bucks academic research is done to understand the nature and structure of the universe or to understand life, which really means that it is either for blowing up the world or extending life, whichever comes first. Again, that's the government's motivation. The universities' motivation for conducting big bucks research is to bring money in to support professors and graduate students and to wax the floors of ivy-covered buildings. While we think they are busy teaching and learning, these folks are mainly doing big bucks basic research for a living, all the while priding themselves on their terrific summer vacations and lack of a dress code.
Smalls bucks research is the sort of thing that requires paper and pencil, and maybe a blackboard, and is aimed primarily at increasing knowledge in areas of study that don't usually attract big bucks - that is, areas that don't extend life or end it, or both. History, political science, and romance languages are typically small bucks areas of basic research. The real purpose of small bucks research to the universities is to provide a means of deciding, by the quality of their small bucks research, which professors in these areas should get tenure.
Accidental Empires (1992), 78.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (7)  |  Government (71)  |  History (243)  |  Knowledge (997)  |  Life (710)  |  Money (107)  |  Political Science (2)  |  Research (441)  |  Tenure (5)  |  Universe (433)  |  University (45)

Descartes, the father of modern philosophy … would never—so he assures us—have been led to construct his philosophy if he had had only one teacher, for then he would have believed what he had been told; but, finding that his professors disagreed with each other, he was forced to conclude that no existing doctrine was certain.
From 'Philosophy For Laymen', collected in Unpopular Essays (1950, 1996), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Assure (5)  |  Belief (279)  |  Certainty (87)  |  Conclude (7)  |  Construct (12)  |  René Descartes (38)  |  Doctrine (46)  |  Existing (7)  |  Father (34)  |  Forced (2)  |  Modern (84)  |  Philosophy (180)  |  Teacher (77)  |  Told (4)

Good work is no done by “humble” men. It is one of the first duties of a professor, for example, in any subject, to exaggerate a little both the importance of his subject and his own importance in it. A man who is always asking “Is what I do worth while?” and “Am I the right person to do it?” will always be ineffective himself and a discouragement to others. He must shut his eyes a little and think a little more of his subject and himself than they deserve. This is not too difficult: it is harder not to make his subject and himself ridiculous by shutting his eyes too tightly.
In A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, 1967), 66.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (23)  |  Deserving (4)  |  Difficulty (103)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Duty (42)  |  Exaggeration (6)  |  Eye (127)  |  Good (150)  |  Harder (5)  |  Humble (16)  |  Importance (165)  |  Ineffective (4)  |  Person (87)  |  Ridiculous (8)  |  Right (94)  |  Thinking (220)  |  Work (330)  |  Worth (52)

However much the pits may be apparent, yet none, as far as can be comprehended by the senses, passes through the septum of the heart from the right ventricle into the left. I have not seen even the most obscure passages by which the septum of the ventricles is pervious, although they are mentioned by professors of anatomy since they are convinced that blood is carried from the right ventricle into the left. As a result—as I shall declare more openly elsewhere—I am in no little doubt regarding the function of the heart in this part.
In De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem [Seven Books on the Structure of the Human Body] (revised ed. 1555), 734. Quoted and trans. in Charles Donald O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-1564 (1964), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomy (56)  |  Blood (82)  |  Comprehension (44)  |  Convinced (8)  |  Declare (11)  |  Doubt (87)  |  Function (73)  |  Heart (81)  |  Left (11)  |  Little (61)  |  Mentioned (2)  |  Obscure (16)  |  Passage (10)  |  Pit (6)  |  Regarding (4)  |  Result (197)  |  Right (94)  |  Sense (160)  |  Ventricle (5)

I would beg the wise and learned fathers (of the church) to consider with all diligence the difference which exists between matters of mere opinion and matters of demonstration. ... [I]t is not in the power of professors of the demonstrative sciences to alter their opinions at will, so as to be now of one way of thinking and now of another. ... [D]emonstrated conclusions about things in nature of the heavens, do not admit of being altered with the same ease as opinions to what is permissible or not, under a contract, mortgage, or bill of exchange.
Letter to Cristina di Lorena, Grand Duchess of Tuscany (the mother of his patron Cosmo), 1615. Quoted in Sedley Taylor, 'Galileo and Papal Infallibility' (Dec 1873), in Macmillan's Magazine: November 1873 to April 1874 (1874) Vol 29, 94.
Science quotes on:  |  Church (20)  |  Contract (7)  |  Demonstration (48)  |  Difference (183)  |  Mortgage (2)  |  Nature (832)  |  Opinion (124)  |  Permissible (3)  |  Religion (154)

If you're going to spend a long time locked in somebody's basement, take a professor with you.
Speaking at Westfield State College's 157th Commencement. Quoted on webpage www.wsc.ma.edu/math/faculty/fleron/quotes.
Science quotes on:  |  Hostage (2)

In the beginning of the year 1800 the illustrious professor conceived the idea of forming a long column by piling up, in succession, a disc of copper, a disc of zinc, and a disc of wet cloth, with scrupulous attention to not changing this order. What could be expected beforehand from such a combination? Well, I do not hesitate to say, this apparently inert mass, this bizarre assembly, this pile of so many couples of unequal metals separated by a little liquid is, in the singularity of effect, the most marvellous instrument which men have yet invented, the telescope and the steam engine not excepted.
In François Arago, 'Bloge for Volta' (1831), Oeuvres Completes de François Arago (1854), Vol. 1, 219-20.
Science quotes on:  |  Assembly (5)  |  Attention (67)  |  Beginning (108)  |  Bizarre (3)  |  Changing (5)  |  Cloth (4)  |  Column (9)  |  Combination (58)  |  Conceived (3)  |  Copper (17)  |  Couple (2)  |  Effect (111)  |  Engine (23)  |  Expected (5)  |  Forming (5)  |  Idea (373)  |  Illustrious (2)  |  Inert (8)  |  Instrument (63)  |  Invention (262)  |  Liquid (23)  |  Marvel (21)  |  Mass (49)  |  Metal (32)  |  Order (110)  |  Pile (4)  |  Scrupulous (2)  |  Separate (31)  |  Singularity (2)  |  Steam (21)  |  Succession (38)  |  Telescope (68)  |  Unequal (2)  |  Wet (5)  |  Zinc (3)

In the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained, the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses; which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favourites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services; of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.
Gulliver's Travels (1726, Penguin ed. 1967), Part III, Chap. 6, 232.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (61)  |  Chimera (2)  |  Employment (20)  |  Extravagance (2)  |  Impossibility (47)  |  Interest (129)  |  Irrational (4)  |  Merit (20)  |  Minister (5)  |  Observation (381)  |  People (111)  |  Philosopher (109)  |  Prince (8)  |  Truth (645)  |  Unhappiness (5)  |  Wisdom (126)

It's funny how worms can turn leaves into silk.
But funnier far is the cow:
She changes a field of green grass into milk
And not a professor knows how.
In Dorothy Caruso, Enrico Caruso: His Life and Death (1963), 42. Written for Michael Pupin, who made a similar statement in prose: “Look at those animals and remember the greatest scientists in the world have never discovered how to make grass into milk.”
Science quotes on:  |  Change (228)  |  Cow (25)  |  Field (102)  |  Funny (7)  |  Grass (25)  |  Green (17)  |  Knowledge (997)  |  Leaf (38)  |  Milk (10)  |  Silk (5)  |  Turn (39)  |  Worm (17)

Money. It has such an inherent power to run itself clear of taint that human ingenuity cannot devise the means of making it work permanent mischief, any more than means can be found of torturing people beyond what they can bear. Even if a man founds a College of Technical Instruction, the chances are ten to one that no one will be taught anything and that it will have been practically left to a number of excellent professors who will know very well what to do with it.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Bear (8)  |  Clear (30)  |  College (21)  |  Devise (7)  |  Excellent (9)  |  Found (11)  |  Human (297)  |  Ingenuity (24)  |  Inherent (21)  |  Instruction (41)  |  Knowledge (997)  |  Making (26)  |  Means (54)  |  Mischief (5)  |  Money (107)  |  People (111)  |  Permanent (14)  |  Power (208)  |  Taint (3)  |  Teaching (99)  |  Technical (15)  |  Torture (10)  |  Work (330)

Of all the constituents of the human body, bone is the hardest, the driest, the earthiest, and the coldest; and, excepting only the teeth, it is devoid of sensation. God, the great Creator of all things, formed its substance to this specification with good reason, intending it to be like a foundation for the whole body; for in the fabric of the human body bones perform the same function as do walls and beams in houses, poles in tents, and keels and ribs in boats.
Bones Differentiated by Function
Some bones, by reason of their strength, form as it were props for the body; these include the tibia, the femur, the spinal vertebrae, and most of the bony framework. Others are like bastions, defense walls, and ramparts, affording natural protection to other parts; examples are the skull, the spines and transverse processes of the vertebrae, the breast bone, the ribs. Others stand in front of the joints between certain bones, to ensure that the joint does not move too loosely or bend to too acute an angle. This is the function of the tiny bones, likened by the professors of anatomy to the size of a sesame seed, which are attached to the second internode of the thumb, the first internode of the other four fingers and the first internodes of the five toes. The teeth, on the other hand, serve specifically to cut, crush, pound and grind our food, and similarly the two ossicles in the organ of hearing perform a specifically auditory function.
From De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem: (1543), Book I, 1, as translated by William Frank Richardson, in 'Nature of Bone; Function of Bones', On The Fabric of the Human Body: Book I: The Bones and Cartilages (1998), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Acute (6)  |  Anatomy (56)  |  Angle (14)  |  Attached (2)  |  Beam (9)  |  Bend (6)  |  Boat (11)  |  Body (158)  |  Bone (51)  |  Breast (5)  |  Constituent (13)  |  Creator (35)  |  Crush (4)  |  Cut (29)  |  Defense (11)  |  Devoid (5)  |  Differentiation (15)  |  Driest (2)  |  Exception (28)  |  Fabric (12)  |  Finger (28)  |  Food (119)  |  Form (136)  |  Foundation (62)  |  Framework (12)  |  Function (73)  |  God (315)  |  Grind (8)  |  Hand (66)  |  Hardest (2)  |  Hearing (27)  |  House (29)  |  Human (297)  |  Joint (9)  |  Keel (3)  |  Move (30)  |  Natural (94)  |  Organ (55)  |  Pole (11)  |  Pound (6)  |  Process (162)  |  Prop (5)  |  Protection (19)  |  Reason (245)  |  Rib (4)  |  Seed (39)  |  Sensation (17)  |  Serve (24)  |  Size (34)  |  Skull (3)  |  Specification (5)  |  Spine (5)  |  Strength (49)  |  Substance (67)  |  Teeth (11)  |  Tent (4)  |  Thumb (5)  |  Toe (5)  |  Vertebra (3)  |  Wall (17)

Oh, my dear Kepler, how I wish that we could have one hearty laugh together. Here, at Padua, is the principal professor of philosophy, whom I have repeatedly and urgently requested to look at the moon and planets through my glass, [telescope] which he pertinaciously refuses to do. Why are you not here? what shouts of laughter we should have at this glorious folly! and to hear the professor of philosophy at Pisa laboring before the grand duke with logical arguments, as if with magical incantations, to charm the new planets out of the sky.
From Letter to Johannes Kepler. As translated in John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune, Life of Galileo Galilei: With Illustrations of the Advancement of Experimental Philosophy (1832), 92-93.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (43)  |  Charm (15)  |  Folly (21)  |  Glass (33)  |  Glorious (13)  |  Hearing (27)  |  Hearty (2)  |  Incantation (3)  |  Johannes Kepler (68)  |  Laugh (13)  |  Laughter (18)  |  Logic (169)  |  Magic (52)  |  Moon (116)  |  New (241)  |  Philosophy (180)  |  Planet (147)  |  Principal (11)  |  Refusal (19)  |  Repeated (4)  |  Request (2)  |  Shout (6)  |  Sky (54)  |  Telescope (68)  |  Urgent (5)  |  Wish (40)

One word characterises the most strenuous of the efforts for the advancement of science that I have made perseveringly during fifty-five years; that word is failure. I know no more of electric and magnetic force, or of the relation between ether, electricity and ponderable matter, or of chemical affinity, than I knew and tried to teach to my students of natural philosophy fifty years ago in my first session as Professor.
Address (16 Jun 1896), at Celebration for his Jubilee as Professor, at Glasgow University. Printed in The Electrician (19 Jun 1896), 37, 247.
Science quotes on:  |  Advancement (31)  |  Chemical Affinity (2)  |  Effort (72)  |  Electric (5)  |  Electricity (109)  |  Ether (20)  |  Failure (94)  |  Force (134)  |  Know (120)  |  Magnetic (6)  |  Matter (221)  |  Natural Philosophy (19)  |  Persevere (3)  |  Relation (75)  |  Science (1321)  |  Student (109)  |  Teach (53)  |  Word (178)

Professors have a tendency to think that independent, creative thinking cannot be done by non-science students, and that only advanced science majors have learned enough of the material to think critically about it. I believe this attitude is false. … [Ask] students to use their native intelligence to actually confront subtle scientific issues.
In Understanding the Universe: An Inquiry Approach to Astronomy and the Nature of Scientific Research (2013), ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Advanced (9)  |  Attitude (29)  |  Confront (6)  |  Creative (26)  |  False (56)  |  Independent (30)  |  Intelligence (114)  |  Issue (21)  |  Science Education (11)  |  Student (109)

Science ... must be absorbed in order to inculcate that wonderful humility before the facts of nature that comes from close attention to a textbook, and that unwillingness to learn from Authority that comes from making almost verbatim lecture notes and handing them back to the professor.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 141.
Science quotes on:  |  Authority (40)  |  Humility (16)  |  Learning (173)  |  Lecture (49)  |  Note (16)  |  Science (1321)  |  Textbook (14)  |  Unwillingness (3)  |  Verbatim (2)

Science in England, in America, is jealous of theory, hates the name of love and moral purpose. There's revenge for this humanity. What manner of man does science make? The boy is not attracted. He says, I do not wish to be such a kind of man as my professor is.
In essay. 'Beauty', collected in The Conduct of Life (1860), 250.
Science quotes on:  |  America (63)  |  Attract (13)  |  Boy (29)  |  England (30)  |  Hate (13)  |  Humanity (79)  |  Jealous (3)  |  Kind (53)  |  Love (115)  |  Manner (23)  |  Moral (66)  |  Name (93)  |  Purpose (111)  |  Revenge (3)  |  Say (39)  |  Science (1321)  |  Theory (504)  |  Wish (40)

The best part of working at a university is the students. They come in fresh, enthusiastic, open to ideas, unscarred by the battles of life. They don't realize it, but they're the recipients of the best our society can offer. If a mind is ever free to be creative, that's the time. They come in believing textbooks are authoritative but eventually they figure out that textbooks and professors don't know everything, and then they start to think on their own. Then, I begin learning from them.
As quoted in autobiography of Stephen Chu in Gösta Ekspong (ed.), Nobel Lectures: Physics 1996-2000 (2002), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Idea (373)  |  Learning (173)  |  Student (109)  |  Textbook (14)  |  University (45)

The law is a sort of hocus-pocus science, that smiles in yer face while it picks yer pocket; and the glorious uncertainty of it is of mair use to the professors than the justice of it.
Love à la Mode, Act 2. Scene 1. In John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations (1868), 304.
Science quotes on:  |  Justice (14)  |  Law (366)  |  Pocket (5)  |  Smile (11)  |  Uncertainty (35)

The rigid career path of a professor at a modern university is that One Must Build the Big Research Group, recruit doctoral students more vigorously than the head football coach, bombard the federal agencies with grant applications more numerous than the pollen falling from the heavens in spring, and leave the paper writing and the research to the postdocs, research associates, and students who do all the bench work and all the computer programming. A professor is chained to his previous topics by his Big Group, his network of contacts built up laboriously over decades, and the impossibility of large funding except in areas where the grantee has grown the group from a corner of the building to an entire floor. The senior tenure-track faculty at a research university–the “silverbacks” in anthropological jargon–are bound by invisible chains stronger than the strongest steel to a narrow range of what the Prevailing Consensus agrees are Very Important Problems. The aspiring scientist is confronted with the reality that his mentors are all business managers.
In his Foreword to Cornelius Lanczos, Discourse on Fourier Series, ix-x.
Science quotes on:  |  Business (52)  |  Career (44)  |  Coach (4)  |  Department (25)  |  Football (3)  |  Funding (11)  |  Grant (14)  |  Manager (3)  |  Mentor (3)  |  Postgraduate (2)  |  Research (441)  |  Silverback (2)  |  Student (109)  |  Tenure (5)  |  University (45)

The story is told of Lord Kelvin, a famous Scotch physicist of the last century, that after he had given a lecture on atoms and molecules, one of his students came to him with the question, “Professor, what is your idea of the structure of the atom.”
“What,” said Kelvin, “The structure of the atom? Why, don’t you know, the very word ‘atom’ means the thing that can’t be cut. How then can it have a structure?”
“That,” remarked the facetious young man, “shows the disadvantage of knowing Greek.”
As described in 'Assault on Atoms' (Read 23 Apr 1931 at Symposium—The Changing World) Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (1931), 70, No. 3, 219.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (220)  |  Century (73)  |  Cut (29)  |  Disadvantage (5)  |  Facetious (2)  |  Greek (34)  |  Idea (373)  |  Baron William Thomson Kelvin (48)  |  Know (120)  |  Lecture (49)  |  Molecule (105)  |  Physicist (108)  |  Question (245)  |  Scottish (2)  |  Story (39)  |  Structure (155)  |  Student (109)  |  Word (178)

The traditional mathematics professor of the popular legend is absentminded. He usually appears in public with a lost umbrella in each hand. He prefers to face a blackboard and to turn his back on the class. He writes a, he says b, he means c, but it should be d. Some of his sayings are handed down from generation to generation:
“In order to solve this differential equation you look at it till a solution occurs to you.”
“This principle is so perfectly general that no particular application of it is possible.”
“Geometry is the science of correct reasoning on incorrect figures.”
“My method to overcome a difficulty is to go round it.”
“What is the difference between method and device? A method is a device which you used twice.”
In How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (2004), 208.
Science quotes on:  |  Absent-Minded (2)  |  Application (103)  |  Back (32)  |  Blackboard (6)  |  Class (46)  |  Correct (34)  |  Device (18)  |  Difference (183)  |  Differential Equation (7)  |  Difficulty (103)  |  Face (45)  |  Figure (23)  |  Generality (20)  |  Generation (88)  |  Geometry (90)  |  Incorrect (6)  |  Legend (3)  |  Mathematics (525)  |  Meaning (84)  |  Method (122)  |  Occurrence (27)  |  Overcoming (3)  |  Particular (39)  |  Popular (16)  |  Possibility (86)  |  Principle (183)  |  Reasoning (77)  |  French Saying (61)  |  Solution (143)  |  Tradition (25)  |  Twice (4)  |  Using (6)  |  Writing (71)

There is a story that once, not long after he came to Berlin, Planck forgot which room had been assigned to him for a lecture and stopped at the entrance office of the university to find out. Please tell me, he asked the elderly man in charge, 'In which room does Professor Planck lecture today?' The old man patted him on the shoulder 'Don't go there, young fellow,' he said 'You are much too young to understand the lectures of our learned Professor Planck'.
Anonymous
In Barbara Lovett Cline, Men Who Made a New Physics: Physicists and the Quantum Theory (1987), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (23)  |  Assignment (10)  |  Berlin (6)  |  Entrance (4)  |  Fellow (18)  |  Forgetting (13)  |  Learning (173)  |  Lecture (49)  |  Office (11)  |  Max Planck (57)  |  Room (16)  |  Shoulder (7)  |  Story (39)  |  Understanding (309)  |  University (45)  |  Young (47)

There is no profession so incompatible with original enquiry as is a Scotch Professorship, where one's income depends on the numbers of pupils. Is there one Professor in Edinburgh pursuing science with zeal? Are they not all occupied as showmen whose principal object is to attract pupils and make money?
Brewster to J. D. Forbes, 11 February 1830 (St. Andrew's University Library). Quoted in William CochIan, 'Sir David Brewster: An Outline Biography', in J. R. R. Christie (ed.), Martyr of Science: Sir David Brewster, 1781-1868 (1984), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Money (107)

There is no Professor of Wit at either University. Surely they might as reasonably have a professor of wit as of poetry.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 221.
Science quotes on:  |  Poetry (86)  |  University (45)  |  Wit (23)

They hold that the function of universities is to make learning repellent and thus to prevent its becoming dangerously common. And they discharge this beneficent function all the more efficiently because they do it unconsciously and automatically. The professors think they are advancing healthy intellectual assimilation and digestion when they are in reality little better than cancer on the stomach.
Samuel Butler, Henry Festing Jones (ed.), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1917), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (93)  |  Assimilation (9)  |  Automatic (12)  |  Beneficent (5)  |  Better (84)  |  Cancer (38)  |  Common (68)  |  Danger (51)  |  Digestion (21)  |  Discharge (7)  |  Efficiency (22)  |  Function (73)  |  Health (121)  |  Intellect (149)  |  Learning (173)  |  Prevention (29)  |  Reality (98)  |  Stomach (16)  |  University (45)

Whatever universe a professor believes in must at any rate be a universe that lends itself to lengthy discourse. A universe definable in two sentences is something for which the professorial intellect has no use. No faith in anything of that cheap kind!
First of eight lectures on ‘Pragmatism: A New Name For an Old Way of Thinking’ given at the Lowell Institute, Boston and the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology, Columbia University. In The Popular Science Monthly (Mar 1907), 193.
Science quotes on:  |  Anything (8)  |  Belief (279)  |  Cheap (6)  |  Definition (127)  |  Discourse (10)  |  Faith (101)  |  Intellect (149)  |  Kind (53)  |  Sentence (16)  |  Universe (433)

When I saw the alpha-helix and saw what a beautiful, elegant structure it was, I was thunderstruck and was furious with myself for not having built this, but on the other hand, I wondered, was it really right?
So I cycled home for lunch and was so preoccupied with the turmoil in my mind that didn’t respond to anything. Then I had an idea, so I cycled back to the lab. I realized that I had a horse hair in a drawer. I set it up on the X-ray camera and gave it a two hour exposure, then took the film to the dark room with my heart in my mouth, wondering what it showed, and when I developed it, there was the 1.5 angstrom reflection which I had predicted and which excluded all structures other than the alpha-helix.
So on Monday morning I stormed into my professor’s office, into Bragg’s office and showed him this, and Bragg said, 'Whatever made you think of that?' And I said, 'Because I was so furious with myself for having missed that beautiful structure.' To which Bragg replied coldly, 'I wish I had made you angry earlier.'
From transcript of audio of Max Perutz in BBC programme, 'Lifestory: Linus Pauling' (1997). On 'Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA' webpage 'I Wish I Had Made You Angry Earlier.'
Science quotes on:  |  Anger (11)  |  Beauty (141)  |  Sir William Bragg (9)  |  Earlier (8)  |  Elegance (16)  |  Fury (4)  |  Helix (8)  |  Miss (9)  |  Structure (155)  |  Thought (280)  |  Turmoil (4)  |  Wish (40)  |  Wonder (106)  |  X-ray Crystallography (10)

Yet as I cast my eye over the whole course of science I behold instances of false science, even more pretentious and popular than that of Einstein gradually fading into ineptitude under the searchlight; and I have no doubt that there will arise a new generation who will look with a wonder and amazement, deeper than now accompany Einstein, at our galaxy of thinkers, men of science, popular critics, authoritative professors and witty dramatists, who have been satisfied to waive their common sense in view of Einstein's absurdities.
In Elizabeth Dilling, A "Who's Who" and Handbook of Radicalism for Patriots (1934), 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (12)  |  Accompany (15)  |  Amazement (8)  |  Authority (40)  |  Cast (11)  |  Common Sense (56)  |  Course (42)  |  Critic (12)  |  Doubt (87)  |  Albert Einstein (240)  |  Eye (127)  |  Fading (3)  |  Falsity (11)  |  Galaxy (30)  |  Generation (88)  |  Ineptitude (2)  |  Instance (13)  |  Men Of Science (95)  |  New (241)  |  Popular (16)  |  Pretention (2)  |  Satisfaction (43)  |  Science (1321)  |  Searchlight (2)  |  Theory Of Relativity (10)  |  View (78)  |  Wit (23)  |  Wonder (106)

[Niels Bohr] is a national pride to his fellow Danes. In Denmark, Bohr's standing is only slightly less than that of the royal family and Hans Christian Anderson. When the wife of an American physicist casually told a gentleman seated next to her on a Copenhagen streetcar that her husband was studying under Professor Bohr, the old man jumped to his feet, swept off his hat with a flourish and bowed deeply.
Quoted in Bill Becker, 'Pioneer of the Atom', New York Times Sunday Magazine (20 Oct 1957), 52.
Science quotes on:  |  Niels Bohr (42)  |  Bow (5)  |  Casual (4)  |  Fellow (18)  |  Flourish (7)  |  Gentleman (12)  |  Hat (8)  |  Husband (9)  |  Jump (8)  |  Nation (85)  |  Physicist (108)  |  Pride (34)  |  Seat (4)  |  Study (283)  |  Telling (23)  |  Wife (15)


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:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations 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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.