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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Pursue

Pursue Quotes (10 quotes)

After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision.
From On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1861), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Allow (24)  |  Conclusion (120)  |  Decision (58)  |  Detail (65)  |  Enlarge (15)  |  Excuse (15)  |  Five (14)  |  Hasty (4)  |  Hope (129)  |  Note (22)  |  Object (110)  |  Personal (49)  |  Present (103)  |  Probable (14)  |  Sketch (4)  |  Speculation (77)  |  Steadily (4)  |  Subject (129)  |  Work (457)  |  Year (214)

Kepler’s discovery would not have been possible without the doctrine of conics. Now contemporaries of Kepler—such penetrating minds as Descartes and Pascal—were abandoning the study of geometry ... because they said it was so UTTERLY USELESS. There was the future of the human race almost trembling in the balance; for had not the geometry of conic sections already been worked out in large measure, and had their opinion that only sciences apparently useful ought to be pursued, the nineteenth century would have had none of those characters which distinguish it from the ancien régime.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 32.
Science quotes on:  |  19th Century (22)  |  Abandon (37)  |  Apparently (11)  |  Balance (43)  |  Contemporary (22)  |  René Descartes (43)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Doctrine (53)  |  Future (229)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Human (445)  |  Johannes Kepler (72)  |  Mind (544)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Blaise Pascal (36)  |  Penetrating (3)  |  Possible (100)  |  Race (76)  |  Science (1699)  |  Study (331)  |  Trembling (3)  |  Useful (66)  |  Useless (24)  |  Utterly (13)

Sir Isaac Newton and Dr. Bentley met accidentally in London, and on Sir Isaac’s inquiring what philosophical pursuits were carrying on at Cambridge, the doctor replied—None—for when you go a hunting Sir Isaac, you kill all the game; you have left us nothing to pursue.—Not so, said the philosopher, you may start a variety of game in every bush if you will but take the trouble to beat for it.
From Richard Watson, Chemical Essays (1786, 1806), Vol. 4, 257-258. No citation given, so—assuming it is more or less authentic—Webmaster offers this outright guess. Watson was the source of another anecdote about Newton (see “I find more sure marks…”). Thus, one might by pure speculation wonder if this quote was passed along in the same way. Was this another anecdote relayed to Watson by his former teacher, Dr. Robert Smith (Master of Trinity House), who might have been told this by Newton himself? Perhaps we’ll never know, but if you know a primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Accidentally (2)  |  Beat (15)  |  Richard Bentley (3)  |  Bush (8)  |  Cambridge (11)  |  Game (45)  |  Hunting (7)  |  Inquiring (4)  |  Kill (37)  |  London (12)  |  Met (2)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (258)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Philosophical (14)  |  Pursuit (55)  |  Replied (2)  |  Start (68)  |  Trouble (55)  |  Variety (53)

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
Nobody Knows My Name (1961). In The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985 (1985), 302.
Science quotes on:  |  Calling (3)  |  Career (54)  |  Intimate (11)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Pay (30)  |  Price (26)  |  Profession (54)  |  Ugly (11)

The reason I cannot really say that I positively enjoy nature is that I do not quite realize what it is that I enjoy. A work of art, on the other hand, I can grasp. I can — if I may put it this way — find that Archimedian point, and as soon as I have found it, everything is readily clear for me. Then I am able to pursue this one main idea and see how all the details serve to illuminate it.
Søren Kierkegaard, translation by Howard Vincent Hong and Edna Hatlestad Hong Søren Kierkegaard’s Journal and Papers (1834), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Archimedes (22)  |  Art (205)  |  Clear (52)  |  Detail (65)  |  Enjoy (23)  |  Find (248)  |  Grasp (43)  |  Idea (440)  |  Illuminate (12)  |  Nature (1029)  |  On The Other Hand (16)  |  Point (72)  |  Positively (2)  |  Realize (43)  |  Reason (330)  |  Say (126)  |  Serve (34)

The science [geometry] is pursued for the sake of the knowledge of what eternally exists, and not of what comes for a moment into existence, and then perishes.
[Also seen condensed as: ``Geometry is knowledge of the eternally existent” or “The knowledge at which geometry aims is the knowledge of the eternal.”]
Plato
The Republic of Plato Book VII, trans. by John Llewelyn Favies and David James Vaughan (1908), 251.
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (254)  |  External (45)  |  Geometry (99)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Perish (23)

We must never be too absorbed by the thought we are pursuing.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Hypothesis (227)  |  Think (205)

What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft repeated, than the story of a large research program that impaled itself upon a false central assumption accepted by all practitioners? Do we regard all people who worked within such traditions as dishonorable fools? What of the scientists who assumed that the continents were stable, that the hereditary material was protein, or that all other galaxies lay within the Milky Way? These false and abandoned efforts were pursued with passion by brilliant and honorable scientists. How many current efforts, now commanding millions of research dollars and the full attention of many of our best scientists, will later be exposed as full failures based on false premises?
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (37)  |  Accept (37)  |  Assume (19)  |  Assumption (49)  |  Attention (76)  |  Base (43)  |  Best (129)  |  Brilliant (14)  |  Central (23)  |  Command (14)  |  Continent (39)  |  Current (43)  |  Dollar (19)  |  Effort (94)  |  Expose (9)  |  Failure (118)  |  False (79)  |  Fool (70)  |  Full (38)  |  Galaxy (38)  |  Hereditary (6)  |  Honorable (5)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Large (82)  |  Late (28)  |  Lie (80)  |  Material (124)  |  Milky Way (19)  |  Millions (13)  |  Old (104)  |  Passion (54)  |  People (269)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Practitioner (12)  |  Premise (14)  |  Program (32)  |  Protein (43)  |  Regard (58)  |  Repeat (27)  |  Research (517)  |  Scientist (447)  |  Stable (15)  |  Story (58)  |  Tradition (43)  |  Work (457)

[Richard Drew] always encouraged his people to pursue ideas… He said, “If it’s a dumb idea, you’ll find out. You’ll smack into that brick wall, then you’ll stagger back and see another opportunity that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.”
Art Fry
As quoted in W. James McNerney Jr., A Century of Innovation: The 3M Story (2002), 68. (Note: The quote is in the words of Art Fry, as a recollection, and not necessarily a verbatim quote as spoken by Drew.)
Science quotes on:  |  Brick (12)  |  Richard G. Drew (6)  |  Dumb (7)  |  Encourage (16)  |  Idea (440)  |  Invention (283)  |  Opportunity (43)  |  Research (517)  |  See (197)  |  Stagger (3)  |  Wall (20)

“Science for its own sake” usually means nothing more than science for the sake of the people who happen to be pursuing it.
In 'Standpoints in Scientific Medicine', Disease, Life, and Man: Selected Essays (1958), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  People (269)  |  Sake (17)  |  Science (1699)


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.