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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index P > Category: Pursuing

Pursuing Quotes (27 quotes)

Applied research generates improvements, not breakthroughs. Great scientific advances spring from pure research. Even scientists renowned for their “useful” applied discoveries often achieved success only when they abandoned their ostensible applied-science goal and allowed their minds to soar—as when Alexander Fleming, “just playing about,” refrained from throwing away green molds that had ruined his experiment, studied them, and discovered penicillin. Or when C. A. Clarke, a physician affiliated with the University of Liverpool, became intrigued in the 1950s by genetically created color patterns that emerged when he cross-bred butterflies as a hobby. His fascination led him—“by the pleasant route of pursuing idle curiosity”—to the successful idea for preventing the sometimes fatal anemia that threatened babies born of a positive-Rhesus-factor father and a negative-Rhesus-factor mother.
In Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein, The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World (2007), 214-215.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Advance (280)  |  Applied (177)  |  Applied Research (2)  |  Applied Science (34)  |  Breakthrough (15)  |  Butterfly (22)  |  Color (137)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Discover (553)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Fascination (32)  |  Father (110)  |  Sir Alexander Fleming (19)  |  Genetics (101)  |  Goal (145)  |  Great (1574)  |  Green (63)  |  Idea (843)  |  Idle (33)  |  Improvement (108)  |  Intrigued (4)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mold (33)  |  Mother (114)  |  Negative (63)  |  Pattern (110)  |  Penicillin (17)  |  Physician (273)  |  Playing (42)  |  Positive (94)  |  Pure (291)  |  Refrain (9)  |  Research (664)  |  Ruin (42)  |  Science (3879)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Serendipity (15)  |  Soar (23)  |  Spring (133)  |  Success (302)  |  Successful (123)  |  Threaten (32)  |  Throwing (17)  |  University (121)  |  Useful (250)

Dissections daily convince us of our ignorance of disease, and cause us to blush at our prescriptions. What mischief have we done under the belief of false facts and false theories! We have assisted in multiplying diseases; we have done more; we have increased their mortality. ... I am pursuing Truth, and am indifferent whither I am led, if she is my only leader.
From a public lecture by Rush. Quoted by Isaac Jennings, in Medical Reform; a Treatise on Man's Physical Being and Disorders (1847), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Cause (541)  |  Convince (41)  |  Daily (87)  |  Disease (328)  |  Dissection (32)  |  Drug (57)  |  Error (321)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Leader (43)  |  Mischief (13)  |  More (2559)  |  Prescription (18)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Whither (11)

Engineering training deals with the exact sciences. That sort of exactness makes for truth and conscience. It might be good for the world if more men had that sort of mental start in life even if they did not pursue the profession.
Reprint of his 1916 statement in 'Engineering as a Profession', Engineer’s Week (1954).
Science quotes on:  |  Conscience (50)  |  Deal (188)  |  Engineering (175)  |  Exactness (29)  |  Good (889)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mental (177)  |  More (2559)  |  Profession (99)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Science (3879)  |  Start (221)  |  Training (80)  |  Truth (1057)  |  World (1774)

Eradication of microbial disease is a will-o’-the-wisp; pursuing it leads into a morass of hazy biological concepts and half truths.
Man Adapting (1965), 381.
Science quotes on:  |  Biological (137)  |  Concept (221)  |  Disease (328)  |  Lead (384)  |  Microbe (28)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Will (2355)

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 (280)  |  Alchemist (22)  |  All (4108)  |  Biology (216)  |  Chemistry (353)  |  Chimera (9)  |  Cite (8)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Error (321)  |  False (100)  |  Great (1574)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Lead (384)  |  Men Of Science (143)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Mistake (169)  |  More (2559)  |  Multitude (47)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Obstacle (42)  |  Physical (508)  |  Physical Science (101)  |  Problem (676)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Reach (281)  |  Reliance (10)  |  Science (3879)  |  Still (613)  |  Theory (970)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Use (766)  |  Weakness (48)

For it is owing to their wonder that men now both begin and at first began to philosophize; they wondered originally at the obvious difficulties, then advanced little by little and stated difficulties about the greater matters, e.g. about the phenomena of the moon and those of the sun and the stars, and about the genesis of the universe. And a man who is puzzled and wonders thinks himself ignorant (whence even the lover of myth is in a sense a lover of wisdom, for myth is composed of wonders); therefore since they philosophized in order to escape from ignorance, evidently they were pursuing science in order to know, and not for any utilitarian end. And this is confirmed by the facts; for it was when almost all the necessities of life and the things that make for comfort and recreation were present, that such knowledge began to be sought. Evidently then we do not seek it for the sake of any advantage; but as the man is free, we say, who exists for himself and not for another, so we pursue this as the only free science, for it alone exists for itself.
Aristotle
Metaphysics, 982b, 12-27. In Jonathan Baines (ed.), The Complete Works of Aristotle (1984), Vol. 2, 1554.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (134)  |  All (4108)  |  Alone (311)  |  Begin (260)  |  Both (493)  |  Comfort (59)  |  Confirm (57)  |  Do (1908)  |  End (590)  |  Escape (80)  |  Evidently (26)  |  Exist (443)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  First (1283)  |  Free (232)  |  Genesis (23)  |  Greater (288)  |  Himself (461)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Ignorant (90)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Life (1795)  |  Little (707)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Moon (237)  |  Myth (56)  |  Obvious (126)  |  Order (632)  |  Owing (39)  |  Present (619)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Sake (58)  |  Say (984)  |  Science (3879)  |  Seek (213)  |  Sense (770)  |  Star (427)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sun (385)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Think (1086)  |  Universe (857)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Wonder (236)

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 (228)  |  Discourage (13)  |  Discouragement (8)  |  Doing (280)  |  Effort (227)  |  Exaggeration (15)  |  Find (998)  |  Foolish (40)  |  Good (889)  |  History (673)  |  History Of Science (63)  |  Idea (843)  |  Other (2236)  |  Paralysis (9)  |  Path (144)  |  Problem (676)  |  Realization (43)  |  Realize (147)  |  Science (3879)  |  Stifle (5)  |  Work (1351)

I imagined in the beginning, that a few experiments would determine the problem; but experience soon convinced me, that a very great number indeed were necessary before such an art could be brought to any tolerable degree of perfection.
Upon pursuing the ''
Preface to An Essay on Combustion with a View to a New Art of Dyeing and Painting (1794), iii. In Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie and Joy Dorothy Harvey, The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science (2000), 478.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Beginning (305)  |  Degree (276)  |  Determine (144)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Great (1574)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Number (699)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Perseverance (23)  |  Problem (676)  |  Soon (186)

I require a term to express those bodies which can pass to the electrodes, or, as they are usually called, the poles. Substances are frequently spoken of as being electro-negative, or electro-positive, according as they go under the supposed influence of a direct attraction to the positive or negative pole. But these terms are much too significant for the use to which I should have to put them; for though the meanings are perhaps right, they are only hypothetical, and may be wrong; and then, through a very imperceptible, but still very dangerous, because continual, influence, they do great injury to science, by contracting and limiting the habitual view of those engaged in pursuing it. I propose to distinguish these bodies by calling those anions which go to the anode of the decomposing body; and those passing to the cathode, cations; and when I have occasion to speak of these together, I shall call them ions.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1834, 124, 79.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Anion (4)  |  Anode (4)  |  Attraction (56)  |  Being (1278)  |  Body (537)  |  Call (769)  |  Cation (3)  |  Continual (43)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Direct (225)  |  Distinguish (160)  |  Do (1908)  |  Electrolysis (7)  |  Express (186)  |  Great (1574)  |  Influence (222)  |  Injury (36)  |  Ion (21)  |  Meaning (233)  |  Negative (63)  |  Nomenclature (146)  |  Occasion (85)  |  Pass (238)  |  Passing (76)  |  Pole (46)  |  Positive (94)  |  Require (219)  |  Right (452)  |  Science (3879)  |  Significant (74)  |  Speak (232)  |  Still (613)  |  Substance (248)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Through (849)  |  Together (387)  |  Use (766)  |  Usually (176)  |  View (488)  |  Wrong (234)

It is the destiny of wine to be drunk, and it is the destiny of glucose to be oxidized. But it was not oxidized immediately: its drinker kept it in his liver for more than a week, well curled up and tranquil, as a reserve aliment for a sudden effort; an effort that he was forced to make the following Sunday, pursuing a bolting horse. Farewell to the hexagonal structure: in the space of a few instants the skein was unwound and became glucose again, and this was dragged by the bloodstream all the way to a minute muscle fiber in the thigh, and here brutally split into two molecules of lactic acid, the grim harbinger of fatigue: only later, some minutes after, the panting of the lungs was able to supply the oxygen necessary to quietly oxidize the latter. So a new molecule of carbon dioxide returned to the atmosphere, and a parcel of the energy that the sun had handed to the vine-shoot passed from the state of chemical energy to that of mechanical energy, and thereafter settled down in the slothful condition of heat, warming up imperceptibly the air moved by the running and the blood of the runner. 'Such is life,' although rarely is it described in this manner: an inserting itself, a drawing off to its advantage, a parasitizing of the downward course of energy, from its noble solar form to the degraded one of low-temperature heat. In this downward course, which leads to equilibrium and thus death, life draws a bend and nests in it.
The Periodic Table (1975), trans. Raymond Rosenthal (1984), 192-3.
Science quotes on:  |  Acid (83)  |  Advantage (134)  |  Air (347)  |  Alcohol (22)  |  All (4108)  |  Atmosphere (103)  |  Blood (134)  |  Carbon (65)  |  Carbon Dioxide (22)  |  Chemical (292)  |  Chemical Energy (3)  |  Condition (356)  |  Conservation Of Energy (29)  |  Course (409)  |  Death (388)  |  Destiny (50)  |  Down (456)  |  Draw (137)  |  Drawing (56)  |  Drunk (10)  |  Effort (227)  |  Energy (344)  |  Equilibrium (33)  |  Fatigue (12)  |  Fiber (16)  |  Form (959)  |  Glucose (2)  |  Heat (174)  |  Horse (74)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Instant (45)  |  Lactic Acid (2)  |  Lead (384)  |  Life (1795)  |  Liver (19)  |  Low (80)  |  Lung (34)  |  Mechanical (140)  |  Minute (125)  |  Molecule (174)  |  More (2559)  |  Muscle (45)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Nest (23)  |  New (1216)  |  Noble (90)  |  Oxidation (7)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Pass (238)  |  Plant (294)  |  Reserve (24)  |  Return (124)  |  Running (61)  |  Settled (34)  |  Space (500)  |  State (491)  |  Structure (344)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Sun (385)  |  Supply (93)  |  Temperature (79)  |  Two (937)  |  Warming (23)  |  Way (1217)  |  Week (70)  |  Wine (38)

Most people regard scientists as explorers … Imagine a handful of people shipwrecked on a strange island and setting out to explore it. One of them cuts a solitary path through the jungle, going on and on until he is exhausted or lost or both. He eventually returns to his companions, and they listen to him with goggling eyes as he describes what he saw; what he fell into, and what bit him. After a rest he demands more supplies and sets off again to explore the unknown. Many of his companions will be doing the same, each choosing his own direction and pursuing his pioneering path.
In The Development of Design (1981), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Both (493)  |  Companion (19)  |  Cut (114)  |  Demand (123)  |  Describe (128)  |  Direction (175)  |  Doing (280)  |  Eventually (65)  |  Exhaustion (16)  |  Explorer (28)  |  Eye (419)  |  Handful (13)  |  Imagine (164)  |  Island (46)  |  Jungle (22)  |  Listen (73)  |  Listening (25)  |  Lost (34)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1731)  |  Path (144)  |  People (1005)  |  Pioneer (33)  |  Regard (305)  |  Rest (280)  |  Return (124)  |  Saw (160)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Set (394)  |  Setting (44)  |  Solitary (15)  |  Strange (157)  |  Through (849)  |  Unknown (182)  |  Will (2355)

My father’s collection of fossils was practically unnamed, but the appearance of Phillips’ book [Geology of the Yorkshire Coast], in which most of our specimens were figured, enabled us to remedy this defect. Every evening was devoted by us to accomplishing the work. This was my first introduction to true scientific study. … Phillips’ accurate volume initiated an entirely new order of things. Many a time did I mourn over the publication of this book, and the consequences immediately resulting from it. Instead of indulging in the games and idleness to which most lads are prone, my evenings throughout a long winter were devoted to the detested labour of naming these miserable stones. Such is the short-sightedness of boyhood. Pursuing this uncongenial work gave me in my thirteenth year a thorough practical familiarity with the palaeontological treasures of Eastern Yorkshire. This early acquisition happily moulded the entire course of my future life.
In Reminiscences of a Yorkshire naturalist (1896), 12.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Accomplishment (93)  |  Accurate (86)  |  Acquisition (45)  |  Appearance (140)  |  Autobiography (56)  |  Book (392)  |  Boyhood (3)  |  Coast (13)  |  Collection (64)  |  Consequence (203)  |  Course (409)  |  Defect (31)  |  Detest (5)  |  Devote (35)  |  Devoted (59)  |  Early (185)  |  Evening (12)  |  Familiarity (19)  |  Father (110)  |  First (1283)  |  Fossil (136)  |  Future (429)  |  Game (101)  |  Geology (220)  |  Idleness (13)  |  Immediately (114)  |  Indulge (14)  |  Introduction (35)  |  Labour (98)  |  Life (1795)  |  Long (790)  |  Miserable (7)  |  Mold (33)  |  Most (1731)  |  Mourn (2)  |  New (1216)  |  Order (632)  |  Paleontology (31)  |  John Phillips (2)  |  Practical (200)  |  Publication (101)  |  Remedy (62)  |  Result (677)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Short (197)  |  Specimen (28)  |  Stone (162)  |  Study (653)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Thorough (40)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Time (1877)  |  Treasure (57)  |  True (212)  |  Uncongenial (2)  |  Winter (44)  |  Work (1351)  |  Year (933)  |  Yorkshire (2)

On Tuesday evening at Museum, at a ball in the gardens. The night was chill, I dropped too suddenly from Differential Calculus into ladies’ society, and could not give myself freely to the change. After an hour’s attempt so to do, I returned, cursing the mode of life I was pursuing; next morning I had already shaken hands, however, with Diff. Calculus, and forgot the ladies….
From his diary for 10 Aug 1851, as quoted in J. Helen Gardner and Robin J. Wilson, 'Thomas Archer Hirst—Mathematician Xtravagant II: Student Days in Germany', The American Mathematical Monthly (Jun-Jul 1993), 6, No. 100, 534.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Already (222)  |  Attempt (251)  |  Ball (62)  |  Calculus (65)  |  Change (593)  |  Chill (9)  |  Differential Calculus (10)  |  Do (1908)  |  Drop (76)  |  Dropped (17)  |  Forget (115)  |  Garden (60)  |  Hand (143)  |  Hour (186)  |  Lady (11)  |  Life (1795)  |  Mode (41)  |  Morning (94)  |  Museum (31)  |  Myself (212)  |  Next (236)  |  Night (120)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Return (124)  |  Shake (41)  |  Society (326)  |  Sudden (67)  |  Suddenly (88)

Only to often on meeting scientific men, even those of genuine distiction, one finds that they are dull fellows and very stupid. They know one thing to excess; they know nothing else. Pursuing facts too doggedly and unimaginatively, they miss all the charming things that are not facts. ... Too much learning, like too little learning, is an unpleasant and dangerous thing.
A Second Mencken Chrestomathy: A New Selection from the Writings of America's Legendary Editor, Critic, and Wit (2006), 157.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Charming (3)  |  Dangerous (105)  |  Distinction (72)  |  Dull (54)  |  Excess (22)  |  Fact (1210)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fellow (88)  |  Find (998)  |  Genuine (52)  |  Imagination (328)  |  Know (1518)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Learning (274)  |  Little (707)  |  Miss (51)  |  Nothing (966)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Scientific (941)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Stupid (35)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Unpleasant (12)

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:  |  All (4108)  |  Ask (411)  |  Barrenness (2)  |  Contemporary (30)  |  Culture (143)  |  Degradation (17)  |  Development (422)  |  Drive (55)  |  Effect (393)  |  Emotion (100)  |  Emptiness (11)  |  End (590)  |  Environment (216)  |  Experience (467)  |  Fail (185)  |  First (1283)  |  Growth (187)  |  Homogeneity (8)  |  Human (1468)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Noise (37)  |  Odor (10)  |  Pain (136)  |  Physical (508)  |  Population (110)  |  Population Growth (8)  |  Problem (676)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Question (621)  |  Sense (770)  |  Short (197)  |  Suffering (67)  |  Technology (257)  |  Toxin (8)  |  Two (937)  |  Ugliness (3)  |  Will (2355)

Science has hitherto been proceeding without the guidance of any rational theory of logic, and has certainly made good progress. It is like a computer who is pursuing some method of arithmetical approximation. Even if he occasionally makes mistakes in his ciphering, yet if the process is a good one they will rectify themselves. But then he would approximate much more rapidly if he did not commit these errors; and in my opinion, the time has come when science ought to be provided with a logic. My theory satisfies me; I can see no flaw in it. According to that theory universality, necessity, exactitude, in the absolute sense of these words, are unattainable by us, and do not exist in nature. There is an ideal law to which nature approximates; but to express it would require an endless series of modifications, like the decimals expressing surd. Only when you have asked a question in so crude a shape that continuity is not involved, is a perfectly true answer attainable.
Letter to G. F. Becker, 11 June 1893. Merrill Collection, Library of Congress. Quoted in Nathan Reingold, Science in Nineteenth-Century America: A Documentary History (1966), 231-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (145)  |  According (237)  |  Answer (366)  |  Approximate (25)  |  Approximation (31)  |  Arithmetic (136)  |  Ask (411)  |  Attainment (47)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Commit (41)  |  Commitment (27)  |  Computer (127)  |  Continuity (38)  |  Crude (31)  |  Crudity (4)  |  Decimal (20)  |  Do (1908)  |  Endless (56)  |  Error (321)  |  Exactitude (10)  |  Exist (443)  |  Existence (456)  |  Express (186)  |  Flaw (17)  |  Good (889)  |  Guidance (28)  |  Hitherto (6)  |  Ideal (99)  |  Involved (90)  |  Law (894)  |  Logic (287)  |  Method (505)  |  Mistake (169)  |  Modification (55)  |  More (2559)  |  Nature (1926)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Opinion (281)  |  Perfection (129)  |  Proceeding (39)  |  Process (423)  |  Progress (465)  |  Provision (16)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Question (621)  |  Rapidity (26)  |  Rapidly (66)  |  Rational (90)  |  Rationality (24)  |  Require (219)  |  Satisfaction (74)  |  Science (3879)  |  See (1081)  |  Sense (770)  |  Series (149)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Theory (970)  |  Time (1877)  |  Time Has Come (8)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Universality (22)  |  Will (2355)  |  Word (619)

Shakespeare was pursuing two Methods at once; and besides the Psychological Method, he had also to attend to the Poetical. (Note) we beg pardon for the use of this insolent verbum: but it is one of which our Language stands in great need. We have no single term to express the Philosophy of the Human Mind.
Science quotes on:  |  Attend (65)  |  Express (186)  |  Great (1574)  |  Human (1468)  |  Human Mind (128)  |  Language (293)  |  Method (505)  |  Methods (204)  |  Mind (1338)  |  Pardon (7)  |  Philosophy (380)  |  Poetry (143)  |  Psychological (42)  |  Psychology (154)  |  William Shakespeare (102)  |  Single (353)  |  Stand (274)  |  Term (349)  |  Two (937)  |  Use (766)

The “British Association for the Promotion of Science,” … is almost necessary for the purposes of science. The periodical assemblage of persons, pursuing the same or différent branches of knowledge, always produces an excitement which is favourable to the development of new ideas; whilst the long period of repose which succeeds, is advantageous for the prosecution of the reasonings or the experiments then suggested; and the récurrence of the meeting in the succeeding year, will stimulate the activity of the inquirer, by the hope of being then enabled to produce the successful result of his labours.
In 'Future Prospects', On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1st ed., 1832), chap. 32, 274. Note: The British Association for the Advancement of Science held its first meeting at York in 1831, the year before the first publication of this book in 1832.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (210)  |  Advancement (62)  |  Advantageous (10)  |  Assemblage (17)  |  Assembly (13)  |  Association (46)  |  Being (1278)  |  Branch (150)  |  British (41)  |  Conference (17)  |  Development (422)  |  Different (577)  |  Enable (119)  |  Exchange (37)  |  Excitement (50)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Favourable (3)  |  Hope (299)  |  Idea (843)  |  Information (166)  |  Inquirer (9)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Labour (98)  |  Long (790)  |  Meeting (20)  |  Necessary (363)  |  New (1216)  |  New Ideas (16)  |  Period (198)  |  Periodic (3)  |  Person (363)  |  Produce (104)  |  Promotion (7)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Reasoning (207)  |  Reasonings (2)  |  Research (664)  |  Result (677)  |  Same (157)  |  Science (3879)  |  Society (326)  |  Stimulate (18)  |  Succeed (109)  |  Succeeding (14)  |  Success (302)  |  Successful (123)  |  Suggest (34)  |  Will (2355)  |  Year (933)

The external world of physics has … become a world of shadows. In removing our illusions we have removed the substance, for indeed we have seen that substance is one of the greatest of our illusions. Later perhaps we may inquire whether in our zeal to cut out all that is unreal we may not have used the knife too ruthlessly. Perhaps, indeed, reality is a child which cannot survive without its nurse illusion. But if so, that is of little concern to the scientist, who has good and sufficient reasons for pursuing his investigations in the world of shadows and is content to leave to the philosopher the determination of its exact status in regard to reality.
In Introduction to The Nature of the Physical World (1928), xiv.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4108)  |  Become (815)  |  Child (307)  |  Concern (228)  |  Cut (114)  |  Determination (78)  |  Exact (68)  |  External (57)  |  Good (889)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Illusion (66)  |  Indeed (324)  |  Inquire (23)  |  Investigation (230)  |  Knife (23)  |  Little (707)  |  Nurse (25)  |  Philosopher (258)  |  Physic (517)  |  Physics (533)  |  Reality (261)  |  Reason (744)  |  Regard (305)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Shadow (72)  |  Status (35)  |  Substance (248)  |  Sufficient (128)  |  Survive (79)  |  Unreal (4)  |  World (1774)  |  Zeal (11)

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 (75)  |  Intimate (15)  |  Knowledge (1529)  |  Pay (43)  |  Price (51)  |  Profession (99)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Side (233)  |  Ugly (14)

The stories of Whitney’s love for experimenting are legion. At one time he received a letter asking if insects could live in a vacuum. Whitney took the letter to one of the members of his staff and asked the man if he cared to run an experiment on the subject. The man replied that there was no point in it, since it was well established that life could not exist without a supply of oxygen. Whitney, who was an inveterate student of wild life, replied that on his farm he had seen turtles bury themselves in mud each fall, and, although the mud was covered with ice and snow for months, emerge again in the spring. The man exclaimed, “Oh, you mean hibernation!” Whitney answered, “I don’t know what I mean, but I want to know if bugs can live in a vacuum.”
He proceeded down the hall and broached the subject to another member of the staff. Faced with the same lack of enthusiasm for pursuing the matter further, Whitney tried another illustration. “I’ve been told that you can freeze a goldfish solidly in a cake of ice, where he certainly can’t get much oxygen, and can keep him there for a month or two. But if you thaw him out carefully he seems none the worse for his experience.” The second scientist replied, “Oh, you mean suspended animation.” Whitney once again explained that his interest was not in the terms but in finding an answer to the question.
Finally Whitney returned to his own laboratory and set to work. He placed a fly and a cockroach in a bell jar and removed the air. The two insects promptly keeled over. After approximately two hours, however, when he gradually admitted air again, the cockroach waved its feelers and staggered to its feet. Before long, both the cockroach and the fly were back in action.
'Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357-358.
Science quotes on:  |   (2863)  |  Action (327)  |  Air (347)  |  Animation (6)  |  Answer (366)  |  Ask (411)  |  Asking (73)  |  Back (390)  |  Bell (35)  |  Both (493)  |  Burial (7)  |  Car (71)  |  Carefully (65)  |  Certainly (185)  |  Cockroach (6)  |  Down (456)  |  Emergence (33)  |  Enthusiasm (52)  |  Exclaim (13)  |  Exist (443)  |  Experience (467)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Explain (322)  |  Fall (230)  |  Farm (26)  |  Feeler (3)  |  Fly (146)  |  Freeze (5)  |  Gradually (102)  |  Hibernation (3)  |  Hour (186)  |  Ice (54)  |  Illustration (48)  |  Insect (77)  |  Interest (386)  |  Know (1518)  |  Laboratory (196)  |  Lack (119)  |  Legion (4)  |  Letter (109)  |  Life (1795)  |  Live (628)  |  Long (790)  |  Love (309)  |  Man (2251)  |  Matter (798)  |  Mean (809)  |  Month (88)  |  Mud (26)  |  Oxygen (66)  |  Point (580)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Question (621)  |  Removal (11)  |  Return (124)  |  Run (174)  |  Scientist (820)  |  Set (394)  |  Snow (37)  |  Spring (133)  |  Student (300)  |  Subject (521)  |  Supply (93)  |  Term (349)  |  Terms (184)  |  Thaw (2)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Time (1877)  |  Turtle (8)  |  Two (937)  |  Vacuum (39)  |  Want (497)  |  Willis R. Whitney (17)  |  Wild (87)  |  Work (1351)

The true worth of an experimenter consists in his pursuing not only what he seeks in his experiment, but also what he did not seek.
Unverified in these exact words. Contact webmaster if you know the primary source. Perhaps the quote is a summary of a longer passage. Claude lays out his experimental philosophy in An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865).
Science quotes on:  |  Consist (223)  |  Consisting (5)  |  Experiment (695)  |  Experimenter (40)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Seek (213)  |  Seeking (31)  |  Truth (1057)  |  Worth (169)

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 Cochlan, '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:  |   (2863)  |  All (4108)  |  Depend (228)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  Income (17)  |  Money (170)  |  Number (699)  |  Object (422)  |  Occupied (45)  |  Principal (63)  |  Profession (99)  |  Professor (128)  |  Pupil (61)  |  Science (3879)

We must never be too absorbed by the thought we are pursuing.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (49)  |  Hypothesis (296)  |  Must (1526)  |  Never (1087)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (953)

When living with the Indians in their homes and pursuing my ethnological studies: One day I suddenly realized with a rude shock that, unlike my Indian friends, I was an alien, a stranger in my native land; its fauna and flora had no fond, familiar place amid my mental imagery, nor did any thoughts of human aspiration or love give to its hills and valleys the charm of personal companionship. I was alone, even in my loneliness.
Opening of Preface, Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs (1915), v.
Science quotes on:  |  Alien (34)  |  Alone (311)  |  Aspiration (32)  |  Charm (51)  |  Companionship (4)  |  Ethnology (7)  |  Familiar (43)  |  Fauna (13)  |  Flora (9)  |  Fond (12)  |  Friend (168)  |  Hill (20)  |  Home (170)  |  Human (1468)  |  Imagery (3)  |  Indian (27)  |  Live (628)  |  Living (491)  |  Loneliness (5)  |  Love (309)  |  Mental (177)  |  Native (38)  |  Native Land (3)  |  Personal (67)  |  Realize (147)  |  Shock (37)  |  Strange (157)  |  Suddenly (88)  |  Thought (953)  |  Unlike (8)  |  Valley (32)

While the vaccine discovery was progressive, the joy I felt at the prospect before me of being the instrument destined to take away from the world one of its greatest calamities [smallpox], blended with the fond hope of enjoying independence and domestic peace and happiness, was often so excessive that, in pursuing my favourite subject among the meadows, I have sometimes found myself in a kind of reverie.
John Baron, The Life of Dr. Jenner (1827), 140.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1278)  |  Calamity (11)  |  Destined (42)  |  Discovery (780)  |  Domestic (26)  |  Excessive (23)  |  Favorite (37)  |  Greatest (328)  |  Happiness (115)  |  Hope (299)  |  Independence (34)  |  Instrument (144)  |  Joy (107)  |  Kind (557)  |  Meadow (18)  |  Myself (212)  |  Peace (108)  |  Progressive (17)  |  Prospect (30)  |  Pursuit (121)  |  Smallpox (14)  |  Subject (521)  |  Vaccine (9)  |  World (1774)

“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:  |  Happen (274)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (579)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (966)  |  People (1005)  |  Pursue (58)  |  Sake (58)  |  Science (3879)  |  Usually (176)


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.