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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index Q > Category: Quest

Quest Quotes (16 quotes)

...to many it is not knowledge but the quest for knowledge that gives greater interest to thought—to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.
Last sentences, Physics and Philosophy (1943, 2003), 217
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Thought (290)

A study of history shows that civilizations that abandon the quest for knowledge are doomed to disintegration.
In The Observer (14 May 1972), 'Sayings of the Week'. As cited in Bill Swainson, The Encarta Book of Quotations (2000), 579.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (27)  |  Civilization (138)  |  Disintegration (4)  |  Doom (6)  |  History (253)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Show (27)  |  Study (298)

At the outset do not be worried about this big question—Truth. It is a very simple matter if each one of you starts with the desire to get as much as possible. No human being is constituted to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and even the best of men must be content with fragments, with partial glimpses, never the full fruition. In this unsatisfied quest the attitude of mind, the desire, the thirst—a thirst that from the soul must arise!—the fervent longing, are the be-all and the end-all.
'The Student Life' (1905). In G. L. Keynes (ed.), Selected Writings of Sir William Osler (1951), 172.
Science quotes on:  |  Arise (15)  |  Attitude (31)  |  Constitution (20)  |  Contentment (9)  |  Desire (83)  |  Fragment (22)  |  Glimpse (8)  |  Human Being (41)  |  Longing (8)  |  Mind (437)  |  Outset (2)  |  Simplicity (119)  |  Soul (89)  |  Thirst (9)  |  Truth (661)

In physiology, as in all other sciences, no discovery is useless, no curiosity misplaced or too ambitious, and we may be certain that every advance achieved in the quest of pure knowledge will sooner or later play its part in the service of man.
The Linacre Lecture on the Law of the Heart (1918), 147.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (113)  |  Advance (97)  |  Ambition (22)  |  Curiosity (83)  |  Discovery (548)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Man (334)  |  Physiology (61)  |  Play (41)  |  Science (1371)  |  Service (39)  |  Uselessness (21)

It is not his possession of knowledge, of irrefutable truth, that makes the man of science, but his persistent and recklessly critical quest for truth.
In The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959, 1972), 281.
Science quotes on:  |  Critical (22)  |  Irrefutable (3)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Persistent (3)  |  Possession (31)  |  Recklessly (2)  |  Truth (661)

Man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space.
Address at Rice University in Houston (12 Sep 1962). On website of John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (32)  |  Deter (2)  |  Determine (25)  |  Expect (16)  |  Exploration (88)  |  Great (163)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Leader (14)  |  Nation (86)  |  Progress (290)  |  Space Flight (20)  |  Space Race (2)

My original decision to devote myself to science was a direct result of the discovery which has never ceased to fill me with enthusiasm since my early youth—the comprehension of the far from obvious fact that the laws of human reasoning coincide with the laws governing the sequences of the impressions we receive from the world about us; that, therefore, pure reasoning can enable man to gain an insight into the mechanism of the latter. In this connection, it is of paramount importance that the outside world is something independent from man, something absolute, and the quest for the laws which apply to this absolute appeared to me as the most sublime scientific pursuit in life.
'A Scientific Autobiography' (1948), in Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, trans. Frank Gaynor (1950), 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Absolute (50)  |  Appearance (69)  |  Application (104)  |  Comprehension (46)  |  Conincidence (4)  |  Decision (50)  |  Devotion (21)  |  Discovery (548)  |  Enthusiasm (27)  |  Fact (524)  |  Fill (20)  |  Human (312)  |  Importance (166)  |  Impression (42)  |  Independence (26)  |  Insight (43)  |  Law (370)  |  Life (742)  |  Mechanism (39)  |  Obvious (44)  |  Original (28)  |  Paramount (3)  |  Pursuit (47)  |  Reasoning (77)  |  Result (211)  |  Science (1371)  |  Sequence (26)  |  Sublime (14)  |  World (496)  |  Youth (52)

No national sovereignty rules in outer space. Those who venture there go as envoys of the entire human race. Their quest, therefore, must be for all mankind, and what they find should belong to all mankind.
In 'The President’s News Conference at the LBJ Ranch' (29 Aug 1965). Collected in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson: 1965 (1966), 945.
Science quotes on:  |  Belong (16)  |  Find (142)  |  Human Race (42)  |  Mankind (165)  |  National (10)  |  Outer Space (3)  |  Rule (113)  |  Sovereignty (5)  |  Space Exploration (4)  |  Venture (11)

Preferring a search for objective reality over revelation is another way of satisfying religious hunger. It is an endeavor almost as old as civilization and intertwined with traditional religion, but it follows a very different course—a stoic’s creed, an acquired taste, a guidebook to adventure plotted across rough terrain. It aims to save the spirit, not by surrender but by liberation of the human mind. Its central tenet, as Einstein knew, is the unification of knowledge. When we have unified enough certain knowledge, we will understand who we are and why we are here. If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way.
In Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998), 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (32)  |  Civilization (138)  |  Albert Einstein (240)  |  Failure (98)  |  Human Mind (43)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Objective (33)  |  Search (67)  |  Unification (8)

Sir,—The Planet [Neptune] whose position you marked out actually exists. On the day on which your letter reached me, I found a star of the eighth magnitude, which was not recorded in the excellent map designed by Dr. Bremiker, containing the twenty-first hour of the collection published by the Royal Academy of Berlin. The observation of the succeeding day showed it to be the Planet of which we were in quest.
Letter, from Berlin (25 Sep 1846). In John Pringle Nichol, The Planet Neptune: An Exposition and History (1848), 89. Galle thus confirmed the existence of the planet Neptune, found at the position predicted in a letter he had just received from Urbain Le Verrier.
Science quotes on:  |  Existence (208)  |  Letter (32)  |  Map (17)  |  Mark (22)  |  Neptune (6)  |  Observation (390)  |  Planet (158)  |  Position (35)  |  Prediction (61)  |  Record (42)  |  Star (215)

The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. We are apt to fall into the error of thinking that the facts are simple because simplicity is the goal of our quest. The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, Seek simplicity and distrust it.
In The Concept of Nature: Tarner Lectures Delivered in Trinity College, November 1919 (1920), 163.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (39)  |  Apt (5)  |  Complex (45)  |  Distrust (4)  |  Error (204)  |  Explanation (151)  |  Fact (524)  |  Fall (61)  |  Goal (60)  |  Guiding (3)  |  Life (742)  |  Motto (19)  |  Natural Philosophy (20)  |  Science (1371)  |  Seek (38)  |  Simplest (9)  |  Simplicity (119)  |  Thinking (220)

The history of Europe is the history of Rome curbing the Hebrew and the Greek, with their various impulses of religion, and of science, and of art, and of quest for material comfort, and of lust of domination, which are all at daggers drawn with each other. The vision of Rome is the vision of the unity of civilisation.
In The Aims of Education and Other Essays (1929), 79.
Science quotes on:  |  Civilization (138)  |  Comfort (31)  |  Dagger (3)  |  Domination (11)  |  Education (258)  |  Europe (30)  |  History (253)  |  Impulse (20)  |  Lust (4)  |  Religion (155)  |  Rome (10)  |  Science And Art (152)  |  Unity (34)  |  Vision (42)

The personal adventures of a geologist would form an amusing narrative. He is trudging along, dusty and weather­beaten, with his wallet at his back, and his hammer on his shoulder, and he is taken for a stone-mason travelling in search of work. In mining-countries, he is supposed to be in quest of mines, and receives many tempting offers of shares in the ‘Wheel Dream’, or the ‘Golden Venture’;—he has been watched as a smuggler; it is well if he has not been committed as a vagrant, or apprehended as a spy, for he has been refused admittance to an inn, or has been ushered into the room appropriated to ostlers and postilions. When his fame has spread among the more enlightened part of the community of a district which he has been exploring, and inquiries are made of the peasantry as to the habits and pursuits of the great philosopher who has been among them, and with whom they have become familiar, it is found that the importance attached by him to shells and stones, and such like trumpery, is looked upon as a species of derangement, but they speak with delight of his affability, sprightliness, and good-humour. They respect the strength of his arm, and the weight of his hammer, as they point to marks which he inflicted on the rocks, and they recount with wonder his pedestrian performances, and the voracious appetite with which, at the close of a long day’s work he would devour the coarsest food that was set before him.
In Practical Geology and Mineralogy: With Instructions for the Qualitative Analysis of Minerals (1841), 31-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Adventure (32)  |  Dream (71)  |  Exploration (88)  |  Geologist (39)  |  Hammer (11)  |  Importance (166)  |  Mine (15)  |  Rock (95)  |  Shell (31)  |  Species (145)  |  Stone (52)  |  Vagrant (4)  |  Venture (11)

There are but few saints among scientists, as among other men, but truth itself is a goal comparable to sanctity. As the Pythagoreans had already understood it more than twenty-four centuries ago, there is sanctity in pure knowledge, as there is in pure beauty, and the disinterested quest of truth is perhaps the greatest purification.
In The History of Science and the New Humanism (1987), 46-47.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (146)  |  Goal (60)  |  Knowledge (1017)  |  Purification (5)  |  Saint (8)  |  Scientist (370)  |  Truth (661)

This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavour to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses travelled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of: for instance, one of them discovered that a mule blind of the right eye had travelled the same road lately, because the grass was eaten only on the left side, where it was worse than on the right—now do you understand serendipity?
Letter to Sir Horace Mann (28 Jan 1754), in W. S. Lewis, Warren Hunting Smith and George L. Lam (eds.), Horace Walpole's Correspondence with Sir Horace Mann (1960), Vol. 20, 407-408.
Science quotes on:  |  Accident (49)  |  Blind (24)  |  Definition (130)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Discovery (548)  |  Eating (21)  |  Endeavor (17)  |  Explanation (151)  |  Eye (130)  |  Fairy (6)  |  Grass (26)  |  Instance (13)  |  Kind (54)  |  Prince (8)  |  Right (101)  |  Road (37)  |  Sagacity (5)  |  Serendipity (13)  |  Traveled (2)  |  Understand (86)  |  Word (183)

Young people, especially young women, often ask me for advice. Here it is, valeat quantum. Do not undertake a scientific career in quest of fame or money. There are easier and better ways to reach them. Undertake it only if nothing else will satisfy you; for nothing else is probably what you will receive.
In Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: An Autobiography and Other Recollections (1996), 227.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (30)  |  Career (48)  |  Especially (10)  |  Fame (29)  |  Money (113)  |  Nothing (189)  |  People (120)  |  Probably (8)  |  Receive (26)  |  Satisfy (10)  |  Scientific (120)  |  Undertake (8)  |  Woman (72)  |  Young (50)


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.