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Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Science And Politics

Science And Politics Quotes (10 quotes)


Interviewer: Is there any science that's not wrapped in politics?
Seitz: Oh, there are some things. The disappearance of the frog—as you know, the frog is dying worldwide. … I don't think that has had any political repercussions other than the fact that that is happening.
Interview on PBS Frontline website.
Science quotes on:  |  Disappearance (20)  |  Ecology (38)  |  Environment (109)  |  Frog (28)  |  Happening (29)  |  Worldwide (6)

[When asked “Dr. Einstein, why is it that when the mind of man has stretched so far as to discover the structure of the atom we have been unable to devise the political means to keep the atom from destroying us?”] That is simple, my friend. It is because politics is more difficult than physics.
Einstein's answer to a conferee at a meeting at Princeton, N.J. (Jan 1946), as recalled by Greenville Clark in 'Letters to the Times', in New York Times (22 Apr 1955), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (204)  |  Atomic Bomb (94)  |  Control (62)  |  Difficulty (99)  |  Physics (215)  |  Politics (70)  |  Structure (145)

About the year 1821, I undertook to superintend, for the Government, the construction of an engine for calculating and printing mathematical and astronomical tables. Early in the year 1833, a small portion of the machine was put together, and was found to perform its work with all the precision which had been anticipated. At that period circumstances, which I could not control, caused what I then considered a temporary suspension of its progress; and the Government, on whose decision the continuance or discontinuance of the work depended, have not yet communicated to me their wishes on the question.
In The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A Fragment (1838), 186.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (140)  |  Calculate (11)  |  Construction (55)  |  Engine (22)  |  Government (64)  |  Mathematics (484)  |  Precision (30)  |  Print (6)  |  Table (17)

If politics is the art of the possible, research is surely the art of the soluble. Both are immensely practical-minded affairs.
The Art of the Soluble (1969), 97. Quoted in Colin J. Sanderson, Understanding Genes and GMOs (2007), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Affair (12)  |  Art (118)  |  Immense (16)  |  Politics (70)  |  Possibility (83)  |  Practical (58)  |  Research (413)

Politics is not an exact science.
Science quotes on:  |  Exact (29)

The nations may be divided in everything else, but they all share a single body of science.
Epigraph in Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations (1988), 270.
Science quotes on:  |  Divided (2)  |  Nation (72)  |  Share (19)

The politician … is sometimes tempted to encroach on the normal territory of the scientific estate. Sometimes he interferes directly with the scientist’s pursuit of basic science; but he is more likely to interfere when the scientist proposes to publish findings that upset the established political or economic order, or when he joins with the engineering or medical profession in proposing to translate the findings of science into new policies. … Who decides when the apparent consensus of scientific opinion on the relation of cigarettes to lung cancer is great enough to justify governmental regulatory action, and of what kind? In such issues the problem is less often whether politics will presume to dictate to science than it is how much politics is to be influenced by the new findings of science.
In The Scientific Estate (1965), 201.
Science quotes on:  |  Cigarette (19)  |  Decision (42)  |  Dictate (6)  |  Finding (30)  |  Government (64)  |  Interference (10)  |  Lung Cancer (5)  |  Policy (20)  |  Politician (18)  |  Territory (9)

The union of the political and scientific estates is not like a partnership, but a marriage. It will not be improved if the two become like each other, but only if they respect each other's quite different needs and purposes. No great harm is done if in the meantime they quarrel a bit.
The Scientific Estate (1965), 71.

Under the flag of science, art, and persecuted freedom of thought, Russia would one day be ruled by toads and crocodiles the like of which were unknown even in Spain at the time of the Inquisition.
Science quotes on:  |  Crocodile (5)  |  Flag (8)  |  Freedom (50)  |  Inquisition (4)  |  Rule (86)  |  Russia (7)  |  Science And Art (137)  |  Spain (3)  |  Thought (245)  |  Time (279)  |  Toad (5)  |  Unknown (73)

When a scientist says something, his colleagues must ask themselves only whether it is true. When a politician says something, his colleagues must first of all ask, 'Why does he say it?'
The Voice of Dolphins (1961), 25-26. In Don K. Price, The Scientific Estate (1965), 9.


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
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