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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Simplification

Simplification Quotes (12 quotes)

A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism.
Erin Gruwell and Frank McCourt, The Gigantic Book of Teachers' Wisdom (2007), 73.Erin Gruwell, Frank McCourt
Science quotes on:  |  Teacher (90)

I believe ... that we can still have a genre of scientific books suitable for and accessible alike to professionals and interested laypeople. The concepts of science, in all their richness and ambiguity, can be presented without any compromise, without any simplification counting as distortion, in language accessible to all intelligent people ... I hope that this book can be read with profit both in seminars for graduate students and–if the movie stinks and you forgot your sleeping pills–on the businessman’s special to Tokyo.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (11)  |  Alike (10)  |  Ambiguity (9)  |  Belief (400)  |  Book (181)  |  Both (52)  |  Compromise (4)  |  Concept (102)  |  Count (34)  |  Distortion (10)  |  Forget (40)  |  Genre (3)  |  Hope (129)  |  Intelligent (35)  |  Interest (170)  |  Language (155)  |  Laypeople (2)  |  Movie (8)  |  People (269)  |  Pill (5)  |  Present (103)  |  Professional (27)  |  Profit (28)  |  Read (83)  |  Richness (14)  |  Science (1699)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Seminar (3)  |  Sleep (42)  |  Special (51)  |  Stink (5)  |  Suitable (6)  |  Tokyo (2)

I despair of persuading people to drop the familiar and comforting tactic of dichotomy. Perhaps, instead, we might expand the framework of debates by seeking other dichotomies more appropriate than, or simply different from, the conventional divisions. All dichotomies are simplifications, but the rendition of a conflict along differing axes of several orthogonal dichotomies might provide an amplitude of proper intellectual space without forcing us to forgo our most comforting tool of thought.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Amplitude (3)  |  Appropriate (18)  |  Axe (12)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Conflict (49)  |  Conventional (16)  |  Debate (19)  |  Despair (25)  |  Dichotomy (4)  |  Differ (13)  |  Different (110)  |  Division (27)  |  Drop (27)  |  Expand (14)  |  Familiar (22)  |  Force (194)  |  Forgo (2)  |  Framework (15)  |  Instead (12)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  People (269)  |  Persuade (10)  |  Proper (27)  |  Provide (48)  |  Seek (57)  |  Several (14)  |  Simply (34)  |  Space (154)  |  Tactic (6)  |  Thought (374)  |  Tool (70)

Indeed, nothing more beautifully simplifying has ever happened in the history of science than the whole series of discoveries culminating about 1914 which finally brought practically universal acceptance to the theory that the material world contains but two fundamental entities, namely, positive and negative electrons, exactly alike in charge, but differing widely in mass, the positive electron—now usually called a proton—being 1850 times heavier than the negative, now usually called simply the electron.
Time, Matter and Values (1932), 46. Cited in Karl Raimund Popper and William Warren Bartley (ed.), Quantum Theory and theSchism in Physics (1992), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (591)  |  Electron (66)  |  History Of Science (53)  |  Matter (270)  |  Proton (12)

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.
In Fischerisms (1930), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (609)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Wisdom (151)

Nature is disordered, powerful and chaotic, and through fear of the chaos we impose system on it. We abhor complexity, and seek to simplify things whenever we can by whatever means we have at hand. We need to have an overall explanation of what the universe is and how it functions. In order to achieve this overall view we develop explanatory theories which will give structure to natural phenomena: we classify nature into a coherent system which appears to do what we say it does.
In Day the Universe Changed (1985), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Abhorrence (8)  |  Achievement (128)  |  Appearance (77)  |  Chaos (63)  |  Classification (79)  |  Coherence (8)  |  Complexity (80)  |  Development (228)  |  Disorder (19)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Fear (113)  |  Function (90)  |  Imposition (5)  |  Means (109)  |  Natural (128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Need (211)  |  Order (167)  |  Overall (3)  |  Phenomena (8)  |  Powerful (51)  |  Research (517)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Structure (191)  |  System (141)  |  Theory (582)  |  Universe (563)  |  View (115)  |  Whatever (9)  |  Whenever (8)

Science means simplification. It substitutes a single rule for a million miscellaneous observations.
In Chats on Science (1924), 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Million (89)  |  Observation (418)  |  Rule (135)  |  Science (1699)  |  Single (72)  |  Substitute (23)

Simplification of modes of proof is not merely an indication of advance in our knowledge of a subject, but is also the surest guarantee of readiness for farther progress.
In Lord Kelvin and Peter Guthrie Tait Elements of Natural Philosophy (1873), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Advance (123)  |  Father (44)  |  Guarantee (16)  |  Indication (21)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Merely (35)  |  Mode (29)  |  Progress (317)  |  Proof (192)  |  Readiness (5)  |  Subject (129)  |  Surest (5)

The present state of electrical science seems peculiarly unfavorable to speculation … to appreciate the requirements of the science, the student must make himself familiar with a considerable body of most intricate mathematics, the mere retention of which in the memory materially interferes with further progress. The first process therefore in the effectual study of the science, must be one of simplification and reduction of the results of previous investigation to a form in which the mind can grasp them.
First sentence of Maxwell’s first paper (read 10 Dec 1855), 'On Faraday’s Lines of Force', Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society (1857), Vol. X, part I. Collected in William Davidson Niven (ed.), The Scientific Papers of James Clerk Maxwell (1890), Vol. 1, 155.
Science quotes on:  |  Appreciate (17)  |  Body (193)  |  Considerable (11)  |  Effective (20)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Familiar (22)  |  Form (210)  |  Grasp (43)  |  Interfere (8)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Investigation (123)  |  Mathematics (587)  |  Memory (81)  |  Mind (544)  |  Process (201)  |  Progress (317)  |  Reduction (35)  |  Requirement (45)  |  Result (250)  |  Retention (3)  |  Science (1699)  |  Science And Education (15)  |  Speculation (77)  |  State (96)  |  Student (131)  |  Study (331)  |  Unfavorable (3)

The simplification of anything is always sensational.
From Varied Types (1903), 126.
Science quotes on:  |  Sensational (2)

There is one simplification at least. Electrons behave ... in exactly the same way as photons; they are both screwy, but in exactly in the same way...
'Probability abd Uncertainty—the Quantum Mechanical View of Nature', the sixth of his Messenger Lectures (1964), Cornell University. Collected in The Character of Physical Law (1967), 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Behave (13)  |  Both (52)  |  Electron (66)  |  Photon (10)

To remember simplified pictures is better than to forget accurate figures.
In Otto Neurath, Empiricism and Sociology (1973), 220.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (52)  |  Figure (32)  |  Maxim (13)  |  Picture (55)  |  Remember (53)  |  Statistics (125)


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 Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (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.