Stamp Collecting Quotes (4 quotes)
~~[Attributed without source]~~ In science there is only physics; all the rest is stamp collecting.
Often seen, virally spread in several variants, but always without a source citation. If you can provide a primary source, please contact Webmaster. Until then the quote should be regarded as not authenticated. See the discussion on the quoteinvestigator.com site, which could only trace an early example which had no quote marks, given only in narrative form, in John Desmond Bernal, The Social Function of Science (1939), 9.
~~[Attributed without source]~~ That which is not measurable is not science. That which is not PHYSICS is stamp collecting.
Often seen, virally spread, but always without a source citation. If you can provide a primary source, please contact Webmaster. Until then the quote should be regarded as not authenticated.
All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
Quoted in J. B. Birks, Rutherford at Manchester (1962), 108, without citation. Webmaster has not been able to find any earlier example of the quote in print. If you know a primary print source, or very early reference to this quote, please contact the Webmaster. If—a strong if—truly a Rutherford quote, and such a snappy one, surely it should have been better documented from decades earlier?
Taxonomy is often regarded as the dullest of subjects, fit only for mindless ordering and sometimes denigrated within science as mere “stamp collecting” (a designation that this former philatelist deeply resents). If systems of classification were neutral hat racks for hanging the facts of the world, this disdain might be justified. But classifications both reflect and direct our thinking. The way we order represents the way we think. Historical changes in classification are the fossilized indicators of conceptual revolutions.
In Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History (1983, 2010), 72