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

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index U > Category: Unfortunate

Unfortunate Quotes (14 quotes)

A designer must always think about the unfortunate production engineer who will have to manufacture what you have designed; try to understand his problems.
On the official Raymond Loewry website.
Science quotes on:  |  Design (115)  |  Designer (6)  |  Engineer (97)  |  Manufacturing (23)  |  Problem (497)  |  Production (117)  |  Thinking (231)  |  Understanding (325)

A physician is an unfortunate gentleman who is every day required to perform a miracle; namely to reconcile health with intemperance.
In Great Thoughts from Master Minds (1887), 8, 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Gentleman (18)  |  Health (156)  |  Intemperance (3)  |  Miracle (66)  |  Perform (38)  |  Physician (243)  |  Reconcile (12)  |  Requirement (47)

A week or so after I learned that I was to receive the Miller Award, our president, Marty Morton, phoned and asked me if I would utter a few words of scientific wisdom as a part of the ceremony. Unfortunately for me, and perhaps for you, I agreed to do so. In retrospect I fear that my response was a serious error, because I do not feel wise. I do not know whether to attribute my response to foolhardiness, to conceit, to an inordinate susceptibility to flattery, to stupidity, or to some combination of these unfortunate attributes all of which I have been told are recognizable in my personality. Personally, I tend to favor stupidity, because that is a condition over which I have little control.
Bartholomew, April 1993, unpublished remarks when receiving the Miller Award from the Cooper Ornithological Society.
Science quotes on:  |  Agree (26)  |  Ask (160)  |  Attribute (38)  |  Award (7)  |  Ceremony (6)  |  Combination (91)  |  Conceit (12)  |  Condition (163)  |  Control (114)  |  Error (277)  |  Favor (30)  |  Fear (142)  |  Feel (167)  |  Flattery (7)  |  Inordinate (3)  |  Know (556)  |  Learn (288)  |  Little (188)  |  Miller (2)  |  Part (222)  |  Personality (47)  |  Personally (7)  |  Phone (2)  |  President (15)  |  Receive (60)  |  Response (29)  |  Retrospect (2)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Serious (52)  |  Stupidity (34)  |  Susceptibility (3)  |  Tell (110)  |  Tend (36)  |  Unfortunately (18)  |  Utter (7)  |  Week (13)  |  Wisdom (182)  |  Wise (61)  |  Word (302)

Consider the plight of a scientist of my age. I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1940. In the 41 years since then the amount of biological information has increased 16 fold; during these 4 decades my capacity to absorb new information has declined at an accelerating rate and now is at least 50% less than when I was a graduate student. If one defines ignorance as the ratio of what is available to be known to what is known, there seems no alternative to the conclusion that my ignorance is at least 25 times as extensive as it was when I got my bachelor’s degree. Although I am sure that my unfortunate condition comes as no surprise to my students and younger colleagues, I personally find it somewhat depressing. My depression is tempered, however, by the fact that all biologists, young or old, developing or senescing, face the same melancholy situation because of an interlocking set of circumstances.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 228.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (16)  |  Accelerate (8)  |  Age (178)  |  Alternative (29)  |  Amount (31)  |  Available (25)  |  Bachelor (3)  |  Berkeley (3)  |  Biological (35)  |  Biologist (41)  |  Capacity (64)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Colleague (23)  |  Conclusion (160)  |  Condition (163)  |  Consider (81)  |  Decade (32)  |  Decline (17)  |  Define (49)  |  Degree (82)  |  Depressing (3)  |  Depression (19)  |  Develop (107)  |  Extensive (18)  |  Face (108)  |  Fact (733)  |  Find (408)  |  Fold (8)  |  Graduate (13)  |  Graduate Student (4)  |  Ignorance (213)  |  Increase (146)  |  Information (122)  |  Interlocking (2)  |  Know (556)  |  Least (74)  |  Less (102)  |  Melancholy (9)  |  New (496)  |  Old (147)  |  Personally (7)  |  Plight (3)  |  Rate (29)  |  Ratio (19)  |  Same (156)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Seem (143)  |  Set (99)  |  Situation (52)  |  Student (203)  |  Surprise (71)  |  Temper (9)  |  Time (595)  |  University Of California (2)  |  Year (299)  |  Young (100)

If in Germany the goddess Justitia had not the unfortunate habit of depositing the ministerial portfolios only in the cradles of her own progeny, who knows how many a German mathematician might not also have made an excellent minister.
In Jahresbericht der Deutschen Mathematiker Vereinigung, Bd. 13 (1904), 372.
Science quotes on:  |  Cradle (10)  |  Deposit (12)  |  Excellent (28)  |  German (11)  |  Goddess (5)  |  Habit (112)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Minister (9)  |  Progeny (10)

In long intervals I have expressed an opinion on public issues whenever they appeared to be so bad and unfortunate that silence would have made me feel guilty of complicity.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Appear (118)  |  Bad (99)  |  Express (65)  |  Feel (167)  |  Guilty (9)  |  Interval (13)  |  Issue (42)  |  Long (174)  |  Opinion (176)  |  Public (94)  |  Silence (43)  |  Whenever (9)

In my experience most mathematicians are intellectually lazy and especially dislike reading experimental papers. He (Renι Thom) seemed to have very strong biological intuitions but unfortunately of negative sign.
In What Mad Pursuit: A Personal View of Scientific Discovery (1988), 136.
Science quotes on:  |  Biological (35)  |  Dislike (13)  |  Especially (31)  |  Experience (342)  |  Experiment (602)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Intuition (57)  |  Lazy (9)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Negative (34)  |  Paper (83)  |  Read (145)  |  Strong (72)  |  René Frédéric Thom (2)

It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (733)  |  Peace (84)  |  Prepare (35)  |  Secure (21)  |  War (161)

It is said that the composing of the Lilavati was occasioned by the following circumstance. Lilavati was the name of the author’s daughter, concerning whom it appeared, from the qualities of the ascendant at her birth, that she was destined to pass her life unmarried, and to remain without children. The father ascertained a lucky hour for contracting her in marriage, that she might be firmly connected and have children. It is said that when that hour approached, he brought his daughter and his intended son near him. He left the hour cup on the vessel of water and kept in attendance a time-knowing astrologer, in order that when the cup should subside in the water, those two precious jewels should be united. But, as the intended arrangement was not according to destiny, it happened that the girl, from a curiosity natural to children, looked into the cup, to observe the water coming in at the hole, when by chance a pearl separated from her bridal dress, fell into the cup, and, rolling down to the hole, stopped the influx of water. So the astrologer waited in expectation of the promised hour. When the operation of the cup had thus been delayed beyond all moderate time, the father was in consternation, and examining, he found that a small pearl had stopped the course of the water, and that the long-expected hour was passed. In short, the father, thus disappointed, said to his unfortunate daughter, I will write a book of your name, which shall remain to the latest times—for a good name is a second life, and the ground-work of eternal existence.
In Preface to the Persian translation of the Lilavati by Faizi (1587), itself translated into English by Strachey and quoted in John Taylor (trans.) Lilawati, or, A Treatise on Arithmetic and Geometry by Bhascara Acharya (1816), Introduction, 3. [The Lilavati is the 12th century treatise on mathematics by Indian mathematician, Bhaskara Acharya, born 1114.]
Science quotes on:  |  Accord (36)  |  Appear (118)  |  Approach (54)  |  Arrangement (60)  |  Ascendant (2)  |  Ascertain (15)  |  Astrologer (10)  |  Author (62)  |  Beyond (105)  |  Birth (93)  |  Book (257)  |  Bring (90)  |  Chance (160)  |  Child (252)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Compose (17)  |  Concern (110)  |  Connect (33)  |  Contract (11)  |  Course (84)  |  Cup (7)  |  Curiosity (106)  |  Daughter (16)  |  Delay (11)  |  Destined (11)  |  Destiny (36)  |  Disappointed (6)  |  Down (86)  |  Dress (9)  |  Eternal (67)  |  Examine (44)  |  Existence (299)  |  Expectation (55)  |  Fall (120)  |  Father (60)  |  Find (408)  |  Firmly (6)  |  Follow (124)  |  Girl (20)  |  Good (345)  |  Happen (82)  |  Hole (16)  |  Hour (71)  |  Indian (20)  |  Influx (2)  |  Intend (16)  |  Jewel (10)  |  Keep (100)  |  Late (52)  |  Leave (128)  |  Life (1131)  |  Lucky (12)  |  Marriage (35)  |  Mathematician (384)  |  Mathematicians and Anecdotes (141)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Moderate (6)  |  Name (170)  |  Natural (173)  |  Observe (76)  |  Occasion (23)  |  Operation (121)  |  Order (242)  |  Pass (93)  |  Pearl (6)  |  Precious (32)  |  Promise (38)  |  Quality (95)  |  Remain (113)  |  Roll (17)  |  Say (228)  |  Second (59)  |  Separate (74)  |  Short (51)  |  Small (163)  |  Son (24)  |  Stop (76)  |  Subside (5)  |  Time (595)  |  Treatise (34)  |  United (14)  |  Unmarried (3)  |  Vessel (28)  |  Wait (58)  |  Water (293)  |  Write (154)

Mathematics will not be properly esteemed in wider circles until more than the a b c of it is taught in the schools, and until the unfortunate impression is gotten rid of that mathematics serves no other purpose in instruction than the formal training of the mind. The aim of mathematics is its content, its form is a secondary consideration and need not necessarily be that historic form which is due to the circumstance that mathematics took permanent shape under the influence of Greek logic.
In Die Entivickelung der Mathematik in den letzten Jahrhunderten (1884), 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Aim (89)  |  Circle (56)  |  Circumstance (66)  |  Consideration (85)  |  Content (69)  |  Due (20)  |  Esteem (15)  |  Form (314)  |  Formal (33)  |  Greek (73)  |  Historic (7)  |  Impression (72)  |  Influence (140)  |  Instruction (73)  |  Logic (260)  |  Mathematics (1205)  |  Mind (760)  |  Necessarily (30)  |  Need (287)  |  Permanent (29)  |  Properly (20)  |  Purpose (194)  |  Rid (13)  |  School (119)  |  Secondary (14)  |  Serve (58)  |  Shape (70)  |  Teach (188)  |  Teaching of Mathematics (39)  |  Training (66)  |  Wide (28)

One precept for the scientist-to-be is already obvious. Do not place yourself in an environment where your advisor is already suffering from scientific obsolescence. If one is so unfortunate as to receive his training under a person who is either technically or intellectually obsolescent, one finds himself to be a loser before he starts. It is difficult to move into a position of leadership if one’s launching platform is a scientific generation whose time is already past.
In 'Scientific innovation and creativity: a zoologist’s point of view', American Zoologist (1982), 22, 229.
Science quotes on:  |  Advisor (3)  |  Already (29)  |  Difficult (121)  |  Environment (181)  |  Find (408)  |  Generation (141)  |  Intellect (192)  |  Launch (12)  |  Leadership (8)  |  Loser (2)  |  Move (94)  |  Obsolescence (4)  |  Obsolescent (2)  |  Obvious (83)  |  Past (152)  |  Person (154)  |  Place (175)  |  Platform (3)  |  Position (76)  |  Precept (7)  |  Receive (60)  |  Scientific (236)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Start (97)  |  Suffer (40)  |  Technically (5)  |  Time (595)  |  Training (66)

The ruthless destruction of their forests by the Chinese is one of the reasons why famine and plague today hold this nation in their sinister grasp. Denudation, wherever practiced, leaves naked soil; floods and erosion follow, and when the soil is gone men must also go—and the process does not take long. The great plains of Eastern China were centuries ago transformed from forest into agricultural land. The mountain plateau of Central China have also within a few hundred years been utterly devastated of tree growth, and no attempt made at either natural or artificial reforestation. As a result, the water rushes off the naked slopes in veritable floods, gullying away the mountain sides, causing rivers to run muddy with yellow soil, and carrying enormous masses of fertile earth to the sea. Water courses have also changed; rivers become uncontrollable, and the water level of the country is lowered perceptibly. In consequence, the unfortunate people see their crops wither and die for lack of water when it is most needed.
Statement (11 May 1921) by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) concerning the famine in China in seven out of every ten years. Reported in 'Blames Deforestation: Department of Agriculture Ascribes Chinese Famine to it', New York Times (12 May 1921), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (66)  |  Artificial (32)  |  Attempt (126)  |  Central (34)  |  Century (131)  |  Changed (2)  |  China (20)  |  Chinese (7)  |  Consequence (114)  |  Country (147)  |  Course (84)  |  Crop (19)  |  Deforestation (44)  |  Denudation (2)  |  Destruction (85)  |  Die (82)  |  Earth (638)  |  Erosion (19)  |  Famine (10)  |  Fertile (16)  |  Flood (36)  |  Follow (124)  |  Forest (107)  |  Grasp (60)  |  Growth (124)  |  Lack (77)  |  Land (115)  |  Level (67)  |  Lowered (2)  |  Mountain (145)  |  Muddy (3)  |  Naked (9)  |  Nation (134)  |  Natural (173)  |  Need (287)  |  People (390)  |  Perceptibly (2)  |  Plague (35)  |  Plain (33)  |  Plateau (6)  |  Reason (471)  |  Reforestation (3)  |  Result (389)  |  River (79)  |  Ruthless (6)  |  Sea (188)  |  Sinister (8)  |  Slope (3)  |  Soil (64)  |  Transform (35)  |  Tree (171)  |  Uncontrollable (4)  |  Utterly (15)  |  Water (293)  |  Wither (8)  |  Yellow (17)

The surgeon is a man of action. By temperament and by training he prefers to serve the sick by operating on them, and he inwardly commiserates with a patient so unfortunate as to have a disease not suited to surgical treatment. Young surgeons, busy mastering the technicalities of the art, are particularly alert to seize every legitimate opportunity to practice technical maneuvers, the more complicated the better.
American Journal of Surgery.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (185)  |  Alert (6)  |  Art (294)  |  Better (192)  |  Busy (28)  |  Complicated (62)  |  Disease (275)  |  Legitimate (14)  |  Maneuver (2)  |  Master (98)  |  Medicine (344)  |  Operate (17)  |  Opportunity (63)  |  Particularly (21)  |  Patient (125)  |  Practice (94)  |  Prefer (25)  |  Seize (15)  |  Serve (58)  |  Sick (27)  |  Suit (11)  |  Surgeon (45)  |  Surgical (2)  |  Technical (42)  |  Technicality (5)  |  Temperament (11)  |  Training (66)  |  Treatment (100)  |  Young (100)

What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.
In The World As I See It (1935), 1. A different translation is given in Ideas and Opinions (1954), 11. From the original German in Mein Weltbild (1934).
Science quotes on:  |  Altogether (9)  |  Answer (249)  |  Ask (160)  |  Creature (155)  |  Fellow (37)  |  Human Life (29)  |  Imply (16)  |  Life (1131)  |  Mean (101)  |  Meaningless (17)  |  Merely (82)  |  Organic Life (2)  |  Question (404)  |  Regard (95)  |  Religion (239)  |  Sense (321)


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.