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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index U > Category: Unhappiness

Unhappiness Quotes (6 quotes)

A scientist should be the happiest of men. Not that science isn't serious; but as everyone knows, being serious is one way of being happy, just as being gay is one way of being unhappy.
Nobel banquet speech (10 Dec 1967). In Ragnar Granit (ed.), Les Prix Nobel en 1967 (1968).
Science quotes on:  |  Happiness (86)  |  Knowledge (1148)  |  Scientist (459)  |  Seriousness (9)

In the school of political projectors, I was but ill entertained, the professors appearing, in my judgment, wholly out of their senses; which is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose favourites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity, and virtue; of teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit, great abilities, and eminent services; of instructing princes to know their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that of their people; of choosing for employment persons qualified to exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras, that never entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.
Gulliver's Travels (1726, Penguin ed. 1967), Part III, Chap. 6, 232.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (84)  |  Chimera (5)  |  Employment (22)  |  Extravagance (3)  |  Impossibility (50)  |  Interest (182)  |  Irrational (7)  |  Merit (25)  |  Minister (6)  |  Observation (421)  |  People (316)  |  Philosopher (134)  |  Prince (11)  |  Professor (40)  |  Truth (764)  |  Wisdom (161)

The lives of scientists, considered as Lives, almost always make dull reading. For one thing, the careers of the famous and the merely ordinary fall into much the same pattern, give or take an honorary degree or two, or (in European countries) an honorific order. It could be hardly otherwise. Academics can only seldom lead lives that are spacious or exciting in a worldly sense. They need laboratories or libraries and the company of other academics. Their work is in no way made deeper or more cogent by privation, distress or worldly buffetings. Their private lives may be unhappy, strangely mixed up or comic, but not in ways that tell us anything special about the nature or direction of their work. Academics lie outside the devastation area of the literary convention according to which the lives of artists and men of letters are intrinsically interesting, a source of cultural insight in themselves. If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility; if a historian were to fail (as Ruskin did) to consummate his marriage, we should not suppose that our understanding of historical scholarship had somehow been enriched.
'J.B.S: A Johnsonian Scientist', New York Review of Books (10 Oct 1968), reprinted in Pluto's Republic (1982), and inThe Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science (1996), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (12)  |  Artist (48)  |  Career (54)  |  Comic (4)  |  Company (28)  |  Convention (13)  |  Culture (87)  |  Degree (54)  |  Devastation (5)  |  Dull (27)  |  Enrichment (7)  |  Excitement (34)  |  Fame (30)  |  Historian (30)  |  Insight (60)  |  Interesting (42)  |  Laboratory (123)  |  Library (38)  |  Life (993)  |  Literary (7)  |  Ordinary (47)  |  Pattern (63)  |  Privacy (6)  |  Privation (4)  |  Reading (51)  |  John Ruskin (23)  |  Scholarship (13)  |  Scientist (459)  |  Sensibility (4)  |  Work (493)

The longer I live, the more I am convinced that the apothecary is of more importance than Seneca; and that half the unhappiness in the world proceeds from little stoppages; from a duct choked up, from food pressing in the wrong place, from a vexed duodenum, or an agitated pylorus.
'Of the Body', in Sydney Smith, Saba Holland, with Sarah Austin (ed.), A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith by his Daughter, Lady Holland (3rd ed. 1855), Vol. 1, 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Agitation (6)  |  Apothecary (9)  |  Choking (2)  |  Conviction (58)  |  Duct (2)  |  Food (143)  |  Life (993)  |  Press (17)  |  Seneca (4)

To be creative, scientists need libraries and laboratories and the company of other scientists; certainly a quiet and untroubled life is a help. A scientist's work is in no way deepened or made more cogent by privation, anxiety, distress, or emotional harassment. To be sure, the private lives of scientists may be strangely and even comically mixed up, but not in ways that have any special bearing on the nature and quality of their work. If a scientist were to cut off an ear, no one would interpret such an action as evidence of an unhappy torment of creativity; nor will a scientist be excused any bizarrerie, however extravagant, on the grounds that he is a scientist, however brilliant.
In Advice to a Young Scientist (1979), 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (163)  |  Anxiety (17)  |  Brilliance (10)  |  Cogent (2)  |  Company (28)  |  Creativity (70)  |  Cut (36)  |  Distress (6)  |  Ear (24)  |  Emotion (64)  |  Evidence (158)  |  Extravagance (3)  |  Ground (66)  |  Interpretation (63)  |  Laboratory (123)  |  Library (38)  |  Mixed (4)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Need (226)  |  Private Life (3)  |  Privation (4)  |  Quality (71)  |  Quiet (15)  |  Scientist (459)  |  Strangely (4)  |  Torment (14)  |  Untroubled (2)  |  Work (493)

To believe that if we could have but this or that we would be happy is to suppress the realization that the cause of our unhappiness is in our inadequate and blemished selves. Excessive desire is thus a means of suppressing our sense of worthlessness.
In The Passionate State of Mind (1955), aph. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (421)  |  Blemish (2)  |  Cause (242)  |  Desire (114)  |  Excessive (8)  |  Happy (31)  |  Inadequate (13)  |  Means (119)  |  Realization (35)  |  Self (40)  |  Sense (258)  |  Suppress (3)  |  Worthlessness (3)

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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- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

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