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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 W > Category: Women Scientists

Women Scientists Quotes (13 quotes)
Woman Scientist Quotes, Women Scientist Quotes


...I may perhaps venture a short word on the question much discussed in certain quarters, whether in the work of excavation it is a good thing to have cooperation between men and women ... Of a mixed dig ... I have seen something, and it is an experiment that I would be reluctant to try again. I would grant if need be that women are admirable fitted for the work, yet I would uphold that they should undertake it by themselves ... the work of an excavator on the dig and off it lays on those who share it a bond of closer daily intercourse than is conceivable ... between men and women, except in chance cases, I do not believe that such close and unavoidable companionship can ever be other than a source of irritation; at any rate, I believe that however it may affect women, the ordinary male at least cannot stand it ... A minor ... objection lies in one particular form of contraint ... moments will occur on the best regulated dig when you want to say just what you think without translation, which before the ladies, whatever their feelings about it, cannot be done.
Archaeological Excavation (1915), 63-64. In Getzel M. Cohen and Martha Sharp Joukowsky Breaking Ground (2006), 557-558. By (), 163-164.
Science quotes on:  |  Archaeologist (11)  |  Companionship (3)  |  Cooperation (27)  |  Excavation (5)

All women scientists should marry, rear children, cook, and clean in order to achieve fulfillment, to be a complete woman.
Quoted in The Chemical Educator, vol. 7, No. 2, in a book review of Eugene Straus, Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate: Her Life and Work in Medicine.

Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. In my day I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t.
from her lecture notes
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Work (457)

I hadn't been aware that there were doors closed to me until I started knocking on them. I went to an all-girls school. There were 75 chemistry majors in that class, but most were going to teach it ... When I got out and they didn't want women in the laboratory, it was a shock . . . It was the Depression and nobody was getting jobs. But I had taken that to mean nobody was getting jobs . . . [when I heard] 'You're qualified. But we've never had a woman in the laboratory before, and we think you'd be a distracting influence.'
quoted in Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries (1993).

I hope when I get to Heaven I shall not find the women playing second fiddle.
(Shortly before her death)

In the past, few women have tried and even fewer have succeeded.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (128)

Nobody . . . took me seriously. They wondered why in the world I wanted to be a chemist when no women were doing that. The world was not waiting for me.
Quoted in interview by Mary Ellen Avery (1997).

She [Chien-Shiung Wu] is a slave driver. She is the image of the militant woman so well known in Chinese literature as either empress or mother.
As quoted in 'Queen of Physics', Newsweek (20 May 1963), No. 61, 20. Note: Chien-Shiung Wu was Segrθ’s student.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (227)

The enchanting charms of this sublime science reveal only to those who have the courage to go deeply into it. But when a woman, who because of her sex and our prejudices encounters infinitely more obstacles that an man in familiarizing herself with complicated problems, succeeds nevertheless in surmounting these obstacles and penetrating the most obscure parts of them, without doubt she must have the noblest courage, quite extraordinary talents and superior genius.
in a letter to Sophie Germain (c.April 1807)
Science quotes on:  |  Sophie Germain (3)

The Science of crystallography has been accused of being overrun with women and has been likened to 'intellectual knitting.' ... The international figure for women in crystallography in 1981 was 14 per cent of the population of 8,174 entries in the World Directory of Crystallographers.
'Women in Crystallography', in Gabriele Kass-Simon, Patricia Farnes and Deborah NashWomen of Science (reprint 1993), 335-336.
Science quotes on:  |  Crystallographer (4)

The war gave women like her opportunities, not a feminist movement, and if the opportunities dwindled after the war, she feels that it was because women didn't want them.
Quoted in The Chemical Educator, vol. 7, No. 2, in a book review of Eugene Straus, Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate: Her Life and Work in Medicine.

We cannot expect in the immediate future that all women who seek it will achieve full equality of opportunity. But if women are to start moving towards that goal, we must believe in ourselves or no one else will believe in us; we must match our aspirations with the competence, courage and determination to succeed.
From a speech given to students in Stockholm, Sweden, Oct 1977 as quoted in The Decade of Women (1980) by Suzanne Levine and Harriet Lyons
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (36)  |  Aspiration (19)  |  Belief (400)  |  Competence (6)  |  Courage (39)  |  Determination (53)  |  Equality (21)  |  Future (229)  |  Goal (81)  |  Opportunity (43)  |  Success (202)

… it is shameful that there are so few women in science… In China there are many, many women in physics. There is a misconception in America that women scientists are all dowdy spinsters. This is the fault of men. In Chinese society, a woman is valued for what she is, and men encourage her to accomplishments yet she remains eternally feminine.
Quoted in 'Queen of Physics', Newsweek (20 May 1963) no. 61, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (57)  |  China (17)  |  Encourage (16)  |  Feminine (3)  |  Misconception (5)  |  Physicist (130)  |  Shameful (2)  |  Value (180)


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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