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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index W > Category: Women Scientists

Women Scientists Quotes (18 quotes)
Woman Scientist Quotes, Women Scientist Quotes


… 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.
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...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.
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[For equal opportunity and recognition, women in science] must be prepared to work hard for the work’s sake, without thought of what it may bring to them in the way of personal acclaim and emolument. While scientific research is exciting it has its dull and plodding moments. One may delve and delve and analyze and analyze for months, and even years, without seeing anything. Then suddenly, through accumulative observation, the idea comes!”
In Genevieve Parkhurst, 'Dr. Sabin, Scientist: Winner Of Pictorial Review’s Achievement Award', Pictorial Review (Jan 1930), 70.
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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.
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Gertrude B. Elion quote: Nothing worthwhile comes easily
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
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I did it [worked long hours] because I wanted to, not because I had to. I loved it and still do love it, That is what women must have in addition to diligence—a real and absorbing devotion to their work. They need now to have a bigger body of work to show.
In Genevieve Parkhurst, 'Dr. Sabin, Scientist: Winner Of Pictorial Review’s Achievement Award', Pictorial Review (Jan 1930), 71.
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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.”
As quoted in Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles and Momentous Discoveries (1993).
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I hope my studies may be an encouragement to other women, especially to young women, to devote their lives to the larger interests of the mind. It matters little whether men or women have the more brains; all we women need to do to exert our proper influence is just to use all the brains we have.
In Elinor Bluemel, Florence Sabin: Colorado Woman of the Century (1959), 124. Cited elsewhere as from speech accepting the Pictorial Review achievement award (1929).
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I hope when I get to Heaven I shall not find the women playing second fiddle.
(Shortly before her death)
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I suppose that Dr. [Florence] Sabin is the most eminent of living women scientists. The knowledge she has derived from her studies has led to better understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the body in health and in disease, and has been not only of theoretical but of practical value. It is of the nature of conspicuous social service to have added to the knowledge of our bodies, well and ill, and thus to have helped make them better instruments for the fulfilment of the purposes of society as a whole.
In Genevieve Parkhurst, 'Dr. Sabin, Scientist: Winner Of Pictorial Review’s Achievement Award', Pictorial Review (Jan 1930), 2.
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In the past, few women have tried and even fewer have succeeded.
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My work has already received more publicity than it deserves. … If our recent studies had involved some spectacular discovery in which the public would really be interested, it would be quite a different matter,… Besides this point, I feel that the time has come when it is much more important to emphasize the work of some of the younger women in medicine.
Letter (30 Dec 1937, 12 Jan 1938) responding to Irene Kuhn, Collier’s Magazine, suggesting there were young women medical researchers more worthy than herself as subjects for a proposed article on 'Women in Science'. As quoted in Patricia J. F. Rosof, 'The Quiet Feminism of Dr. Florence Sabin: Helping Women Achieve in Science and Medicine', Gender Forum (2009), No. 24. (M.S. Box Jo-Le, APS)
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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).
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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 Segrè’s student.
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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)
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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.
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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.
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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
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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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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
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Michio Kaku
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Charles Darwin
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