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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Benjamin Rush Quotes

Thumbnail of Benjamin Rush (source)
Benjamin Rush
(4 Jan 1746 - 19 Apr 1813)

American physician , most remembered as a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was also prominent as a U.S. physician, the first professor of medical chemistry in America. Rush was active in combatting the yellow fever epidemics of the 1790s. For his pioneering investigations, Rush is also regarded as the father of American psychiatry.


Science Quotes by Benjamin Rush (4 quotes)


Portrait of Benjamin Rush by Charles Willson Peale, after Thomas Sully, 1818. Head and shoulders, facing mid-right, hand on chin (source)

Dissections daily convince us of our ignorance of disease, and cause us to blush at our prescriptions. What mischief have we done under the belief of false facts and false theories! We have assisted in multiplying diseases; we have done more; we have increased their mortality. ... I am pursuing Truth, and am indifferent whither I am led, if she is my only leader.
— Benjamin Rush
From a public lecture by Rush. Quoted by Isaac Jennings, in Medical Reform; a Treatise on Man's Physical Being and Disorders (1847), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Cause (542)  |  Convince (41)  |  Daily (87)  |  Disease (332)  |  Dissection (32)  |  Drug (57)  |  Error (321)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  Ignorance (240)  |  Leader (43)  |  Mischief (13)  |  More (2559)  |  Prescription (18)  |  Pursuing (27)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Whither (11)

In destroying the predisposition to anger, science of all kind is useful; but the mathematics possess this property in the most eminent degree.
— Benjamin Rush
Quoted in Day, Collacon (no date).
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Anger (20)  |  Degree (275)  |  Destroy (180)  |  Eminent (17)  |  Kind (557)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Most (1729)  |  Possess (156)  |  Predisposition (4)  |  Property (169)  |  Science (3880)  |  Useful (250)  |  Value Of Mathematics (60)

The art of healing is like an unroofed temple, uncovered at the top and cracked at the foundation.
— Benjamin Rush
Quoted by Isaac Jennings, in Medical Reform; a Treatise on Man's Physical Being and Disorders (1847), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Foundation (173)  |  Healing (25)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Temple (42)  |  Top (96)  |  Uncover (20)

Were I disposed to consider the comparative merit of each of them [facts or theories in medical practice], I should derive most of the evils of medicine from supposed facts, and ascribe all the remedies which have been uniformly and extensively useful, to such theories as are true. Facts are combined and rendered useful only by means of theories, and the more disposed men are to reason, the more minute and extensive they become in their observations.
— Benjamin Rush
Quoted in John Edmonds Stock, Memoirs of the life of Thomas Beddoes (1810), 401.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Ascribe (17)  |  Become (815)  |  Comparison (102)  |  Consider (416)  |  Derive (65)  |  Dispose (10)  |  Evil (116)  |  Extensive (33)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (580)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Merit (50)  |  Minute (125)  |  More (2559)  |  Most (1729)  |  Observation (560)  |  Practice (204)  |  Reason (744)  |  Remedy (62)  |  Render (93)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Theory (972)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Useful (250)  |  Usefulness (87)


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  • 4 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Rush's birth.

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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