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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Benjamin Silliman Quotes

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Benjamin Silliman
(8 Aug 1779 - 24 Nov 1864)

American chemist, physicist and geologist.


Science Quotes by Benjamin Silliman (3 quotes)

Astronomy is, not without reason, regarded, by mankind, as the sublimest of the natural sciences. Its objects so frequently visible, and therefore familiar, being always remote and inaccessible, do not lose their dignity.
— Benjamin Silliman
In Elements of Chemistry: In the Order of the Lectures Given in Yale College (1830), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (175)  |  Dignity (18)  |  Familiarity (12)  |  Frequently (13)  |  Inaccessible (8)  |  Loss (62)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Natural Science (62)  |  Object (110)  |  Reason (330)  |  Regard (58)  |  Remote (27)  |  Sublime (18)  |  Visible (20)

People have now-a-days got a strange opinion that everything should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. I know nothing that can best be taught by lectures, except where experiments are to be shewn. You may teach chemistry by lectures.
— Benjamin Silliman
Elements of Chemistry (1830)
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (543)  |  Lecture (54)  |  Opinion (146)  |  Strange (61)  |  Teaching (99)

Science has thus, most unexpectedly, placed in our hands a new power of great but unknown energy. It does not wake the winds from their caverns; nor give wings to water by the urgency of heat; nor drive to exhaustion the muscular power of animals; nor operate by complicated mechanism; nor summon any other form of gravitating force, but, by the simplest means—the mere contact of metallic surfaces of small extent, with feeble chemical agents, a power everywhere diffused through nature, but generally concealed from our senses, is mysteriously evolved, and by circulation in insulated wires, it is still more mysteriously augmented, a thousand and a thousand fold, until it breaks forth with incredible energy.
— Benjamin Silliman
Comment upon 'The Notice of the Electro-Magnetic Machine of Mr. Thomas Davenport, of Brandon, near Rutland, Vermont, U.S.', The Annals of Electricity, Magnetism, & Chemistry; and Guardian of Experimental Science (1838), 2, 263.
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Augmentation (4)  |  Cavern (3)  |  Circulation (17)  |  Complicated (38)  |  Concealment (8)  |  Contact (24)  |  Dynamo (2)  |  Electromagnetism (17)  |  Energy (185)  |  Exhaustion (13)  |  Gravity (89)  |  Heat (90)  |  Insulation (2)  |  Means (109)  |  Mechanism (41)  |  Mere (41)  |  Metal (38)  |  Muscle (32)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Operation (96)  |  Power (273)  |  Science (1699)  |  Sense (240)  |  Simplicity (126)  |  Summon (4)  |  Unknown (87)  |  Water (244)  |  Wind (52)  |  Wing (36)  |  Wire (18)


See also:
  • 8 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Silliman's birth.
  • Booklist for Benjamin Silliman.

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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