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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Sydney Smith Quotes

Sydney Smith
(3 Jun 1771 - 22 Feb 1845)

English clergyman and essayist who took orders in 1794, was parson in Foston-le-Clay, Yorkshire (1809-28), and later canon of St. Paul's, London(1831-45). He co-founded the Edinburgh Review (1802) and was a witty commentator on life in general. He espoused parliamentary reform. In his Letters of Peter Plymley (1807), he defended Catholic emancipation.

Science Quotes by Sydney Smith (7 quotes)

Conquest has explored more than ever curiosity has done; and the path for science has been commonly opened by the sword.
— Sydney Smith
In 'Island of Ceylon', Edinburgh Review (1803) collected in The Works of the Rev. Sydney Smith (1840), 350.
Science quotes on:  |  Conquest (28)  |  Curiosity (128)  |  Exploration (135)  |  More (2559)  |  Open (274)  |  Path (145)  |  Science (3880)  |  Sword (15)

I have come to the conclusion that mankind consume twice too much food. According to my computation, I have eaten and drunk, between my tenth and seventieth year, forty-four horse-wagon loads more than was good for me.
— Sydney Smith
Quoted in Lydia Maria Francis Child, 'Hints About Health', Looking Toward Sunset (1891), 428.
Science quotes on:  |  According (237)  |  Computation (24)  |  Conclusion (255)  |  Consume (9)  |  Drink (53)  |  Drunk (10)  |  Eat (104)  |  Food (199)  |  Gluttony (6)  |  Good (889)  |  Horse (75)  |  Mankind (340)  |  More (2559)  |  Wagon (8)  |  Year (932)

Lucy, dear child, mind your arithmetic. You know in the first sum of yours I ever saw there was a mistake. You had carried two (as a cab is licensed to do), and you ought, dear Lucy, to have carried but one. Is this a trifle? What would life be without arithmetic, but a scene of horrors.
— Sydney Smith
Letter to a child (22 Jul 1835). In Sydney Smith, Saba Holland, with Sarah Austin (ed.), A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith by his Daughter, Lady Holland (4th ed. 1855), Vol. 2, 364.
Science quotes on:  |  Arithmetic (139)  |  Carry (127)  |  Child (309)  |  Do (1908)  |  First (1284)  |  Horror (14)  |  Know (1519)  |  License (2)  |  Life (1799)  |  Mind (1339)  |  Mistake (170)  |  Saw (160)  |  Scene (36)  |  Sum (102)  |  Trifle (15)  |  Two (937)

Oh, don't tell me of facts, I never believe facts; you know, [George] Canning said nothing was so fallacious as facts, except figures.
— Sydney Smith
Lady Saba Holland, A Memoir of The Reverend Sydney Smith (1854), 253.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (578)  |  Fact (1212)  |  Facts (553)  |  Fallacious (12)  |  Fallacy (31)  |  Figure (160)  |  Know (1519)  |  Never (1087)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Tell (340)

Science is [William Whewell’s] forte and omniscience is his foible.
— Sydney Smith
Quoted in J. Todhunter (ed.), William Whewell: An Account of His Writings With Selections from his Literary and Scientific Correspondence (1876), Vol. 1, 410.
Science quotes on:  |  Foible (2)  |  Forte (3)  |  Omniscience (3)  |  Science (3880)  |  William Whewell (70)

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.
— Sydney Smith
'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 (9)  |  Apothecary (10)  |  Choking (3)  |  Conviction (98)  |  Duct (2)  |  Food (199)  |  Importance (287)  |  Life (1799)  |  Little (708)  |  Live (629)  |  More (2559)  |  Press (21)  |  Proceed (129)  |  Lucius Annaeus Seneca (20)  |  Unhappiness (9)  |  Vex (9)  |  World (1778)  |  Wrong (234)

[T]he 47th proposition in Euclid might now be voted down with as much ease as any proposition in politics; and therefore if Lord Hawkesbury hates the abstract truths of science as much as he hates concrete truth in human affairs, now is his time for getting rid of the multiplication table, and passing a vote of censure upon the pretensions of the hypotenuse.
— Sydney Smith
In 'Peter Plymley's Letters', Essays Social and Political (1877), 530.
Science quotes on:  |  Abstract (126)  |  Censure (5)  |  Concrete (51)  |  Down (455)  |  Euclid (54)  |  Hate (64)  |  Hatred (21)  |  Human (1470)  |  Human Affairs (5)  |  Hypotenuse (4)  |  Lord (93)  |  Multiplication (44)  |  Multiplication Table (16)  |  Passing (76)  |  Politics (112)  |  Pretension (6)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Science (3880)  |  Table (104)  |  Time (1877)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Vote (16)


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
Quotations by: • Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton • Lord Kelvin • Charles Darwin • Srinivasa Ramanujan • Carl Sagan • Florence Nightingale • Thomas Edison • Aristotle • Marie Curie • Benjamin Franklin • Winston Churchill • Galileo Galilei • Sigmund Freud • Robert Bunsen • Louis Pasteur • Theodore Roosevelt • Abraham Lincoln • Ronald Reagan • Leonardo DaVinci • Michio Kaku • Karl Popper • Johann Goethe • Robert Oppenheimer • Charles Kettering  ... (more people)

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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
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
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



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