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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > John Steinbeck Quotes

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John Steinbeck
(27 Feb 1902 - 20 Dec 1968)

American writer whose 27 books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939), East of Eden (1952) and Of Mice and Men (1937). He was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature, for his “realistic and imaginative writing, combining as it does sympathetic humor and keen social perception.”

Science Quotes by John Steinbeck (6 quotes)

It is not enough to say that we cannot know or judge because all the information is not in. The process of gathering knowledge does not lead to knowing. A child's world spreads only a little beyond his understanding while that of a great scientist thrusts outward immeasurably. An answer is invariably the parent of a great family of new questions. So we draw worlds and fit them like tracings against the world about us, and crumple them when we find they do not fit and draw new ones.
— John Steinbeck
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts, Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), 165-66.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Child (252)  |  Drawing (21)  |  Great (534)  |  Hypothesis (252)  |  Information (122)  |  Judgment (101)  |  Knowledge (1306)  |  New (496)  |  Outward (7)  |  Process (267)  |  Question (404)  |  Scientific Method (166)  |  Scientist (522)  |  Spread (34)  |  Tracing (3)  |  Understanding (325)  |  World (898)

People don’t take trips… trips take people.
— John Steinbeck
…...
Science quotes on:  |  People (390)  |  Trip (9)

The design of a book is the pattern of reality controlled and shaped by the mind of the writer. This is completely understood about poetry or fiction, but it is too seldom realized about books of fact. And yet the impulse which drives a man to poetry will send a man into the tide pools and force him to report what he finds there. Why is an expedition to Tibet undertaken, or a sea bottom dredged? Why do men, sitting at the microscope, examine the calcareous plates of a sea cucumber and give the new species a name, and write about it possessively? It would be good to know the impulse truly, not to be confused by the “services to science” platitudes or the other little mazes into which we entice our minds so that they will not know what we are doing.
— John Steinbeck
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts, Introduction to Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), opening paragraph. John Steinbeck had an interest in marine science before he met Ricketts. This book is an account of their trip in the Gulf of California, once called the Sea of Cortez, and recording the marine life to be found there.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (257)  |  Expedition (4)  |  Fact (733)  |  Fiction (22)  |  Impulse (33)  |  Man (373)  |  Marine Biology (24)  |  Maze (10)  |  Microscope (74)  |  Mind (760)  |  Name (170)  |  Platitude (2)  |  Poetry (124)  |  Pool (14)  |  Reality (190)  |  Report (37)  |  Sea (188)  |  Species (221)  |  Tide (24)

The literature of science is filled with answers found when the question propounded had an entirely different direction and end.
— John Steinbeck
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), 179.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (249)  |  Difference (246)  |  Direction (76)  |  End (195)  |  Literature (79)  |  Question (404)  |  Science (2067)

There is one great difficulty with a good hypothesis. When it is completed and rounded, the corners smooth and the content cohesive and coherent, it is likely to become a thing in itself, a work of art. It is then like a finished sonnet or a painting completed. One hates to disturb it. Even if subsequent information should shoot a hole in it, one hates to tear it down because it once was beautiful and whole. One of our leading scientists, having reasoned a reef in the Pacific, was unable for a long time to reconcile the lack of a reef, indicated by soundings, with the reef his mind told him was there.
— John Steinbeck
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), 179-80.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (294)  |  Beautiful (144)  |  Coherence (10)  |  Cohesion (5)  |  Completeness (15)  |  Completion (17)  |  Content (69)  |  Corner (30)  |  Difficulty (146)  |  Disturbance (21)  |  Finish (25)  |  Good (345)  |  Hypothesis (252)  |  Information (122)  |  Mind (760)  |  Painting (43)  |  Proof (245)  |  Reef (7)  |  Scientific Method (166)  |  Smoothness (3)  |  Sonnet (4)  |  Sounding (2)

We have not known a single great scientist who could not discourse freely and interestingly with a child. Can it be that haters of clarity have nothing to say, have observed nothing, have no clear picture of even their own fields?
— John Steinbeck
In John Steinbeck and Edward Flanders Ricketts, Sea of Cortez: a Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research (1941), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (252)  |  Clarity (41)  |  Discourse (18)  |  Field (171)  |  Great (534)  |  Interest (237)  |  Nothing (395)  |  Observation (450)  |  Picture (77)  |  Scientist (522)


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)

Quotations about: • Atomic  Bomb • Biology • Chemistry • Deforestation • Engineering • Anatomy • Astronomy • Bacteria • Biochemistry • Botany • Conservation • Dinosaur • Environment • Fractal • Genetics • Geology • History of Science • Invention • Jupiter • Knowledge • Love • Mathematics • Measurement • Medicine • Natural Resource • Organic Chemistry • Physics • Physician • Quantum Theory • Research • Science and Art • Teacher • Technology • Universe • Volcano • Virus • Wind Power • Women Scientists • X-Rays • Youth • Zoology  ... (more topics)
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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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