(source) 
Ian Stewart
(24 Sep 1945  )

Science Quotes by Ian Stewart (4 quotes)
By the 18th century science had been so successful in laying bare the laws of nature that many thought there was nothing left to discover. Immutable laws prescribed the motion of every particle in the universe, exactly and forever: the task of the scientist was to elucidate the implications of those laws for any particular phenomenon of interest. Chaos gave way to a clockwork world. But the world moved on ...Today even our clocks are not made of clockwork. ... With the advent of quantum mechanics, the clockwork world has become a lottery. Fundamental events, such as the decay of a radioactive atom, are held to be determined by chance, not law.
— Ian Stewart
The successes of the differential equation paradigm were impressive and extensive. Many problems, including basic and important ones, led to equations that could be solved. A process of selfselection set in, whereby equations that could not be solved were automatically of less interest than those that could.
— Ian Stewart
Today even our clocks are not made of clockwork.
— Ian Stewart
What is mathematics? What is it for? What are mathematicians doing nowadays? Wasn't it all finished long ago? How many new numbers can you invent anyway? Is todays mathematics just a matter of huge calculations, with the mathematician as a kind of zookeeper, making sure the precious computers are fed and watered? If its not, what is it other than the incomprehensible outpourings of superpowered brainboxes with their heads in the clouds and their feet dangling from the lofty balconies of their ivory towers?
Mathematics is all of these, and none. Mostly, its just different. Its not what you expect it to be, you turn your back for a moment and it's changed. It's certainly not just a fixed body of knowledge, its growth is not confined to inventing new numbers, and its hidden tendrils pervade every aspect of modern life.
Mathematics is all of these, and none. Mostly, its just different. Its not what you expect it to be, you turn your back for a moment and it's changed. It's certainly not just a fixed body of knowledge, its growth is not confined to inventing new numbers, and its hidden tendrils pervade every aspect of modern life.
— Ian Stewart
See also:
 24 Sep  short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Stewart's birth.
 Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, by Ian Stewart.  book suggestion.
 Booklist for author Ian Stewart.