Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “I have no satisfaction in formulas unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index S > Tom Stoppard Quotes

Tom Stoppard
(3 Jul 1937 - )

British playwright and screenwriter whose plays include Arcadia and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

Science Quotes by Tom Stoppard (4 quotes)

Bernard: Oh, you’re going to zap me with penicillin and pesticides. Spare me that and I’ll spare you the bomb and aerosols. But don’t confuse progress with perfectibility. A great poet is always timely. A great philosopher is an urgent need. There’s no rush for Isaac Newton. We were quite happy with Aristotle’s cosmos. Personally, I preferred it. Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God’s crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe. I can’t think of anything more trivial than the speed of light. Quarks, quasars—big bangs, black holes—who [cares]? How did you people con us out of all that status? All that money? And why are you so pleased with yourselves?
Chloe: Are you against penicillin, Bernard?
Bernard: Don’t feed the animals.
— Tom Stoppard
In the play, Acadia (1993), Act 2, Scene 5, 61.
Science quotes on:  |  Aerosol (2)  |  Animal (325)  |  Aristotle (146)  |  Big Bang (38)  |  Black Hole (14)  |  Bomb (17)  |  Confusion (35)  |  Cosmos (44)  |  Crystal (49)  |  Feed (25)  |  Gear (4)  |  God (474)  |  Greatness (37)  |  Happiness (86)  |  Idea (457)  |  Money (131)  |  Need (226)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (261)  |  Penicillin (10)  |  Perfectibility (2)  |  Pesticide (4)  |  Philosopher (134)  |  Pleasure (106)  |  Poet (62)  |  Progress (320)  |  Quark (6)  |  Quasar (4)  |  Rush (14)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Sparing (2)  |  Speed Of Light (14)  |  Sphere (44)  |  Status (18)  |  Timely (2)  |  Trivial (34)  |  Universe (615)  |  Urgency (8)

Thomasina: Every week I plot your equations dot for dot, x’s against y’s in all manner of algebraical relation, and every week they draw themselves as commonplace geometry, as if the world of forms were nothing but arcs and angles. God’s truth, Septimus, if there is an equation for a curve like a bell, there must be an equation for one like a bluebell, and if a bluebell, why not a rose? Do we believe nature is written in numbers?
Septimus: We do.
Thomasina: Then why do your shapes describe only the shapes of manufacture?
Septimus: I do not know.
Thomasina: Armed thus, God could only make a cabinet.
— Tom Stoppard
In the play, Acadia (1993), Scene 3, 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Algebra (36)  |  Angle (15)  |  Arc (6)  |  Armed (2)  |  Belief (421)  |  Bell (13)  |  Cabinet (4)  |  Commonplace (11)  |  Curve (24)  |  Describe (40)  |  Dot (11)  |  Draw (31)  |  Equation (69)  |  Form (223)  |  Geometry (100)  |  God (474)  |  Manufacture (13)  |  Nature (1081)  |  Nothing (302)  |  Number (188)  |  Plot (9)  |  Relation (98)  |  Rose (7)  |  Shape (60)  |  Truth (764)  |  World (746)  |  Written (3)

Eternity is a terrible thought. I mean, where's it going to end?
— Tom Stoppard
Spoken by Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1967), Act 2, 51
Science quotes on:  |  End (161)  |  Eternity (48)  |  Terrible (15)  |  Thought (400)

If you could stop every atom in its position and direction, and if your mind could comprehend all the actions thus suspended, then if you were really, really good at algebra you could write the formula for all the future; and although nobody can be so clever as to do it, the formula must exist just as if one could.
— Tom Stoppard
Spoken by Thomasina in Arcadia (1993), Act I, Scene 1, 13.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (163)  |  Algebra (36)  |  Atom (265)  |  Cleverness (10)  |  Comprehension (51)  |  Direction (59)  |  Formula (51)  |  Future (256)  |  Mind (576)  |  Nobody (40)  |  Position (59)  |  Stop (60)  |  Suspension (5)  |  Writing (72)


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)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 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



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.