almost always accurately reproduce. If they don't, you get one of the following results:
One, monsters--that is, grossly malformed babies resulting from genetic mistakes. Years
ago most monsters died, but now many can be saved. This has made possible the National
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of
carbon compounds that crawl.
When I investigate and when I discover that the forces of the heavens and the planets are
within ourselves, then truly I seem to be living among the gods.
Leon Battista Alberti
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not
'Eureka!' (I've found it!), but "That's funny..."
When the lay public rallies round to an idea that is denounced by distinguished by elderly
scientists and supports the idea with great fervour and emotion, the distinguished but
elderly scientests are then, after all, right.
You will be able to appreciate the influence of such an Engine on the future progress of
science. I live in a country which is incapable of estimating it.
The chemists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek
their pleasure among smoke and vapor, soot and flame, poisons and poverty, yet among all
these evils I seem to live so sweetly, that may I die if I would change places with the
The investigator should have a robust faith -- and yet not believe.
Claude Bernard, French physiologist (1813-78)
Inventor: A person who makes an ingenious arrangement of wheels, levers and springs, and
believes it civilization.
Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
May every young scientist remember... and not fail to keep his eyes open for the
possibility that an irritating failure of his apparatus to give consistent results may
once or twice in a lifetime conceal an important discovery.
Experience is the mother of science.
Henry George Bohm
God runs electromagnetics by wave theory on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the Devil
runs them by quantum theory on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Sir William Bragg
The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways
of thinking about them.
Sir William Bragg
If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not
get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One mihgt as well attempt to
grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability.
As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human
science is at a loss.
The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.
Robert R. Coveyou
It has been a bitter moritification for me to digest the conclusion that the 'race is for
the strong' and that I shall probably do little more but be content to admire the strides
others made in science.
The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to
J. Frank Dobie, "A Texan in England" 1945
Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God's
gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences.
Freeman Dyson, "Infinite in All Directions"
Science is not a sacred cow. Science is a horse. Don't worship it. Feed it.
That's the nature of research--you don't know what in hell you're doing.
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
....I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
There are three schools of magic. One: State a tautology, then ring the changes on its
corollaries; that's philosophy. Two: Record many facts. Try to find a pattern. Then make a
wrong guess at the next fact; that's science. Three: Be aware that you live in a
malevolent Universe controlled by Murphy's Law, sometimes offset by Brewster's Factor;
It's hard to imagine anything more difficult to study than human sexuality, on every level
from the technical to the political. One has only to picture monitoring orgasm in the lab
to begin to grasp the challenge of developing testing techniques that are thorough and
precise, yet respectful.
Winnifred Gallagher, American science journalist, 1986
A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point
reached by the genius of the last generation.
The origin of all science is the *desire to know causes*, and the origin of all false
science and imposture is the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is
the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance.
The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning
while those other subjects merely require scholarship.
Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense, differing from the later only
as a veteran may differ from a raw recruit: and its methods differ from those of common
sense only as far as the guardsman's cut and thrust differ from the manner in which a
savage wields his club.
Thomas Henry Huxley
The great tragedy of Science -- the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Scientists are the easiest to fool. They think in straight, predictable, directable, and
therefore misdirectable, lines. The only world they know is the one where everything has a
logical explanation and things are what they appear to be. Children and conjurors -- they
terrify me. Scientists are no problem; against them I feel quite confident.
James P. Hogan, "Code of the Lifemaker"
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
In the world of human thought generally, and in physical science particularly, the most
important and fruitful concepts are those to which it is impossible to attach a
Science when well digested is nothing but good sense and reason.
Stanislaw I Leszczynski
Enzymes are things invented by biologists that explain things which otherwise require
If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.
Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to
the next better one.
Science itself, therefore, may be regarded as a minimal problem, consisting of the
completest possible presentment of facts with the least possible expenditure of thought.
Science would be ruined if (like sports) it were to put competition above everything else,
and if it were to clarify the rules of competition by withdrawing entirely into narrowly
defined specialties. The rare scholars who are nomads-by- choice are essential to the
intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines.
You are right on target when you say that mad scientists have a total disregard for the
wellbeing of others. We don't want to spread evil; we just see no point in bothering to
Richard M. Mathews
Any clod can have the facts; having opinions is an art.
I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment
Heinz Pagels, "The Dreams of Reason"
There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science.
All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
Shun no toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other; yet do not devote
yourself to one branch exclusively. Strive to get clear notions about all. Give up no
science entirely; for science is but one.
Science is the refusal to believe on the basis of hope.
Carrie P. Snow
Science is organized knowledge.
Discovery consits in seeing what everone else has seen and thinking what no one else has
This example illustrates the differences in the effects which may be produced by research
in pure or applied science. A research on the lines of applied science would doubtless
have led to improvement and development of the older methods -- the research in pure
science has given us an entirely new and much more powerful method. In fact, research in
applied science leads to reforms, research in pure science leads to revolutions, and
revolutions, whether political or industrial, are exceedingly profitable things if you are
on the winning side.
J. J. Thomson
No doubt, a scientist isn't necessarily penalized for being a complex, versatile,
eccentric individual with lots of extra-scientific interests. But it certainly doesn't
help him a bit.
Investigation may be likened to the long months of pregnancy, and solving a problem to the
day of birth. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it.
Mao Tse-Tung, Chinese political leader (1893-1976)
How did Biot arrive at the partial differential equation? [the heat conduction equation] .
. . Perhaps Laplace gave Biot the equation and left him to sink or swim for a few years in
trying to derive it. That would have been merely an instance of the way great
mathematicians since the very beginnings of mathematical research have effortlessly
maintained their superiority over ordinary mortals.
There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of
conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of
verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.
Paul Vale'ry, 1895
The task of science is to stake out the limits of the knowable, and to center
consciousness within them.
Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.
Wernher von Braun
Whoever, in the pursuit of science, seeks after immediate practical utility, may generally
rest assured that he will seek in vain.
H.L.F. von Helmholtz
The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make
models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain
verbal interpretations,describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a
mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.
John von Neumann
One could not be a successful scientist without realizing that, in contrast to the popular
conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of
scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid.
A wheel or disk mounted to spin rapidly about an axis and also free to rotate about one or
both of two axes perpendicular to each other and the axis of spin so that a rotation of
one of the two mutually perpendicular axes results from application of torque to the other
when the wheel is spinning and so that the entire apparatus offers considerable opposition
depending on the angular momentum to any torque that would change the direction of the
axis of spin.
Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary
Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it
seems more like astrology.
"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is
the mother of futile dodges" is much closer to the truth. The basis of growth of
modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable
intelle ctual curiosity.
Alfred N. Whitehead
Physics is becoming so unbelievably complex that it is taking longer and longer to train a
physicist. It is taking so long, in fact, to train a physicist to the place where he
understands the nature of physical problems that he is already too old to solve them.
In a purely technical sense, each species of higher organism is richer in information than
a Caravaggio painting, Bach fugue, or any other great work of art.
Edward O. Wilson
The progress of science is often affected more by the frailties of humans and their
institutions than by the limitations of scientific measuring devices. The scientific
method is only as effective as the humans using it. It does not automatically lead to
Steven S. Zumdahl
Clarke's First Law:
When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost
certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
Entropy isn't what it used to be.
Copying extensively from one source is plagiarism; copying extensively from several is
Research is the act of going up alleys to see if they are blind.
If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be research.
Research is the art of seeing what everyone else has seen, and doing what no-one else has
Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, humidity, and
other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.
Carl William Brown
Democracy is the art and science of running the
circus from the monkey cage.
H. L. Mencken
Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories.
Arthur C. Clarke
In place of infinity we usually put some really big number, like 15.
Anonymous Computer Science professor
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true
art and science.
The Social Sciences are good at accounting for disasters once they have taken place.
Claude T. Bissell
Hardly a pure science, history is closer to animal husbandry than it is to mathematics, in
that it involves selective breeding. The principal difference between the husbandryman and
the historian is that the former breeds sheep or cows or such, and the latter breeds
(assumed) facts. The husbandryman uses his skills to enrich the future; the historian uses
his to enrich the past. Both are usually up to their ankles in bullshit.
It is the business of the future to be dangerous; and it is among the merits of science
that it equips the future for its duties.
Alfred North Whitehead
When science finally locates the center of the universe, some people will be surprised to
learn they're not it.
A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into
pedantry. Hence University education.
George Bernard Shaw
The aim of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we've
finished building it. Carl William Brown
We must reason in natural philosophy not from what we hope, or even expect,
but from what we perceive.
Humphry Davy, 1778 to 1829
Trial by combat of wits in disputations has no attraction for the seeker
after truth; to him, the appeal to experiment is the last and only test of
the merit of an opinion, conjecture, or hypotheses.
Joseph Mellor, 1869 to 1938
A fact acquires its true and full value only through the idea which is
developed from it.
Justus von Liebig, 1803 to 1873
A detective with his murder mystery, a chemist seeking the structure of a
new compound, use little of the formal and logical modes of reasoning.
Through a series of intuitions, surmises, fancies, they stumble upon the
right explanation, and have a knack of seizing it when it once comes within
Gilbert Lewis, 1875 – 1946
Nothing can be more certain than this: that we are just beginning to learn
something of the wonders of the world on which we live and move and have our
William Ramsay, 1852 to 1916
Experimental science hardly ever affords us more than approximations to the
truth; and whenever many agents are concerned we are in great danger of
Humphry Davy, 1778 to 1829
Time is the best appraiser of scientific work, and I am aware that an
industrial discovery rarely produces all its fruit in the hands of its first
Louis Pasteur, 1822 to 1895
With monads and diads, and pentads and triads, My brain has been addled
completely; And what’s really meant by ‘something-valent,’ Is a question I
give up discretely.
John Cargill Brough, 1834 to 1872
Still I had a lurking question. Would it not be better if one could really
‘see’ whether molecules as complicated as the sterols, or strychnine were
just as experiment suggested?
Dorothy Hodgkin, 1910 to 1984