Science Quotes


1. Having knowledge in common is the basis for the formation of a specialty. It does not mean that this knowledge is common.

2. Science is generated by critical individuals. It is harmless unless used by non-critical individuals. Sadly, the critical and non-critical individual may be one and the same.

3. Specialties serve to test the ideas of their members and to promote their application.

4. Progress is made by the fearless, not by the fearful.

5. De grootste vijand van de waarheid is niet de leugen, maar de mythe.
John F. Kennedy.

6. Beauty cannot be described, therefore it cannot be defined. It cannot be measured either in quantity or quality, therefore it cannot be made into the basis of a science. It has always proved impregnable to the frontal attacks of the aestheticians.

7. The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything.
Conh’s Law?

8. Talent is what a man possesses, genius is what possesses the man.
Isaac Stern

9. On ne regne sur les ames que par le calme.

10. L,art d’etre ennuyeux , c’est de tout dire.

11. We can drown in information being starved of knowledge and deprived of wisdom.

12. Every researcher becomes fond of the subject of his investigations as of his own child and is prone to attribute to it such properties and capacities which in reality only exist partly or not at all.

13. Man scheisst nur eimal auf das peritoneum.  Le peritoine pardonne tout.

14. Once we have solitude we want to progress, because otherwise we have no goal and without a goal we are animals.

15. Order creates habits . Chaos creates life.
Henry Adams?

16. C’est l’idée qui se rattache au fait découvert qui constitue en réalité la découverte.
Claude Bernard

17. La science consiste à établir des relations entre les constatations du réel.
Claude Bernard

18. Il n’y a pas de problèmes insolubles
Il n’y a que des questions mal posées.
19. Claude Bernard

20. Si on ne sait pas ce qu’on cherche
On ne sait pas ce qu’on trouve
Je ne cherche pas, je trouve.
Claude Bernard

21. Il n,y a que les imbeciles qui ne changent jamais d,avis.
Jacques Brel

22. Nobody is more to blame then he who did nothing, because he could only little.
Edmond Burke

23. Men kent elkaars werk niet meer
Men spreekt elkaars taal niet meer
Men waardeert elkaar niet meer
Men citeert elkaar niet meer.
College of Surgeons

24. To understand a science it is necessary to know its history.
August Comte (1798-1857)
25. Things must be named correctly so that the human spirit is not beset by misunderstanding.

26. In science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs
Sir Francis Darwin

27. Minds are like a parachute. It is only when open that they are useful.
Sir James Dewar

28. Er is geen enkele hoop voor een idee dat niet eerst voor krankzinnig wordt gehouden.
A. Einstein

29. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
A. Einstein

30. Science must be simple to be useful.
A. Einstein

31. It is more important to have imagination than to have knowledge.
A. Einstein

32. Science will stagnate if it is made to serve practical goals.
A. Einstein

33. When you assemble a number of men, to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests and their selfish views. From such an assembly, can a perfect production be expected?
B. Franklin

34. There is a really discernible difference between the society [or individual] that is oriented to the future and the one the one that is oriented to the past. Some individuals and societies look forward and have the future ever in mind, other are preoccupied with the past and are antiquarian in their interests . The former have a vivid sense of what they are becoming. The latter of what they have been.
The former are fascinated by the novelty of each day’s experience.
The latter have a sense of having seen everything. No society is likely to renew itself unless the dominant orientation is to the future.
John W Gardner

35. It is in her moments of abnormality that Nature reveals her secrets.

36. Das Wahre ist einfach und gibt wenig zu tun, das Falsche gibt Gelegenheit, Zeit und Kräfte zu zersplittern.

37. Tout a été déjà dis mais parce que personne écoute, il faut recommencer de nouveau.
A. Gide

38. Short term stories drive out long term ones.

39. Your easy reading makes for my damned hard writing.
Hemingway? Auden?

40. Nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
Victor Hugo

41. Wat we weten is eindig, wat we niet weten is oneindig. Intellectueel gezien staan we op een eiland te midden van een oceaan van onverklaarbaarheden. Elke generatie heeft tot taak een beetje meer land te winnen.
Thomas Henry Huxley

42. Sit down before a fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and too whatever abyss nature leads; or you shall learn nothing.
Thomas Henry Huxley

43. Altro diletto che imparar non trovo.
Jones Indigo

44. Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.
Helen Keller

45. When you cannot measure it.
When you cannot express it in numbers
You have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the stage of science
what ever the matter may be.
Lord Kelvin

46. Some men see things as they are and say why.
I see things that never were and say why not.
J.F. Kennedy

47. We cannot conclude right from our partial views.
John Locke

48. When men pain themselves to alter the body to make it seem fairer than God made it, they do great sin. For men should not devise nor ask greater beauty than God had ordained to be at his birth.
Sir John Mandeville

49. Small steps are more effective over the long term than a giant step or a major change, which carries the hazard and high probability of failure
Small steps successfully taken more often lead to major change, but any step carries the risk of failure. We pay a heavy price for our fear of failure. It is a poor obstacle to growth. It assures the progressive narrowing of the personality and prevents exploration and experimentation. There is no learning without some difficulty and fumbling. If you want to keep on learning, you must keep on risking failure- all your life. It is as simple as that .
G Miller

50. A professional is one who places the immediate interest of his or her patient above his own. The merchant places his own profit above the interest or welfare of his client.
Francis D. Moore

51. En général les hommes ne lisent pas. Si déjà ils lisent, ils ne comprennent pas et ceux qui le comprennent, l’oublieront.
Henri de Montherlant

52. Everybody talks too much
Everybody writes too much
Nobody pays any attention
Wet van Muench

53. It is astonishing with how little reading a doctor can practise medicine, but it is not astonishing how badly he may do it.
Sir William Osler

54. Smart is when you believe only half of what you read
Brilliant is when you know which half.
Bob Orben

55. He becomes the true discoverer who establishes the truth and the sign of proof is the general acceptance.
Sir Richard Owen

56. A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Max Planck

57. Public opinion is a whore that submits to the best bidder.
George Sand

58. Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.
Albert Szent-Georgi

59. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world.
The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
G.B. Shaw

60. Niet de hoeveelheid informatie is het schaarse artikel van deze tijd, maar juist de aandacht die de mensen voor informatie kunnen opbrengen.

61. Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after, so that when men become undeceived it is to late. The jest is over and the tale has had its effect.
Jonathan Swift

62. Human knowledge does not stay put, it evolves by what we call trial and error, or as is more usually the sequence, error and trial.
Lewis Thomas

63. He who argues by citing authorities is not using his brain but his memory.
Leonardo da Vinci

64. Tous les arts son frères, chacun apporte une lumière aux autres.

65. “Procrastination is the thief of time”.
Edward Young

66. The scientist ignores the nature of the society in which he lives at his own peril.

67. It is easier to satisfy the internal criteria of the specialty than to create interests embracing a number of these little villages of the mind.


69. It cannot be conducted according to the rules of efficiency engineering.
Research must be lavish of ideas, money and time.
The best advice is: don’t quit easily. Don’t trust anyone´s judgment but your own, especially don´t take any advice from any commercial person or financial expert and, finally, if you really don´t know what to do, match for it. The best person to decide what research work shall be done, is the man who is doing the research.
The next best is the head of the department.
After that you leave the field of best persons and meet increasingly worse groups. The first of these is the research director, who is probably wrong more than half the time. Then comes a committee, which is wrong most of the time. Finally there is the committee of company vice presidents which is wrong all the time.
De Ingenieur – nr 1. 1992