Quotes about science

A collection of quotes on the topic of science.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson photo

„The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.“

—  Neil deGrasse Tyson American astrophysicist and science communicator 1958
Quotes from Bill Maher show website, quotes of the show, Google searches showing poor results before February 4th (pages which were updated since their original, pre-feb. 4th posting date).

Évariste Galois photo

„[This] science is the work of the human mind, which is destined rather to study than to know, to seek the truth rather than to find it.“

—  Évariste Galois French mathematician, founder of group theory 1811 - 1832
Of mathematics — as quoted in Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (1980) by Morris Kline, p. 99.

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Nikola Tesla photo
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky photo
Rosalind Franklin photo

„Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.“

—  Rosalind Franklin British chemist, biophysicist, and X-ray crystallographer 1920 - 1958
in answer to her father, who accused her of making science her religion, as related by

João Magueijo photo
Vera Rubin photo

„Science is competitive, aggressive, demanding. It is also imaginative, inspiring, uplifting.“

—  Vera Rubin American astronomer 1928 - 2016
Bright Galaxies, Dark Matters (1997), p. 219 <!-- ISBN 1563962314 -->

Alice A. Bailey photo
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John Dee photo
Werner Heisenberg photo

„The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.“

—  Werner Heisenberg German theoretical physicist 1901 - 1976
“Der erste Trunk aus dem Becher der Naturwissenschaft macht atheistisch, aber auf dem Grund des Bechers wartet Gott.” in 15 Jahrhunderte Würzburg: e. Stadt u. ihre Geschichte [15 centuries Würzburg. A city and its history] (1979), p. 205, by Heinz Otremba. The quote per se cannot be found in Heisenberg's published works, and Otremba apparently does not declare his source. The journalist Eike Christian Hirsch PhD, a personal aquaintance of Heisenberg, whom he interviewed for his 1981 book Expedition in die Glaubenswelt, informed de.wikiquote on 22 June 2015, that content and style of the quote was completely foreign to Heisenberg's convictions and the way he used to express himself, and that Heisenberg's children, Dr. Maria Hirsch and Prof. Dr. Martin Heisenberg, did not recognize their father in this quote. Hirsch has suggested that the quote and its attribution to Heisenberg may have been fabricated by a fundamentalist English-speaking Christian seeking support for his faith, and he points to the similar precursor remarks of Francis Bacon, in "Of Atheism" (1601): "A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion", and of Alexander Pope, in "An Essay on Criticism" (1709): "A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again." However, there is a passage in a lengthy essay written by Heisenberg in 1942, "Ordnung der Wirklichkeit” ("Reality and Its Order"), published in Collected Works. Section C: Philosophical and Popular Writings. Volume I. Physics and Cognition. 1927-1955 (1984), that parallels the ideas expressed in the quote (albeit in a much expanded form): "The first thing we could say was simply: 'I believe in God, the Father, the almighty creator of heaven and earth.' The next step — at least for our contemporary consciousness — was doubt. There is no god; there is only an impersonal law that directs the fate of the world according to cause and effect... And yet [today], we may with full confidence place ourselves into the hands of the higher power who, during our lifetime and in the course of the centuries, determines our faith and therewith our world and our fate." (English translation by M.B.Rumscheidt and N. Lukens, available at http://www.heisenbergfamily.org/t-OdW-english.htm) Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, a protégé of Heisenberg, did publish a version of the quote itself in Die Geschichte der Natur (The History of Nature) (1948), appearing to consider it an adage: "Aus dem Denken gibt es keinen ehrlichen Rückweg in einen naiven Glauben. Nach einem alten Satz trennt uns der erste Schluck aus dem Becher der Erkenntnis von Gott, aber auf dem Grunde des Bechers wartet Gott auf den, der ihn sucht. Wenn es so ist, dann gibt es einen Weg des Denkens, der vorwärts zu religiösen Wahrheiten führt, und nur diesen Weg zu suchen ist lohnend. Wenn es nicht so ist, wird unsere Welt auf die Religion ihre Hoffnungen vergeblich setzen." ("From thinking there is no honest way back into a naive belief. According to an old phrase, the first sip from the cup of knowledge separates us from God, but at the bottom of the cup God is waiting for the one who seeks him. If so, then there is a way of thinking that leads to religious truths, and to seek only that way is rewarding. If it is not so, our world will put its hopes to religion in vain.")

Max Planck photo

„Science advances one funeral at a time.“

—  Max Planck German theoretical physicist 1858 - 1947

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Al Gore photo

„The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, "Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it's not a problem." If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action.“

—  Al Gore 45th Vice President of the United States 1948
Testimony before Congress (21 March 2007), as quoted in "Gore Implores Congress To Save The Planet" at CBS Evening News (21 March 2007) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/21/politics/main2591104.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_2591104

Eliphas Levi photo
William of Ockham photo

„Logic is the most useful tool of all the arts. Without it no science can be fully known.“

—  William of Ockham medieval philosopher and theologian 1287 - 1347
Context: Logic is the most useful tool of all the arts. Without it no science can be fully known. It is not worn out by repeated use, after the manner of material tools, but rather admits of continual growth through the diligent exercise of any other science. For just as a mechanic who lacks a complete knowledge of his tool gains a fuller [knowledge] by using it, so one who is educated in the firm principles of logic, while he painstakingly devotes his labor to the other sciences, acquires at the same time a greater skill at this art. Summa Logicae (c. 1323), Prefatory Letter, as translated by Paul Vincent Spade (1995) http://www.pvspade.com/Logic/docs/ockham.pdf

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