On Science

‘At each stage…entirely new laws, concepts and generalizations are necessary, requiring inspiration and creativity to just as great a degree as in the previous one.’
— Poul William Anderson
‘Give me a lever long enough and a prop strong enough and I can single-handedly move the world.’
— Archimides
‘Intuition is the source of scientific knowledge.’
— Aristotle
‘The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.’
— Isaac Asimov
‘Scientific apparatus offers a window to knowledge, but as they grow more elaborate, scientists spend ever more time washing the windows.’
— Isaac Asimov
‘The important thing is science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.’
— William Bragg
‘The most remarkable discovery ever made by scientists was science itself.’
— Jacob Bronowski
‘The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.’
— Bertolt Brecht
‘That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to the pertinent answer.’
— Jacob Bronowski
‘Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.’
— Charles Darwin
‘Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.’
— Leonardo Da Vinci
‘Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.’
— John Dewey
‘In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.’
— Paul Dirac
‘What Art was to the ancient world, Science is to the modern; the distinctive faculty. In the minds of men, the useful has succeeded to the beautiful.’
— Benjamin Disraeli
‘The creative scientist studies nature with the rapt gaze of the lover, and is guided as often by aesthetics as by rational considerations in guessing how nature works.’
— Albert Einstein
‘One thing I have learned in a long life: That all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike—and yet, it is the most precious thing we have.’
— Albert Einstein
‘Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary.’
— Albert Einstein
‘The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.’
— Albert Einstein
‘All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.’
— Albert Einstein
‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.’
— Albert Einstein
‘No scientist thinks in formulae.’
— Albert Einstein
‘Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.’
— Albert Einstein
‘A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.’
— Albert Einstein
‘I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research.’
— Albert Einstein
‘The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.’
— Albert Einstein
‘To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.’
— Albert Einstein
‘All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have.’
— Albert Einstein
‘Science does not know its debt to imagination.’
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.’
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
‘If you thought that science was certain—well, that is just an error on your part.’
— Richard P. Feynman
‘First you guess. Don’t laugh, this is the most important step. Then you compute the consequences. Compare the consequences to experience. If it disagrees with experience, the guess is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is. If it disagrees with experience, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.’
— Richard P. Feynman
‘Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we do not experience it.’
— Max Frisch
‘By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.’
— Galileo Galilei
‘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.’
— Max Gluckman
‘Science is an integral part of culture. It’s not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It’s one of the glories of human intellectual tradition.’
— Stephen Jay Gould
‘The origin of all science is the desire to know causes, and the origin of all false science is the desire to accept false causes rather than none; or, which is the same thing, in the unwillingness to acknowledge our own ignorance.’
— William Hazlitt
‘Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.’
— Edmund Hilary
‘Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.’
— Oliver Wendell Holmes
‘Science is the topography of ignorance.’
— Oliver Wendell Holmes
‘Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness.’
— Aldous Huxley
‘Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed.’
— Thomas Huxley
‘The great tragedy of science—the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.’
— Thomas Huxley
‘Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.’
— Immanuel Kant
‘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
‘Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.’
— Martin Luther King
‘Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control.’
— Martin Luther King
‘Newton’s apple and Cezanne’s apple are discoveries more closely related than they seem.’
— Arthur Koestler
‘Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one.’
— Konrad Lorenz
‘Water is H2O, hydrogen two parts, oxygen one, but there is also a third thing, that makes it water and nobody knows what that is.’
— D. H. Lawrence
‘However far modern science and technics have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson: Nothing is impossible.’
— Lewis Mumford
‘As long as men are free to ask what they must—free to say what they think—free to think what they will—freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.’
— J. Robert Oppenheimer
‘There must be no barriers for freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.’
— J. Robert Oppenheimer
‘Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.’
— Louis Pasteur
‘Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.’
— Pope John Paul II
‘An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out.’
— Max Planck
‘The scientist needs an artistically creative imagination.’
— Max Planck
‘It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.’
— Henri Poincaré
‘The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.’
— Henri Poincaré
‘Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.’
— Henri Poincaré
‘Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification.’
— Karl Popper
‘Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.’
— Henri Poincaré
‘Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.’
— Bertrand Russell
‘There are many hypotheses in science which are wrong. That’s perfectly all right; they’re the aperture to finding out what’s right.’
— Carl Sagan
‘We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.’
— Carl Sagan
‘Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.’
— Carl Sagan
‘The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them.’
— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
‘Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.’
— Arthur Schlesinger
‘Science is always wrong. It never solves a problem without creating ten more.’
— George Bernard Shaw
‘Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.’
— Adam Smith
‘Science is the refusal to believe on the basis of hope.’
— C. P. Snow
‘All science touches on art; all art has its scientific side. The worst scientist is he who is not an artist; the worst artist is he who is no scientist.’
— Armand Trousseau
‘Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.’
— Alan Turing
‘Science says: “We must live,” and seeks the means of prolonging, increasing, facilitating and amplifying life, of making it tolerable and acceptable. Wisdom says: “We must die,” and seeks how to make us die well.’
— Miguel de Unamuno
‘There is an astonishing imagination, even in the science of mathematics.’
— Voltaire
‘In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.’
— Hugh Walpole
‘Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion, Rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science.’
— Gary Zukav