30 July 2006

Kuotable cuwoats

[various sources]

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. — Bernard Shaw

If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten
Either write things worth reading,
Or do things worth the writing.
— Benjamin Franklin

Scientific research consists in seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking what no one else has thought. — Albert Szent-Gyorgyi [Nobel Prize 1937]

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes, which can be made, in a very narrow field. — Neils Bohr

The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavor in art and in science.... He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. The sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as feeble reflexion, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is. — Albert Einstein

Basic research is what I am doing when I don’t know what I’m doing. — Wernher von Braun

My problem is that know too much to tackle that. I’m a strong believer that ignorance is important in science. If you know too much, you start seeing why things won’t work. That’s why it’s important to change your field to collect more ignorance. — Sydney Brenner

I assign more value to discovering a fact, even about the minute thing, than to lengthy disputations on the Grand Questions that fail to lead to true understanding whatever. — Galileo Galilei

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. — Albert Einstein

A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of five. — Groucho Marx

When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. — R Buckminster Fuller

We are all agreed that your theory is absolutely crazy. But what divides us is whether your theory is crazy enough. — Neils Bohr on Wolfgang Pauli's unified theory

At the present time it is of course quite customary for physicists to trespass on chemical ground, for mathematicians to do excellent work in physics, and for physicists to develop new mathematical procedures. Trespassing is one of the most successful techniques in science. — Wolfgang Koehler

Science is about why; engineering is about why not. — Dean Kamen

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!), but ‘That's funny ...’ — Isaac Asimov

The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. — Neils Bohr

I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone. — Bjarne Stroustrup [invented C++]

There is no sadder sight in the world than to see a beautiful theory killed by a brutal fact. — Thomas Huxley

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. — Albert Einstein

If the numan brain was so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t. — Emerson Pugh


kattekrab said...

What a great collection of quotes. Perfect pre-breakfast reading for a tuesday. Thanks Leon. :)

Leon Brooks said...

I like some of the seriously humbling ones, like Einstein's "I have no special talents" but also some of the from-left-field logical sounding ones such as Groucho's 5-year-old.

Be warned: these are just a part of the collection. (-: