Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index C > Category: Chemist

Chemist Quotes (49 quotes)

Carl Sagan quote A Subject Called Chemistry
Wellington College. CC by-NC 2.0 (source)

Bin Chemiker der kein Physiker ist, ist gar nichts.
A chemist who is not a physicist is nothing at all.
J. R. Partington (ed.), A History of Chemistry (1961), Vol. 4, 282.
Science quotes on:  |  Physicist (74)

Remarking about Frederick Sanger who used the new technique of paper chromotography:
They are not chemists there, just a lot of paper hangers.

Quoted in 'Alexander Robertus Todd, O.M., Baron Todd of Trumpington', obituary by Damiel M. Brown and Hans Kornberg in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 2000, 46, 527. At Cambridge, Todd and his colleagues began using paper chromotography in the early 1950s to separate a mixture of vitamin B12 reaction products as a method to identify them.
Science quotes on:  |  Paper (25)

[Recalling Professor Ira Remsen's remarks (1895) to a group of his graduate students about to go out with their degrees into the world beyond the university:]
He talked to us for an hour on what was ahead of us; cautioned us against giving up the desire to push ahead by continued study and work. He warned us against allowing our present accomplishments to be the high spot in our lives. He urged us not to wait for a brilliant idea before beginning independent research, and emphasized the fact the Lavoisier's first contribution to chemistry was the analysis of a sample of gypsum. He told us that the fields in which the great masters had worked were still fruitful; the ground had only been scratched and the gleaner could be sure of ample reward.
Quoted in Frederick Hutton Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1980), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (25)  |  Ample (2)  |  Analysis (82)  |  Brilliance (4)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Contribution (23)  |  Desire (46)  |  Field (69)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Graduation (3)  |  Ground (18)  |  Idea (226)  |  Independent (16)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (26)  |  Master (19)  |  Ira Remsen (6)  |  Research (360)  |  Reward (21)  |  Scratch (4)  |  Study (157)  |  Work (198)

[When questioned on his longevity] First of all, I selected my ancestors very wisely. ... They were long-lived, healthy people. Then, as a chemist, I know how to eat, how to exercise, keep my blood circulating. ... I don't worry. I don't get angry at people. I don't worry about things I can't help. I do what I can to make the world a better place to live, but I don't complain if things aren't right. As a scientist I take the world as I find it.
[About celebrating his 77th birthday by swimming a half mile in 22 minutes] I used swim fins and webbed gloves because a man of intelligence should apply his power efficiently, not just churn the water.
As quoted in obituary by Wallace Turner, 'Joel Hildebrand, 101', New York Times (3 May 1983), D27.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancestor (17)  |  Anger (10)  |  Application (72)  |  Better (41)  |  Blood (63)  |  Churn (2)  |  Circulation (12)  |  Complaint (7)  |  Eating (13)  |  Efficiency (15)  |  Exercise (26)  |  Glove (2)  |  Health (93)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Keeping (6)  |  Life (460)  |  Obituary (9)  |  Person (38)  |  Power (103)  |  Selection (20)  |  Swimming (3)  |  Water (122)  |  Web (5)  |  Wisdom (91)  |  World (231)  |  Worry (11)

A chemist who does not know mathematics is seriously handicapped.
Quoted in Albert Rosenfeld, Langmuir: The Man and the Scientist (1962), 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Handicap (3)  |  Mathematics (367)

A writer must be as objective as a chemist: he must abandon the subjective line; he must know that dung-heaps play a very reasonable part in a landscape, and that the evil passions are as inherent in life as good ones.
Letter to M. V. Kiselev (14 Jan 1887). In L. S. Friedland (ed.), Anton Chekhov: Letters on the Short Story (1967).

Albertus [Magnus] ... debased the doctrine of Aristotle with the itch of the chemists flowing with the bloody flux of quicksilver and the stench of sulphur.
De Orta et Causis Subterraneorum Lib. V (1546), 46, trans. John Howes.
Science quotes on:  |  Saint Magnus Albertus (6)  |  Aristotle (101)  |  Mercury (26)  |  Sulphur (9)

Baeyer—a chemist who was more of an encyclopedist than a researcher.
In Richard Willstätter, Arthur Stoll (ed. of the original German) and Lilli S. Hornig (trans.), From My Life: The Memoirs of Richard Willstätter (1958), 174.
Science quotes on:  |  Adolf von Baeyer (3)  |  Researcher (9)

Be a physical chemist, an organic chemist, an analytical chemist, if you will; but above all be a Chemist.
[Admonishing his students to avoid over-specialization.]
F. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1940), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Organic Chemistry (27)  |  Physical Chemistry (5)

Boundaries which mark off one field of science from another are purely artificial, are set up only for temporary convenience. Let chemists and physicists dig deep enough, and they reach common ground.
From chapter 'Jottings from a Note-Book', in Canadian Stories (1918), 183.
Science quotes on:  |   (26)  |  Artificial (13)  |  Boundary (10)  |  Common Ground (2)  |  Convenience (11)  |  Deep (17)  |  Dig (4)  |  Field (69)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Purely (4)  |  Reach (30)  |  Science (875)  |  Set (12)  |  Temporary (5)

Chemists do have a good sense of humor but lose it when they serve as referees.
A. Nickon and E. F. Silversmith, Organic Chemistry: The Name Game, Modern Coined Terms and Their Origins (1987), 293, footnote.
Science quotes on:  |  Humour (96)  |  Loss (44)  |  Referee (2)  |  Serve (13)

Chemists must unite in order to force upon the reluctant world the power of their discoveries.
Shortly after World War I. Quoted, as a memory of Pope, in Sir William Jackson Pope Memorial Lecture by Leslie H. Lampitt, 'Sir William Jackson Pope: His Influence on Scientific Organisation' Journal of the Royal Society of Arts (31 Jan 1947), 95, No. 4736, 174. Webmaster notes that this is given as a memory, and the wording therefore may not be verbatim.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (360)  |  Force (75)  |  Power (103)  |  Reluctant (3)  |  Unite (6)  |  World (231)

Exact science and its practical movements are no checks on the greatest poet, but always his encouragement and support ... The sailor and traveller, the anatomist, chemist, astronomer, geologist, phrenologist, spiritualist, mathematician, historian and lexicographer are not poets, but they are the lawgivers of poets and their construction underlies the structure of every perfect poem.
In Walt Whitman and William Michael Rossetti (ed.), 'Preface to the First Edition of Leaves of Grass', Poems By Walt Whitman (1868), 46.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomist (8)  |  Astronomer (28)  |  Check (7)  |  Construction (36)  |  Encouragement (9)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Historian (18)  |  Love (64)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Movement (31)  |  Perfection (43)  |  Poem (76)  |  Poet (26)  |  Practical (30)  |  Science And Art (58)  |  Structure (104)  |  Support (26)  |  Traveler (8)

For example, there are numbers of chemists who occupy themselves exclusively with the study of dyestuffs. They discover facts that are useful to scientific chemistry; but they do not rank as genuine scientific men. The genuine scientific chemist cares just as much to learn about erbium—the extreme rarity of which renders it commercially unimportant—as he does about iron. He is more eager to learn about erbium if the knowledge of it would do more to complete his conception of the Periodic Law, which expresses the mutual relations of the elements.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 20.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Commercially (2)  |  Complete (13)  |  Conception (29)  |  Discover (16)  |  Dye (3)  |  Eager (4)  |  Element (68)  |  Erbium (2)  |  Express (8)  |  Extreme (17)  |  Facts (2)  |  Genuine (9)  |  Iron (33)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Learn (23)  |  Mutual (12)  |  Occupy (6)  |  Periodic Table (10)  |  Rank (13)  |  Rarity (6)  |  Relation (35)  |  Render (9)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Study (157)  |  Unimportant (2)  |  Useful (15)

Gay-Lussac was quick, lively, ingenious and profound, with great activity of mind and great facility of manipulation. I should place him at the head of all the living chemists in France.
In Mary Elvira Weeks, Discovery of the Elements (1934), 161, citing J. Davy, Memoirs of the Life of Sir Humphry Davy, Bart. (1836) Vol. 1, 469.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (48)  |  Facility (4)  |  France (8)  |  Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (7)  |  Head (20)  |  Ingenuity (16)  |  Lively (2)  |  Manipulation (5)  |  Mind (272)  |  Place (32)  |  Profound (23)  |  Quick (3)

I have spent some months in England, have seen an awful lot and learned little. England is not a land of science, there is only a widely practised dilettantism, the chemists are ashamed to call themselves chemists because the pharmacists, who are despised, have assumed this name.
Liebig to Berzelius, 26 Nov 1837. Quoted in J. Carriere (ed.), Berzelius und Liebig.; ihre Briefe (1898), 134. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Assume (6)  |  Despise (3)  |  England (17)  |  Learning (130)  |  Name (58)  |  Nomenclature (102)

I hope that in due time the chemists will justify their proceedings by some large generalisations deduced from the infinity of results which they have collected. For me I am left hopelessly behind and I will acknowledge to you that through my bad memory organic chemistry is to me a sealed book. Some of those here, Hoffman [August Hofmann] for instance, consider all this however as scaffolding, which will disappear when the structure is built. I hope the structure will be worthy of the labour. I should expect a better and a quicker result from the study of the powers of matter, but then I have a predilection that way and am probably prejudiced in judgment.
Letter to Christian Schönbein (9 Dec 1852), The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein, 1836-1862 (1899), 209-210.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledgment (4)  |  Better (41)  |  Book (100)  |  Building (34)  |  Collection (26)  |  Disappearance (15)  |  Generalization (16)  |  August Wilhelm von Hofmann (6)  |  Hopelessness (3)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Judgment (39)  |  Labor (18)  |  Matter (135)  |  Memory (42)  |  Organic Chemistry (27)  |  Power (103)  |  Predilection (2)  |  Prejudice (31)  |  Quickness (2)  |  Result (129)  |  Seal (6)  |  Sealed Book (2)  |  Structure (104)  |  Study (157)  |  Worth (30)

I must confess the language of symbols is to me
A Babylonish dialect
Which learned chemists much affect;
It is a party-coloured dress
Of patch'd and piebald languages:
'T is English cut on Greek and Latin,
Like fustian heretofore on satin.
'Additional Observations on the Use of Chemical Symbols', Philosophical Magazine, Third series (1834), 4, 251. Cited in Timothy L. Alborn, 'Negotiating Notation: Chemical Symbols and British Society, 1831-1835', Annals of Science (1989), 46, 437.
Science quotes on:  |  Affectation (3)  |  Dress (3)  |  English (8)  |  Greek (17)  |  Language (71)  |  Latin (9)  |  Learning (130)  |  Patch (3)  |  Poem (76)  |  Satin (2)  |  Symbol (23)

I saw [Linus Pauling] as a brilliant lecturer and a man with a fantastic memory, and a great, great showman. I think he was the century’s greatest chemist. No doubt about it.
From transcript of audio of Max Perutz in BBC programme, 'Lifestory: Linus Pauling' (1997). On 'Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA' webpage 'I Wish I Had Made You Angry Earlier.'
Science quotes on:  |  Century (38)  |  Greatness (24)  |  Lecturer (4)  |  Memory (42)  |  Linus Pauling (34)

I suppose that the first chemists seemed to be very hard-hearted and unpoetical persons when they scouted the glorious dream of the alchemists that there must be some process for turning base metals into gold. I suppose that the men who first said, in plain, cold assertion, there is no fountain of eternal youth, seemed to be the most cruel and cold-hearted adversaries of human happiness. I know that the economists who say that if we could transmute lead into gold, it would certainly do us no good and might do great harm, are still regarded as unworthy of belief. Do not the money articles of the newspapers yet ring with the doctrine that we are getting rich when we give cotton and wheat for gold rather than when we give cotton and wheat for iron?
'The Forgotten Man' (1883). In The Forgotten Man and Other Essays (1918), 468.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (5)  |  Article (7)  |  Assertion (16)  |  Belief (139)  |  Cotton (4)  |  Cruelty (7)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Dream (39)  |  Economist (4)  |  Eternity (22)  |  Fountain (7)  |  Glory (20)  |  Gold (19)  |  Good (81)  |  Happiness (58)  |  Harm (17)  |  Iron (33)  |  Lead (33)  |  Money (87)  |  Newspaper (18)  |  Person (38)  |  Process (97)  |  Richness (8)  |  Ring (6)  |  Supposition (25)  |  Transmutation (10)  |  Unworthy (4)  |  Wheat (3)  |  Youth (32)

I would like to emphasize strongly my belief that the era of computing chemists, when hundreds if not thousands of chemists will go to the computing machine instead of the laboratory for increasingly many facets of chemical information, is already at hand. There is only one obstacle, namely that someone must pay for the computing time.
'Spectroscopy, Molecular Orbitals, and Chemical Bonding', Nobel Lecture (12 Dec 1966). In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1963-1970 (1972), 159.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Computer (51)  |  Emphasis (9)  |  Facet (4)  |  Information (56)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Money (87)  |  Obstacle (9)  |  Payment (4)

If these d'Hérelle bodies were really genes, fundamentally like our chromosome genes, they would give us an utterly new angle from which to attack the gene problem. They are filterable, to some extent isolable, can be handled in test-tubes, and their properties, as shown by their effects on the bacteria, can then be studied after treatment. It would be very rash to call these bodies genes, and yet at present we must confess that there is no distinction known between the genes and them. Hence we can not categorically deny that perhaps we may be able to grind genes in a mortar and cook them in a beaker after all. Must we geneticists become bacteriologists, physiological chemists and physicists, simultaneously with being zoologists and botanists? Let us hope so.
'Variation Due to Change in the Individual Gene', The American Naturalist (1922), 56, 48-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Bacteria (17)  |  Bacteriologist (3)  |  Botanist (10)  |  Chromosome (13)  |  Cook (9)  |  Deny (7)  |  Félix d'Hérelle (2)  |  Filter (4)  |  Gene (49)  |  Geneticist (8)  |  Grind (4)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Property (46)  |  Test Tube (7)  |  Treatment (61)  |  Zoologist (7)

If you want to become a chemist, you will have to ruin your health. If you don't ruin your health studying, you won't accomplish anything these days in chemistry.
Liebig's advice to Kekulé.
Quoted in Berichle der Deutschen Chemishen Gesellschaft, 23, 1890. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (25)  |  Health (93)  |  August Kekulé (13)  |  Study (157)

It has hitherto been a serious impediment to the progress of knowledge, that is in investigating the origin or causes of natural productions, recourse has generally been had to the examination, both by experiment and reasoning, of what might be rather than what is. The laws or processes of nature we have every reason to believe invariable. Their results from time to time vary, according to the combinations of influential circumstances; but the process remains the same. Like the poet or the painter, the chemist may, and no doubt often' does, create combinations which nature never produced; and the possibility of such and such processes giving rise to such and such results, is no proof whatever that they were ever in natural operation.
Considerations on Volcanoes (1825), 243.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (139)  |  Cause (122)  |  Circumstance (25)  |  Combination (37)  |  Examination (47)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Impediment (3)  |  Influence (47)  |  Invariability (3)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)  |  Natural (48)  |  Nature (534)  |  Operation (53)  |  Origin (36)  |  Painter (3)  |  Poet (26)  |  Process (97)  |  Production (72)  |  Progress (200)  |  Proof (136)  |  Reason (173)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Recourse (3)  |  Result (129)  |  Variation (34)

It is my intent to beget a good understanding between the chymists and the mechanical philosophers who have hitherto been too little acquainted with one another's learning.
The Sceptical Chymist (1661).
Science quotes on:  |  Learning (130)  |  Philosopher (67)  |  Understanding (231)

It is structure that we look for whenever we try to understand anything. All science is built upon this search; we investigate how the cell is built of reticular material, cytoplasm, chromosomes; how crystals aggregate; how atoms are fastened together; how electrons constitute a chemical bond between atoms. We like to understand, and to explain, observed facts in terms of structure. A chemist who understands why a diamond has certain properties, or why nylon or hemoglobin have other properties, because of the different ways their atoms are arranged, may ask questions that a geologist would not think of' formulating, unless he had been similarly trained in this way of thinking about the world.
‘The Place of Chemistry In the Integration of the Sciences’, Main Currents in Modern Thought (1950), 7, 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Aggregation (4)  |  Arrangement (25)  |  Atom (164)  |  Building (34)  |  Cell (90)  |  Chemical Bond (5)  |  Cytoplasm (3)  |  Diamond (7)  |  Electron (43)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Fact (325)  |  Formulation (14)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Haemoglobin (3)  |  Investigation (83)  |  Material (60)  |  Observation (264)  |  Property (46)  |  Question (159)  |  Search (40)  |  Structure (104)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Training (21)  |  Understanding (231)

Langmuir is the most convincing lecturer that I have ever heard. I have heard him talk to an audience of chemists when I knew they did not understand more than one-third of what he was saying; but they thought they did. It's very easy to be swept off one's feet by Langmuir. You remember in [Kipling's novel] Kim that the water jar was broken and Lurgan Sahib was trying to hypnotise Kim into seeing it whole again. Kim saved himself by saying the multiplication table [so] I have heard Langmuir lecture when I knew he was wrong, but I had to repeat to myself: 'He is wrong; I know he is wrong; he is wrong', or I should have believed like the others.
'How to Ripen Time', Journal of Physical Chemistry 1931, 35, 1917.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (152)  |  Irving Langmuir (7)  |  Lecture (31)  |  Multiplication Table (4)

Mr Justus Liebig is no doubt a very clever gentleman and a most profound chemist, but in our opinion he knows as much of agriculture as the horse that ploughs the ground, and there is not an old man that stands between the stilts of a plough in Virginia, that cannot tell him of facts totally at variance with his finest spun theories.
Magazine
The Southern Planter (1845), 3, 23.
Science quotes on:  |  Agriculture (19)  |  Fact (325)  |  Horse (17)  |  Intelligence (76)  |  Justus von Liebig (36)  |  Plough (4)  |  Theory (353)

Oh! That the Chemist's magic art
Could crystallize this sacred treasure!...
That very law which moulds a tear,
And bids it trickle from its source;
That law preserves the earth a sphere,
And guides the planets in their course.

&$039;On a Tear', in Samuel Rogers et al., The Poetical Works of Rogers, Campbell, J. Montombery, Lamb, and Kirke White (1836), 101.
Science quotes on:  |  Crystallize (3)  |  Guide (17)  |  Law (273)  |  Law Of Gravitation (10)  |  Magic (22)  |  Mould (7)  |  Orbit (36)  |  Planet (84)  |  Sphere (12)  |  Tear (11)  |  Treasure (16)  |  Trickle (2)

Science as an intellectual exercise enriches our culture, and is in itself ennobling. ... Though to the layman, the world revealed by the chemist may seem more commonplace, it is not so to him. Each new insight into how the atoms in their interactions express themselves in structure and transformations, not only of inanimate matter, but particularly also of living matter, provides a thrill.
Speech at the Nobel Banquet (10 Dec 1983) for his Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In Wilhelm Odelberg (ed.), Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes (1984), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)  |  Commonplace (2)  |  Culture (44)  |  Enrichment (6)  |  Exercise (26)  |  Expression (44)  |  Inanimate (8)  |  Insight (28)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Interaction (11)  |  Layman (8)  |  Life (460)  |  Matter (135)  |  New (107)  |  Provide (13)  |  Science (875)  |  Structure (104)  |  Thrill (8)  |  Transformation (27)

So far no chemist has ever discovered exchange-value either in a pearl or a diamond.
Karl Marx
Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (1867), trans. Ben Fowkes (1976), Vol. 1, 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Diamond (7)

Suppose [an] imaginary physicist, the student of Niels Bohr, is shown an experiment in which a virus particle enters a bacterial cell and 20 minutes later the bacterial cell is lysed and 100 virus particles are liberated. He will say: “How come, one particle has become 100 particles of the same kind in 20 minutes? That is very interesting. Let us find out how it happens! How does the particle get in to the bacterium? How does it multiply? Does it multiply like a bacterium, growing and dividing, or does it multiply by an entirely different mechanism ? Does it have to be inside the bacterium to do this multiplying, or can we squash the bacterium and have the multiplication go on as before? Is this multiplying a trick of organic chemistry which the organic chemists have not yet discovered ? Let us find out. This is so simple a phenomenon that the answers cannot be hard to find. In a few months we will know. All we have to do is to study how conditions will influence the multiplication. We will do a few experiments at different temperatures, in different media, with different viruses, and we will know. Perhaps we may have to break into the bacteria at intermediate stages between infection and lysis. Anyhow, the experiments only take a few hours each, so the whole problem can not take long to solve.”
[Eight years later] he has not got anywhere in solving the problem he set out to solve. But [he may say to you] “Well, I made a slight mistake. I could not do it in a few months. Perhaps it will take a few decades, and perhaps it will take the help of a few dozen other people. But listen to what I have found, perhaps you will be interested to join me.”
From 'Experiments with Bacterial Viruses (Bacteriophages)', Harvey Lecture (1946), 41, 161-162. As cited in Robert Olby, The Path of the Double Helix: The Discovery of DNA (1974, 1994), 237.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (96)  |  Bacterium (4)  |  Decade (8)  |  Divide (6)  |  Grow (4)  |  Infection (15)  |  Lysis (2)  |  Mistake (40)  |  Multiply (6)  |  Organic Chemistry (27)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Problem (180)  |  Solve (5)  |  Temperature (23)  |  Virus (16)

The chemist in America has in general been content with what I have called a loafer electron theory. He has imagined the electrons sitting around on dry goods boxes at every corner [viz. the cubic atom], ready to shake hands with, or hold on to similar loafer electrons in other atoms.
'Atomism in Modern Physics', Journal of the Chemical Society (1924), 1411.
Science quotes on:  |  America (41)  |  Box (4)  |  Content (17)  |  Corner (13)  |  Cube (9)  |  Electron (43)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Loafer (2)  |  Sit (4)  |  Theory (353)

The chemists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their pleasures amid smoke and vapour, soot and flame, poisons and poverty; yet among all these evils I seem to live so sweetly that may I die if I were to change places with the Persian king.
Physica subterranea (1667). Quoted in R. Oesper, The Human Side of Scientists (1973), 11.

The chemists work with inaccurate and poor measuring services, but they employ very good materials. The physicists, on the other hand, use excellent methods and accurate instruments, but they apply these to very inferior materials. The physical chemists combine both these characteristics in that they apply imprecise methods to impure materials.
Quoted in R. Desper, The Human Side of Scientists (1975), 116.
Science quotes on:  |  Accuracy (34)  |  Application (72)  |  Characteristic (36)  |  Combination (37)  |  Employment (16)  |  Excellence (18)  |  Good (81)  |  Inaccuracy (3)  |  Inferiority (4)  |  Instrument (40)  |  Material (60)  |  Measurement (112)  |  Method (73)  |  Physicist (74)  |  Poor (18)  |  Service (27)

The loveliest theories are being overthrown by these damned experiments; it's no fun being a chemist anymore.
Liebig to Berzelius, 22 Jul 1834. Quoted in J. Carriere (ed.), Berzelius und Liebig: ihre Briefe (1898), 94. Trans. W. H. Brock.
Science quotes on:  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fun (15)  |  Overthrown (3)  |  Theory (353)

The responsibility for maintaining the composition of the blood in respect to other constituents devolves largely upon the kidneys. It is no exaggeration to say that the composition of the blood is determined not by what the mouth ingests but by what the kidneys keep; they are the master chemists of our internal environment, which, so to speak, they synthesize in reverse. When, among other duties, they excrete the ashes of our body fires, or remove from the blood the infinite variety of foreign substances which are constantly being absorbed from our indiscriminate gastrointestinal tracts, these excretory operations are incidental to the major task of keeping our internal environment in an ideal, balanced state. Our glands, our muscles, our bones, our tendons, even our brains, are called upon to do only one kind of physiological work, while our kidneys are called upon to perform an innumerable variety of operations. Bones can break, muscles can atrophy, glands can loaf, even the brain can go to sleep, without immediately endangering our survival, but when the kidneys fail to manufacture the proper kind of blood neither bone, muscle, gland nor brain can carry on.
'The Evolution of the Kidney', Lectures on the Kidney (1943), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Absorption (5)  |  Ash (6)  |  Balance (24)  |  Blood (63)  |  Body (88)  |  Bone (26)  |  Brain (106)  |  Break (18)  |  Composition (30)  |  Condition (68)  |  Constant (14)  |  Constituent (8)  |  Environment (75)  |  Exaggeration (4)  |  Excretion (3)  |  Failure (58)  |  Fire (59)  |  Foreign (8)  |  Gland (7)  |  Ideal (26)  |  Immediate (8)  |  Incidental (2)  |  Infinite (39)  |  Innumerable (10)  |  Internal (6)  |  Keep (9)  |  Kidney (7)  |  Loaf (2)  |  Major (6)  |  Manufacturing (16)  |  Master (19)  |  Mouth (10)  |  Muscle (24)  |  Operation (53)  |  Performance (16)  |  Proper (9)  |  Removal (8)  |  Responsibility (24)  |  Reverse (6)  |  Sleep (25)  |  State (43)  |  Substance (39)  |  Survival (32)  |  Synthesis (23)  |  Task (32)  |  Variety (29)

The step between practical and theoretic science, is the step between the miner and the geologist, the apocathecary and the chemist.
Modern Painters (1852), Part 3, 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Apothecary (5)  |  Applied Science (16)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Miner (2)

There is in the chemist a form of thought by which all ideas become visible in the mind as strains of an imagined piece of music. This form of thought is developed in Faraday in the highest degree, whence it arises that to one who is not acquainted with this method of thinking, his scientific works seem barren and dry, and merely a series of researches strung together, while his oral discourse when he teaches or explains is intellectual, elegant, and of wonderful clearness.
Autobiography, 257-358. Quoted in William H. Brock, Justus Von Liebig (2002), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Clarity (24)  |  Michael Faraday (58)  |  Idea (226)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Lecture (31)  |  Music (26)  |  Research (360)  |  Teaching (64)  |  Thought (170)

To the Philosopher, the Physician, the Meteorologist, and the Chemist, there is perhaps no subject more attractive than that of Ozone.
Ozone and Antozone (1873), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Ozone (3)  |  Philosopher (67)  |  Physician (172)

Unless the chemist learns the language of mathematics, he will become a provincial and the higher branches of chemical work, that require reason as well as skill, will gradually pass out of his hands.
Quoted in Journal of the Chemical Society, 1929, 6, 254.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (367)

We have no knowledge, that is, no general principles drawn from the contemplation of particular facts, but what has been built up by pleasure, and exists in us by pleasure alone. The Man of Science, the Chemist and Mathematician, whatever difficulties and disgusts they may have had to struggle with, know and feel this. However painful may be the objects with which the Anatomist's knowledge is connected, he feels that his knowledge is pleasure; and where he has no pleasure he has no knowledge.
In Lyrical Ballads: With Pastoral and Other Poems (3rd Ed., 1802), Vol. 1, Preface, xxxiv.
Science quotes on:  |  Anatomist (8)  |  Connection (39)  |  Contemplation (17)  |  Difficulty (76)  |  Disgust (2)  |  Fact (325)  |  General (26)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Man Of Science (11)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Pain (49)  |  Pleasure (52)  |  Principle (97)  |  Struggle (18)

We may affirm of Mr. Buffon, that which has been said of the chemists of old; though he may have failed in attaining his principal aim, of establishing a theory, yet he has brought together such a multitude of facts relative to the history of the earth, and the nature of its fossil productions, that curiosity finds ample compensation, even while it feels the want of conviction.
In History of the Earth and Animated Nature (1774, 1847), Vol. 1, 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Comte Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (32)  |  Compensation (2)  |  Conviction (26)  |  Curiosity (52)  |  Fact (325)  |  Fossil (73)  |  Multitude (6)  |  Nature (534)  |  Theory (353)

We speak erroneously of “artificial” materials, “synthetics”, and so forth. The basis for this erroneous terminology is the notion that Nature has made certain things which we call natural, and everything else is “man-made”, ergo artificial. But what one learns in chemistry is that Nature wrote all the rules of structuring; man does not invent chemical structuring rules; he only discovers the rules. All the chemist can do is find out what Nature permits, and any substances that are thus developed or discovered are inherently natural. It is very important to remember that.
From 'The Comprehensive Man', Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure (1963), 75-76.
Science quotes on:  |  Artificial (13)  |  Basis (25)  |  Chemical (38)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Development (122)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Error (152)  |  Find (50)  |  Importance (106)  |  Inherent (17)  |  Invention (174)  |  Learning (130)  |  Man-Made (3)  |  Material (60)  |  Natural (48)  |  Nature (534)  |  Notion (15)  |  Permit (8)  |  Remember (19)  |  Rule (52)  |  Structure (104)  |  Substance (39)  |  Synthetic (5)  |  Terminology (4)  |  Writing (50)

What chemists took from Dalton was not new experimental laws but a new way of practicing chemistry (he himself called it the 'new system of chemical philosophy'), and this proved so rapidly fruitful that only a few of the older chemists in France and Britain were able to resist it.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), 133.
Science quotes on:  |  John Dalton (20)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Law (273)

When the chemist makes gloves, he usually cannot help making them in pairs for both hands.
'The Origin of Life: A Chemist’s Fantasy', Science Progress, 1912, 7, 318.

Will fluorine ever have practical applications?
It is very difficult to answer this question. I may, however, say in all sincerity that I gave this subject little thought when I undertook my researches, and I believe that all the chemists whose attempts preceded mine gave it no more consideration.
A scientific research is a search after truth, and it is only after discovery that the question of applicability can be usefully considered.
Proceedings of the Royal Institution (1897). In Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution to July 1897 (1898), 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Application (72)  |  Attempt (41)  |  Consideration (38)  |  Difficulty (76)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Fluorine (3)  |  Practical (30)  |  Predecessor (13)  |  Question (159)  |  Research (360)  |  Search (40)  |  Sincerity (2)  |  Thought (170)  |  Truth (450)

[The popular impression about some chemists is that] the aquafortis and the chlorine of the laboratories have as effectually bleached the poetry out of them, as they destroy the colours of tissues exposed to their action.
'The alleged Antagonism between poetry and Chemistry.' In Jesse Aitken Wilson, Memoirs of George Wilson. Quoted in Natural History Society of Montreal, 'Reviews and Notices of Books,' The Canadian Naturalist and Geologist (1861) Vol. 6, 391.
Science quotes on:  |  Poetry (63)

[While in school, before university,] I, like almost all chemists I know, was also attracted by the smells and bangs that endowed chemistry with that slight but charismatic element of danger which is now banned from the classroom. I agree with those of us who feel that the wimpish chemistry training that schools are now forced to adopt is one possible reason that chemistry is no longer attracting as many talented and adventurous youngsters as it once did. If the decline in hands-on science education is not redressed, I doubt that we shall survive the 21st century.
Nobel laureate autobiography in Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures 1996 (1997), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  21st Century (3)  |  Adoption (5)  |  Adventure (19)  |  Agreement (18)  |  Attraction (19)  |  Ban (6)  |  Bang (2)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Classroom (2)  |  Danger (32)  |  Decline (6)  |  Doubt (67)  |  Element (68)  |  Feeling (47)  |  Force (75)  |  Reason (173)  |  Science Education (10)  |  Smell (9)  |  Survive (4)  |  Talent (19)  |  Training (21)  |  Youngster (2)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Custom Quotations Search - custom search within only our quotations pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Author Icon
who invites your feedback

Today in Science History

Most Popular

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.
- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton