Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by forces impressed.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index G > Category: Genius

Genius Quotes (106 quotes)

“Le génie n'est qu'une longue patience”, a dit Buffon. Cela est bien incomplet. Le génie, c'est l'impatience dans les idées et la patience dans les faits : une imagination vive et un jugement calme; quelque chose comme un liquide en ébullition dans un vase qui reste toujours froid.
“Genius is just enduring patience,” said Buffon. This is far from complete. Genius is impatience in ideas and patience with the facts: a lively imagination and a calm judgment, rather like a liquid boiling in a cup that remains cold.
In Recueil d'Œuvres de Léo Errera: Botanique Générale (1908), 198. Google translation by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Aphorism (13)  |  Boiling (3)  |  Buffon_Georges (2)  |  Calm (6)  |  Cold (26)  |  Cup (4)  |  Enduring (5)  |  Fact (361)  |  Idea (260)  |  Imagination (144)  |  Impatience (5)  |  Incomplete (7)  |  Judgment (41)  |  Like (14)  |  Liquid (13)  |  Lively (3)  |  Patience (23)  |  Remaining (10)  |  Vivid (10)

Aristoteles quidem ait: 'Omnes ingeniosos melancholicos esse.'
Aristotle says that all men of genius are melancholy.
In Hannis Taylor and Mary Lillie Taylor Hunt, Cicero: a Sketch of His Life and Works (2nd Ed., 1918), 597.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristotle (104)  |  Melancholy (4)

Étant la plus saisissante manifestation de l'art des constructions métalliques par lesquelles nos ingénieurs se sont illustrés en Europe, elle est une des formes les plus frappantes de notre génie national moderne.
Being the most striking manifestation of the art of metal structures by which our engineers have shown in Europe, it [the Eiffel Tower] is one of the most striking of our modern national genius.
Quoted in review of the G. Eiffel's book La Tour Eiffel (1902). In Nature (30 Jan 1902), 65, 292. Google translation of the original French.
Science quotes on:  |  Eiffel Tower (9)  |  Engineer (47)  |  Europe (17)  |  Nation (54)

La Patience cherche et le Génie trouve.
Patience seeks; Genius finds.
Quoted as from an unnamed “French writer” in Thomas Moore, Memoirs of the life of the Right Honorable Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1825), Vol. 1, 209. Translation by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Find (66)  |  Patience (23)  |  Seek (18)

Le génie n'est qu'une grande aptitude à la patience.
Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience.
[Also seen as “Genius is simply patience carried to the extreme,” or shortened as “Genius is patience.”]
Inaugural speech at the French Academy (1753). Quoted in Hans Theodore David, Arthur Mendel and Christoph Wolff, The New Bach Reader (1998), 20. The short form “Genius is patience.” is also sometimes seen attributed (incorrectly?) to Isaac Newton, for example, in Lady Isabel Burton, The Life of Captain Sir Richd F. Burton (1893), Vol. 1, 577. Webmaster has found no primary source from Newton. Also seen attributed to Santiago Ramon y Cajal, but he was only quoting Buffon, translated as “Genius is simply patience carried to the extreme,” in Advice for a Young Investigator (1999), 39.

Majestatis naturæ by ingenium
Genius equal to the majesty of nature.
Inscribed ordered by King Louis XV for the base of a statue of Buffon placed at Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris. In M. Guizot, trans. by Robert Black, A Popular History of France from the Earliest Times, Vol. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Comte Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (33)  |  Nature (600)  |  Statue (7)

Tel est le privilége du génie: il aperçoit, il saisit des rapports, là où des yeux vulgaires lie voient que des faits isolés.
Such is the privilege of genius; it perceives, it seizes relations where vulgar eyes see only isolated facts.
In François Arago, trans. by William Henry Smyth, Baden Powell and Robert Grant, 'Fourier', Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men (1859), Vol. 1, 412.
Science quotes on:  |  Eye (86)  |  Fact (361)  |  Isolation (18)  |  Perception (27)  |  Privilege (10)  |  Relationship (42)  |  See (49)  |  Vulgar (4)

A genius is one who shoots at something no one else can see—and hits it.
In M. P. Singh, Quote Unquote (2007), 148.

A harmless and a buoyant cheerfulness are not infrequent concomitants of genius; and we are never more deceived than when we mistake gravity for greatness, solemnity for science, and pomposity for erudition.
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words (1865), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Happiness (61)

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.
Politics, Law and Ritual in Tribal Society (1965), 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (998)

A work of genius is something like the pie in the nursery song, in which the four and twenty blackbirds are baked. When the pie is opened, the birds begin to sing. Hereupon three fourths of the company run away in a fright; and then after a time, feeling ashamed, they would fain excuse themselves by declaring, the pie stank so, they could not sit near it. Those who stay behind, the men of taste and epicures, say one to another, We came here to eat. What business have birds, after they have been baked, to be alive and singing? This will never do. We must put a stop to so dangerous an innovation: for who will send a pie to an oven, if the birds come to life there? We must stand up to defend the rights of all the ovens in England. Let us have dead birds..dead birds for our money. So each sticks his fork into a bird, and hacks and mangles it a while, and then holds it up and cries, Who will dare assert that there is any music in this bird’s song?
Co-author with his brother Augustus William Hare Guesses At Truth, By Two Brothers: Second Edition: With Large Additions (1848), Second Series, 86. (The volume is introduced as “more than three fourths new.” This quote is identified as by Julius; Augustus had died in 1833.)
Science quotes on:  |  Assertion (17)  |  Bird (60)  |  Business (34)  |  Cry (5)  |  Dangerous (14)  |  Dare (8)  |  Death (199)  |  Defend (7)  |  Eating (16)  |  England (21)  |  Excuse (6)  |  Fork (2)  |  Fright (2)  |  Hacking (2)  |  Holding (3)  |  Innovation (31)  |  Life (524)  |  Money (91)  |  Music (31)  |  Nursery (2)  |  Opening (11)  |  Oven (2)  |  Right (54)  |  Run (12)  |  French Saying (57)  |  Sing (2)  |  Song (8)  |  Standing (8)  |  Stink (2)  |  Stop (30)  |  Taste (19)  |  Themself (2)

All the human culture, all the results of art, science and technology that we see before us today, are almost exclusively the creative product of the Aryan. This very fact admits of the not unfounded inference that he alone was the founder of all higher humanity, therefore representing the prototype of all that we understand by the word 'man.' He is the Prometheus of mankind from whose shining brow the divine spark of genius has sprung at all times, forever kindling anew that fire of knowledge which illuminated the night of silent mysteries and thus caused man to climb the path to mastery over the other beings of the earth ... It was he who laid the foundations and erected the walls of every great structure in human culture.
Mein Kampf (1925-26), American Edition (1943), 290. In William Lawrence Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1990), 86-87.
Science quotes on:  |  Culture (47)  |  Knowledge (749)  |  Mankind (123)  |  Mystery (76)

Arts and sciences in one and the same century have arrived at great perfection; and no wonder, since every age has a kind of universal genius, which inclines those that live in it to some particular studies; the work then, being pushed on by many hands, must go forward.
In Samuel Austin Allibone, Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay (1880), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Century (48)  |  Perfection (45)  |  Progress (223)  |  Science And Art (106)  |  Study (189)  |  Wonder (73)  |  Work (247)

Attention makes the genius; all learning, fancy, and science depend on it. Newton traced back his discoveries to its unwearied employment. It builds bridges, opens new worlds, and heals diseases; without it Taste is useless, and the beauties of literature are unobserved; as the rarest flowers bloom in vain, if the eye be not fixed upon the bed.
Pleasures, Objects, and Advantages of Literature (1855), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Isaac Newton (206)

Be you in what line of life you may, it will be amongst your misfortunes if you have not time properly to attend to [money management]; for. ... want of attention to pecuniary matters … has impeded the progress of science and of genius itself.
Advice to Young Men (1833), 50.
Science quotes on:  |  Manage (5)  |  Misfortune (3)  |  Money (91)  |  Progress (223)  |  Progress Of Science (18)  |  Science (998)

Break the chains of your prejudices and take up the torch of experience, and you will honour nature in the way she deserves, instead of drawing derogatory conclusions from the ignorance in which she has left you. Simply open your eyes and ignore what you cannot understand, and you will see that a labourer whose mind and knowledge extend no further than the edges of his furrow is no different essentially from the greatest genius, as would have been proved by dissecting the brains of Descartes and Newton; you will be convinced that the imbecile or the idiot are animals in human form, in the same way as the clever ape is a little man in another form; and that, since everything depends absolutely on differences in organisation, a well-constructed animal who has learnt astronomy can predict an eclipse, as he can predict recovery or death when his genius and good eyesight have benefited from some time at the school of Hippocrates and at patients' bedsides.
Machine Man (1747), in Ann Thomson (ed.), Machine Man and Other Writings (1996), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Ape (26)  |  Astronomy (115)  |  Death (199)  |  René Descartes (33)  |  Eclipse (12)  |  Experience (151)  |  Hippocrates (37)  |  Idiot (10)  |  Ignorance (118)  |  Imbecile (3)  |  Knowledge (749)  |  Mind (307)  |  Nature (600)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (206)  |  Patient (61)  |  Prejudice (32)  |  Recovery (11)

Buffon said unreservedly, "Genius is simply patience carried to the extreme." To those who asked how he achieved fame he replied: "By spending forty years of my life bent over my writing desk.”
From Reglas y Consejos sobre Investigacíon Cientifica: Los tónicos de la voluntad. (1897), as translated by Neely and Larry W. Swanson, in Advice for a Young Investigator (1999), 39.
Science quotes on:  |  Asked (2)  |  Bent (2)  |  Comte Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (33)  |  Carried (2)  |  Desk (7)  |  Extreme (20)  |  Fame (23)  |  Life (524)  |  Patience (23)  |  Replied (2)  |  Simply (2)  |  Spending (6)  |  Writing (61)

Chance... in the accommodation peculiar to sensorimotor intelligence, plays the same role as in scientific discovery. It is only useful to the genius and its revelations remain meaningless to the unskilled.
The Origin of Intelligence in the Child (1936), trans. Margaret Cook (1953), 303.
Science quotes on:  |  Accommodation (4)  |  Chance (85)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Intelligence (89)  |  Meaningless (7)  |  Peculiar (10)  |  Play (22)  |  Revelation (25)  |  Role (18)  |  Unskilled (3)  |  Usefulness (55)

Creative geniuses are a slap-happy lot. Treat Them with respect.
In The Novel (1991), 53.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (55)  |  Respect (26)  |  Treatment (63)

Criticism is as often a trade as a science, requiring, as it does, more health than wit, more labour than capacity, more practice than genius.
In John Timbs (ed.), Laconics; or, The Best Words of the Best Authors (1929), 156.
Science quotes on:  |  Capacity (22)  |  Criticism (36)  |  Health (98)  |  Labour (30)  |  Practice (28)  |  Require (6)  |  Science (998)  |  Trade (12)  |  Wit (14)

Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
Aphorisms (1775-1779) trans. Franz H. Mautner and Henry Hatfield. In Fred R. Shapiro and Joseph Epstein, The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), 459:3.

Execution is the chariot of genius.
Marginal note he wrote in his copy of the 'Discourses' of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1798). In The Real Blake (1908), 378. On page 371, the editor explains in a footnote that these marginalia of Blake date to either 1820 or perhaps 1810. In William Blake, David V. Erdman (ed.), The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake (2008), 643, Blake's note is identified as being written on page 15 and is a comment to Reynold's text, “...frivolous ambition of being thought masters of execution,...”
Science quotes on:  |  Execution (6)

From one sublime genius—NEWTON—more light has proceeded than the labour of a thousand years preceding had been able to produce.
Familiar Letters on Chemistry (1851), 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Isaac Newton (206)

Genius always gives its best at first, prudence at last.
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Best (61)  |  First (54)  |  Last (14)

Genius finds its own road and carries its own lamp.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 120:22.

Genius is an immense capacity for taking trouble.
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Capacity (22)  |  Effort (51)

Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than a whole one.
In M. P. Singh, Quote Unquote (2007), 148.

Genius is not inspired. Inspiration is perspiration.
As quoted in 'The Anecdotal Side of Edison', Ladies Home Journal (Apr 1898), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Inspiration (33)  |  Perspiration (2)

Genius is nourished from within and without.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 120:45.

Genius is rarely able to give any account of its own processes.
From The Fortnightly Review (1865). Reprinted in The Principles of Success in Literature (1901), 98.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (22)  |  Process (106)  |  Rarely (2)

Genius is supposed to be a power of producing excellences which are put of the reach of the rules of art: a power which no precepts can teach, and which no industry can acquire.
From 'A Discourse Delivered to the Students of the Royal Academy, on the Distribution of Prizes' (10 Dec 1774), in Seven Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy (1778), 202-203.
Science quotes on:  |  Acquire (7)  |  Art (94)  |  Excellence (18)  |  Industry (56)  |  Precept (3)  |  Reach (32)  |  Rule (60)  |  Teaching (69)

Genius is two percent inspiration, ninety-eight percent perspiration.
Francis Arthur Jones, The Life of Thomas Alva Edison: Sixty Years of an Inventor’s Life (1932), 371.
Science quotes on:  |  Motto (15)  |  Perspiration (2)

Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.
Philistine: A Periodical of Protest (Sep 1906), 23, No. 4, 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Stupidity (16)

Genius unexerted is no more genius than a bushel of acorns is a forest of oaks.
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  Acorn (3)  |  Bushel (3)  |  Effort (51)  |  Forest (62)  |  Oak (8)

Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
In Psychology (1904), 328.
Science quotes on:  |  Faculty (21)  |  Perception (27)  |  Truth (495)

Great triumphs of engineering genius—the locomotive, the truss bridge, the steel rail— ... are rather invention than engineering proper.
From The Economic Theory of the Location of Railways (1887, 1914), 1.
Science quotes on:  |  Bridge (14)  |  Engineering (71)  |  Great (84)  |  Invention (196)  |  Locomotive (6)  |  Proper (14)  |  Rail (2)  |  Steel (6)

His genius now began to mount upwards apace & shine out with more strength, & as he told me himself, he excelled particularly in making verses... In everything he undertook he discovered an application equal to the pregnancy of his parts & exceeded the most sanguine expectations his master had conceived of him.
[About Newton's recollection of being a schoolboy at Grantham, written by Conduitt about 65 years after that time.]
Quoted in Richard Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1980), 65. Footnoted Keynes MS 130.2, p. 32-3, in the collection at King's College, Cambridge.
Science quotes on:  |  Biography (201)  |  Expectation (33)  |  Verse (7)

His mind illumined the Past and the Future and wrought greatly for the present. By his genius distant lands converse and men sail unafraid upon the deep.
Inscription on the tomb of Reginald and Helen Fessenden in Bermuda. In Frederick Seitz, The Cosmic Inventor: Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866-1932) (1999), 61, being Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Held at Philadelphia For Promoting Useful Knowledge, Vol. 86, Pt. 6.
Science quotes on:  |  Converse (2)  |  Deep (22)  |  Distance (32)  |  Fear (58)  |  Future (126)  |  Illumination (12)  |  Land (34)  |  Men (14)  |  Mind (307)  |  Ocean (59)  |  Past (57)  |  Present (46)  |  Sail (4)  |  Sailor (2)

I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.
Statement made in 1974, quoted in People magazine. In Thomas T. K. Zung, Buckminster Fuller: Anthology for the New Millenium (2002), 174.

I can't tell you if genius is hereditary, because heaven has granted me no offspring.
In Patricia Harris and David Lyon, 1001 Greatest Things Ever Said About Massachusetts (2007), 381
Science quotes on:  |  Grant (9)  |  Heaven (69)  |  Offspring (6)  |  Tell (13)

I have taken the stand that nobody can be always wrong, but it does seem to me that I have approximated so highly that I am nothing short of a negative genius.
Wild Talents (1932). In The Complete Books of Charles Fort (1975), 1037.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (161)

If my impressions are correct, our educational planing mill cuts down all the knots of genius, and reduces the best of the men who go through it to much the same standard.
The Reminiscences of an Astronomer (1903), 75.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (190)

If there ever was a misnomer, it is “exact science.” Science has always been full of mistakes. The present day is no exception. And our mistakes are good mistakes; they require a genius to correct. Of course, we do not see our own mistakes.
In Edward Teller, Wendy Teller and Wilson Talley, Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics (1991, 2013), 37.
Science quotes on:  |  Correction (23)  |  Exact Science (2)  |  Exactness (15)  |  Full (13)  |  Good (97)  |  Mistake (45)  |  Requirement (35)  |  Seeing (39)

In science the successors stand upon the shoulders of their predecessors; where one man of supreme genius has invented a method, a thousand lesser men can apply it. ... In art nothing worth doing can be done without genius; in science even a very moderate capacity can contribute to a supreme achievement.
Essay, 'The Place Of Science In A Liberal Education.' In Mysticism and Logic: and Other Essays (1919), 41.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (80)  |  Application (78)  |  Art (94)  |  Capacity (22)  |  Invention (196)  |  Method (91)  |  Moderate (2)  |  Predecessor (14)  |  Science (998)  |  Successor (5)  |  Supreme (8)

In scientific matters ... the greatest discoverer differs from the most arduous imitator and apprentice only in degree, whereas he differs in kind from someone whom nature has endowed for fine art. But saying this does not disparage those great men to whom the human race owes so much in contrast to those whom nature has endowed for fine art. For the scientists' talent lies in continuing to increase the perfection of our cognitions and on all the dependent benefits, as well as in imparting that same knowledge to others; and in these respects they are far superior to those who merit the honour of being called geniuses. For the latter's art stops at some point, because a boundary is set for it beyond which it cannot go and which has probably long since been reached and cannot be extended further.
The Critique of Judgement (1790), trans. J. C. Meredith (1991), 72.
Science quotes on:  |  Apprentice (3)  |  Benefit (29)  |  Boundary (11)  |  Cognition (2)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Honour (22)  |  Imitator (2)  |  Knowledge (749)  |  Perfection (45)  |  Science And Art (106)

In war, science has proven itself an evil genius; it has made war more terrible than it ever was before. Man used to be content to slaughter his fellowmen on a single plane—the earth’s surface. Science has taught him to go down into the water and shoot up from below and to go up into the clouds and shoot down from above, thus making the battlefield three times a bloody as it was before; but science does not teach brotherly love. Science has made war so hellish that civilization was about to commit suicide; and now we are told that newly discovered instruments of destruction will make the cruelties of the late war seem trivial in comparison with the cruelties of wars that may come in the future.
Proposed summation written for the Scopes Monkey Trial (1925), in Genevieve Forbes Herrick and John Origen Herrick, The Life of William Jennings Bryan (1925), 405. This speech was prepared for delivery at the trial, but was never heard there, as both sides mutually agreed to forego arguments to the jury.
Science quotes on:  |  Aircraft (4)  |  Battlefield (2)  |  Brother (9)  |  Civilization (101)  |  Contentment (8)  |  Cruelty (7)  |  Destruction (59)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Earth (277)  |  Evil (34)  |  Future (126)  |  Instrument (43)  |  Love (71)  |  Proof (149)  |  Science (998)  |  Submarine (5)  |  Suicide (12)  |  Surface (42)  |  Trivial (15)  |  War (88)  |  Water (142)

Intelligence is not creative; judgment is not creative. If a sculptor is nothing but skill and mind, his hands will be without genius.
Translation by Lewis Galantière of Pilote de Guerre (1941) as Flight to Arras (1942, 2008), 130. A different translation is found in Jason Merchey, Values of the Wise: Humanity's Highest Aspirations (2004), 240: “Neither intelligence nor judgment are creative. If a scupltor is nothing but science and intelligence, his hands will have no talent.”
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (55)  |  Hand (51)  |  Intelligence (89)  |  Judgment (41)  |  Mind (307)  |  Sculptor (4)  |  Skill (33)

Invention is an Heroic thing, and plac'd above the reach of a low, and vulgar Genius. It requires an active, a bold, a nimble, a restless mind: a thousand difficulties must be contemn'd with which a mean heart would be broken: many attempts must be made to no purpose: much Treasure must sometimes be scatter'd without any return: much violence, and vigour of thoughts must attend it: some irregularities, and excesses must be granted it, that would hardly be pardon'd by the severe Rules of Prudence.
The History of the Royal Society (1667), 392.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (53)  |  Attention (41)  |  Boldness (2)  |  Difficulty (83)  |  Excess (5)  |  Grant (9)  |  Heroism (2)  |  Invention (196)  |  Irregularity (7)  |  Prudence (3)  |  Restlessness (2)  |  Rule (60)  |  Thought (198)  |  Treasure (19)  |  Vigour (6)  |  Violence (5)  |  Vulgar (4)

Inventive genius requires pleasurable mental activity as a condition for its vigorous exercise. “Necessity is the mother of invention” is a silly proverb. “Necessity is the mother of futile dodges” is much closer to the truth. The basis of growth of modern invention is science, and science is almost wholly the outgrowth of pleasurable intellectual curiosity.
The Aims of Education and other Essays (1929, 1967), 45.
Science quotes on:  |  Curiosity (62)  |  Dodge (2)  |  Futile (3)  |  Intellect (116)  |  Invention (196)  |  Mother (30)  |  Mother Of Invention (6)  |  Necessity (89)  |  Pleasure (65)  |  Progress (223)  |  Proverb (18)

It is this ideal of progress through cumulative effort rather than through genius—progress by organised effort, progress which does not wait for some brilliant stroke, some lucky discovery, or the advent of some superman, has been the chief gift of science to social philosophy.
Address to 48th annual summer convention of the American Institute of Electriccal Engineers, Cleveland (21 Jun 1932), abridged in 'The Rôle of the Engineer', The Electrical Journal (1932), 109, 223.
Science quotes on:  |  Advent (3)  |  Brilliant (8)  |  Chief (14)  |  Cumulative (6)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Effort (51)  |  Gift (30)  |  Ideal (27)  |  Lucky (3)  |  Organization (58)  |  Philosophy (145)  |  Progress (223)  |  Science (998)  |  Social (20)  |  Stroke (5)  |  Superman (2)  |  Wait (19)

Let him who so wishes take pleasure in boring us with all the wonders of nature: let one spend his life observing insects, another counting the tiny bones in the hearing membrane of certain fish, even in measuring, if you will, how far a flea can jump, not to mention so many other wretched objects of study; for myself, who am curious only about philosophy, who am sorry only not to be able to extend its horizons, active nature will always be my sole point of view; I love to see it from afar, in its breadth and its entirety, and not in specifics or in little details, which, although to some extent necessary in all the sciences, are generally the mark of little genius among those who devote themselves to them.
'L'Homme Plante', in Oeuvres Philosophiques de La Mettrie (1796), Vol. 2, 70-1. Jacques Roger, The Life Sciences in Eighteenth-Century French Thought, edited by Keith R. Benson and trans. Robert Ellrich (1997), 377.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (29)  |  Ear (14)  |  Flea (6)  |  Insect (42)  |  Measurement (122)  |  Nature (600)  |  Observation (293)  |  Philosophy (145)

Many a genius has been slow of growth. Oaks that flourish for a thousand years do not spring up into beauty like a reed.
In The Spanish Drama: Lope de Vega and Calderon (1846), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (107)  |  Flourishing (5)  |  Growth (75)  |  Oak (8)  |  Reed (3)  |  Spring (23)  |  Thousand (43)  |  Year (87)

Men give me some credit for genius. All the genius I have lies in this: When I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. I explore it in all its bearings. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.
Attributed as a comment to a friend. In J. C. Thomas, Manual of Useful Information (1893), 108.
Science quotes on:  |  Thought (198)

Mr Edison gave America just what was needed at that moment in history. They say that when people think of me, they think of my assembly line. Mr. Edison, you built an assembly line which brought together the genius of invention, science and industry.
Henry Ford in conversation Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone (1931), quoted as a recollection of the author, in James Newton, Uncommon Friends: Life with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel & Charles Lindbergh (1987), 31. The quote is not cited from a print source. However, in the introduction the author said he “kept a diary in which I noted times and places, key phrases, and vivid impressions.” He also “relied on publications by and about my friends, which jogged my memory.&rdquo. Webmaster has found no earlier record of this quote, and thus suggests the author may have the gist of what Ford said, but is not quoting the exact words uttered by Ford, although quote marks are used to state Ford's remark.
Science quotes on:  |  Assembly Line (2)  |  Thomas Edison (30)  |  Industry (56)  |  Invention (196)  |  Science (998)

My view, the skeptical one, holds that we may be as far away from an understanding of elementary particles as Newton's successors were from quantum mechanics. Like them, we have two tremendous tasks ahead of us. One is to study and explore the mathematics of the existing theories. The existing quantum field-theories may or may not be correct, but they certainly conceal mathematical depths which will take the genius of an Euler or a Hamilton to plumb. Our second task is to press on with the exploration of the wide range of physical phenomena of which the existing theories take no account. This means pressing on with experiments in the fashionable area of particle physics. Outstanding among the areas of physics which have been left out of recent theories of elementary particles are gravitation and cosmology
In Scientific American (Sep 1958). As cited in '50, 100 & 150 years ago', Scientific American (Sep 2008), 299, No. 3, 14.
Science quotes on:  |  Account (22)  |  Certainly (3)  |  Concealing (2)  |  Correctness (10)  |  Cosmology (13)  |  Elementary (13)  |  Leonhard Euler (8)  |  Existing (5)  |  Experiment (412)  |  Exploration (56)  |  Fashionable (4)  |  Gravitation (11)  |  Mathematics (405)  |  Particle (53)  |  Particle Physics (5)  |  Phenomena (6)  |  Physical (39)  |  Quantum Field Theory (2)  |  Quantum Mechanics (21)  |  Recent (15)  |  Skeptic (6)  |  Study (189)  |  Successor (5)  |  Task (35)  |  Theory (397)  |  Tremendous (3)  |  Understanding (256)

Neurosis has an abosolute genius for malingering. There is no illness which cannot counterfeit perfectly … If it is capable of deceiving the doctor, how should it fail to deceive the patient.
'Le Côté de Guermantes', À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27).
Science quotes on:  |  Deceive (2)  |  Disease (174)  |  Doctor (57)  |  Illness (10)  |  Neurosis (6)  |  Patient (61)

Next came the patent laws. These began in England in 1624, and in this country with the adoption of our Constitution. Before then any man [might] instantly use what another man had invented, so that the inventor had no special advantage from his own invention. The patent system changed this, secured to the inventor for a limited time exclusive use of his inventions, and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery and production of new and useful things.
Lecture 'Discoveries, Inventions and Improvements' (22 Feb 1860) in John George Nicolay and John Hay (eds.), Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln (1894), Vol. 5, 113. In Eugene C. Gerhart, Quote it Completely! (1998), 802.
Science quotes on:  |  Advantage (23)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Exclusive (6)  |  Interest (96)  |  Invention (196)  |  Patent (20)  |  Production (77)  |  Usefulness (55)

No science is speedily learned by the noblest genius without tuition.
Isaac Watts. Quoted in Adam Wooléver (ed.), Encyclopædia of Quotations: A Treasury of Wisdom, Wit and Humor, Odd Comparisons and Proverbs (6th ed, 1876), 128.
Science quotes on:  |  Education (190)  |  Learning (143)  |  Science (998)  |  Speed (12)  |  Teaching (69)

Ohm (a distinguished mathematician, be it noted) brought into order a host of puzzling facts connecting electromotive force and electric current in conductors, which all previous electricians had only succeeded in loosely binding together qualitatively under some rather vague statements. Even as late as 20 years ago, “quantity” and “tension” were much used by men who did not fully appreciate Ohm's law. (Is it not rather remarkable that some of Germany's best men of genius should have been, perhaps, unfairly treated? Ohm; Mayer; Reis; even von Helmholtz has mentioned the difficulty he had in getting recognised. But perhaps it is the same all the world over.)
Science quotes on:  |  Conductor (7)  |  Current (19)  |  Difficulty (83)  |  Distinguished (4)  |  Electricity (87)  |  Fact (361)  |  Germany (7)  |  Hermann von Helmholtz (18)  |  Man Of Science (11)  |  Mathematician (126)  |  Robert Mayer (9)  |  Georg Simon Ohm (2)  |  Puzzle (19)  |  Recognition (46)  |  Johann Philipp Reis (2)  |  Treatment (63)  |  Unfair (4)  |  World (294)

One Science only will one Genius fit;
So vast is Art, so narrow Human Wit.
An Essay on Criticism (1709), 6.

Only when Genius is married to Science can the highest results be produced.
Education: Intellectual, Moral, and Physical (1889), 81.
Science quotes on:  |  Highest (6)  |  Production (77)  |  Result (149)  |  Science (998)

Organization is simply the means by which the acts of ordinary men can be made to add up to extraordinary results. To this idea of progress that does not wait on some lucky break, some chance discovery, or some rare stroke of genius, but instead is achieved through systematic, cumulative effort, the engineer has contributed brilliantly.
In A Professional Guide for Young Engineers (1949, 1967), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievment (2)  |  Act (35)  |  Add (6)  |  Brilliance (7)  |  Chance (85)  |  Cumulative (6)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Effort (51)  |  Engineer (47)  |  Extraordinary (20)  |  Idea (260)  |  Luck (23)  |  Means (31)  |  Ordinary (24)  |  Organization (58)  |  Progress (223)  |  Rare (19)  |  Result (149)  |  Simply (2)  |  Stroke (5)  |  Systematic (9)  |  Waiting (6)

Patience must first explore the depths where the pearl lies hid, before Genius boldly dives and brings it up full into light.
In Memoirs of the life of the Right Honorable Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1825), Vol. 1, 209.
Science quotes on:  |  Depth (12)  |  Dive (3)  |  Explore (4)  |  Hidden (21)  |  Light (135)  |  Patience (23)  |  Pearl (2)

Philosophy becomes poetry, and science imagination, in the enthusiasm of genius.
Literary Character of Men of Genius, Chap. 12. In In Jehiel Keeler Hoyt, The Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1996), 270.
Science quotes on:  |  Enthusiasm (23)  |  Imagination (144)  |  Philosophy (145)  |  Poetry (70)

Problems in human engineering will receive during the coming years the same genius and attention which the nineteenth century gave to the more material forms of engineering.
We have laid good foundations for industrial prosperity, now we want to assure the happiness and growth of the workers through vocational education, vocational guidance, and wisely managed employment departments. A great field for industrial experimentation and statemanship is opening up.
Letter printed in Engineering Magazine (Jan 1917), cover. Quoted in an article by Meyer Bloomfield, 'Relation of Foremen to the Working Force', reproduced in Daniel Bloomfield, Selected Articles on Employment Management (1919), 301.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (41)  |  Engineering (71)  |  Human (198)

Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say, “How did he do it? He must be a genius!”
In 'Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught', Indiscrete Thoughts (2008), 202.
Science quotes on:  |  Advice (24)  |  Constantly (5)  |  Dormant (2)  |  Dozen (3)  |  Favorite (9)  |  Richard P. Feynman (45)  |  Fond (3)  |  Hear (5)  |  Help (24)  |  Hit (5)  |  Keep (12)  |  Mind (307)  |  New (134)  |  People (73)  |  Present (46)  |  Problem (200)  |  Read (32)  |  Result (149)  |  State (43)  |  Test (51)  |  Trick (12)  |  Twelve (3)

Science would not be what it is if there had not been a Galileo, a Newton or a Lavoisier, any more than music would be what it is if Bach, Beethoven and Wagner had never lived. The world as we know it is the product of its geniuses—and there may be evil as well as beneficent genius—and to deny that fact, is to stultify all history, whether it be that of the intellectual or the economic world.
What is Science? (1921), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Beethoven (2)  |  Galileo Galilei (68)  |  Intellect (116)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (29)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (206)  |  Science (998)

Scientists like myself merely use their gifts to show up that which already exists, and we look small compared to the artists who create works of beauty out of themselves. If a good fairy came and offered me back my youth, asking me which gifts I would rather have, those to make visible a thing which exists but which no man has ever seen before, or the genius needed to create, in a style of architecture never imagined before, the great Town Hall in which we are dining tonight, I might be tempted to choose the latter.
Nobel Banquet Speech (10 Dec 1962).
Science quotes on:  |  Architecture (25)  |  Beauty (107)  |  Choice (43)  |  Comparison (39)  |  Creation (141)  |  Existence (166)  |  Fairy (3)  |  Gift (30)  |  Offer (5)  |  See (49)  |  Small (42)  |  Temptation (5)  |  Town Hall (2)  |  Visibility (6)

Scientists who dislike constraints on research like to remark that a truly great research worker needs only three pieces of equipment: a pencil, a pieve of paper and a brain. But they quote this maxim more often at academic banquets than at budget hearings.
In Dr. N Sreedharan, Quotations of Wit and Wisdom (2007), 68.
Science quotes on:  |  Money (91)  |  Research (376)

Since biological change occurs slowly and cultural changes occur in every generation, it is futile to try to explain the fleeting phenomena of culture by a racial constant. We can often explain them—in terms of contact with other peoples, of individual genius, of geography—but not by racial differences.
An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (1934), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (155)  |  Culture (47)  |  Difference (142)  |  Geography (16)  |  Race (40)

Talent wears well, genius wears itself out; talent drives a snug brougham in fact; genius, a sun-chariot in fancy.
In Marie Louise De la Ramée, Chandos (1866), 38. Ramée used the pen-name 'Ouida.'
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (361)  |  Fancy (10)  |  Talent (23)

The advancement of agriculture, commerce and manufactures, by all proper means, will not, I trust, need recommendation. But I cannot forbear intimating to you the expediency of giving effectual encouragement as well to the introduction of new and useful inventions from abroad, as to the exertions of skill and genius in producing them at home.
Early suggestion for awarding patent protection. In First Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union (8 Jan 1790).
Science quotes on:  |  Abroad (3)  |  Advancement (27)  |  Agriculture (22)  |  Commerce (10)  |  Encouragement (13)  |  Exertion (8)  |  Expediency (3)  |  Home (22)  |  Introduction (16)  |  Invention (196)  |  Manufacture (5)  |  Means (31)  |  Patent (20)  |  Producing (3)  |  Proper (14)  |  Recommendation (6)  |  Skill (33)  |  Useful (19)

The appearance of Professor Benjamin Peirce, whose long gray hair, straggling grizzled beard and unusually bright eyes sparkling under a soft felt hat, as he walked briskly but rather ungracefully across the college yard, fitted very well with the opinion current among us that we were looking upon a real live genius, who had a touch of the prophet in his make-up.
Writing as a Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, a former student of Peirce, in 'Benjamin Peirce: II. Reminiscences', The American Mathematical Monthly (Jan 1925), 32, No. 1, 5.
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (55)  |  Beard (3)  |  Biography (201)  |  Bright (10)  |  College (15)  |  Eye (86)  |  Gray (3)  |  Hair (12)  |  Hat (5)  |  Opinion (91)  |  Benjamin Peirce (7)  |  Prophet (3)  |  Touch (22)  |  Walk (28)  |  Yard (2)

The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer, but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again.
In The Bird: Its Form and Function (1906), Vol. 1, 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (94)  |  Beauty (107)  |  Destruction (59)  |  Earth (277)  |  Expression (50)  |  Extinction (41)  |  Harmony (29)  |  Heaven (69)  |  Individual (68)  |  Inspiration (33)  |  Life (524)  |  Pass (20)  |  Species (102)  |  Vanishing (7)  |  Work (247)

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
In Lily Splane, Quantum Consciousness (2004), 310
Science quotes on:  |  Stupidity (16)

The essence of modernity is that progress no longer waits on genius; instead we have learned to put our faith in the organized efforts of ordinary men. Science is as old as the race, but the effective organization of science is new. Ancient science, like placer mining, was a pursuit of solitary prospectors. Nuggets of truth were found, but the total wealth of knowledge increased slowly. Modern man began to transform this world when he began to mine the hidden veins of knowledge systematically.
In School and Society (1930), 31, 581.
Science quotes on:  |  Ancient (34)  |  Effective (11)  |  Effort (51)  |  Essence (20)  |  Faith (82)  |  Finding (24)  |  Hidden (21)  |  Increased (2)  |  Knowledge (749)  |  Mining (8)  |  Modern (53)  |  New (134)  |  Old (29)  |  Ordinary (24)  |  Organization (58)  |  Progress (223)  |  Pursuit (39)  |  Race (40)  |  Science (998)  |  Slowly (4)  |  Solitary (7)  |  Systematically (4)  |  Total (15)  |  Transform (4)  |  Truth (495)  |  Vein (6)  |  Waiting (6)  |  Wealth (34)  |  World (294)

The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the clown.
In Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science (1980), 34.
Science quotes on:  |  Christopher Columbus (10)  |  Robert Fulton (7)  |  Implication (9)  |  Laughter (13)  |  Orville Wright (5)

The first and last thing which is required of genius is the love of truth.
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 106.
Science quotes on:  |  First (54)  |  Last (14)  |  Love (71)  |  Truth (495)

The genius of Laplace was a perfect sledge hammer in bursting purely mathematical obstacles; but, like that useful instrument, it gave neither finish nor beauty to the results. In truth, in truism if the reader please, Laplace was neither Lagrange nor Euler, as every student is made to feel. The second is power and symmetry, the third power and simplicity; the first is power without either symmetry or simplicity. But, nevertheless, Laplace never attempted investigation of a subject without leaving upon it the marks of difficulties conquered: sometimes clumsily, sometimes indirectly, always without minuteness of design or arrangement of detail; but still, his end is obtained and the difficulty is conquered.
'Review of "Théorie Analytique des Probabilites" par M. le Marquis de Laplace, 3eme edition. Paris. 1820', Dublin Review (1837), 2, 348.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (107)  |  Clumsiness (2)  |  Design (44)  |  Detail (36)  |  Difficulty (83)  |  Leonhard Euler (8)  |  Instrument (43)  |  Investigation (104)  |  Count Joseph-Louis de Lagrange (9)  |  Pierre-Simon Laplace (47)  |  Mathematics (405)  |  Obstacle (12)  |  Power (119)  |  Result (149)  |  Simplicity (97)  |  Student (64)  |  Symmetry (18)

The man of true genius never lives before his time, he never undertakes impossibilities, and always embarks on his enterprise at the suitable place and period. Though he may catch a glimpse of the coming light as it gilds the mountain top long before it reaches the eyes of his contemporaries, and he may hazard a prediction as to the future, he acts with the present.
Closing Address (19 Mar 1858) at the Exhibition of the Metropolitan Mechanics' Institute, of Washington. Published as a pamphlet by the M.M. Institute (1853). Collected in Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Act (35)  |  Coming (9)  |  Contemporary (11)  |  Enterprise (7)  |  Eye (86)  |  Future (126)  |  Glimpse (3)  |  Hazard (8)  |  Impossibility (39)  |  Life (524)  |  Light (135)  |  Mountain (69)  |  Period (28)  |  Place (40)  |  Prediction (53)  |  Present (46)  |  Suitability (10)  |  Time (201)  |  True (35)  |  Undertake (6)

The privilege is not allowed even to genius in this world to inspect its own elements, and read its own destiny, and it is perhaps well for mankid that it is so. Could we lift the curtain which hides our future lives, and glance hastily at the misfortunes, the vexations, and the disappointments which await us, we should be discouraged from attempting the performance of even of such deeds as are destined eventually to crown us with honor.
In a book of his reminiscenses, Oliver Hampton Smith, years after his first meeting with Morse, described the inventor - who had by then overcome the initial scepticism over his invention, but instead needed to vigorously defend his exclusive right of property in the magnetic telegraph.
Early Indiana Trials and Sketches (1858), 414.
Science quotes on:  |  Samuel F. B. Morse (9)  |  Telegraph (26)

The progress of science depends less than is usually believed on the efforts and performance of the individual genius ... many important discoveries have been made by men of ordinary talents, simply because chance had made them, at the proper time and in the proper place and circumstances, recipients of a body of doctrines, facts and techniques that rendered almost inevitable the recognition of an important phenomenon. It is surprising that some historian has not taken malicious pleasure in writing an anthology of 'one discovery' scientists. Many exciting facts have been discovered as a result of loose thinking and unimaginative experimentation, and described in wrappings of empty words. One great discovery does not betoken a great scientist; science now and then selects insignificant standard bearers to display its banners.
Louis Pasteur, Free Lance of Science (1986), 368
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (411)  |  Experiment (412)  |  Fact (361)  |  Historian (24)  |  Men Of Science (94)  |  Progress (223)  |  Progress Of Science (18)  |  Serendipity (10)  |  Thought (198)

The recurrence of a phenomenon like Edison is not very likely. The profound change of conditions and the ever increasing necessity of theoretical training would seem to make it impossible. He will occupy a unique and exalted position in the history of his native land, which might well be proud of his great genius and undying achievements in the interest of humanity.
As quoted in 'Tesla Says Edison Was an Empiricist', The New York Times (19 Oct 1931), 25. In 1884, Tesla had moved to America to assist Edison in the designing of motors and generators.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (80)  |  Change (155)  |  Condition (78)  |  Thomas Edison (30)  |  Exalted (3)  |  History (174)  |  Humanity (51)  |  Impossible (30)  |  Interest (96)  |  Likelihood (5)  |  Necessity (89)  |  Occupy (7)  |  Phenomenon (139)  |  Position (18)  |  Pride (26)  |  Profound (27)  |  Theory (397)  |  Training (26)  |  Unique (12)

The secret of science is to ask the right question, and it is the choice of problem more than anything else that marks the man of genius in the scientific world.
As quoted in the Inaugural Sir Henry Tizard Memorial Lecture at Westminster School (21 Feb 1963) by Sir George Thomson 'Research in Theory and Practice'. As cited Ray Corrigan, Digital Decision Making: Back to the Future (2007), 142.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (25)  |  Choice (43)  |  Mark (18)  |  Problem (200)  |  Question (180)  |  Right (54)  |  Science (998)  |  Scientific (73)  |  Secret (50)  |  World (294)

The spark of a genius exists in the brain of the truly creative man from the hour of his birth. True genius is always inborn and never cultivated, let alone learned.
Mein Kampf (1925-26), American Edition (1943), 212-13. In William Lawrence Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1990), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (113)  |  Creativity (55)

The technical genius which could find answers … was not cooped up in military or civilian bureaucracy, but was to be found in universities and in the people at large.
Quoted by Theodore von Karman, The Wind and Beyond: Theodore von Karman, Pioneer in Aviation and Pathfinder in Science (1967), 268. As cited in Office of Air Force History, Harnessing the Genie: Science and Technology Forecasting for the Air Force 1944-1986 (1988), 186. Arnold was expressing the value of a balance between independent and government science.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (109)  |  Bureaucracy (3)  |  Find (66)  |  Military (9)  |  Research (376)  |  Technology (108)  |  University (32)

There is hardly a more common error than that of taking the man who has but one talent for a genius.
Louis Klopsch, Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1896), 105.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (161)  |  Talent (23)

There is, however, no genius so gifted as not to need control and verification. ... [T]he brightest flashes in the world of thought are incomplete until they have been proved to have their counterparts in the world of fact. Thus the vocation of the true experimentalist may be defined as the continued exercise of spiritual insight, and its incessant correction and realisation. His experiments constitute a body, of which his purified intuitions are, as it were, the soul.
In 'Vitality', Scientific Use of the Imagination and Other Essays (1872), 43.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (105)  |  Bright (10)  |  Constitution (18)  |  Continuation (15)  |  Control (46)  |  Correction (23)  |  Counterpart (3)  |  Definition (94)  |  Exercise (27)  |  Experiment (412)  |  Experimentalist (7)  |  Fact (361)  |  Flash (8)  |  Gift (30)  |  Incessant (4)  |  Incompleteness (2)  |  Insight (33)  |  Intuition (26)  |  Need (71)  |  Proof (149)  |  Purification (3)  |  Realization (25)  |  Soul (60)  |  Spirit (59)  |  Thought (198)  |  Verification (17)  |  Vocation (2)  |  World (294)

This is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.
[Welcoming Nobel Prize winners as his guests at a White House dinner.]
Remarks at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize Winners of the Western Hemisphere (29 Apr 1962).
Science quotes on:  |  Thomas Jefferson (24)  |  Talent (23)

Through our scientific and technological genius we've made of this world a neighborhood. And now through our moral and ethical commitment we must make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers—or we will all perish together as fools.
Commencement Address for Oberlin College, Ohio, 'Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution' ,(Jun 1965). Oberlin College website.
Science quotes on:  |  Brother (9)  |  Commitment (8)  |  Fool (34)  |  Moral (47)  |  Neighborhood (3)  |  Perish (13)

Through science or an artform—through creativity—the individual genius seems to live at the exhilarating edge of what it means to have our human mind.
In Fire in the Crucible: Understanding the Process of Creative Genius (2002), Prologue, xiii.
Science quotes on:  |  Creativity (55)  |  Edge (6)  |  Exhilaration (3)  |  Human (198)  |  Individual (68)  |  Living (28)  |  Meaning (60)  |  Mind (307)  |  Science (998)

To do easily what is difficult for others is the mark of talent. To do what is impossible for talent is the mark of genius. (17 Dec 1856)
Amiel's Journal: The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel, trans. Humphry Ward (1893), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Talent (23)

To eliminate the discrepancy between men's plans and the results achieved, a new approach is necessary. Morphological thinking suggests that this new approach cannot be realized through increased teaching of specialized knowledge. This morphological analysis suggests that the essential fact has been overlooked that every human is potentially a genius. Education and dissemination of knowledge must assume a form which allows each student to absorb whatever develops his own genius, lest he become frustrated. The same outlook applies to the genius of the peoples as a whole.
Halley Lecture for 1948, delivered at Oxford (12 May 1948). In "Morphological Astronomy", The Observatory (1948), 68, 143.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (80)  |  Analysis (90)  |  Approach (18)  |  Discrepancy (4)  |  Dissemination (2)  |  Education (190)  |  Elimination (15)  |  Essential (46)  |  Fact (361)  |  Frustration (3)  |  Knowledge (749)  |  Necessity (89)  |  New (134)  |  Outlook (10)  |  Overlooking (3)  |  People (73)  |  Plan (47)  |  Potential (18)  |  Realization (25)  |  Result (149)  |  Specialization (10)  |  Student (64)

To mean understandings, it is sufficient honour to be numbered amongst the lowest labourers of learning; but different abilities must find different tasks. To hew stone, would have been unworthy of Palladio; and to have rambled in search of shells and flowers, had but ill suited with the capacity of Newton.
From 'Numb. 83, Tuesday, January 1, 1750', The Rambler (1756), Vol. 2, 154. (Italian architect Palladio, 1509-80, is widely considered the most influential in the history of Western architecture.)
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (47)  |  Capacity (22)  |  Different (24)  |  Find (66)  |  Flower (27)  |  Honour (22)  |  Laborer (4)  |  Learning (143)  |  Lowest (5)  |  Mean (10)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (206)  |  Search (48)  |  Shell (19)  |  Stone (26)  |  Sufficient (11)  |  Task (35)  |  Understanding (256)  |  Unworthy (6)

To see every day how people get the name “genius” just as the wood-lice in the cellar the name “millipede”—not because they have that many feet, but because most people don't want to count to 14—this has had the result that I don't believe anyone any more without checking.
Lichtenberg: Aphorisms & Letters (1969), 48, translated by Franz H. Mautner and Henry Hatfield.
Science quotes on:  |  Believe (18)  |  Count (18)  |  Feet (5)  |  Insect (42)  |  Measurement (122)  |  Truth (495)

True science is distinctively the study of useless things. For the useful things will get studied without the aid of scientific men. To employ these rare minds on such work is like running a steam engine by burning diamonds.
From 'Lessons from the History of Science: The Scientific Attitude' (c.1896), in Collected Papers (1931), Vol. 1, 32.
Science quotes on:  |  Aid (13)  |  Burn (15)  |  Diamond (9)  |  Employ (4)  |  Mind (307)  |  Rare (19)  |  Science (998)  |  Scientist (274)  |  Steam Engine (26)  |  Study (189)  |  True (35)  |  Useful (19)  |  Useless (8)

Truth travels down from the heights of philosophy to the humblest walks of life, and up from the simplest perceptions of an awakened intellect to the discoveries which almost change the face of the world. At every stage of its progress it is genial, luminous, creative. When first struck out by some distinguished and fortunate genius, it may address itself only to a few minds of kindred power. It exists then only in the highest forms of science; it corrects former systems, and authorizes new generalizations. Discussion, controversy begins; more truth is elicited, more errors exploded, more doubts cleared up, more phenomena drawn into the circle, unexpected connexions of kindred sciences are traced, and in each step of the progress, the number rapidly grows of those who are prepared to comprehend and carry on some branches of the investigation,— till, in the lapse of time, every order of intellect has been kindled, from that of the sublime discoverer to the practical machinist; and every department of knowledge been enlarged, from the most abstruse and transcendental theory to the daily arts of life.
In An Address Delivered Before the Literary Societies of Amherst College (25 Aug 1835), 16-17.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (155)  |  Comprehension (31)  |  Connection (46)  |  Creative (13)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Error (161)  |  Face (26)  |  Generalization (21)  |  Genial (2)  |  Height (14)  |  Intellect (116)  |  Investigation (104)  |  Knowledge (749)  |  Luminous (4)  |  Perception (27)  |  Philosophy (145)  |  Progress (223)  |  Simplest (6)  |  Travel (17)  |  Truth (495)  |  Walk Of Life (2)  |  World (294)

Two per cent. is genius, and ninety-eight per cent. is hard work.
As quoted in 'The Anecdotal Side of Edison', Ladies Home Journal (Apr 1898), 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Percentage (2)  |  Work (247)

We are apt to consider that invention is the result of spontaneous action of some heavenborn genius, whose advent we must patiently wait for, but cannot artificially produce. It is unquestionable, however, that education, legal enactments, and general social conditions have a stupendous influence on the development of the originative faculty present in a nation and determine whether it shall be a fountain of new ideas or become simply a purchaser from others of ready-made inventions.
Epigraph, without citation, in Roger Cullisin, Patents, Inventions and the Dynamics of Innovation: A Multidisciplinary Study (2007), ix.
Science quotes on:  |  Action (73)  |  Advent (3)  |  Artificial (15)  |  Determination (43)  |  Development (137)  |  Education (190)  |  Faculty (21)  |  Fountain (7)  |  General (37)  |  Idea (260)  |  Influence (54)  |  Invention (196)  |  Law (295)  |  Legal (3)  |  Nation (54)  |  New (134)  |  Patience (23)  |  Production (77)  |  Ready-Made (2)  |  Society (94)  |  Spontaneous (5)  |  Stupendous (3)  |  Unquestionable (4)  |  Wait (19)

We are having wool pulled over our eyes if we let ourselves be convinced that scientists, taken as a group, are anything special in the way of brains. They are very ordinary professional men, and all they know is their own trade, just like all other professional men. There are some geniuses among them, just as there are mental giants in any other field of endeavor.
In Science is a Sacred Cow (1950), 23-24.
Science quotes on:  |  Brain (113)  |  Conviction (30)  |  Deception (2)  |  Endeavour (24)  |  Ordinary (24)  |  Profession (34)  |  Scientist (274)  |  Special (33)  |  Trade (12)

What a glorious title, Nature, a veritable stroke of genius to have hit upon. It is more than a cosmos, more than a universe. It includes the seen as well as the unseen, the possible as well as the actual, Nature and Nature's God, mind and matter. I am lost in admiration of the effulgent blaze of ideas it calls forth.
[Commenting on the title of the journal.]
From 'History' web page of NPG, Nature Publishing Group,
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (25)  |  Cosmos (26)  |  Idea (260)  |  Matter (147)  |  Mind (307)  |  Nature (600)  |  Nature Journal (7)  |  Universe (316)

What opposite discoveries we have seen!
(Signs of true genius, and of empty pockets.)
One makes new noses, one a guillotine,
One breaks your bones, one sets them in their sockets;
But vaccination certainly has been
A kind antithesis to Congreve's rockets, ...
Don Juan (1819, 1858), Canto I, CCXXIX, 35. Referring to Edward Jenner's work on vaccination (started 14 May 1796), later applied by Napoleon who caused his soldiers to be vaccinated. Sir William Congreve's shells, invented in 1804, proved very effective at the battle of Leipzig (1813).
Science quotes on:  |  Antithesis (3)  |  Bone (29)  |  Break (19)  |  Sir William Congreve (2)  |  Discovery (411)  |  Emptiness (2)  |  New (134)  |  Nose (6)  |  Opposite (22)  |  Pocket (4)  |  Rocket (19)  |  Setting (5)  |  Socket (2)  |  Vaccination (4)

When two minds of a high order, interested in kindred subjects, come together, their conversation is chiefly remarkable for the summariness of its allusions and the rapidity of its transitions. Before one of them is half through a sentence the other knows his meaning and replies. ... His mental lungs breathe more deeply, in an atmosphere more broad and vast...
In The Principles of Psychology (1918), Vol. 2, 370.
Science quotes on:  |  Atmosphere (43)  |  Breathe (11)  |  Broad (8)  |  Conversation (10)  |  Deep (22)  |  Finish (11)  |  Half (13)  |  Kindred (2)  |  Lung (15)  |  Meaning (60)  |  Mental (25)  |  Mind (307)  |  Rapidity (14)  |  Reply (8)  |  Sentence (12)  |  Transition (8)  |  Vast (26)

Whether one show one's self a man of genius in science or compose a song, the only point is, whether the thought, the discovery, the deed, is living and can live on.
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 549:41.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (411)  |  Thought (198)

[Man] … his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labour of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins…
'A Free Man's Worship' (1903). In Why I Am Not a Christian: And Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects (1967), 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (80)  |  Atom (170)  |  Belief (161)  |  Death (199)  |  Devotion (16)  |  Extinction (41)  |  Fear (58)  |  Feeling (53)  |  Growth (75)  |  Hope (57)  |  Inspiration (33)  |  Labour (30)  |  Love (71)  |  Origin (44)  |  Solar System (31)  |  Thought (198)  |  Universe (316)

“Half genius and half buffoon,” Freeman Dyson ... wrote. ... [Richard] Feynman struck him as uproariously American—unbuttoned and burning with physical energy. It took him a while to realize how obsessively his new friend was tunneling into the very bedrock of modern science.
In Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (1992), Prologue, 4.
Science quotes on:  |  Buffoon (2)  |  Freeman Dyson (32)  |  Richard P. Feynman (45)  |  Modern Science (5)  |  Obsession (6)  |  Tunnel (4)

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 |

who invites your feedback

- 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
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
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
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
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
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton

Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.