Prose Quotes (6 quotes)
Like Moliθres M. Jourdain, who spoke prose all his life without knowing it, mathematicians have been reasoning for at least two millennia without being aware of all the principles underlying what they were doing. The real nature of the tools of their craft has become evident only within recent times A renaissance of logical studies in modern times begins with the publication in 1847 of George Booles The Mathematical Analysis of Logic.
On May 15, 1957 Linus Pauling made an extraordinary speech to the students of Washington University. ... It was at this time that the idea of the scientists' petition against nuclear weapons tests was born. That evening we discussed it at length after dinner at my house and various ones of those present were scribbling and suggesting paragraphs. But it was Linus Pauling himself who contributed the simple prose of the petition that was much superior to any of the suggestions we were making.
Science and art, or by the same token, poetry and prose differ from one another like a journey and an excursion. The purpose of the journey is its goal, the purpose of an excursion is the process.
Scientists wrote beautifully through the 19th century and on into the early 20th. But somewhere after that, coincident with the explosive growth of research, the art of writing science suffered a grave setback, and the stultifying convention descended that the best scientific prose should sound like a non-human author addressing a mechanical reader.
The fact that scientists do not consciously practice a formal methodology is very poor evidence that no such methodology exists. It could be saidhas been saidthat there is a distinctive methodology of science which scientists practice unwittingly, like the chap in Moliere who found that all his life, unknowingly, he had been speaking prose.
[Among the books he chooses, a statesman] ought to read interesting books on history and government, and books of science and philosophy; and really good books on these subjects are as enthralling as any fiction ever written in prose or verse.