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 P > Category: Publication

Publication Quotes (75 quotes)

(1) I have told you more than I know about osteoporosis. (2) What I have told you is subject to change without notice. (3) I hope I raised more questions than I have given answers. (4) In any case, as usual, a lot more work is necessary.
Conclusion of one of his papers.
In Barry G. Firkin, Judith A. Whitworth, Dictionary of Medical Eponyms (1996), 5.

Connaître, découvrir, communiquer—telle est la destinée d'un savant.
To get to know, to discover, to publish—this is the destiny of a scientist.
Quoted in Arthur Mangin, Les Savants Illustres de la France (1865), 456. Translation as given in Alan L. MacKay in A Harvest of a Quiet Eye (1977), 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Destiny (12)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Scientist (237)

A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millenium (1998), 190.
Science quotes on:  |  Argument (26)  |  Authority (24)  |  Complexity (51)  |  Contradict (2)  |  Dogma (13)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Freedom (41)  |  Lesson (14)  |  Problem (180)  |  Science (875)  |  Understanding (231)

A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking.
In Charlie Walker, My Few Wise Words of Wisdom (200), 151.
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Tired (3)

A drug is a substance which, if injected into a rabbit, produces a paper.
Quoted in Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, 'Some Reminiscences of My Life as a Scientist', International Journal of Quantum Biology Symposium (1976), 3, 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Drug (31)  |  Rabbit (4)

A good mathematical joke is better, and better mathematics, than a dozen mediocre papers.
A Mathematician's Miscellany (1953). In Béla Bollobás, Littlewood's Miscellany (1986), 24.
Science quotes on:  |  Joke (25)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Paper (25)

After the birth of printing books became widespread. Hence everyone throughout Europe devoted himself to the study of literature... Every year, especially since 1563, the number of writings published in every field is greater than all those produced in the past thousand years. Through them there has today been created a new theology and a new jurisprudence; the Paracelsians have created medicine anew and the Copernicans have created astronomy anew. I really believe that at last the world is alive, indeed seething, and that the stimuli of these remarkable conjunctions did not act in vain.
De Stella Nova, On the New Star (1606), Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 1, 330-2. Quoted in N. Jardine, The Birth of History and Philosophy of Science: Kepler's A Defence of Tycho Against Ursus With Essays on its Provenance and Significance (1984), 277-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Book (100)  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (30)  |  Medicine (185)  |  Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus (13)

Anyone who has had actual contact with the making of the inventions that built the radio art knows that these inventions have been the product of experiment and work based on physical reasoning, rather than on the mathematicians' calculations and formulae. Precisely the opposite impression is obtained from many of our present day text books and publications.
Attributed.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Invention (174)  |  Logic (132)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Radio (16)

As for your doctrines I am prepared to go to the Stake if requisite ... I trust you will not allow yourself to be in any way disgusted or annoyed by the considerable abuse & misrepresentation which unless I greatly mistake is in store for you... And as to the curs which will bark and yelp - you must recollect that some of your friends at any rate are endowed with an amount of combativeness which (though you have often & justly rebuked it) may stand you in good stead - I am sharpening up my claws and beak in readiness.
Letter (23 Nov 1859) to Charles Darwin a few days after the publication of Origin of Species. In Charles Darwin, Frederick Burkhardt, Sydney Smith, The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: 1858-1859 (1992), Vol. 19, 390-391.
Science quotes on:  |  Criticism (34)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Friend (22)  |  Origin Of Species (36)

As to giving credit to whom credit is due, rest assured the best way to do good to one's-self is to do justice to others. There is plenty for everybody in science, and more than can be consumed in our time. One may get a fair name by suppressing references, but the Jewish maxim is true, 'He who seeks a name loses fame.'
Note to George Wilson, 1844. In George Wilson and Archibald Geikie, Memoir of Edward Forbes F.R.S. (1861), 366.

As usual, the author in his thorough, unobjective fashion has marshalled up all the good, indifferent and bad arguments ... I offer the following detailed comments ... though I realize that many of them will arouse him to a vigorous, if not violent rebuttal. In order to preserve the pH of Dr. Brown's digestive system I would not require a rebuttal as a condition of publication...
With heartiest greetings of the season to you and yours! Jack Roberts
PS The above comments should (help) to reduce your winter heating bill!
Jack Roberts' referee's report on Herbert Charles Brown's paper with Rachel Kornblum on the role of steric strain in carbonium ion reactions.
As quoted by D. A. Davenport, in 'On the Comparative Unimportance of the Invective Effect', Chemtech (Sep 1987), 17, 530.
Science quotes on:  |  Herbert C. Brown (4)

Brevity in writing is the best insurance for its perusal.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 16.

But nothing of a nature foreign to the duties of my profession [clergyman] engaged my attention while I was at Leeds so much as the, prosecution of my experiments relating to electricity, and especially the doctrine of air. The last I was led into a consequence of inhabiting a house adjoining to a public brewery, where first amused myself with making experiments on fixed air [carbon dioxide] which found ready made in the process of fermentation. When I removed from that house, I was under the necessity making the fixed air for myself; and one experiment leading to another, as I have distinctly and faithfully noted in my various publications on the subject, I by degrees contrived a convenient apparatus for the purpose, but of the cheapest kind. When I began these experiments I knew very little of chemistry, and had in a manner no idea on the subject before I attended a course of chymical lectures delivered in the Academy at Warrington by Dr. Turner of Liverpool. But I have often thought that upon the whole, this circumstance was no disadvantage to me; as in this situation I was led to devise an apparatus and processes of my own, adapted to my peculiar views. Whereas, if I had been previously accustomed to the usual chemical processes, I should not have so easily thought of any other; and without new modes of operation I should hardly have discovered anything materially new.
Memoirs of Dr. Joseph Priestley, in the Year 1795 (1806), Vol. 1, 61-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Air (84)  |  Apparatus (18)  |  Carbon Dioxide (14)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Duty (26)  |  Electricity (82)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fermentation (10)  |  Fixed Air (2)  |  Lecture (31)  |  Mode (8)  |  Operation (53)  |  Profession (26)  |  Thought (170)  |  View (48)

Copying extensively from one source is plagiarism; copying extensively from several is research.
Anonymous
N. E. Renton, Compendium of Good Writing: A Plain English Guide (2007), 113.
Science quotes on:  |  Copy (6)  |  Plagiarism (3)  |  Research (360)

Deductivism in mathematical literature and inductivism in scientific papers are simply the postures we choose to be seen in when the curtain goes up and the public sees us. The theatrical illusion is shattered if we ask what goes on behind the scenes. In real life discovery and justification are almost always different processes.
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought (1969), 26.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (23)  |  Choice (40)  |  Difference (135)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Illusion (14)  |  Justification (20)  |  Literature (33)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Paper (25)  |  Posture (3)  |  Process (97)  |  Public (35)  |  Real Life (2)  |  Shatter (2)

Dibdin said: 'I see you've put your own name at the top of your paper, Mr Woods.' His eyes looked sad and thoughtful. 'I always make it a matter of principle to put my name as well on every paper that comes out of the department.' 'Yours?' Albert said incredulously. 'Yes,' said Dibdin, still sad and thoughtful. 'I make it a matter of principle, Mr Woods. And I like my name to come first—it makes it easier for purposes of identification.' He rounded it off. 'First come, first served'.
The Struggles of Albert Woods (1952), 53.

Einstein, twenty-six years old, only three years away from crude privation, still a patent examiner, published in the Annalen der Physik in 1905 five papers on entirely different subjects. Three of them were among the greatest in the history of physics. One, very simple, gave the quantum explanation of the photoelectric effect—it was this work for which, sixteen years later, he was awarded the Nobel prize. Another dealt with the phenomenon of Brownian motion, the apparently erratic movement of tiny particles suspended in a liquid: Einstein showed that these movements satisfied a clear statistical law. This was like a conjuring trick, easy when explained: before it, decent scientists could still doubt the concrete existence of atoms and molecules: this paper was as near to a direct proof of their concreteness as a theoretician could give. The third paper was the special eory of relativity, which quietly amalgamated space, time, and matter into one fundamental unity. This last paper contains no references and quotes no authority. All of them are written in a style unlike any other theoretical physicist's. They contain very little mathematics. There is a good deal of verbal commentary. The conclusions, the bizarre conclusions, emerge as though with the greatest of ease: the reasoning is unbreakable. It looks as though he had reached the conclusions by pure thought, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others. To a surprisingly large extent, that is precisely what he had done.
Variety of Men (1966), 100-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)  |  Authority (24)  |  Bizarre (2)  |  Brownian Motion (2)  |  Commentary (2)  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Difference (135)  |  Doubt (67)  |  Ease (20)  |  Albert Einstein (174)  |  Emergence (17)  |  Existence (150)  |  Explanation (88)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Law (273)  |  Liquid (12)  |  Listening (5)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Matter (135)  |  Molecule (82)  |  Motion (64)  |  Movement (31)  |  Nobel Prize (17)  |  Paper (25)  |  Particle (45)  |  Patent (19)  |  Phenomenon (114)  |  Privation (2)  |  Proof (136)  |  Quantum (8)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Reference (6)  |  Space (68)  |  Statistics (82)  |  Subject (51)  |  Suspension (4)  |  Theoretician (5)  |  Thought (170)  |  Time (170)  |  Trick (11)  |  Unity (16)

Einstein’s 1905 paper came out and suddenly changed people’s thinking about space-time. We’re again [2007] in the middle of something like that. When the dust settles, time—whatever it may be—could turn out to be even stranger and more illusory than even Einstein could imagine.
Quoted by Tim Folger in 'Newsflash: Time May Not Exist', Discover Magazine (Jun 2007).
Science quotes on:  |  Dust (20)  |  Albert Einstein (174)  |  Space-Time (8)  |  Strange (17)  |  Thinking (166)

Enormous numbers of people are taken in, or at least beguiled and fascinated, by what seems to me to be unbelievable hocum, and relatively few are concerned with or thrilled by the astounding—yet true—facts of science, as put forth in the pages of, say, Scientific American.
Metamagical Themas (1985), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Truth (450)

Evolution is the law of policies: Darwin said it, Socrates endorsed it, Cuvier proved it and established it for all time in his paper on 'The Survival of the Fittest.' These are illustrious names, this is a mighty doctrine: nothing can ever remove it from its firm base, nothing dissolve it, but evolution.
'Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes', Which Was the Dream? (1967), Chap. 8. In Mark Twain and Brian Collins (ed.), When in Doubt, Tell the Truth: and Other Quotations from Mark Twain (1996), 47.
Science quotes on:  |  Base (10)  |  Baron Georges Cuvier (25)  |  Charles Darwin (216)  |  Dissolve (5)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Establish (10)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Firm (4)  |  Law (273)  |  Mighty (4)  |  Name (58)  |  Policy (10)  |  Proof (136)  |  Remove (6)  |  Socrates (9)  |  Survival Of The Fittest (29)

For many doctors the achievement of a published article is a tedious duty to be surmounted as a necessary hurdle in a medical career.
British Medical Journal (1958), 2, 502
Science quotes on:  |  Physician (172)

For these two years I have been gravitating towards your doctrines, and since the publication of your primula paper with accelerated velocity. By about this time next year I expect to have shot past you, and to find you pitching into me for being more Darwinian than yourself. However, you have set me going, and must just take the consequences, for I warn you I will stop at no point so long as clear reasoning will take me further.
Thomas Henry Huxley, Leonard Huxley, Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1901), 211.
Science quotes on:  |  Consequence (44)  |  Charles Darwin (216)  |  Doctrine (33)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Stop (25)

Foreshadowings of the principles and even of the language of [the infinitesimal] calculus can be found in the writings of Napier, Kepler, Cavalieri, Pascal, Fermat, Wallis, and Barrow. It was Newton's good luck to come at a time when everything was ripe for the discovery, and his ability enabled him to construct almost at once a complete calculus.
History of Mathematics (3rd Ed., 1901), 366.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (37)  |  Anecdote (15)  |  Isaac Barrow (6)  |  Calculus (14)  |  Construct (6)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Enable (10)  |  Pierre de Fermat (8)  |  Foreshadow (2)  |  Johannes Kepler (43)  |  Language (71)  |  John Napier (2)  |  Sir Isaac Newton (176)  |  Blaise Pascal (22)  |  Principle (97)  |  John Wallis (2)

He [said of one or other eminent colleagues] is a very busy man, and half of what he publishes is true, but I don't know which half.
'Triviality in Science: A Brief Meditation on Fashions', Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 1976, 19, 324.
Science quotes on:  |  Truth (450)

I accepted the Copernican position several years ago and discovered from thence the causes of many natural effects which are doubtless inexplicable by the current theories. I have written up many reasons and refutations on the subject, but I have not dared until now to bring them into the open, being warned by the fortunes of Copernicus himself, our master, who procured for himself immortal fame among a few but stepped down among the great crowd (for this is how foolish people are to be numbered), only to be derided and dishonoured. I would dare publish my thoughts if there were many like you; but since there are not, I shall forbear.
Letter to Johannes Kepler, 4 Aug 1597. Quoted in G. de Santillana, Crime of Galileo (1955), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Nicolaus Copernicus (30)  |  Heliocentric Model (7)

I have no trouble publishing in Soviet astrophysical journals, but my work is unacceptable to the American astrophysical journals.
[Referring to the trouble he had with the peer reviewers of Anglo-American astrophysical journals because his ideas often conflicted with the generally accepted or "standard" theories.]
Quoted in Anthony L. Peratt, 'Dean of the Plasma Dissidents', Washington Times, supplement: The World and I (May 1988),197.
Science quotes on:  |  American (12)  |  Astrophysics (9)  |  Conflict (27)  |  Idea (226)  |  Journal (4)  |  Standard (15)  |  Theory (353)  |  Trouble (22)

I have reviewed this work elsewhere under the title 'Natural Products Chemistry 1950 to 1980-A Personal View.' It is with some relish that I recall the flood of reprint requests prompted by the following footnote on the title page: 'Selected personal statements by the author were removed by the editor without Professor Djerassi's consent. An uncensored version of this paper can be obtained by writing to Professor C. Djerassi'.
Steroids Made it Possible (1990), 14.

I have to keep going, as there are always people on my track. I have to publish my present work as rapidly as possible in order to keep in the race. The best sprinters in this road of investigation are Becquerel and the Curies...
Letter to his mother (5 Jan1902). Quoted in A. S. Eve, Rutherford: Being the Life and Letters of the Rt. Hon. Lord Rutherford (1939), 80. In Laurie M. Brown, Abraham Pais and A. B. Pippard, Twentieth Century Physics (1995), 58.
Science quotes on:  |  Henri Becquerel (5)  |  Marie Curie (28)  |  Research (360)

I myself, a professional mathematician, on re-reading my own work find it strains my mental powers to recall to mind from the figures the meanings of the demonstrations, meanings which I myself originally put into the figures and the text from my mind. But when I attempt to remedy the obscurity of the material by putting in extra words, I see myself falling into the opposite fault of becoming chatty in something mathematical.
Astronomia Nova, New Astronomy, (1609), Introduction, second paragraph.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematician (110)

I ought to say that one of our first joint researches, so far as publication was concerned, had the peculiar effect of freeing me forever from the wiles of college football, and if that is a defect, make the most of it! Dr. Noyes and I conceived an idea on sodium aluminate solutions on the morning of the day of a Princeton-Harvard game (as I recall it) that we had planned to attend. It looked as though a few days' work on freezing-point determinations and electrical conductivities would answer the question. We could not wait, so we gave up the game and stayed in the laboratory. Our experiments were successful. I think that this was the last game I have ever cared about seeing. I mention this as a warning, because this immunity might attack anyone. I find that I still complainingly wonder at the present position of football in American education.
Address upon receiving the Perkin Medal Award, 'The Big Things in Chemistry', The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (Feb 1921), 13, No. 2, 162-163.
Science quotes on:  |  America (41)  |  Answer (96)  |  Attack (13)  |  Care (37)  |  College (15)  |  Complaint (7)  |  Conductivity (2)  |  Defect (8)  |  Education (177)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Freezing Point (2)  |  Game (28)  |  Immunity (2)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Position (18)  |  Question (159)  |  Research (360)  |  Success (114)  |  Wait (15)  |  Warning (4)

I publish this Essay in its present imperfect state, in order to prevent the furacious attempts of the prowling plagiary, and the insidious pretender to chymistry, from arrogating to themselves, and assuming my invention, in plundering silence: for there are those, who, if they can not be chymical, never fail by stratagem, and mechanical means, to deprive industry of the fruits, and fame of her labours.
Preface to An Essay on Combustion with a View to a New Art of Dyeing and Painting (1794), vii-viii.
Science quotes on:  |  Plagiarism (3)

I take it that a monograph of this sort belongs to the ephemera literature of science. The studied care which is warranted in the treatment of the more slowly moving branches of science would be out of place here. Rather with the pen of a journalist we must attempt to record a momentary phase of current thought, which may at any instant change with kaleidoscopic abruptness.
Valence and the Structure of Atoms and Molecules (1923), Preface.
Science quotes on:  |  Change (133)  |  Kaleidoscope (2)  |  Thinking (166)

I would proclaim that the vast majority of what [say, Scientific American] is true—yet my ability to defend such a claim is weaker than I would like. And most likely the readers, authors, and editors of that magazine would be equally hard pressed to come up with cogent, non-technical arguments convincing a skeptic of this point, especially if pitted against a clever lawyer arguing the contrary. How come Truth is such a slippery beast?
Metamagical Themas (1985), 93.
Science quotes on:  |  Truth (450)

I wrote a great deal during the next ten [early] years,but very little of any importance; there are not more than four or five papers which I can still remember with some satisfaction.
In A Mathematician’s Apology (1940, reprint with Foreward by C.P. Snow 1992), 147.

If this [the Mysterium cosmographicum] is published, others will perhaps make discoveries I might have reserved for myself. But we are all ephemeral creatures (and none more so than I). I have, therefore, for the Glory of God, who wants to be recognized from the book of Nature, that these things may be published as quickly as possible. The more others build on my work the happier I shall be.
Letter to Michael Maestlin (3 Oct 1595). Johannes Kepler Gesammelte Werke (1937- ), Vol. 13, letter 23, l. 251, p. 39-40.
Science quotes on:  |  God (234)  |  Nature (534)

In 1944 Erwin Schroedinger, stimulated intellectually by Max Delbruck, published a little book called What is life? It was an inspiration to the first of the molecular biologists, and has been, along with Delbruck himself, credited for directing the research during the next decade that solved the mystery of how 'like begat like.' Max was awarded this Prize in 1969, and rejoicing in it, he also lamented that the work for which he was honored before all the peoples of the world was not something which he felt he could share with more than a handful. Samuel Beckett's contributions to literature, being honored at the same time, seemed to Max somehow universally accessible to anyone. But not his. In his lecture here Max imagined his imprisonment in an ivory tower of science.
'The Polymerase Chain Reaction', Nobel Lecture (8 Dec 1993). In Nobel Lectures: Chemistry 1991-1995 (1997), 103.
Science quotes on:  |  Accessible (3)  |  Samuel Beckett (2)  |  Book (100)  |  Contribution (23)  |  Credit (10)  |  Decade (8)  |  Max Ludwig Henning Delbrück (8)  |  Honour (20)  |  Inspiration (30)  |  Intellect (99)  |  Ivory Tower (2)  |  Life (460)  |  Literature (33)  |  Mystery (74)  |  Nobel Prize (17)  |  Research (360)  |  Erwin Schrödinger (20)  |  Share (11)  |  Simulation (4)  |  Work (198)

In the twenties the late Dr. Glenn Frank, an eminent social scientist, developed a new statement of the scientific code, which has been referred to as the “Five Fingers of the Scientific Method.” It may be outlined as follows: find the facts; filter the facts; focus the facts; face the facts; follow the facts. The facts or truths are found by experimentation; the motivation is material. The facts are filtered by research into the literature; the motivation is material. The facts are focused by the publication of results; again the motivation is material. Thus the first three-fifths of the scientific method have a material motivation. It is about time scientists acknowledge that there is more to the scientific convention than the material aspect. Returning to the fourth and fifth fingers of Dr. Frank's conception of the scientific method, the facts should be faced by the proper interpretation of them for society. In other words, a scientist must assume social responsibility for his discoveries, which means that he must have a moral motivation. Finally, in the fifth definition of the scientific method, the facts are to be followed by their proper application to everyday life in society, which means moral motivation through responsibility to society.
From 'Scientists and Society', American Scientist (Jul 1954), 42, No. 3, 495.
Science quotes on:  |  Acknowledgement (5)  |  Application (72)  |  Definition (86)  |  Discovery (360)  |  Everyday Life (2)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Face (23)  |  Fact (325)  |  Filter (4)  |  Find (50)  |  Focus (6)  |  Follow (20)  |  Interpretation (38)  |  Literature (33)  |  Material (60)  |  Moral (38)  |  Motivation (16)  |  Research (360)  |  Responsibility (24)  |  Result (129)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Society (84)  |  Truth (450)

Is the Scientific Paper a Fraud?
'Is the Scientific Paper a Fraud?', The Listener (12 Sep 1963), 377-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Fraud (6)

It is on record that when a young aspirant asked Faraday the secret of his success as a scientific investigator, he replied, 'The secret is comprised in three words— Work, Finish, Publish.'
J. R. Gladstone, Michael Faraday (1872), 122.
Science quotes on:  |  Success (114)  |  Work (198)

Knowledge and ability must be combined with ambition as well as with a sense of honesty and a severe conscience. Every analyst occasionally has doubts about the accuracy of his results, and also there are times when he knows his results to be incorrect. Sometimes a few drops of the solution were spilt, or some other slight mistake made. In these cases it requires a strong conscience to repeat the analysis and to make a rough estimate of the loss or apply a correction. Anyone not having sufficient will-power to do this is unsuited to analysis no matter how great his technical ability or knowledge. A chemist who would not take an oath guaranteeing the authenticity, as well as the accuracy of his work, should never publish his results, for if he were to do so, then the result would be detrimental not only to himself, but to the whole of science.
Anleitung zur Quantitativen Analyse (1847), preface. F. Szabadvary, History of Analytical Chemistry (1966), trans. Gyula Svehla, 176.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Knowledge (679)

Like Molière’s 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 Boole’s The Mathematical Analysis of Logic.
Co-authored with James R. Newman in Gödel's Proof (1986, 2005), 30.
Science quotes on:  |  Analysis (82)  |  Aware (4)  |  Begin (5)  |  George Boole (9)  |  Craft (3)  |  Evident (2)  |  Logic (132)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Modern (44)  |  Nature (534)  |  Principle (97)  |  Prose (5)  |  Real (28)  |  Reasoning (56)  |  Recent (14)  |  Renaissance (5)  |  Study (157)  |  Time (170)  |  Tool (30)

Many physicians would prefer passing a small kidney stone to presenting a paper.
Anonymous
Journal of the American Medical Association (1960) 174, 292.
Science quotes on:  |  Physician (172)

Most of the crackpot papers which are submitted to The Physical Review are rejected, not because it is impossible to understand them, but because it is possible. Those which are impossible to understand are usually published. When the great innovation appears, it will almost certainly be in a muddled, incomplete and confusing form. To the discoverer himself it will be only half-understood; to everybody else it will be a mystery. For any speculation which does not at first glance look crazy, there is no hope.
In 'Innovation in Physics', Scientific American (Sep 1958), 199. Collected in From Eros to Gaia (1993).
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (360)  |  Impossible (26)

My father’s collection of fossils was practically unnamed, but the appearance of Phillips’ book [Geology of the Yorkshire Coast], in which most of our specimens were figured, enabled us to remedy this defect. Every evening was devoted by us to accomplishing the work. This was my first introduction to true scientific study. ... Phillips’ accurate volume initiated an entirely new order of things. Many a time did I mourn over the publication of this book, and the consequences immediately resulting from it. Instead of indulging in the games and idleness to which most lads are prone, my evenings throughout a long winter were devoted to the detested labour of naming these miserable stones. Such is the short-sightedness of boyhood. Pursuing this uncongenial work gave me in my thirteenth year a thorough practical familiarity with the palaeontological treasures of Eastern Yorkshire. This early acquisition happily moulded the entire course of my future life.
In Reminiscences of a Yorkshire naturalist (1896), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplish (2)  |  Acquisition (21)  |  Appearance (47)  |  Autobiography (48)  |  Boyhood (2)  |  Coast (6)  |  Collection (26)  |  Consequence (44)  |  Detest (3)  |  Devote (5)  |  Evening (9)  |  Familiarity (10)  |  Father (17)  |  Fossil (73)  |  Future (110)  |  Game (28)  |  Geology (145)  |  Idleness (4)  |  Indulge (5)  |  Introduction (15)  |  Labour (27)  |  Life (460)  |  Miserable (2)  |  Paleontology (16)  |  Practical (30)  |  Result (129)  |  Scientific (55)  |  Specimen (8)  |  Study (157)  |  Treasure (16)  |  True (29)  |  Winter (11)  |  Yorkshire (2)

Never fear big long words.
Big long words name little things.
All big things have little names.
Such as life and death, peace and war.
Or dawn, day, night, hope, love, home.
Learn to use little words in a big way.
It is hard to do,
But they say what you mean.
When you don't know what you mean, use big words.
That often fools little people.
Quoted in Saturday Review (1962), 45, No. 2. It was written (1936) for his son, as advice for young copy writers. - 1995
Science quotes on:  |  Big (5)  |  Fear (53)  |  Fool (32)  |  Learning (130)  |  Little (29)  |  Name (58)  |  Never (19)  |  Poem (76)  |  Word (97)  |  Writing (50)

On one occasion when [William] Smart found him engrossed with his fundamental theory, he asked Eddington how many people he thought would understand what he was writing—after a pause came the reply, 'Perhaps seven.'
A. V. Douglas, The Life of Arthur Stanley Eddington (1956), 110.
Science quotes on:  |  Theory (353)

Publication has been extended far beyond our present ability to make real use of the record.
From article 'As We May Think', in Atlantic Magazine (Jul 1945). Bush was expressing concern that the vastly increasing body of research information and knowledge needed mechanical systems to store and effectively manage its retrieval.
Science quotes on:  |  Ability (37)  |  Beyond (19)  |  Extend (6)  |  Far (9)  |  Present (36)  |  Real (28)  |  Record (22)

Published papers may omit important steps and the memory of men of science, even the greatest, is sadly fallible.
Science and Industry in the Nineteenth Century (1953), 199.

The extracellular genesis of cells in animals seemed to me, ever since the publication of the cell theory [of Schwann], just as unlikely as the spontaneous generation of organisms. These doubts produced my observations on the multiplication of blood cells by division in bird and mammalian embryos and on the division of muscle bundles in frog larvae. Since then I have continued these observations in frog larvae, where it is possible to follow the history of tissues back to segmentation.
'Ueber extracellulare Eutstehung thierischer Zelleu und üüber Vermehrung derselben durch Theilung', Archiv für Anatomie, Physiologie und Wissenschaftliche Medicin (1852), 1, 49-50. Quoted in Erwin H. Ackerknecht, Rudolf Virchow: Doctor Statesman Anthropologist (1953), 83-4.
Science quotes on:  |  Animals (2)  |  Bird (57)  |  Blood (63)  |  Bundle (4)  |  Cell (90)  |  Continuation (13)  |  Division (19)  |  Doubt (67)  |  Embryo (15)  |  Frog (24)  |  Generation (56)  |  Genesis (10)  |  History (156)  |  Larva (4)  |  Mammal (17)  |  Multiplication (11)  |  Muscle (24)  |  Observation (264)  |  Organism (70)  |  Theodor Schwann (7)  |  Segmentation (2)  |  Spontaneity (4)  |  Theory (353)  |  Tissue (15)

The greatest men I have ever known have written their own papers.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 16.

The intensity and quantity of polemical literature on scientific problems frequently varies inversely as the number of direct observations on which the discussions are based: the number and variety of theories concerning a subject thus often form a coefficient of our ignorance. Beyond the superficial observations, direct and indirect, made by geologists, not extending below about one two-hundredth of the Earth's radius, we have to trust to the deductions of mathematicians for our ideas regarding the interior of the Earth; and they have provided us successively with every permutation and combination possible of the three physical states of matter—solid, liquid, and gaseous.
'Address delivered by the President of Section [Geology] at Sydney (Friday, Aug 21), Report of the Eighty-Fourth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science: Australia 1914, 1915, 345.
Science quotes on:  |  Deduction (39)  |  Discussion (17)  |  Earth (250)  |  Geology (145)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Mathematics (367)  |  Observation (264)  |  Theory (353)

The man of science appears to be the only man who has something to say just now, and the only man who does not know how to say it.
In Fielding Hudson Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine (1929), 16.

The members of the department became like the Athenians who, according to the Apostle Paul, “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.” Anyone who thought he had a bright idea rushed out to try it out on a colleague. Groups of two or more could be seen every day in offices, before blackboards or even in corridors, arguing vehemently about these 'brain storms.' It is doubtful whether any paper ever emerged for publication that had not run the gauntlet of such criticism. The whole department thus became far greater than the sum of its individual members.
Obituary of Gilbert Newton Lewis, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Science (1958), 31, 212.
Science quotes on:  |  Blackboard (5)  |  Colleague (11)  |  Criticism (34)  |  Department (11)  |  Idea (226)  |  Individual (59)  |  Gilbert Newton Lewis (8)  |  Obituary (9)

The publication of a long list of authors' names after the title is a little like having all a vessel's ballast hanging from the masthead, as if to counterbalance the barnacles.
Anonymous
New England Journal of Medicine (1964), 271, 1068.

The publication of the Darwin and Wallace papers in 1858, and still more that of the 'Origin' in 1859, had the effect upon them of the flash of light, which to a man who has lost himself in a dark night, suddenly reveals a road which, whether it takes him straight home or not, certainly goes his way. That which we were looking for, and could not find, was a hypothesis respecting the origin of known organic forms, which assumed the operation of no causes but such as could be proved to be actually at work. We wanted, not to pin our faith to that or any other speculation, but to get hold of clear and definite conceptions which could be brought face to face with facts and have their validity tested. The 'Origin' provided us with the working hypothesis we sought.
'On the Reception of the Origin of Species'. In F. Darwin (ed.), The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Including an Autobiographical Chapter (1888), Vol 2, 197.
Science quotes on:  |  Charles Darwin (216)  |  Evolution (342)  |  Fact (325)  |  Faith (73)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Origin Of Life (11)  |  Proof (136)  |  Speculation (44)  |  Alfred Russel Wallace (11)

The so-called medical literature is stuffed to bursting with junk, written in a hopscotch style characterised by a Brownian movement of uncontrolled parts of speech which seethe in restless unintelligibility.
Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine (1952), 39, 3.

The surprising thing about this paper is that a man who could write it would.
A Mathematician's Miscellany (1953). In Béla Bollobás, Littlewood's Miscellany (1986), 59.
Science quotes on:  |  Paper (25)  |  Surprise (19)  |  Write (21)

The understanding between a non-technical writer and his reader is that he shall talk more or less like a human being and not like an Act of Parliament. I take it that the aim of such books must be to convey exact thought in inexact language... he can never succeed without the co-operation of the reader.
Messenger Lectures (1934), New Pathways in Science (1935), 279.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)

The vast outpourings of publications by Professor Djerassi and his cohorts marks him as one of the most prolific scientific writers of our day... a plot of N, the papers published by Professor Djerassi in a given year, against T, the year (starting with 1945, T = 0) gives a good straight-line relationship. This line follows the equation N = 2.413T + 1.690 ... Assuming that the inevitable inflection point on the logistic curve is still some 10 years away, this equation predicts (a) a total of about 444 papers by the end of this year, (b) the average production of one paper per week or more every year beginning in 1966, and (c) the winning of the all-time productivity world championship in 10 years from now, in 1973. In that year Professor Djerassi should surpass the record of 995 items held by ...
Steroids Made it Possible (1990), 11-12.

The very bulk of scientific publications is itself delusive. It is of very unequal value; a large proportion of it, possibly as much as three-quarters, does not deserve to be published at all, and is only published for economic considerations which have nothing to do with the real interests of science.
The Social Function of Science (1939), 118.

The works which this man [Joseph Banks] leaves behind him occupy a few pages only; their importance is not greatly superior to their extent; and yet his name will shine out with lustre in the history of the sciences.
Funeral oration at the Academy of Sciences, Paris (2 Apr 1821). Quoted in Hector Charles Cameron, Sir Joseph Banks, K.B., P.R.S.: the Autocrat of the Philosophers (1952) 209.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Joseph Banks (3)  |  Extent (11)  |  History (156)  |  Importance (106)  |  Name (58)  |  Obituary (9)  |  Science (875)  |  Shine (3)  |  Superior (14)  |  Work (198)

There is no form of prose more difficult to understand and more tedious to read than the average scientific paper.
The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (1995), xiii.

There is not a soul on Earth who can read the deluge of physics publications in its entirety. As a result, it is sad but true that physics has irretrievably fallen apart from a cohesive to a fragmented discipline. ... It was not that long ago that people were complaining about two cultures. If we only had it that good. today.
'The Physical Review Then and Now', in H. Henry Stroke, Physical Review: The First Hundred Years: a Selection of Seminal Papers and Commentaries, Vol. 1, 3.
Science quotes on:  |  Complaint (7)  |  Culture (44)  |  Deluge (5)  |  Discipline (15)  |  Earth (250)  |  Entirety (2)  |  Fragment (13)  |  Physics (156)  |  Reading (25)  |  Result (129)  |  Soul (54)

This paper contains much that is new and much that is true. Unfortunately, that which is true is not new and that which is new is not true.
Anonymous
Attribued as a referee's report in H. Eves, Return to Mathematical Circles (1988). Also attributed to a 19-th century scientist commenting on one of his competitor's papers, cited in I. M. Klotz, 'How to become famous by being wrong in science', International Journal of Quantitative Chemistry, 24, 881-890, which is quoted in Frederick Grinnell, Everyday Practice of Science (2008), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  New (107)  |  Truth (450)

Those who have occasion to enter into the depths of what is oddly, if generously, called the literature of a scientific subject, alone know the difficulty of emerging with an unsoured disposition. The multitudinous facts presented by each corner of Nature form in large part the scientific man's burden to-day, and restrict him more and more, willy-nilly, to a narrower and narrower specialism. But that is not the whole of his burden. Much that he is forced to read consists of records of defective experiments, confused statement of results, wearisome description of detail, and unnecessarily protracted discussion of unnecessary hypotheses. The publication of such matter is a serious injury to the man of science; it absorbs the scanty funds of his libraries, and steals away his poor hours of leisure.
'Physiology, including Experimental Pathology and Experimental Physiology', Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1899, 891-2.
Science quotes on:  |  Burden (9)  |  Detail (33)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Fact (325)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Leisure (5)  |  Library (22)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Result (129)  |  Specialty (6)

Today when the public thinks of the products of science it is likely to think about environmental problems, an unproductive armament industry, careless or dishonest 'scientific' reports, Livermore cheers for 'nukes forever' and a huge amount of self-serving noise on every subject from global warming to 'the face of God'.
'Hard Times', Physics Today (Oct 1992), 45, 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (71)  |  Climate Change (25)  |  Dishonesty (5)  |  Environment (75)  |  Global Warming (19)  |  Science And Society (12)

Until I became a published writer, I remained completely ignorant of books on how to write and courses on the subject ... they would have spoiled my natural style; made me observe caution; would have hedged me with rules.
In Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov (ed.), It's Been a Good Life (2002), 38.
Science quotes on:  |  Book (100)  |  Caution (8)  |  Ignorance (110)  |  Rule (52)  |  Style (5)  |  Writer (14)

We have a habit in writing articles published in scientific journals to make the work as finished as possible, to cover up all the tracks, to not worry about the blind alleys or describe how you had the wrong idea first, and so on. So there isn't any place to publish, in a dignified manner, what you actually did in order to get to do the work, although, there has been in these days, some interest in this kind, thing.
'The Development of Space-time View of Quantum Electrodynamics', Nobel Lecture, 11 Dec 1965. In Nobel Lectures: Physics 1963-1970 (1972), 155.
Science quotes on:  |  Error (152)  |  Research (360)

We should admit in theory what is already very largely a case in practice, that the main currency of scientific information is the secondary sources in the forms of abstracts, reports, tables, &c., and that the primary sources are only for detailed reference by very few people. It is possible that the fate of most scientific papers will be not to be read by anyone who uses them, but with luck they will furnish an item, a number, some facts or data to such reports which may, but usually will not, lead to the original paper being consulted. This is very sad but it is the inevitable consequence of the growth of science. The number of papers that can be consulted is absolutely limited, no more time can be spent in looking up papers, by and large, than in the past. As the number of papers increase the chance of any one paper being looked at is correspondingly diminished. This of course is only an average, some papers may be looked at by thousands of people and may become a regular and fixed part of science but most will perish unseen.
'The Supply of Information to the Scientist: Some Problems of the Present Day', The Journal of Documentation, 1957, 13, 195.

When I arrived in California to join the faculty of the New University which opened in October 1891, it was near the end of the dry season and probably no rain had fallen for three or four months. The bare cracked adobe fields surrounding the new buildings ... offered a decidedly unpromising outlook... A month or two later, however, there was a magical transformation. With the advent of the autumn rains the whole country quickly turned green, and a profusion of liverworts such as I had never seen before appeared on the open ground... I soon realized that right in my own backyard, so to speak, was a wealth of material such as I had never imagined would be my good fortune to encounter. ... Such an invitation to make a comprehensive study of the structure and development of the liverworts could not be resisted; and the next three years were largely devoted to this work which finally resulted in the publication of 'The Mosses and Ferns' in 1895.
In The Structure and Development of Mosses and Ferns (Archegoniatae) (1905, 3rd ed. 1918, rev. 1928). Cited in William C. Steere, Obituary, 'Douglas Houghton Campbell', American Bryological and Lichenological Society, The Bryologist (1953), 131.
Science quotes on:  |  Autumn (3)  |  Backyard (3)  |  Book (100)  |  Encounter (7)  |  Fortune (15)  |  Imagination (130)  |  Invitation (4)  |  Material (60)  |  Rain (17)  |  Research (360)  |  Study (157)  |  Wealth (29)

When something comes along and is really important to your career and important to science, important enough so that lots of other people are working on it, you have got to do it in a short time. You have got to get in there and run experiments quickly and get published. That is the killer instinct. I do not think women have that part of it. Part of it comes from sports. It's like scoring a goal.
Quoted in The Door in the Dream: Conversations with Eminent Women in Science by Elga Wasserman, National Academy Press/John Henry Press (2000), p. 182
Science quotes on:  |  Career (29)

You have heard of the new chemical nomenclature endeavored to be introduced by Lavoisier, Fourcroy, &c. Other chemists of this country, of equal note, reject it, and prove in my opinion that it is premature, insufficient and false. These latter are joined by the British chemists; and upon the whole, I think the new nomenclature will be rejected, after doing more harm than good. There are some good publications in it, which must be translated into the ordinary chemical language before they will be useful.
Letter to Dr. Currie (Paris, 1788). In Thomas Jefferson and John P. Foley (ed.), The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900), 135. From H.A. Washington, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (1853-54). Vol 2, 544.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  False (29)  |  Comte de Antoine Francois Fourcroy (5)  |  Harm (17)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (26)  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Opinion (81)  |  Rejection (16)

You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length.
Quoted in G. Simmons, Calculus Gems (1992).

Your words have come true with a vengeance that I shd [should] be forestalled ... I never saw a more striking coincidence. If Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in 1842 he could not have made a better short abstract! Even his terms now stand as Heads of my Chapters.
Letter to Charles Lyell, 18 June 1858. In F. Burkhardt and S. Smith (eds.), The Correspondence of Charles Darwin 1858-1859, Supplement 1821-1857 (1991), Vol. 7, 107.
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Charles Lyell (36)  |  Alfred Russel Wallace (11)

[Describing a freshman seminar titled “How the Tabby Cat Got Her Stripes or The Silence of the Genes”:] The big idea we start with is: “How is the genome interpreted, and how are stable decisions that affect gene expression inherited from one cell to the next? This is one of the most competitive areas of molecular biology at the moment, and the students are reading papers that in some instances were published this past year. As a consequence, one of the most common answers I have to give to their questions is, “We just don't know.”
As quoted by Kitta MacPherson in 'Exploring Epigenetics: President Shirley Tilghman in the Classroom,' Princeton University Undergraduate Admission web page accessed 14 Oct 2013.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (96)  |  Cell (90)  |  Decision (30)  |  Effect (72)  |  Expression (44)  |  Genome (3)  |  Inherit (2)  |  Interpretation (38)  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Molecular Biology (19)  |  Question (159)  |  Recent (14)  |  Stable (5)


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