Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > Ira Remsen Quotes

Thumbnail of Ira Remsen (source)
Ira Remsen
(10 Feb 1846 - 4 Mar 1927)

American chemist who co-discovered saccharin. He spent most of his career teaching chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.


Science Quotes by Ira Remsen (5 quotes)

Photo of Ira Remsen - head and shoulders; colorization  todayinsci.com
Ira Remsen
colorization todayinsci (Terms of Use)

Please respect the colorization artist’s wishes and do not copy this image for ONLINE use anywhere else.

Thank you.

For offline use, click Terms of Use tab on top menu.

[Responding to a student whose friend asked about studying Agricultural Chemistry at Johns Hopkins:]
We would be glad to have your friend come here to study, but tell him that we teach Chemistry here and not Agricultural Chemistry, nor any other special kind of chemistry. ... We teach Chemistry.
— Ira Remsen
In Frederick Hutton Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen, 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Kind (27)  |  Special (25)  |  Teaching (64)

Be a physical chemist, an organic chemist, an analytical chemist, if you will; but above all be a Chemist.
[Admonishing his students to avoid over-specialization.]
— Ira Remsen
F. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1940), 71.
Science quotes on:  |  Chemist (49)  |  Organic Chemistry (27)  |  Physical Chemistry (5)

Liebig taught the world two great lessons. The first was that in order to teach chemistry it was necessary that students should be taken into a laboratory. The second lesson was that he who is to apply scientific thought and method to industrial problems must have a thorough knowledge of the sciences. The world learned the first lesson more readily than it learned the second.
— Ira Remsen
Ira Remsen, Address to the Industrial Chemistry Society, Glasgow (1910). Quoted in Frederick Hutton Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1980), 121-122.
Science quotes on:  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Justus von Liebig (36)

The fundamental characteristic of the scientific method is honesty. In dealing with any question, science asks no favors. ... I believe that constant use of the scientific method must in the end leave its impress upon him who uses it. ... A life spent in accordance with scientific teachings would be of a high order. It would practically conform to the teachings of the highest types of religion. The motives would be different, but so far as conduct is concerned the results would be practically identical.
— Ira Remsen
Address as its retiring president, to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, St. Louis (28 Dec 1903). 'Scientific Investigation and Progress', Nature 928 Jan 1904), 69:1787, 309.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (23)  |  Characteristic (36)  |  Conduct (8)  |  Constant (14)  |  Dealing (4)  |  Difference (135)  |  Favor (2)  |  Fundamental (59)  |  Honesty (11)  |  Identical (9)  |  Impression (32)  |  Lifetime (10)  |  Men Of Science (90)  |  Motive (9)  |  Question (159)  |  Result (129)  |  Science (875)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Scientific Method (101)  |  Use (54)

While reading in a textbook of chemistry, ... I came across the statement, 'nitric acid acts upon copper.' I was getting tired of reading such absurd stuff and I determined to see what this meant. Copper was more or less familiar to me, for copper cents were then in use. I had seen a bottle marked 'nitric acid' on a table in the doctor's office where I was then 'doing time.' I did not know its peculiarities, but I was getting on and likely to learn. The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant... I put one of them [cent] on the table, opened the bottle marked 'nitric acid'; poured some of the liquid on the copper; and prepared to make an observation. But what was this wonderful thing which I beheld? The cent was already changed, and it was no small change either. A greenish blue liquid foamed and fumed over the cent and over the table. The air in the neighborhood of the performance became colored dark red. A great colored cloud arose. This was disagreeable and suffocating—how should I stop this? I tried to get rid of the objectionable mess by picking it up and throwing it out of the window, which I had meanwhile opened. I learned another fact—nitric acid not only acts upon copper but it acts upon fingers. The pain led to another unpremeditated experiment. I drew my fingers across my trousers and another fact was discovered. Nitric acid acts upon trousers. Taking everything into consideration, that was the most impressive experiment, and, relatively, probably the most costly experiment I have ever performed.
— Ira Remsen
F. H. Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1940), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Absurdity (9)  |  Act (22)  |  Adventure (19)  |  Air (84)  |  Biography (199)  |  Bottle (6)  |  Change (133)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Cloud (22)  |  Copper (8)  |  Cost (15)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Finger (14)  |  Fume (5)  |  Impressiveness (2)  |  Liquid (12)  |  Meaning (52)  |  Mess (3)  |  Neighborhood (3)  |  Nitric Acid (2)  |  Observation (264)  |  Pain (49)  |  Peculiarity (11)  |  Reading (25)  |  Spirit (52)  |  Suffocation (2)  |  Table (8)  |  Trousers (3)  |  Window (11)



Quotes by others about Ira Remsen (1)

[Recalling Professor Ira Remsen's remarks (1895) to a group of his graduate students about to go out with their degrees into the world beyond the university:]
He talked to us for an hour on what was ahead of us; cautioned us against giving up the desire to push ahead by continued study and work. He warned us against allowing our present accomplishments to be the high spot in our lives. He urged us not to wait for a brilliant idea before beginning independent research, and emphasized the fact the Lavoisier's first contribution to chemistry was the analysis of a sample of gypsum. He told us that the fields in which the great masters had worked were still fruitful; the ground had only been scratched and the gleaner could be sure of ample reward.
Quoted in Frederick Hutton Getman, The Life of Ira Remsen (1980), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Accomplishment (25)  |  Ample (2)  |  Analysis (82)  |  Brilliance (4)  |  Chemist (49)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Contribution (23)  |  Desire (46)  |  Field (69)  |  Fruitful (9)  |  Graduation (3)  |  Ground (18)  |  Idea (226)  |  Independent (16)  |  Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (26)  |  Master (19)  |  Research (360)  |  Reward (21)  |  Scratch (4)  |  Study (157)  |  Work (198)


See also:

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