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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index R > John Ruskin Quotes

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John Ruskin
(2 Aug 1819 - 20 Jan 1900)

English art critic and author who wrote and lectured on art, architecture and social problems. He favoured modern landscape painters (especially Turner) over the old masters.

Science Quotes by John Ruskin (15 quotes)

For a stone, when it is examined, will be found a mountain in miniature. The fineness of Nature's work is so great, that, into a single block, a foot or two in diameter, she can compress as many changes of form and structure, on a small scale, as she needs for her mountains on a large one; and, taking moss for forests, and grains of crystal for crags, the surface of a stone, in by far the plurality of instances, is more interesting than the surface of an ordinary hill; more fantastic in form and incomparably richer in colour—the last quality being, in fact, so noble in most stones of good birth (that is to say, fallen from the crystalline mountain ranges).
— John Ruskin
Modem Painters, 4, Containing part 5 of Mountain Beauty (1860), 311.
Science quotes on:  |  Block (5)  |  Change (133)  |  Colour (32)  |  Compression (2)  |  Crag (3)  |  Crystal (22)  |  Fantastic (4)  |  Forest (54)  |  Form (70)  |  Grain (10)  |  Hill (14)  |  Instance (7)  |  Interest (82)  |  Large (22)  |  Miniature (2)  |  Moss (5)  |  Mountain (66)  |  Nature (534)  |  Noble (14)  |  Ordinary (19)  |  Plurality (4)  |  Quality (29)  |  Range (12)  |  Richness (8)  |  Scale (21)  |  Small (35)  |  Stone (20)  |  Structure (104)  |  Surface (37)

Geology does better in reclothing dry bones and revealing lost creations, than in tracing veins of lead and beds of iron; astronomy better in opening to us the houses of heaven than in teaching navigation; surgery better in investigating organiation than in setting limbs; only it is ordained that, for our encouragement, every step we make in science adds something to its practical applicabilities.
— John Ruskin
Modern Painters (1852), Part 3, 8-9.
Science quotes on:  |  Applied Science (16)  |  Astronomy (105)  |  Geology (145)  |  Surgery (29)

Going by railroad I do not consider as travelling at all; it is merely "being sent" to a place, and very little different from becoming a parcel.
— John Ruskin
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 128:25.
Science quotes on:  |  Railway (5)

I wish they would use English instead of Greek words. When I want to know why a leaf is green, they tell me it is coloured by “chlorophyll,” which at first sounds very instructive; but if they would only say plainly that a leaf is coloured green by a thing which is called “green leaf,” we should see more precisely how far we had got.
[The word “chlorophyll” is formed from the Greek words for “green leaf.”]
— John Ruskin
In The Queen of the Air: a Study of the Greek Myths of Cloud and Storm (1889), 51
Science quotes on:  |  Chlorophyll (3)  |  Colour (32)  |  English (8)  |  Greek (17)  |  Green (9)  |  Instruction (13)  |  Leaf (22)  |  Nomenclature (102)  |  Word (97)

If only the Geologists would let me alone, I could do very well, but those dreadful Hammers! I hear the clink of them at the end of every cadence of the Bible verses.
— John Ruskin
Letter to Henry Acland (24 May 1851).
Science quotes on:  |  Bible (43)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Hammer (7)  |  Verse (7)

Modern science gives lectures on botany, to show there is no such thing as a flower; on humanity, to show there is no such thing as a man; and on theology, to show there is no such thing as a God. No such thing as a man, but only a mechanism, No such thing as a God, but only a series of forces.
— John Ruskin
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 281:32.
Science quotes on:  |  Science And Religion (159)

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.
— John Ruskin
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (88)  |  Infinite (39)  |  Nature (534)  |  Painting (17)

Science deals exclusively with things as they are in themselves.
— John Ruskin
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 382:25.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (875)

Science is the knowledge of constant things, not merely of passing events, and is properly less the knowledge of general laws than of existing facts.
— John Ruskin
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 382:40.
Science quotes on:  |  Knowledge (679)  |  Law (273)

Science lives only in quiet places, and with odd people, mostly poor.
— John Ruskin
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 382:42.
Science quotes on:  |  Science (875)

See that your children be taught, not only the labors of the earth, but the loveliness of it.
— John Ruskin
In Elbert Hubbard (ed. and publ.), The Philistine (Mar 1908), 26, No. 4, inside front cover, opposite 97.
Science quotes on:  |  Children (14)  |  Earth (250)  |  Labor (18)  |  Loveliness (2)  |  Teaching (64)

The more I think of it, I find this conclusion more impressed upon me—that the greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way.
— John Ruskin
Modern Painters: pt. 4. Of Many Things (1850), 268. books.google.com John Ruskin - 1850
Science quotes on:  |  Conclusion (74)  |  Doing (26)  |  Greatest (23)  |  Human (168)  |  Impression (32)  |  Plain (11)  |  Seeing (29)  |  Something (9)  |  Soul (54)  |  Telling (16)  |  Thing (27)  |  Thinking (166)  |  Way (31)  |  World (231)

The step between practical and theoretic science, is the step between the miner and the geologist, the apocathecary and the chemist.
— John Ruskin
Modern Painters (1852), Part 3, 8.
Science quotes on:  |  Apothecary (5)  |  Applied Science (16)  |  Chemist (49)  |  Geologist (26)  |  Miner (2)

The truth of Nature is a part of the truth of God; to him who does not search it out, darkness; to him who does, infinity.
— John Ruskin
From chapter 'That the Truth of Nature is not to be Discerned by the Uneducated Senses', Modern Painters (1st American Ed. from the 3rd London ed., 1855), Vol. 1, Part 2, Sec 1, Chap 2, 50. Originally published anonymously, identified on the title page only as “A Graduate of Oxford.”
Science quotes on:  |  Darkness (11)  |  God (234)  |  Infinity (44)  |  Nature (534)  |  Science And Religion (159)  |  Search (40)  |  Truth (450)

The work of science is to substitute facts for appearances, and demonstrations for impressions.
— John Ruskin
In James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign Sources (1893), 464:02.
Science quotes on:  |  Fact (325)  |  Science (875)



Quotes by others about John Ruskin (1)

The lives of scientists, considered as Lives, almost always make dull reading. For one thing, the careers of the famous and the merely ordinary fall into much the same pattern, give or take an honorary degree or two, or (in European countries) an honorific order. It could be hardly otherwise. Academics can only seldom lead lives that are spacious or exciting in a worldly sense. They need laboratories or libraries and the company of other academics. Their work is in no way made deeper or more cogent by privation, distress or worldly buffetings. Their private lives may be unhappy, strangely mixed up or comic, but not in ways that tell us anything special about the nature or direction of their work. Academics lie outside the devastation area of the literary convention according to which the lives of artists and men of letters are intrinsically interesting, a source of cultural insight in themselves. If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility; if a historian were to fail (as Ruskin did) to consummate his marriage, we should not suppose that our understanding of historical scholarship had somehow been enriched.
'J.B.S: A Johnsonian Scientist', New York Review of Books (10 Oct 1968), reprinted in Pluto's Republic (1982), and inThe Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science (1996), 86.
Science quotes on:  |  Academic (2)  |  Artist (19)  |  Career (29)  |  Company (14)  |  Convention (5)  |  Culture (44)  |  Degree (18)  |  Devastation (2)  |  Dull (12)  |  Enrichment (6)  |  Excitement (20)  |  Fame (21)  |  Historian (18)  |  Insight (28)  |  Interesting (20)  |  Laboratory (75)  |  Library (22)  |  Life (460)  |  Literary (3)  |  Ordinary (19)  |  Pattern (18)  |  Privacy (4)  |  Privation (2)  |  Reading (25)  |  Scholarship (5)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Unhappiness (4)  |  Work (198)


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
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- 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