A Quote by John C. Polanyi on discovery, guidance, research, science, and scientists

(Concerning the allocation of research funds) It is folly to use as one's guide in the selection of fundamental science the criterion of utility. Not because (scientists) . . . despise utility. But because . . . useful outcomes are best identified after the making of discoveries, rather than before.

John C. Polanyi (1929 -)

Source: keynote address toCanadian Society for theWeizmann Instituteof Science,Toronto,June 2,1996

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Jay W. Ingram on family, football, justice, life, psychology, science, scientists, tennis, thought, winning, wonder, and yielding

I once read that if the folds in the cerebral cortex were smoothed out it would cover a card table. That seemed quite unbelievable but it did make me wonder just how big the cortex would be if you ironed it out. I thought it might just about cover a family-sized pizza: not bad, but no card-table. I was astonished to realize that nobody seems to know the answer. A quick search yielded the following estimates for the smoothed out dimensions of the cerebral cortex of the human brain. An article in Bioscience in November 1987 by Julie Ann Miller claimed the cortex was a "quarter-metre square." That is napkin-sized, about ten inches by ten inches. Scientific American magazine in September 1992 upped the ante considerably with an estimate of 1 1/2 square metres; that's a square of brain forty inches on each side, getting close to the card-table estimate.' A psychologist at the University of Toronto figured it would cover the floor of his living room (I haven't seen his living room), but the prize winning estimate so far is from the British magazine New Scientist's poster of the brain published in 1993 which claimed that the cerebral cortex, if flattened out, would cover a tennis court. 'How can there be such disagreement?' How can so many experts not know how big the cortex is? I don't know, but I'm on the hunt for an expert who will say the cortex, when fully spread out, will cover a football field. A Canadian football field.

Jay W. Ingram

Source: The Burning House, Unlocking the Mysteries of the Brain Penguin Books, U.K., 1995

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Isaac Asimov on knowledge, science, scientists, and time

Scientific apparatus offers a window to knowledge, but as they grow more elaborate, scientists spend ever more time washing the windows.

Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Isaac Asimov on elderly, emotion, ideas, and scientists

(but, in rebuttal) When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right.

Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

Source: 'Fantasy & Science Fiction' 1977

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Heinz R. Pagels on discovery, possessions, and scientists

Possession of a program with unique analytic capabilities puts a scientist in as much of a priveleged position to make new discoveries as the possession of a powerful telescope.

Heinz R. Pagels

Source: Heinz R. Pagels, The Dreams of Reason, p. 317, Simon & Schuster, 1988

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Francis Vincent "Frank" Zappa, Jr. on scientists, stupidity, and universe

Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say that there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.

Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Francis Harry Compton Crick on ability, age, careers, certainty, change, choice, difficulty, effort, enthusiasm, expertise, good, investment, knowledge, mathematics, physics, radicals, scientists, time, and war

When the war finally came to an end, I was at a loss as to what to do. . . . I took stock of my qualifications. A not-very-good degree, redeemed somewhat by my achievements at the Admiralty. A knowledge of certain restricted parts of magnetism and hydrodynamics, neither of them subjects for which I felt the least bit of enthusiasm. No published papers at all. . . . Only gradually did I realize that this lack of qualification could be an advantage. By the time most scientists have reached age thirty they are trapped by their own expertise. They have invested so much effort in one particular field that it is often extremely difficult, at that time in their careers, to make a radical change. I, on the other hand, knew nothing, except for a basic training in somewhat old-fashioned physics and mathematics and an ability to turn my hand to new things. . . . Since I essentially knew nothing, I had an almost completely free choice. . . .

Francis Crick (1916 -)

Source: Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit, Basic Books, New York, 1988, pp 15-16.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Florence Nightingale on action, belief, business, community, duty, divinity, evolution, failure, god, guidance, heroism, knowledge, life, politicians, purpose, religion, scientists, statistics, study, success, sympathy, understanding, and univ

Of Florence Nightingale: Her statistics were more than a study, they were indeed her religion. For her Quetelet was the hero as scientist, and the presentation copy of his Physique sociale is annotated by her on every page. Florence Nightingale believed - and in all the actions of her life acted upon that belief - that the administrator could only be successful if he were guided by statistical knowledge. The legislator - to say nothing of the politician - too often failed for want of this knowledge. Nay, she went further; she held that the universe - including human communities - was evolving in accordance with a divine plan; that it was man's business to endeavor to understand this plan and guide his actions in sympathy with it. But to understand God's thoughts, she held we must study statistics, for these are the measure of His purpose. Thus the study of statistics was for her a religious duty.

Florence Nightingale (1820 - 1910)

Source: K. Pearson The Life, Letters and Labours for Francis Galton, vol. 2, 1924.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Eric Johnson on change, culture, economics, friendship, god, growth, knowledge, lies, life, people, politics, reality, science, scientists, violence, and world

If there is one word which characterizes our world in this exciting last half of the twentieth century, the word is change. Change in political life - change in economic life - change is social life - change in personal life. Change is the hallmark of our times. It's not gradual, comfortable change. It is sudden, rapid, often violent. It touches and often disrupts whole cultures and hundreds of millions of people. Behind it all lies an explosive growth in scientific knowledge and accomplishment. Some 90 per cent of all the scientists who ever lived are living today and the total accumulation of scientific knowledge is doubling every ten years. But this is reality. If we remember that, then we will never flinch at change. We will adjust to it, welcome it, meet it as a friend and know it as God's will.

Eric Johnson

Source: Albert W. Daw Collection

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Elton Trueblood on awareness, christianity, competence, conviction, decisions, earth, experience, facts, fatherhood, history, honesty, meditation, problems, science, scientists, service, sharing, and work

When scientists are honest, as most of them are, they are well aware of the fact that their competence in science does not give them a clue to the problem of how their science should be used in the service of man. The sensitive visitor to the mesas of Los Alamos is almost sure to meditate on the experience of that gifted man, Klaus Fuchs. Though his work in the laboratories was outstanding, his decision concerning the use of what he knew was disastrous. What if, in addition to his scientific competence, the younger Fuchs had shared something of the Christian conviction of his father, Emil Fuchs? Much of the subsequent history of our earth might then have been different.

Elton Trueblood

Source: The Incendiary Fellowship

Contributed by: Zaady

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