The best Great Scientist Quotes for your consideration, inspiration, and motivation. Explore 1000s of thoughtful Great Scientist Quotes.
Each worldview was a cultural product, but evolution is true and separate creation is not. […] Worldviews are social constructions, and they channel the search for facts. But facts are found and knowledge progresses, however fitfully. Fact and theory are intertwined, and all great scientists understand the interaction.
I’ll tell you what you need to be a great scientist. You don’t have to be able understand very complicated things. It’s just the opposite. You have to be able to see what looks like the most complicated thing in the world and, in a flash, find the underlying simplicity. That’s what you need: a talent for simplicity.
It is not enough to say that we cannot know or judge because all the information is not in. The process of gathering knowledge does not lead to knowing. A child’s world spreads only a little beyond his understanding while that of a great scientist thrusts outward immeasurably. An answer is invariably the parent of a great family of new questions. So we draw worlds and fit them like tracings against the world about us, and crumple them when we find they do not fit and draw new ones.
If a given scientist had not made a given discovery, someone else would have done so a little later. Johann Mendel dies unknown after having discovered the laws of heredity: thirty-five years later, three men rediscover them. But the book that is not written will never be written. The premature death of a great scientist delays humanity; that of a great writer deprives it.
[On Richard P. Feynman’s live demonstration of the rigidity of the O-rings when cold that doomed the space shuttle Challenger, killing seven astronauts:] The public saw with their own eyes how science is done, how a great scientist thinks with his hands, how nature gives a clear answer when a scientist asks her a clear question.
All interpretations made by a scientist are hypotheses, and all hypotheses are tentative. They must forever be tested and they must be revised if found to be unsatisfactory. Hence, a change of mind in a scientist, and particularly in a great scientist, is not only not a sign of weakness but rather evidence for continuing attention to the respective problem and an ability to test the hypothesis again and again.
Walking the streets of Tokyo with Hawking in his wheelchair … I felt as if I were taking a walk through Galilee with Jesus Christ [as] crowds of Japanese silently streamed after us, stretching out their hands to touch Hawking’s wheelchair. … The crowds had streamed after Einstein [on Einstein’s visit to Japan in 1922] as they streamed after Hawking seventy years later. … They showed exquisite choice in their heroes. … Somehow they understood that Einstein and Hawking were not just great scientists, but great human beings.
Even the great scientists have reported that their creative break-throughs came at a time of mental quietude. The surprising result of a nationwide inquiry among America’s most eminent mathematicians, including Einstein, to find out their working methods, was that thinking ‘plays only a subordinate part in the brief, decisive phase of the creative act itself’.
I don’t think you can pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere indefinitely and not have a reaction. But there are great scientists such as Freeman Dyson, one of the greatest physicists of the last hundred years, who has studied the question, who believes quite the opposite. The reason transnational action is so difficult is because the major problem with climate change is, A, that there is no consensus, and, B, that the economic cost is simply staggering. Reversing it completely might mean undoing the modern industrial economy.