The most remarkable discovery ever made by scientists, was science itself.
Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.
Dissent is the mark of freedom.
The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation.
Science, like art, is not a copy of nature but a re-creation of her.
No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.
“Sooner or later every one of us breathes an atom that has been breathed before by anyone you can think of who has lived before us-Michelangelo or George Washington or Moses.”
Man is not the most majestic of the creatures; long before the mammals even, the dinosaurs were far more splendid. But he has what no other animal possesses: a jigsaw of faculties, which alone, over three thousand million years of life, made him creative. Every animal leaves traces of what he was. Man alone leaves traces of what he created.
[John] Dalton was a man of regular habits. For fifty-seven years he walked out of Manchester every day; he measured the rainfall, the temperatureóa singularly monotonous enterprise in this climate. Of all that mass of data, nothing whatever came. But of the one searching, almost childlike question about the weights that enter the construction of these simple moleculesóout of that came modern atomic theory. That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to the pertinent answer
By the worldly standards of public life, all scholars in their work are of course oddly virtuous. They do not make wild claims, they do not cheat, they do not try to persuade at any cost, they appeal neither to prejudice nor to authority, they are often frank about their ignorance, their disputes are fairly decorous, they do not confuse what is being argued with race, politics, sex or age, they listen patiently to the young and to the old who both know everything. These are the general virtues of scholarship, and they are peculiarly the virtues of science.