Vannevar Bush Quotes

On the wisdom with which we bring science to bear in the war against disease, in the creation of new industries, and in the strengthening of our Armed Forces depends in large measure our future as a nation.

Vannevar Bush

The scene changes but the aspirations of men of good will persist.

Vannevar Bush

There will always be plenty of things to compute in the detailed affairs of millions of people doing complicated things.

Vannevar Bush

A record, if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it must be stored, and above all it must be consulted.

Vannevar Bush

Science, by itself, provides no panacea for individual, social, and economic ills. It can be effective in the national welfare only as a member of a team, whether the conditions be peace or war. But without scientific progress no amount of achievement in other directions can insure our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world.

Vannevar Bush

Science can be effective in the national welfare only as a member of a team, whether the conditions be peace or war. But without scientific progress no amount of achievement in other directions can insure our health, prosperity, and security as a nation in the modern world.

Vannevar Bush

The applications of science have built man a well-supplied house, and are teaching him to live healthily therein. They have enabled him to throw masses of people against another with cruel weapons. They may yet allow him truly to encompass the great record and to grow in the wisdom of race experience. He may perish in conflict before he learns to wield that record for his true good. Yet, in the application of science to the needs and desires of man, it would seem to be a singularly unfortunate stage at which to terminate the process, or to lose hope as to the outcome.

Vannevar Bush

A mathematician is not a man who can readily manipulate figures; often he cannot. He is not even a man who can readily perform the transformation of equations by the use of calculus. He is primarily an individual who is skilled in the use of symbolic logic on a high plane, and especially he is a man of intuitive judgment in the choice of the manipulative processes he employs.

Vannevar Bush

Much needs to occur, however, between the collection of data and observations, the extraction of parallel material from the existing record, and the final insertion of new material into the general body of the common record. For mature thought there is no mechanical substitute. But creative thought and essentially repetitive thought are very different things. For the latter there are, and may be, powerful mechanical aids.

Vannevar Bush

Machines with interchangeable parts can now be constructed with great economy of effort. In spite of much complexity, they perform reliably. Witness the humble typewriter, or the movie camera, or the automobile.

Vannevar Bush

This has not been a scientist's war; it has been a war in which all have had a part. The scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand of a common cause, have shared greatly and learned much. It has been exhilarating to work in effective partnership. Now, for many, this appears to be approaching an end. What are the scientists to do next?

Vannevar Bush

As long as scientists are free to pursue the truth wherever it may lead, there will be a flow of new scientific knowledge to those who can apply it to practical problems.

Vannevar Bush

A belief may be larger than a fact.

Vannevar Bush

That the threat is now intense is not a reason to abandon our quest for knowledge. It is a reason to hold it more tightly, in spite of the need for action to preserve our freedom, in spite of the distractions of living in turmoil, that it may not be lost or brushed aside by the demands of the hour. We would not neglect our duty to our country and our fellows to strive mightily to preserve our ways and our lives. There is an added duty, not inconsistent, not less. It is the duty to so live that there may be a reason for living, beyond the mere mechanisms of life. It is the duty to carry on, under stress, the search for understanding.

Vannevar Bush

Science has a simple faith, which transcends utility. Nearly all men of science, all men of learning for that matter, and men of simple ways too, have it in some form and in some degree. It is the faith that it is the privilege of man to learn to understand, and that this is his mission. If we abandon that mission under stress we shall abandon it forever, for stress will not cease. Knowledge for the sake of understanding, not merely to prevail, that is the essence of our being. None can define its limits, or set its ultimate boundaries.

Vannevar Bush

All our steps in creating or absorbing material of the record proceed through one of the senses the tactile when we touch keys, the oral when we speak or listen, the visual when we read. Is it not possible that some day the path may be established more directly?

Vannevar Bush

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