[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

Jacob Bronowski
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