Quote Me On That

Scientists: Curious? Yes. Methodical? Yes. Determined? Yes. Eloquent? You better believe it!

Here are ten of our favorite quotes straights from the mouths of scientists. Perfect to put on that lab book, lab bench or classroom wall as you gear up for the semester.

“Science is an integral part of culture. It’s not this foreign thing done by an arcane priesthood. It’s one of the glories of the human intellectual tradition.”

– Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) biologist.

“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”

– Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) chemist.  

“If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off…no matter what they say.”

– Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) cytogeneticist.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin (1809-1882) naturalist and biologist.

“Above all, don’t fear difficult moments. The best comes from them.”

– Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909-2012) neuroscientist.

“What you learn from a life in science is the vastness of our ignorance.”

– David Eagleman (1971-present) neuroscientist.

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign of?”

– Albert Einstein (1879-1955) theoretical physicist.

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-present) astrophysicist.

“We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used to create them.”

– Albert Einstein (1879-1955) theoretical physicist.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

-Marie Curie (1867-1934) physicist and chemist.

Bonus. Non-scientists also have important (and beautiful) things to say about science. Here are five quotes that shouldn’t be missed.

“Impossible is not a scientific term.”

– Vanna Bonta (?-2014) actress, author, and inventor

“Science is not about control. It is about cultivating a perpetual condition of wonder in the face of something that forever grows one step richer and subtler than our latest theory about it. It is about reverence not mastery.”

– Richard Powers (1957-present) writer.

“I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology. A new era is beginning.”

– Steve Jobs (1955-2011).

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

– Unknown.

“The biotechnology industry is helping to heal, fuel, and feed the world.”

– James Greenwood (1951-present) congressman.

Image Attributions (top to bottom): MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Smithsonian Institution/Science Service; Restored by Adam Cuerden. Charles_Darwin_seated.jpg: Henry Maull (1829–1914) and John Fox (1832–1907) (Maull & Fox) [3]derivative work: Beao, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Diario de Madrid, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. PopTech, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain Photograph by Oren Jack Turner, Princeton, N.J. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain Photograph by Oren Jack Turner, Princeton, N.J. Nobel foundation, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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