Scientific Quotes

Collection of historical scientific quotes.

Scientific Quotes

Author unknown

· Every day is Earth Day.

· Take care of the Earth and she will take care of you.

· A virgin forest is where the hand of man has never set foot.

· Scientists should always state the opinions upon which their facts are based.

· I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn.

· A biophysicist talks physics to the biologists and biology to the physicists, but then he meets another biophysicist, they just discuss women.

· We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them. We say we love trees, yet we cut them down. And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved.

Native American Wisdom

· We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

· You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the Earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the Earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

· Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.

· The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.

· When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don't ruin things. We shake down acorns and pinenuts. We don't chop down the trees.

Abraham Flexner

· Science, in the very act of solving problems, creates more of them.

Adam Smith

· Adventure upon all the tickets in the lottery, and you lose for certain; and the greater the number of your tickets the nearer your approach to this certainty.

· Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.

Alan Perlis

· A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.

Alan Valentine

· Whenever science makes a discovery, the devil grabs it while the angels are debating the best way to use it.

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

· I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

· Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

· Politics is for the present, but an equation is for eternity.

· Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

· The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.

· Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.

· We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

· The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder.

· No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.

· Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

· The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality.

· A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.

Albert Schweitzer

· Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the Earth.

Albert W. Atwood

· Waste is a tax on the whole people.

Aldo Leopold

· We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.

Aldous Huxley

· Great scientific discoveries have been made by men seeking to verify quite erroneous theories about the nature of things.

Alvin Toffler

· The next major explosion is going to be when genetics and computers come together. I'm talking about an organic computer - about biological substances that can function like a semiconductor.

Ansel Adams

· It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.

Anton Chekhov

· There is no national science just as there is no national multiplication table; what is national is no longer science.

· Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wild life's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.


· Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

Arnold H. Glasow

· The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.

Arnold Toynbee

· We have been god-like in the planned breeding of our domesticated plants, but rabbit-like in the unplanned breeding of ourselves.

Art Buchwald

· And Man created the plastic bag and the tin and aluminum can and the cellophane wrapper and the paper plate, and this was good because Man could then take his automobile and buy all his food in one place and He could save that which was good to eat in the refrigerator and throw away that which had no further use. And soon the Earth was covered with plastic bags and aluminum cans and paper plates and disposable bottles and there was nowhere to sit down or walk, and Man shook his head and cried: "Look at this Godawful mess".

Arthur C. Clarke

· If an elderly but distinguished scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right; but if he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

Arthur M. Schlesinger

· Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.

Ashley Montagu

· The doctor has been taught to be interested not in health but in disease. What the public is taught is that health is the cure for disease.

Augustus W. Hare and Julius C. Hare

· Curiosity is little more than another name for Hope.

Bernand de Voto

· It is imperative to maintain portions of the wilderness untouched so that a tree will rot where it falls, a waterfall will pour its curve without generating electricity, a trumpeter swan may float on uncontaminated water - and moderns may at least see what their ancestors knew in their nerves and blood.

Bernard Baruch

· Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

· I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy.

· Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover.

· Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own.

Bishop Mandell Creighton

· The one real object of education is to have a man in the condition of continually asking questions.

Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1661)

· Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish not to know, but to talk. We would not take a sea voyage for the sole pleasure of seeing without hope of ever telling.

Brooke M. Eagle

· There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.

Bruce Feirstein

· The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.


· To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance.

Carl Jung

· We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.

Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)

· Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.

· In science it often happens that scientists say: "You know, that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken", and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

· The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition.

Celia Green

· The way to do research is to attack the facts at the point of greatest astonishment.

Channing E. Phillips

· Racial injustice, war, urban blight, and environmental rape have a common denominator in our exploitative economic system.

Charles A. Lindbergh

· How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life?

· Man must feel the Earth to know himself and recognize his values... God made life simple. It is man who complicates it.

Charles Haas

· Give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day. But teach a man how to fish, and he'll be dead of mercury poisoning inside of three years.

Charles Kettering

· People think of the inventor as a screwball, but no one ever asks the inventor what he thinks of other people.

Charles P. Steinmetz

· There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions.

Charles Pierce

· There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be.

· It is the man of science, eager to have his every opinion regenerated, his every idea rationalized, by drinking at the fountain of fact, and devoting all the energies of his life to the cult of truth, not as he understands it, but as he does not yet understand it, that ought properly to be called a philosopher.

Claude Bernard

· The doubter is a true man of science; he doubts only himself and his interpretations, but he believes in science.

Claude Lévi-Strauss

· The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he's one who asks the right questions.

Dan Quayle

· For NASA, space is still a high priority.

Darryl Cherney

· I'm not an environmentalist. I'm an Earth warrior.

Dave Foreman

· Our environmental problems originate in the hubris of imagining ourselves as the central nervous system or the brain of nature. We're not the brain, we are a cancer on nature.

Dave Parnas

· Whenever anyone says, "theoretically", they really mean, "not really".

David Brin

· A living planet is a much more complex metaphor for deity than just a bigger father with a bigger fist. If an omniscient, all-powerful Dad ignores your prayers, it's taken personally. Hear only silence long enough, and you start wondering about his power. His fairness. His very existence. But if a world mother doesn't reply, Her excuse is simple. She never claimed conceited omnipotence. She has countless others clinging to her apron strings, including myriad species unable to speak for themselves. To Her elder offspring She says - go raid the fridge. Go play outside. Go get a job. Or, better yet, lend me a hand. I have no time for idle whining.

David Ehrenfeld

· Humanity is on the march, Earth itself is left behind.

David Gerrold

· Understanding the laws of nature does not mean that we are immune to their operations.

David Orr

· When we heal the Earth, we heal ourselves.

David Wann

· The packaging for a microwavable "microwave" dinner is programmed for a shelf life of maybe six months, a cook time of two minutes and a landfill dead-time of centuries.

Dennis Gabor

· Till now man has been up against Nature; from now on he will be up against his own nature.

Denton Morrison

· It is the safest of times, it is the riskiest of times... What the Dickens is going on here?

Donald G. Kaufman and Cecilia M. Franz

· We must not be forced to explore the universe in search of a new home because we have made the Earth inhospitable, even uninhabitable. For if we do not solve the environmental and related social problems that beset us on Earth - pollution, toxic contamination, resource depletion, prejudice, poverty, hunger - those problems will surely accompany us to other worlds.

Dorothy Parker

· The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

E. F. Schumacher

· The system of nature, of which man is a part, tends to be self-balancing, self-adjusting, self-cleansing. Not so with technology.

E. Knight

· Waste not the smallest thing created, for grains of sand make mountains, and atomies infinity.

Eden Phillpotts

· The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

Edmund Hillary

· Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.

Edward Abbey

· Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris.

Edward O. Wilson

· If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.

Edward Teller

· The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.

· A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective.

Edward Young

· Man maketh a death which Nature never made.

Edwin Hubble

· Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

· Observations always involve theory.

Edwin W. Teale

· Time and space - time to be alone, space to move about - these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow.

· Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals "love" them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.

Eleanor Roosevelt

· I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.

Elwyn B. White

· I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.

· I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

Environmental Defense Fund advertisement

· U.S. consumers and industry dispose of enough aluminum to rebuild the commercial air fleet every three months; enough iron and steel to continuously supply all automakers; enough glass to fill New York's World Trade Center every two weeks.

Ernest Jones

· The control man has secured over nature has far outrun his control over himself.

Erwin Chargaff

· Science is wonderfully equipped to answer the question "How?" but it gets terribly confused when you ask the question "Why?".

Eugene M. Poirot

· A margin of life is developed by Nature for all living things - including man. All life forms obey Nature's demands - except man, who has found ways of ignoring them.

Evelyn F. Keller

· To know the history of science is to recognize the mortality of any claim to universal truth.

F. K. Richtmeyer

· The whole history of physics proves that a new discovery is quite likely lurking at the next decimal place.

Francis Bacon

· If a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics.

· We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.

Francis Darwin

· But in science the credit goes to the man who convinces the world, not to the man to whom the idea first occurs.

Frank N. Ikard

· Will urban sprawl spread so far that most people lose all touch with nature? Will the day come when the only bird a typical American child ever sees is a canary in a pet shop window? When the only wild animal he knows is a rat - glimpsed on a night drive through some city slum? When the only tree he touches is the cleverly fabricated plastic evergreen that shades his gifts on Christmas morning?

Frank Wilczek

· In physics, you don't have to go around making trouble for yourself - nature does it for you.

Franklin P. Adams

· I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.

François Rabelais

· Science without conscience is the soul's perdition.

Fred A. Wolfe

· The quantum is that embarrassing little piece of thread that always hangs from the sweater of space-time. Pull it and the whole thing unravels.

Fritjof Capra

· Scientists, therefore, are responsible for their research, not only intellectually but also morally. This responsibility has become an important issue in many of today's sciences, but especially so in physics, in which the results of quantum mechanics and relativity theory have opened up two very different paths for physicists to pursue. They may lead us - to put it in extreme terms - to the Buddha or to the Bomb, and it is up to each of us to decide which path to take.

G. W. Allport

· The scientist, by the very nature of his commitment, creates more and more questions, never fewer. Indeed the measure of our intellectual maturity, one philosopher suggests, is our capacity to feel less and less satisfied with our answers to better problems.

Garrett Hardin

· The exquisite sight, sound, and smell of wilderness is many times more powerful if it is earned through physical achievement, if it comes at the end of a long and fatiguing trip for which vigorous good health is necessary. Practically speaking, this means that no one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.

George B. Shaw

· Science never solves a problem without creating ten more.

· Science is always wrong. It never solves a problem without creating ten more.

George Bush

· The days a man spends fishing or spends hunting should not be deducted from the time that he's on Earth. In other words, if I fish today, that should be added to the amount of time I get to live. That's the way I look at recreation. That's why I'll be a big conservation, environmental President, because I plan to fish and hunt as much as I possibly can.

George Porter

· I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the Sun's energy... If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago.

George Santayana

· I believe in general in a dualism between facts and the ideas of those facts in human heads.

· Theory helps us bear our ignorance of facts.

George W. Curtis

· He is so old that his blood type was discontinued.

George Wald

· It would be a poor thing to be an atom in a universe without physicists, and physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an atom's way of knowing about atoms.

Gerard Piel

· The most remarkable discovery made by scientists is science itself.

Gertrude Stein

· The nineteenth century believed in science but the twentieth century does not.

Gil Stern

· Man is a complex being: he makes deserts bloom - and lakes die.

Glenn T. Seaborg (1912 - 1999)

· One of the first laws against air pollution came in 1300 when King Edward I decreed the death penalty for burning of coal. At least one execution for that offense is recorded. But economics triumphed over health considerations, and air pollution became an appalling problem in England.

Grey Livingston

· When you use a manual push mower, you're "cutting" down on pollution and the only thing in danger of running out of gas is you!

H. L. Mencken

· Science, at bottom, is really anti-intellectual. It always distrusts pure reason, and demands the production of objective fact.

· The effort to reconcile science and religion is almost always made, not by theologians, but by scientists unable to shake off altogether the piety absorbed with their mother's milk.

· It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry.

Handy Guide to Science

· If it's green or wriggles, it's biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it doesn't work, it's physics.

Havelock Ellis

· The Sun, the Moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago... had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.

Henri Poincaré (1854 - 1912)

· Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.

Henrik Tikkanen

· Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us.

Henry B. Adams

· Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.

Henry D. Thoreau

· Men are probably nearer the central truth in their superstitions than in their science.

· Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.

· Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.

· It appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature.

Henry Fairlie

· The desire to build a risk-free society has always been a sign of decadence. It has meant that the nation has given up, that it no longer believes in its destiny, that it has ceased to aspire to greatness, and has retired from history to pet itself.

Henry J. Tillman

· If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

Herman E. Daly

· Malthus has been buried many times, and Malthusian scarcity with him. But as Garrett Hardin remarked, anyone who has to be reburied so often cannot be entirely dead.

Howard Nemerov

· Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow's speed.

Hugh Walpole

· In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.

Ian McHarg

· Man is a blind, witless, low brow, anthropocentric clod who inflicts lesions upon the Earth.

Immanuel Kant (1724 - 1804)

· In every department of physical science there is only so much science, properly so-called, as there is mathematics.

Irving Babbitt

· The American reading his Sunday paper in a state of lazy collapse is perhaps the most perfect symbol of the triumph of quantity over quality... Whole forests are being ground into pulp daily to minister to our triviality.

Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992)

· The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny...".

· There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere.

· The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.

Isidor I. Rabi

· My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school, "So? Did you learn anything today?" But not my mother. "Izzy", she would say, "did you ask a good question today?" That difference - asking good questions - made me become a scientist.

J. C. Davies

· Today's world is one in which the age-old risks of humankind - the drought, floods, communicable diseases - are less of a problem than ever before. They have been replaced by risks of humanity's own making - the unintended side-effects of beneficial technologies and the intended effects of the technologies of war. Society must hope that the world's ability to assess and manage risks will keep pace with its ability to create them.

J. L. W. Brooks

· When gravity calls, something falls.

J. T. Fraser

· The task of asking nonliving matter to speak and the responsibility for interpreting its reply is that of physics.

Jacques Barzun

· If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.

Jacques Y. Cousteau

· What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what's going on.

· I am not a scientist. I am, rather, an impresario of scientists.

James D. Watson

· Take young researchers, put them together in virtual seclusion, give them an unprecedented degree of freedom and turn up the pressure by fostering competitiveness.

James G. Watt

· They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers.

James H. Boren

· I got the bill for my surgery. Now I know what those doctors were wearing masks for.

James Stephens

· Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.

Jane Howard

· Anthropology was the science that gave her the platform from which she surveyed, scolded and beamed at the world.

Janet Holmes

· We have to shift our emphasis from economic efficiency and materialism towards a sustainable quality of life and to healing of our society, of our people and our ecological systems.

Jason Love

· The microwave oven is the consolation prize in our struggle to understand physics.

Jean Arp

· Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation... tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation.

Jean Rostand

· Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

· You forget that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one.

Jeremy Rifkin

· We're finally going to get the bill for the Industrial Age. If the projections are right, it's going to be a big one: the ecological collapse of the planet.

Jimmy Buffet

· Our children may save us if they are taught to care properly for the planet; but if not, it may be back to the Ice Age or the caves from where we first emerged. Then we'll have to view the universe above from a cold, dark place. No more jet skis, nuclear weapons, plastic crap, broken pay phones, drugs, cars, waffle irons, or television. Come to think of it, that might not be a bad idea.

John A. Livingston

· We have always had reluctance to see a tract of land which is empty of men as anything but a void. The "waste howling wilderness" of Deuteronomy is typical. The Oxford Dictionary defines wilderness as wild or uncultivated land which is occupied "only" by wild animals. Places not used by us are "wastes". Areas not occupied by us are "desolate". Could the desolation be in the soul of man?

John Clapham

· Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress.

John D. Barrow

· There was no "before" the beginning of our universe, because once upon a time there was no time.

John D. Bernal

· It is characteristic of science that the full explanations are often seized in their essence by the percipient scientist long in advance of any possible proof.

John Dewey

· Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.

· Scientific principles and laws do not lie on the surface of nature. They are hidden, and must be wrested from nature by an active and elaborate technique of inquiry.

John Moffat

· Physics is imagination in a straight jacket.

John Muir

· When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.

· The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.

John Reader

· In a manner which matches the fortuity, if not the consequence, of Archimedes' bath and Newton's apple, the [3.6 million year old] fossil footprints were eventually noticed one evening in September 1976 by the paleontologist Andrew Hill, who fell while avoiding a ball of elephant dung hurled at him by the ecologist David Western.

John von Neumann (1903 - 1957)

· Anyone who attempts to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin.

Joseph W. Krutch

· When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man we call him a vandal. When he destroys one of the works of god we call him a sportsman.

Julian Huxley

· The human race will be the cancer of the planet.

Karl F. Gauss

· I have had my results for a long time: but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them.

Ken Jenkins

· I think science has enjoyed an extraordinary success because it has such a limited and narrow realm in which to focus its efforts. Namely, the physical universe.

Kenneth Boulding

· DNA was the first three-dimensional Xerox machine.

Konrad Lorenz (1903 - 1989)

· It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

· We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.

Lane Olinghouse

· Remember when atmospheric contaminants were romantically called stardust?

Leon B. Alberti

· When I investigate and when I discover that the forces of the heavens and the planets are within ourselves, then truly I seem to be living among the gods.

Leon Lederman

· Physics isn't a religion. If it were, we'd have a much easier time raising money.

Leonard Rubinstein

· Curiosity is a willing, a proud, an eager confession of ignorance.

Lewis Mumford

· Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences.

Lewis Thomas

· The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behaviour control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers.

· The great secret of doctors, known only to their wives, but still hidden from the public, is that most things get better by themselves; most things, in fact, are better in the morning.

· The capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.

Linus Pauling

· Facts are the air of scientists. Without them you can never fly.

Loudon Wainwright

· The magnificence of mountains, the serenity of nature - nothing is safe from the idiot marks of man's passing.

Louis D. Brandeis

· There are no shortcuts in evolution.

Luther Burbank

· Nature's laws affirm instead of prohibit. If you violate her laws you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman.

Marcus Aurelius

· Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.

Margaret Mead

· Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.

Mark Russell

· The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.

Mark Twain

· There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Marshall McLuhan

· There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.

Marston Bates

· Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind.

Martin H. Fischer

· Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them.

· The great men of science are supreme artists.

· Facts are not science - as the dictionary is not literature.

· Life preys upon life. This is biology's most fundamental fact.

· Not fact-finding, but attainment to philosophy is the aim of science.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968)

· Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

· Science investigates religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge which is power religion gives man wisdom which is control.

Mary Kay Ash

· Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.

Marya Mannes

· The Earth we abuse and the living things we kill will, in the end, take their revenge; for in exploiting their presence we are diminishing our future.

Max Gluckman

· A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation.

Max Planck

· A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

· Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: "Ye must have faith".

· An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer.

Michael Fox

· Zoos are becoming facsimiles - or perhaps caricatures - of how animals once were in their natural habitat. If the right policies toward nature were pursued, we would need no zoos at all.

Michael L. Fischer

· This is a beautiful planet and not at all fragile. Earth can withstand significant volcanic eruptions, tectonic cataclysms, and ice ages. But this canny, intelligent, prolific, and extremely self-centered human creature had proven himself capable of more destruction of life than Mother Nature herself... We've got to be stopped.

Michel de Montaigne

· Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.

Miguel de Unamuno (1864 - 1936)

· Science is a cemetery of dead ideas.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

· There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.

· God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west... keeping the world in chains. If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.

Motto of the Baltimore Grotto, a caving society

· Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.

Niels Bohr (1885 - 1962)

· Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.

Oliver W. Holmes

· Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.

· I hate facts. I always say the chief end of man is to form general propositions - adding that no general proposition is worth a damn.

· Science is the topography of ignorance.

· Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.

Pam Shaw

· After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world.

Pat Brown

· When a man throws an empty cigarette package from an automobile, he is liable to a fine of $50. When a man throws a billboard across a view, he is richly rewarded.

Paul Brooks

· In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops.

Paul MacCready, Jr.

· Your grandchildren will likely find it incredible - or even sinful - that you burned up a gallon of gasoline to fetch a pack of cigarettes!

Paul R. Ehrlich

· The mother of the year should be a sterilized woman with two adopted children.

Paul Valery

· The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.

Philip Shabecoff

· So bleak is the picture... that the bulldozer and not the atomic bomb may turn out to be the most destructive invention of the 20th century.

Pierre Troubetzkoy

· Why should man expect his prayer for mercy to be heard by What is above him when he shows no mercy to what is under him?

Pliny the Elder

· Such is the audacity of man, that he hath learned to counterfeit Nature, yea, and is so bold as to challenge her in her work.

Rachel Carson

· It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life.

· For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.

Ralph Nader

· The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the Sun.

Ralph W. Emerson

· Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.

· Science does not know its debt to imagination.

· Men love to wonder, and that is the seed of science.

Ralph W. Sockman

· The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.

Ray Bradbury

· Touch a scientist and you touch a child.

· The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance - the idea that anything is possible.

Rene Descartes

· Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems.

René Dubos

· Nature always strikes back. It takes all the running we can do to remain in the same place.

· Human destiny is bound to remain a gamble, because at some unpredictable time and in some unforeseeable manner nature will strike back.

· Man will survive as a species for one reason: He can adapt to the destructive effects of our power-intoxicated technology and of our ungoverned population growth, to the dirt, pollution and noise of a New York or Tokyo. And that is the tragedy. It is not man the ecological crisis threatens to destroy but the quality of human life.

· The word "wilderness" occurs approximately three hundred times in the Bible, and all its meanings are derogatory.

Richard Bach

· Civilization... wrecks the planet from seafloor to stratosphere.

Richard C. Cabot

· Ethics and Science need to shake hands.

Richard Davisson

· There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a "hottest part" implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible.

Rychard P. Feynman (1918 - 1988)

· For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.

Richard Wilkinson

· In its broadest ecological context, economic development is the development of more intensive ways of exploiting the natural environment.

Robert Brault

· In comparing religious belief to science, I try to remember that science is belief also.

Robert G. Ingersoll

· Reason, Observation, and Experience - the Holy Trinity of Science.

Robert K. Merton

· Most institutions demand unqualified faith; but the institution of science makes skepticism a virtue.

Robert L. Park

· The greatest discoveries of science have always been those that forced us to rethink our beliefs about the universe and our place in it.

Robert Lynd

· There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.

Robert Orben

· There's so much pollution in the air now that if it weren't for our lungs there'd be no place to put it all.

Robert Quillen

· If we wish to make a new world we have the material ready. The first one, too, was made out of chaos.

Robert Redford

· I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?

Ross Perot

· The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.

Rudolph Ladenburg

· There were two kinds of physicists in Berlin: on the one hand there was Einstein, and on the other all the rest.

Russell Baker

· Inanimate objects can be classified scientifically into three major categories; those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.

S. A. Sachs

· Physics is geometric proof on steroids.

Sam Ervin

· Polygraph tests are 20th-century witchcraft.

Stephanie Mills

· Environmentalists have long been fond of saying that the Sun is the only safe nuclear reactor, situated as it is some ninety-three million miles away.

Stephen J. Gould

· Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.

· In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withold provisional assent". I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

· Science is all those things which are confirmed to such a degree that it would be unreasonable to withhold one's provisional consent.

· Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.

Sudie Back

· Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.

Theodore Roosevelt

· To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.

Theodore Roszak

· Nature composes some of her loveliest poems for the microscope and the telescope.

Thomas Browne

· No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer.

Thomas Fuller

· We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.

Thomas H. Huxley

· The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

· Science is simply common sense at its best.

· But the great tragedy of Science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact - which is so constantly being enacted under the eyes of philosophers.

· Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed.

· The improver of natural science absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.

Tom Hanks

· From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It's not a miracle; we just decided to go.

Tom McMillan

· For 200 years we've been conquering Nature. Now we're beating it to death.

U Thant

· As we watch the Sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to say about us: "With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas", or, "They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them".

W. H. Auden

· When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a room full of dukes.

W. H. Carothers

· Living in the midst of abundance we have the greatest difficulty in seeing that the supply of natural wealth is limited and that the constant increase of population is destined to reduce the American standard of living unless we deal more sanely with our resources.

Wallace Stegner

· Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste.

Walter Lippmann

· The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion, that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.

Wernher von Braun

· We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.

· Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing.

Wilhelm Reich

· Scientific theory is a contrived foothold in the chaos of living phenomena.

Will Durant

· Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art.

William D. Ruckelshaus

· You go into a community and they will vote 80 percent to 20 percent in favor of a tougher Clean Air Act, but if you ask them to devote 20 minutes a year to having their car emissions inspected, they will vote 80 to 20 against it. We are a long way in this country from taking individual responsibility for the environmental problem.

William James

· Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law.

William L. Bragg (1890 - 1971)

· The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.

William O. Douglas

· I realized that Eastern thought had somewhat more compassion for all living things. Man was a form of life that in another reincarnation might possibly be a horsefly or a bird of paradise or a deer. So a man of such a faith, looking at animals, might be looking at old friends or ancestors. In the East the wilderness has no evil connotation; it is thought of as an expression of the unity and harmony of the universe.

William R. Inge

· The command "Be fruitful and multiply" was promulgated, according to our authorities, when the population of the world consisted of two people.

William Rathje

· Dig a trench through a landfill and you will see layers of phone books like geographical strata or layers of cake... During a recent landfill dig in Phoenix, I found newspapers dating from 1952 that looked so fresh you might read one over breakfast.

William Ruckelshaus

· Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.

Wilson Mizner

· When you take stuff from one writer it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research.

Wolfgang Pauli

· That theory is worthless. It isn't even wrong!

Ymber Delecto

· I am the earth. You are the earth. The Earth is dying. You and I are murderers.

· When the soil disappears, the soul disappears.