Science Quotes

This page is the final resting place for the quotes that appeared for a day or so in the old SciScoop Science header bar. Below the quotes are some links to the various sources I go to for new science-oriented quotes. And now, on with the science quotes:

“Listen; there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.” — E. E. Cummings (1894—1962), US poet.

“I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” — Stephen Jay Gould

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka! [I've found it!]‘, but ‘That’s funny [odd]…’” – Isaac Asimov

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

If journalism were a religious order, George Orwell would be its patron saint. – journalist Janadas Devan

Oh, how I wish that Orwell were still alive, so that I could read his comments on contemporary events! – poet W.H. Auden

It’s great to be alive. A lot of folks aren’t, you know. – Segregationist and former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, who died Wednesday

And I want to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there’s not enough troops in the Army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres, into our swimming pools, into our homes and into our churches – Segregationist and former Senator (R-SC) Strom Thurmond (during 1948 run as Dixiecrat candidate for President of the United States), who died Thursday

(Many inferior media sources (eg, New York Times) are currently rewording his 1948-era quote in a 1984-style Ministry-of-Truth manner. Not SciScoop.
Thurmond was Wrong, even if he WAS second in line after Gore to be U.S. President in the 1990s, and we should remember the man and his times as they truly were.)

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act – George Orwell

Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it. – Richard Feynman

Don’t blink! – Jeffrey R. Harrow

You can’t fight in here, this is the War Room! – from Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Sorry about that. – CONTROL secret Agent 86, Maxwell Smart

If all the atoms in the universe were transformed into breasts, there would still not be enough breasts. – Alan von Fan

On the sixth day, God created the platypus. And God said: let’s see the evolutionists try and figure this one out.

You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus – Mark Twain

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. – Ashley Montagu

Sweet are the uses of adversity, Which like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in his head; And this our life exempt from public haunt, Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing. I would not change it. – Shakespeare

Scientists have shown that the moon is moving away at a tiny yet measurable distance from the earth every year. If you do the math, you can calculate that 85 million years ago the moon was orbiting the earth at a distance of about 35 feet from the earth’s surface. This would explain the death of the dinosaurs. The tallest ones, anyway.

The goal of science and engineering is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.

Tivo. Get Tivo. Tivo is great. I love my Tivo. Effortless timeshifting and commercial zipping. I love my Tivo. Tivo is great. Get Tivo. Tivo.

The truth is more important than the facts. – Frank Lloyd Wright

Nature composes some of her lovliest poems for the microscope and the telescope. – Theodore Roszak

Don’t take life so seriously, folks – It ain’t no-hows permanent – Pogo

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. – Carl Sagan

“Today, everybody remembers Galileo. How many can name the bishops and professors who refused to look through his telescope?” – James Hogan, Mind Matters

Q: What causes the tides in the oceans? A: The tides are a fight between the Earth and the Moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight. – 16 year old SAT testee

It can be argued that man’s instinct to gamble is the only reason he is still not a monkey up in the trees. – Mario Puzo (author of The Godfather), from “Inside Las Vegas”

[The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)] is the scariest place on Earth. – Bill Clinton, during 1993 visit there

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 Hanks

There’s a lot of us in the [library] field that feel very strongly that [comic books are] a tremendous medium and an exciting medium to engage people at the [gifted child] end of the spectrum, because it really sparks their creativity. There’s no question that the combination of words and pictures can be a very exciting way to tell a story that leaves a lasting impression. – librarian Michael Lavin

I am tired of all this thing called science here. We have spent millions in that sort of thing for the last few years, and it is time it should be stopped. – Senator Simon Cameron, 1901

“Scientists travel into jungles to study cannibals, crawl into active volcanoes, play with dinosaur bones, and blow things up! How can that be boring?” – Thalles R. de Mello, University of Western Australia, Perth. One published comeback to a 6th grader who says, ‘Science is boring’; what’s yours?

You ever drop an egg and on the floor you see it break? You go and get a mop so you can clean up your mistake. But did you ever stop to ponder why we know it’s true, if you drop a broken egg you will not get an egg that’s new. That’s entropy or E-N-T-R-O to the P to the Y, the reason why the sun will one day all burn out and die. – M.C. Hawking, from his hit rap song “Entropy”

“The body consists of three parts – the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five – a, e, I, o and u.” – Science test essay by an 11-year-old

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it so it goes on flying anyway. – Mary Kay Ash

Laugh, cry, die. Enjoy Act One.

The men of experiment are like the ant, they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes the middle course: it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy (science); for it neither relies solely or chiefly on the powers of the mind, nor does it take the matter which it gathers from natural history and mechanical experiments and lay up in the memory whole, as it finds it, but lays it up in the understanding altered and disgested. Therefore, from a closer and purer league between these two faculties, the experimental and the rational (such as has never been made), much may be hoped. – Francis Bacon

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. – Paul Dirac

Scientific theories tell us what is possible; myths tell us what is desirable. Both are needed to guide proper action. – John Maynard Smith (Science and Myth)

It is a popular delusion that the scientific enquirer is under an obligation not to go beyond generalisation of observed facts…but anyone who is practically acquainted with scientific work is aware that those who refuse to go beyond the facts, rarely get as far. – Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95), English biologist

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken – Dr. Samuel Johnson

The Three Laws of Robotics are the essential guiding principles of a good many of the world’s ethical systems…you just can’t differentiate between a robot and the best of humans. – Dr. Susan Calvin, robopsychologist in Asimov’s SF classic “I, Robot”

E: “Romance?” Sam: “Yeah, romance!” E: “With a robot? I mean, we are talking about a robot, aren’t we?” – dialogue from Cherry 2000, a classic 1980s SF spoof on HBO this month

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago. – Robert Oppenheimer

The speed of time is one second per second.

The power efficiency of computing has improved by a factor of a billion from the ENIAC computer of the 1950s to today’s handheld devices. Fundamental physics indicates that it should be possible to compute even another billion times more efficiently. That would put the power of all of today’s present computers in the palm of your hand. That says to me that the age of computing really hasn’t even begun yet. – R. Stanley Williams, HP Fellow and director of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Quantum Science Research Labs

That’s the whole problem with science. You’ve got a bunch of empiricists trying to describe things of unimaginable wonder. – Calvin (& Hobbes)

We need to decide as a nation what we want to do [in human spaceflight]. We shouldn’t start by designing the next vehicle. That is a trap that we’ve fallen into several times. – Admiral Harold W. Gehman Jr., Columbia Accident Investigation Board chairman

Because we can engineer genetics, because we can telecast real lives–of course we must, right? But are these good things to do? The irony is, the people who will finally answer that question will be the very ones produced by the process. – Roger Ebert

May every young scientist remember and not fail to keep his eyes open for the possibility that an irritating failure of his apparatus to give consistent results may once or twice in a lifetime conceal an important discovery. – Patrick Blackett

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

There are few things that are so unpardonably neglected in our country as poker. The upper class knows very little about it. Now and then you find ambassadors who have sort of a general knowledge of the game, but the ignorance of the people is fearful. Why, I have known clergymen, good men, kind-hearted, liberal, sincere, and all that, who did not know the meaning of a “flush.” It is enough to make one ashamed of one’s species. – Mark Twain

I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, ‘But how can it be like that?’ Nobody knows how it can be like that. – Richard Feynman

Water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. There are 180 degrees between freezing and boiling because there are 180 degrees between north and south. – 6th grade science essay response
The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop. – Mark Twain

This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it. – Thomas Carlyle

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, do it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now. – Goethe

Current Pentium chips process around 3 billion instructions every second (3 GHz). In trying to get my head around what numbers like that mean, I noticed that 3 billion is roughly the number of seconds in 100 years, give or take 20%. It is hard to imagine doing something every second, and continuing to do it for one hundred years, but that is what our modern desktop computers do — IN ONE SECOND of processing! On the same scale it has always been a rule of thumb for me that light travels a foot in a nanosecond (in a vacuum). This means that in the time it takes to execute one [Pentium] instruction, light can only move about 4 inches. A tenfold increase in CPU speed would mean that light wouldn’t have time to cross the piece of silicon! No wonder there are difficulties in designing these little critters! – Paul Linton

The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is good as dead. – Albert Einstein

Black holes are where God divided by zero.

Oh what a tangled web we weave When first we practice to deceive. – NOT Shakespeare but Sir Walter Scott, in his long poem Marmion (1808) canto 6, stanza 17

Bill and I both firmly believe that even the most difficult global health problems can be solved. – Melinda Gates

It is still an unending source of surprise for me how a few scribbles on a blackboard or on a piece of paper can change the course of human affairs. – Stanislaw Ulam, who is credited as “father of the hydrogen bomb” along with Edward Teller, who died last week

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. – Lewis Thomas

It is only by introducing the young to great literature, drama and music, and to the excitement of great science that we open to them the possibilities that lie within the human spirit — enable them to see visions and dream dreams. -Eric Anderson

It’s of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs. And trust me, when I use that name, I measure my words. – Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose wife Valerie Plame was publically identified by “anonymous sources” as a CIA agent

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. — Benjamin Franklin

[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers. — Judy Blume

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow. – Robert Goddard

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. – Helen Keller

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. – Richard Davisson

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. – Isidor Isaac Rabi

Or if the hypothesis were offered us of a world in which Messrs. Fourier’s and Bellamy’s and Morris’s Utopias should all be outdone, and millions kept permanently happy on the one simple condition that a certain lost soul on the far-off edge of things should lead a life of lonely torment, what except a specifical and independent sort of emotion can it be which would make us immediately feel, even though an impulse arose within us to clutch at the happiness so offered, how hideous a thing would be its enjoyment when deliberately accepted as the fruit of such a bargain? – William James

All the higher, more penetrating ideals are revolutionary. They present themselves far less in the guise of effects of past experience than in that of probable causes of future experience, factors to which the environment and the lessons it has so far taught us must learn to bend. – William James

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. – Galileo Galilei

A mid-October top-down two-hour convertible drive home from the airport under the stars and Milky Way is so cool that it will leave you with a cold.

One hundred trout are needed to support one man for a year. The trout, in turn, must consume 90,000 frogs, that must consume 27 million grasshoppers that live off of 1,000 tons of grass. – G. Tyler Miller, Jr.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. – Omar Khaiyyam

“That’s the spirit, George. If nothing else works, then a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.” – General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’

There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowells of the earth, many a fair pearle in the bosome of the sea, that never was seene nor never shall bee. – Bishop Joseph Hall, Contemplations–Veil of Moses (I, VI, p. 872)

It is not best that we all should think alike; it is differences of opinion that make horse races. – Mark Twain

There is this idea that pterosaurs were failures because they are extinct, but that is temporal chauvinism. – Dr. David Unwin

I am not sure how clouds get formed. But the clouds know how to do it, and that is the important thing. – 6th grade science student

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. – Mark Twain

To you, a robot is a robot. Gears and metal; electricity and positrons. Mind and iron! Human-made! If necessary, human-destroyed! But you haven’t worked with them, so you don’t know them. They’re a cleaner better breed than we are. – Dr. Susan Calvin, robopsychologist, in Asimov’s classic I, Robot

“I find that a great part of the information I have, was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.” – Franklin P. Adams, best known for his numerous comments on five-cent cigars

The public press will approve, the people are prepared to support, and the courts sustain, any intelligent procedures which are evidently directed at the preservation of the public health. The most autocratic powers, capable of the broadest construction, are given to them under the law. Everything which is detrimental to health or dangerous to life, under the freest interpretation, is regarded as coming within the province of the Health Department, So broad is the construction of the law that everything which improperly or unnecessarily interferes with the comfort or enjoyment of life, as well as those things which are, strictly speaking, detrimental to health or dangerous to life, may become the subject of action on the part of the Board of Health. – Dr. Herman Biggs, a New York City health official, speaking several years before thousands of New Yorkers died during the 1918 influenza epidemic

“Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.” – words incorrectly attributed to Neil Armstrong as he ended his Apollo 11 moonwalk

If the Earth is the size of a pea in New York City, then the Sun is a beachball 50 meters away, Pluto is 4 kilometers away, and the next nearest star is in Tokyo. Now shrink Pluto’s orbit into a coffee cup; then our Milky Way Galaxy fills North America.

Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. – John Kenneth Galbraith

“Beware the beast man, for he is the Devil’s pawn. Alone among God’s primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother’s land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, for he is the harbinger of death.” – Cornelius, in Planet of the Apes (1968)

Accustomed to the veneer of noise, to the shibboleths of promotion, public relations, and market research, society is suspicious of those who value silence. – John Lahr

Most authors have one idea per book. Shakespeare had two per sentence. – supermodel Lauren Hutton quoted in Esquire’s 2004 celebrity interview “Meaning of Life” issue with Jack Nicholson on the cover – at $3, the best buy now on sale at your newsstand. Get it. And no, this doesn’t mean that two links per line makes you as good as the Bard. Three, maybe.

Trying to run your life over again is like trying to run the giant experiment of evolution over again. You can run the same experiment a thousand times and never get the same outcome, the same answer. – Craig Venter, mapper of the human genome

It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe. – Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist and philosopher (1795 – 1881), in Sartor Resartus III

“New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, ‘Why then are you not taking part in them?’” – H. G. Wells

Discovery comes as a result of positive discontent, a constructive dissatisfaction. In fact, one might quite truthfully say that there is no discovery when one is content. – Myron Allen

Science is not a sacred cow. Science is a horse. Don’t worship it. Feed it. – Aubrey Eben

You know, Hobbes, some days even my rocketship underpants don’t help. – Calvin

“The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science. If we watch ourselves honestly we shall often find that we have begun to argue against a new idea even before it has been completely stated.” – Wilfred Batten Lewis Trotter, 1872-1939, English surgeon

Philosophy is a game with objectives and no rules. Mathematics is a game with rules and no objectives. – Unknown

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. – Marilyn vos Savant

“I would cancel dialysis to be in the [hopefully upcoming Firefly] movie.” – actor Nathan Fillion, who played Capt. Mal Reynolds, at last weekend’s Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention

“What was I supposed to do? Lie there and die?” – James Arlen Mondy, a farmer who, after his arm was torn off in a tractor accident, picked up the limb, climbed back on and headed for home to get help. An attiude worth remembering next time you face one of life’s little challenges.

“Be always sure you are right, then go ahead.” – legendary Tennessee frontiersman Davy Crockett, who died rifle-in-hand at the Alamo in 1836

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. – Mark Twain, January 1, 1863, from an editorial in the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise

Mars is essentially in the same orbit. Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe. – Republican vice-president Dan Quayle

“I would not see our candle blown out in the wind. It is a small thing, this dear gift of life handed us mysteriously out of immensity. I would not have that gift expire… If I seem to be beating a dead horse again and again, I must protest: No! I am beating, again and again, living man to keep him awake and move his limbs and jump his mind… What’s the use of looking at Mars through a telescope, sitting on panels, writing books, if it isn’t to guarantee, not just the survival of mankind, but mankind surviving forever!” – Ray Bradbury, Mars and the Mind of Man, 1971

“Do not trust your memory. it is a net full of holes; the most beautiful prizes slip through it.” –Georges Duhamel, The Heart’s Domain

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet, I:5 by William Shakespeare

This is a sad day. – John Grunsfeld, NASA’s chief scientist, on decision to abandon-in-place the Hubble Space Telescope

Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on. – Winston S. Churchill

If you find yourself on a train that’s going in the wrong direction, its best to get off at the next stop. – Hans Blix, U.N weapons inspector, speaking of U.S. weapons inspector David Kay’s resignation after failing to find any WMDs in Iraq as asserted by the Bush Administration

The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice. – Mahatma Gandhi

“One definition of a fanatic is redoubling your effort after losing sight of your objective. That’s NASA’s problem. It needs to get back to basics.” – Dr. Alex Roland, a former NASA historian now at Duke University

“Many suppliers approached us with the details of the machinery and with figures and numbers of instruments and materials … In the true sense of the word, they begged us to purchase their goods. And for the first time the truth of the saying, ‘They will sell their mother for money,’ dawned on me. We purchased whatever we required…” – A.Q. Khan commenting on the fact that Western governments repeatedly tried to prevent Pakistan from developing a nuclear weapon capability, but were foiled by the greed of their own business companies

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. – H.L. Mencken, “Minority Report,” Notebooks, 1956

“I can tell you this, Huntsville has the most unique light. It’s equal to North California and Southern Europe. The sunset – you always want to know when that magical light appears – is great, but the orange light doesn’t just go down here, it goes across. I’ve talked to local people here, and they compare themselves to Birmingham. I say, ‘Why not compare yourselves to Santa Barbara or Venice, Italy?’ Huntsville is like a bowl of porridge – not too big, not too small, just right; a porridge filled with pearls. There’s a spirit of the people here, and I want to capture that on film.” – Jordan Walker-Pearlman, director of upcoming film “Constellation” to be filmed where rickyjames hangs out in Huntsville, Alabama

“If Jordan Walker-Pearlman thinks North Alabama is so cool, just wait ’til he sees East Tennessee.” – rickyjames

The human understanding is no dry light, but receives an infusion from the will and affections, whence proceed sciences which may be called ‘sciences as one would’. For what man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things, because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature, from superstition; the light of experience from arrogance and pride, lest his mind should seem occupied with things mean and transitory; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless are the ways, and sometimes imperceptible, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding. – Francis Bacon, Idols of the Tribe, from Novum Organum (1620)

Organizations that don’t make a significant commitment to Research & Development do not survive over the long haul, no matter how dominant they are at a given moment. The waves of other peoples’ progress are simply too powerful, too relentless, to be met with halfhearted efforts. – Robert Buderi, Editor in Chief, MIT’s Technology Review magazine

Expect trillions of instructions-per-second (TIPS) performance by the end of the decade [in microprocessors, compared to billions of instructions per second (BIPS or a few GHz) today]. There will be some major paradigm shifts, however, and “business as usual” will not be an option. – Shekhar Borkar of Intel in a recent technical paper clickable here.

Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become. – Edward O. Wilson

“We are heroes in error. As far as we’re concerned we’ve been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We’re ready to fall on our swords if he wants.” – former Iraqi exile, source of most raw American intelligence on WMDs, and now member of American-installed Iraqi Governing Council Mr. Ahmad Chalabi, during acceptance speech for con-man-of-the-millenium award (just kidding).

Zombie agents control your eyes, hands, feet, and posture, and rapidly transduce sensory input into stereotypical motor output. They might even trigger aggressive or sexual behavior when getting a whiff of the right stuff. All, however, bypass consciousness. This is the zombie in you. – Christof Koch in his new book (co-authored by Francis Crick) The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach that is to be published Feb. 27.

The aims of scientific thought are to see the general in the particular and the eternal in the transitory. – Alfred North Whitehead

“I’ll eat one slice of humble pie on this one.” – Nick Hoffman of Melbourne University, a long-time critic of the theory that Mars once had water, after conceding NASA findings announced yesterday “absolutely guaranteed there was water on Mars”.

Captain Kirk is Capt. Hornblower of the sailing ships. [He] was a great hero, and Hemingway said [Hornblower] is the most exciting adventure fiction in the human language. – Gene Roddenberry, from the “Star Trek” 25th Anniversary special, 1991

It [science] is just paying attention to the world around you and trying to figure out why things happen the way they do. In that case, anyone that goes into a pub and orders a pint of Guinness is a scientist. – Andrew J. Alexander, researcher on the phenomenon of falling beer bubbles

Ludwig Boltzmann, who spent much of his life studying statistical mechanics, died in 1906 by his own hand. Paul Ehrenfest, carrying on the work, died similarly in 1933. Now it is our turn to study statistical mechanics. – David L. Goodstein, States of Matter.

When Hubble finally fails, access to one of the most important parts of the spectrum will end for the foreseeable future
- Martin Barstow of the University of Leicester, proposing a World Space Observatory.

He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever. – Chinese proverb

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