I think a good scene in a movie would be where one scientist tells another scientist, "You know what will save the world? You're holding it in your hand." And the other scientist looks, and in his hand are peanuts. Then when he looks up, the first scientist is being taken away to the insane asylum.
Since I stayed in a colony where either one was an engineer or a scientist, everybody thought I would be a scientist. This was the expectation everybody had apart from my parents. Honestly, I, too, wanted to be a scientist. I think it was the way Dad would explain us scientific theories and concepts that made the subject more intriguing.
The scientist is not much given to talking of the riddle of the universe. "Riddle" is not a scientific term. The conception of a riddle is "something which can he solved." And hence the scientist does not use that popular phrase. We don't know the why of anything. On that matter we are no further advanced than was the cavedweller. The scientist is contented if he can contribute something toward the knowledge of what is and how it is.
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
All interpretations made by a scientist are hypotheses, and all hypotheses are tentative. They must forever be tested and they must be revised if found to be unsatisfactory. Hence, a change of mind in a scientist, and particularly in a great scientist, is not only not a sign of weakness but rather evidence for continuing attention to the respective problem and an ability to test the hypothesis again and again.
The scientist is not responsible for the laws of nature. It is his job to find out how these laws operate. It is the scientist's job to find the ways in which these laws can serve the human will. However, it is not the scientist's job to determine whether a hydrogen bomb should be constructed, whether it should be used, or how it should be used. This responsibility rests with the American people and with their chosen representatives.
I always wanted to be a scientist, I always thought I'd be a scientist, that was the narrative I was carrying around. I worked in a neuroscience lab as an undergraduate and then after, almost five years in total, but I realized I just wasn't good at science. I didn't have the discipline for it.
I'm a scientist and I know what constitutes proof. But the reason I call myself by my childhood name is to remind myself that a scientist must also be absolutely like a child. If he sees a thing, he must say that he sees it, whether it was what he thought he was going to see or not. See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that.
The reward of the young scientist is the emotional th rill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or to understand something. Nothing can compare with that experience The reward of the old scientist is the sense of having seen a vague sketch grow into a masterly landscape.
Scientists have one thing in common with children: curiosity. To be a good scientist you must have kept this trait of childhood, and perhaps it is not easy to retain just one trait. A scientist has to be curious like a child; perhaps one can understand that there are other childish features he hasn't grown out of.
Otto Robert Frisch
But ... the working scientist ... is not consciously following any prescribed course of action, but feels complete freedom to utilize any method or device whatever which in the particular situation before him seems likely to yield the correct answer. ... No one standing on the outside can predict what the individual scientist will do or what method he will follow.
Percy Williams Bridgman
We scientists have fantasies of being uniquely qualified to make great discoveries. Alas, reality is cruel: most of us are replaceable. For the vast majority of scientific contributions, if scientist X hadn't achieved it that year, scientist Y would have achieved the same result or something very similar soon thereafter.
The scientist in me worries that my happiness is nothing more than a symptom of bipolar disease, hypergraphia from a postpartum disorder. The rest of me thinks that artificially splitting off the scientist in me from the writer in me is actually a kind of cultural bipolar disorder, one that too many of us have. The scientist asks how I can call my writing vocation and not addiction. I no longer see why I should have to make that distinction. I am addicted to breathing in the same way. I write because when I don't, it is suffocating. I write because something much larger than myself comes into me that suffuses the page, the world, with meaning. Although I constantly fear that what I am writing teeters at the edge of being false, this force that drives me cannot be anything but real, or nothing will ever be real for me again.
Alice Weaver Flaherty
I think that's something a scientist can do because a scientist works at a border, at the edge of science, at the edge of knowledge, and so there's a lot of fun of reaching out and thinking about things that other people didn't think about. And so it has a kind of exploratory notion, kind of adventurous part in it.
What is a scientist?... We give the name scientist to the type of man who has felt experiment to be a means guiding him to search out the deep truth of life, to lift a veil from its fascinating secrets, and who, in this pursuit, has felt arising within him a love for the mysteries of nature, so passionate as to annihilate the thought of himself.
No scientist or student of science, need ever read an original work of the past. As a general rule, he does not think of doing so. Rutherford was one of the greatest experimental physicists, but no nuclear scientist today would study his researches of fifty years ago. Their substance has all been infused into the common agreement, the textbooks, the contemporary papers, the living present.
In addition to the social pressures from the scientific community there is also at work a very human trait of individual scientist. I call it the law of the instrument , and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding. It comes as no particular surprise to discover that a scientist formulates problems in a way which requires for their solution just those techniques in which he himself is especially skilled.
I have been asked whether I would agree that the tragedy of the scientist is that he is able to bring about great advances in our knowledge, which mankind may then proceed to use for purposes of destruction. My answer is that this is not the tragedy of the scientist; it is the tragedy of mankind.
I am using the word theory as a scientist means it: a set of ideas so well established by observations and physical models that it is essentially indistinguishable from fact. That is different from the colloquial use that means "guess." To a scientist, you can bet your life on a theory. Remember, gravity is "just a theory" too.
If a given scientist had not made a given discovery, someone else would have done so a little later. Johann Mendel dies unknown after having discovered the laws of heredity: thirty-five years later, three men rediscover them. But the book that is not written will never be written. The premature death of a great scientist delays humanity; that of a great writer deprives it.
Why do we put up with it? Do we like to be criticized? No, no scientist enjoys it. Every scientist feels a proprietary affection for his or her ideas and findings. Even so, you don't reply to critics, Wait a minute; this is a really good idea; I'm very fond of it; it's done you no harm; please leave it alone. Instead, the hard but just rule is that if the ideas don't work, you must throw them away.
I am a scientist. To be specific, I am a woman scientist. This, I have been told and have come to believe, is a good thing. In fact, it is such a good thing that America needs more of us. Everyone seems to be very sure of this. The thing that no one is sure about, however, is how to make it happen.
Using any reasonable definition of a scientist, we can say that 80 to 90 percent of all the scientists that have ever lived are alive now. Alternatively, any young scientist, starting now and looking back at the end of his career upon a normal life span, will find that 80 to 90 percent of all scientific work achieved by the end of the period will have taken place before his very eyes, and that only 10 to 20 percent will antedate his experience.
Derek J. de Solla Price
The scientist is a practical man and his are practical (i.e., practically attainable) aims. He does not seek the ultimate but the proximate. He does not speak of the last analysis but rather of the next approximation. His are not those beautiful structures so delicately designed that a single flaw may cause the collapse of the whole. The scientist builds slowly and with a gross but solid kind of masonry. If dissatisfied with any of his work, even if it be near the very foundations, he can replace that part without damage to the remainder.
Gilbert N. Lewis
I believe it to be of particular importance that the scientist have an articulate and adequate social philosophy, even more important than the average man should have a philosophy. For there are certain aspects of the relation between science and society that the scientist can appreciate better than anyone else, and if he does not insist on this significance no one else will, with the result that the relation of science to society will become warped, to the detriment of everybody.
Percy Williams Bridgman
You should not fool the laymen when you're talking as a scientist... . I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, [an integrity] that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.
Richard P. Feynman
But when you come right down to it, the reason that we did this job is because it was an organic necessity. If you are a scientist you cannot stop such a thing. If you are a scientist you believe that it is good to find out how the world works; that it is good to find out what the realities are; that it is good to turn over to mankind at large the greatest possible power to control the world and to deal with it according to its lights and values. Regarding the atomic bomb project.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
Every artist, every scientist, must decide now where he stands. He has no alternative. There is no standing above the conflict on Olympian heights. There are no impartial observers. Through the destruction, in certain countries, of the greatest of man's literary heritage, through the propagation of false ideas of racial and national superiority, the artist, the scientist, the writer is challenged. The struggle invades the formerly cloistered halls of our universities and other seats of learning. The battlefront is everywhere. There is no sheltered rear.
When Arthur Ashe plays tennis, his purpose each day is to play the game in a way he has never played it before. It may be a backhand he uses, one that he may never have used before in that circumstance. His play is a fresh integration of his world at the instant of action. A really great scientist has the whole past at his disposal. At any instant he is rebuilding the world, molecule by molecule, in his subconscious. That is what you want in an athlete or a scientist.
If I ask you who is the most famous scientist who ever lived, or the greatest scientist who ever lived you'll say either Einstein or Newton or something like that because their claims were supposed to apply universally. But the claim of somebody who is studying a particular feature of the evolutionary process like whether it's very fast or very slow, or occurs in steps and so on, that's not a universal claim, that's a rather specialised claim and so you can't claim to great fame and great success.
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
I am very much a scientist, and so I naturally have thought about religion also through the eyes of a scientist. When I do that, I see religion not denominationally, but in a more, let us say, deistic sense. I have been influence in my thinking by the writing of Einstein who has made remarks to the effect that when he contemplated the world he sensed an underlying Force much greater than any human force. I feel very much the same. There is a sense of awe, a sense of reverence, and a sense of great mystery.
Scientists are educated from a very early time and a very early age to believe that the greater scientist is the scientist who makes discoveries or theories that apply to the greatest ambit of things in the world. And if you've only made a very good theory about snails, or a very good theory about some planets but not about the universe as a whole, or about all the history of humankind, then you have in some sense accepted a lower position in the hierarchy of the fame of science as it's taught to you as a young student.
You should not use your fireplace, because scientists now believe that, contrary to popular opinion, fireplaces actually remove heat from houses. Really, that's what scientists believe. In fact many scientists actually use their fireplaces to cool their houses in the summer. If you visit a scientist's house on a sultry August day, you'll find a cheerful fire roaring on the hearth and the scientist sitting nearby, remarking on how cool he is and drinking heavily.
The books of the great scientists are gathering dust on the shelves of learned libraries. ... While the artist's communication is linked forever with its original form, that of the scientist is modified, amplified, fused with the ideas and results of others and melts into the stream of knowledge and ideas which forms our culture. The scientist has in common with the artist only this: that he can find no better retreat from the world than his work and also no stronger link with the world than his work.
The very foundation of science is to keep the door open to doubt. Precisely because we keep questioning everything, especially our own premises, we are always ready to improve our knowledge. Therefore a good scientist is never 'certain'. Lack of certainty is precisely what makes conclusions more reliable than the conclusions of those who are certain: because the good scientist will be ready to shift to a different point of view if better elements of evidence, or novel arguments emerge. Therefore certainty is not only something of no use, but is in fact damaging, if we value reliability.
Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species, was published in 1859. It is perhaps the most influential book that has ever been published, because it was read by scientist and non- scientist alike, and it aroused violent controversy. Religious people disliked it because it appeared to dispense with God; scientists liked it because it seemed to solve the most important problem in the universe-the existence of living matter. In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to 'bend' their observations to fit in with it.
Every scientist, through personal study and research, completes himself and his own humanity. ... Scientific research constitutes for you, as it does for many, the way for the personal encounter with truth, and perhaps the privileged place for the encounter itself with God, the Creator of heaven and earth. Science shines forth in all its value as a good capable of motivating our existence, as a great experience of freedom for truth, as a fundamental work of service. Through research each scientist grows as a human being and helps others to do likewise.
Pope John Paul II
I suspect that scientists are driven by the sense that the world out there - reality - contains a hidden order, and the scientist is trying to elucidate the hidden order in our reality. And that impulse is what the scientist shares with the mystic. The impulse to get to the bottom of things. To know how the world really works. To know the nature of things.
People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature - the laws of physics - are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least not in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.
It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist for example Vincent Van Gogh, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man. If he is more than a popular story-teller it may take humanity a generation to absorb and grow accustomed to the new geography with which the scientist or artist presents us. Even then, perhaps only the more imaginative and literate may accept him. Subconsciously the genius is feared as an image breaker; frequently he does not accept the opinions of the mass, or man's opinion of himself.
The general public doesn't know and probably doesn't care about punctuated equilibria nor indeed should they, or the greenhouse effect on some other planet - they barely have the ability to cope with the greenhouse effect on their own planet. So I think you have to distinguish between the broad visibility of a scientist when he or she is speaking to a general public and trying to address general issues and the continued position that a scientist may have into the history of a particular subject.
Like music or art, mathematical equations can have a natural progression and logic that can evoke rare passions in a scientist. Although the lay public considers mathematical equations to be rather opaque, to a scientist an equation is very much like a movement in a larger symphony. Simplicity. Elegance. These are the qualities that have inspired some of the greatest artists to create their masterpieces, and they are precisely the same qualities that motivate scientists to search for the laws of nature. LIke a work of art or a haunting poem, equations have a beauty and rhythm all their own.
The three creative prototypes, the scientist, the artist, and the saint, know instinctively, without the help of any mere philosopher, that each must obey an absolute rule of conduct. Three words established and hallowed by usage express the divinities, the values, the supreme aims served respectively by these three kinds of men with an undivided loyalty: truth for the scientist; beauty for the artist; goodness for the saint. The discussion on what these words mean will never end. We must be content with taking note of their clarity as symbols, and of the singular force which animates them and makes of them powerful poles of attraction.
Salvador de Madariaga
The word 'proof' should strictly only be used when we are dealing with deductive inferences... Popper claimed that scientists only need to use deductive inferences... So if a scientist is only interested in demonstrating that a given theory is false, she may be able to accomplish her goal without the use of inductive inferences... When a scientist collects experimental data, her aim might be to show that a particular theory... is false. She will have to resort to inductive reasoning... So Popper's attempt to show that science can get by without induction does not succeed.
But you can't be a scientist if you're uncomfortable with ignorance, because scientists live at the boundary between what is known and unknown in the cosmos. This is very different from the way journalists portray us. So many articles begin, 'Scientists now have to go back to the drawing board.' It's as though we're sitting in our offices, feet up on our desks-masters of the universe-and suddenly say, 'Oops, somebody discovered something!' No. We're always at the drawing board. If you're not at the drawing board, you're not making discoveries. You're not a scientist; you're something else. The public, on the other hand, seems to demand conclusive explanations as they leap without hesitation from statements of abject ignorance to statements of absolute certainty.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Creativity has three layers; the ultimate is the mystic: he lives in a climate of creativity. The poet, once in a while, brings some treasures from the beyond; the scientist, also very rarely, but whenever he can visit the ultimate he brings something precious to the world. But one thing is certain - mystic, scientist or poet, whatsoever comes into this world comes from the beyond. To bring the beyond is creativity. To bring the beyond into the known is creativity. To help God to be manifested in some form is creativity.
[... ] dGT: Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly. My concern here is that the philosophers believe they are actually asking deep questions about nature. And to the scientist it's, what are you doing? Why are you concerning yourself with the meaning of meaning?" (another) interviewer: I think a healthy balance of both is good. dGT: Well, I'm still worried even about a healthy balance. Yeah, if you are distracted by your questions so that you cannot move forward, you are not being a productive contributor to our understanding of the natural world. And so the scientist knows when the question 'what is the sound of one hand clapping?' is a pointless delay in our progress. (Neil deGrasse Tyson - EPISODE 489: NERDIST PODCAST, 20m19s)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination. That is all wrong. The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.
All children are curious and I wonder by what process this trait becomes developed in some and suppressed in others. I suspect again that schools and colleges help in the suppression insofar as they meet curiosity by giving the answers, rather than by some method that leads from narrower questions to broader questions. It is hard to satisfy the curiosity of a child, and even harder to satisfy the curiosity of a scientist, and methods that meet curiosity with satisfaction are thus not apt to foster the development of the child into the scientist. I don't advocate turning all children into professional scientists, although I think there would be advantages if all adults retained something of the questioning attitude, if their curiosity were less easily satisfied by dogma, of whatever variety.
Siddhartha embarked on a mission that human civilization has been on since its inception - How to overcome pain and suffering in human life. Siddhartha was perhaps the first scientist on the planet who wanted to address pain and suffering at their roots. While every other thinker from every other religious traditions speculated on the goals of life and afterlife, such speculative queries were nonsensical for Siddhartha for in the mold of a true scientist, he saw no evidential basis for them. Siddhartha didn't even query what is pain, and where does it come from. He directed his query on how can pain and suffering be removed, an enquiry no speculative philosopher had undertaken before.
Ajit Kumar Jha