Scientists are people of very dissimilar temperaments doing different things in very different ways. Among scientists are collectors, classifiers and compulsive tidiers-up; many are detectives by temperament and many are explorers; some are artists and others artisans. There are poet-scientists and philosopher-scientists and even a few mystics.
My two older brothers are both molecular biologists and neuroscientists, and I feel like representing them accurately is never done in movies, and I really wanted to at least capture the spirit of a Ph.D. student whose goal and aspiration is to increase the sum total of human knowledge. That is noble. That was really, really important, to capture the three-dimensionality of scientists. Scientists fall in love, scientists have the greatest sense of humor, scientists are passionate.
For those scientists who take it seriously, Darwinian evolution has functioned more as a philosophical belief system than as a testable scientific hypothesis. This quasi-religious function of the theory is, I think, what lies behind many of the extreme statements that you have doubtless encountered from some scientists opposing any critical analysis of neo-Darwinism in the classroom. It is also why many scientists make public statements about the theory that they would not defend privately to other scientists like me.
James A. Shapiro
The scientists I looked up to at the beginning were not Latino. They were famous scientists of many years ago, like Madame Curie. Later, I realized that there were also, but a very few, Latino scientists. There were good ones, but very few, because there wasn't as much a tradition to be a scientist in our culture. But this is changing.
Mario J. Molina
You ask people, do you pray to a person or God. If you say yes to that, you're religious by, presumably, anybody's standards of your conduct. And it's the yes to that question that applies to 40% of scientists. So, there're plenty of atheists who are scientists or not scientists. There may be a conflict but many people in this country coexist in both worlds.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Scientists and theologians can't offer better than circular arguments, because there are no other kinds of arguments. Bible believers quote the Bible, and scientists quote other scientists. How do either scientists or theologians answer this question about the accuracy of their conclusions: "In reference to what?
I feel very strongly indeed that a Cambridge education for our scientists should include some contact with the humanistic side. The gift of expression is important to them as scientists; the best research is wasted when it is extremely difficult to discover what it is all about ... It is even more important when scientists are called upon to play their part in the world of affairs, as is happening to an increasing extent.
William Lawrence Bragg
I feel very strongly indeed that a Cambridge education for our scientists should include some contact with the humanistic side. The gift of expression is important to them as scientists; the best research is wasted when it is extremely difficult to discover what it is all about... It is even more important when scientists are called upon to play their part in the world of affairs, as is happening to an increasing extent.
William Lawrence Bragg
Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so. It is not fair to refer to the U.N. panel. The IPCC is not a scientific institution: it's a political body, a sort of non-government organization of green flavor. It's neither a forum of neutral scientists nor a balanced group of scientists. These people are politicized scientists who arrive there with a one-sided opinion and a one-sided assignment.
The scientists from Franklin to Morse were clear thinkers and did not produce erroneous theories. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.
Well, " she said, "how can I be sure there aren't invisible people in the world? Scientists didn't believe in the mountain gorilla for hundreds of years. And now look. So if scientists can be wrong, then all of us can be wrong. I mean, what if all those invisible people ARE scientists? Think about that one.
I'm a skeptic. ...Global Warming it's become a new religion. You're not supposed to be against Global Warming. You have basically no choice. And I tell you how many scientists support that. But the number of scientists is not important. The only thing that's important is if the scientists are correct; that's the important part.
Historians of a generation ago were often shocked by the violence with which scientists rejected the history of their own subject as irrelevant; they could not understand how the members of any academic profession could fail to be intrigued by the study of their own cultural heritage. What these historians did not grasp was that scientists will welcome the history of science only when it has been demonstrated that this discipline can add to our understanding of science itself and thus help to produce, in some sense, better scientists.
I. Bernard Cohen
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 conference also has a moral duty to examine the corruption of science that can be caused by massive amounts of money. The United States has disbursed tens of billions of dollars to climate scientists who would not have received those funds had their research shown climate change to be beneficial or even modest in its effects. Are these scientists being tempted by money? And are the very, very few climate scientists whose research is supported by industry somehow less virtuous?
In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions- Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world?
We scientists can argue forever about important topics like slightly different flavors of vanilla ice cream. Consider the silliness of this debate: one group of scientists found a 90% decline of big fish and criticized fishery management. Some other scientists found an 80% decline and started a big argument with the 90% people. Who cares if it's 80% or 90%? The real question is whether it's OK to let fishermen take most of the big fish out of our oceans.
Scientists are the easiest to fool. ... They think in straight, predictable, directable, and therefore misdirectable, lines. The only world they know is the one where everything has a logical explanation and things are what they appear to be. Children and conjurors-they terrify me. Scientists are no problem; against them I feel quite confident.
James P. Hogan
I find the big bang, really quite fascinating. I mean, here you have all these highfalutin scientists and they're saying it was this gigantic explosion and everything came into perfect order. Now these are the same scientists that go around touting the second law of thermodynamics, which is entropy, which says that things move toward a state of disorganization.
You got to have an enemy to fight. And when you have an enemy to fight, then you can unite the entire world behind you, and you seize power. That was Hitler's plan. His enemy: the Jew. Al Gore's enemy, the U.N.'s enemy: global warming. Then you get the scientists -- eugenics. You get the scientists -- global warming. Then you have to discredit the scientists who say, 'That's not right.' And you must silence all dissenting voices. That's what Hitler did.
Here's the scientific community saying, fundamentally, "If we don't change our ways, we're screwed." And they got no attention at all. Even though the Union of Concerned Scientists put out this statement which was signed by more than half of all the Nobel laureates in science and another 1,500 distinguished scientists.
Paul R. Ehrlich
The common idea that scientists reject a theory as soon as it leads to a contradiction is just not so. When they get something that works at all they plunge ahead with it and ignore its weak spots... scientists are just as bad as the rest of the public in following fads and being influenced by mass enthusiasm.
Most of the scientists I have known well have felt - just as deeply as the non-scientists I have known well - that the individual condition of each is tragic. Each of us is alone: sometimes we escape from solitariness, through love or affection or perhaps creative moments, but those triumphs of life are pools of light we make for ourselves while the edge of the road is black: each of us dies alone.
Often the great scientists, by turning the problem around a bit, changed a defect to an asset. For example, many scientists when they found they couldn't do a problem finally began to study why not. They then turned it around the other way and said, "But of course, this is what it is" and got an important result.
As scientists you must keep your minds open. There is no use having blind faith in Me, in Sahaja Yoga, in anything because blindness will never give you reality. But you should be open like scientists are and whatever hypothesis I am putting before you, you have to feel it on your central nervous system.
My fear is that that's what's going to happen with robotics and the military. Importantly, this discussion has to involve not just the scientists, but also the political scientists. It's got to be a multidisciplinary discussion. You can't have it be another repeat of what happened with the people working on the atomic bomb.
I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects. I think we're seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.
In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would 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.
Non-cooperative approaches, by contrast, almost always involve duplication of effort, since someone working independently must spend time and skills on problems that already have been encountered and overcome by someone else. A technical hitch, for example, is more likely to be solved quickly and imaginatively if scientists (including scientists from different countries) pool their talents rather than compete against one another.
Before Kuhn , most scientists followed the place-a-stone-in-the-bright-temple-of-knowledge tradition, and would have told you that they hoped, above all, to lay many of the bricks, perhaps even the keystone, of truth's temple. Now most scientists of vision hope to foment revolution. We are, therefore, awash in revolutions, most self-proclaimed.
Stephen Jay Gould
My inbox is now bulging with touching emails from young women scientists who have been kind enough to write and thank me for inspiring them and helping them on their way. It has also been of great comfort to me to see many women at the top of science testifying for my record in supporting women scientists.
It has taken more than a hundred scientists two years to find out how to make the product in question; I have been given thirty days to create its personality and plan its launching. If I do my job well, I shall contribute as much as the hundred scientists to the success of this product.
Difficulties arise when reported observations seem to conflict with 'facts' that the majority of scientists accept as established and immutable. Scientists tend to reject conflicting observations.....Nevertheless, the history of science shows that new observations and theories can eventually prevail.
What the scientists have always found by physical experiment was an a priori orderliness of nature, or Universe always operating at an elegance level that made the discovering scientist's working hypotheses seem crude by comparison. The discovered reality made the scientists exploratory work seem relatively disorderly.
R. Buckminster Fuller
Our scientists all the more occupy advanced positions in the development of world science. By the example of their successes in the field of atomic energy, our scientists and technicians have vividly shown how much the increased might of the Soviet state and the further growth of its international authority depends on their efforts and practical successes.
Phony psychics like Uri Geller have had particular success in bamboozling scientists with ordinary stage magic, because only scientists are arrogant enough to think that they always observe with rigorous and objective scrutiny, and therefore could never be so fooled while ordinary mortals know perfectly well that good performers can always find a way to trick people.
Stephen Jay Gould
The true men of action in our time those who transform the world are not the politicians and statesmen but the scientists. Unfortunately poetry cannot celebrate them because their deeds are concerned with things, not persons, and are therefore speechless. When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes.
If it were true that Christianity and science were incompatible, there would be no Christians who were respected scientists. If fact, about forty percent of professional natural scientists are practicing Christians, and many others are theists of other kinds. Fewer than thirty percent are atheists.
Jeffrey Burton Russell
The scientists who are working 80 hours a week trying to do their science are up against PR guys who know how to spin things and how to create doubt. Creating doubt around tobacco for fifty years when they absolutely knew it caused cancer, that was a real talent. But meanwhile, the scientists, they're not there to go on television. Their brains don't work like that.
...a vocal minority of scientists so mistrusts the models and the complex fragmentary data, that some claim that global warming is a hoax. They have made public statements accusing other scientists of deliberate fraud in aid of their research funding. Both sides are now hurling personal epithets at each other, a very bad development in Earth sciences.
The manufactured consensus of the IPCC has had the unintended consequences of distorting the science, elevating the voices of scientists that dispute the consensus, and motivating actions by the consensus scientists and their supporters that have diminished the public's trust in the IPCC.
No university ought to be merely a national institution....The universities should have their common ideals, they should have their common obligations toward each other. They should be independent of the governments of the countries in which they are situated. They should not be institutions for the training of an efficient bureaucracy, or for equipping scientists to get the better of foreign scientists; they should stand for the preservation of learning, for the pursuit of truth, and in so far as men are capable of it, the attainment of wisdom....
T. S. Eliot
The fact that scientists do not consciously practice a formal methodology is very poor evidence that no such methodology exists. It could be said-has been said-that there is a distinctive methodology of science which scientists practice unwittingly, like the chap in Molie¨re who found that all his life, unknowingly, he had been speaking prose.
A single human brain has about a hundred million nerve cells... and a computer program that throws light on the mind/brain problem will have to incorporate the deepest insights of biologists, nerve scientists, psychologists, physiologists, linguists, social scientists, and even philosophers.
Science could potentially do a better job explaining the meaning of life if scientists devise experiments that can weed out the best answers from the worst. The principle difference between religion and science is as follows: the religious make stuff up to explain what they don't understand. Scientists do the same, but scientists run their ideas through a very rigorous filter that consists of logic, experimentation and peer review. Such a filter eliminates the worst ideas and preserves the best. So if a scientist answers the question, "What is the meaning of life, " his answer, at the very worst, is no less valid than an answer that comes from the highest witchdoctor or priest.
Scientists blame the audience for being too stupid, shallow, or lazy to understand. There has been a fascinating debate in the blogosphere lately about communicating science to the public, and it's clear that most scientists just don't get it. They can't be bothered to talk to real people. Nobody will care about your issues if the price they have to pay is listening to a long lecture from Morton the science bug.
When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed ... that was horrifying beyond words, and that's where science in my opinion, this is just an opinion that's where science leads you.
Scientists have been saying, for an awfully long time, that we're all interconnected. Scientists would use the word 'ecosystem' to express that idea. Obviously, people can't survive without air and water, and we rely on plants and animals for food, and plants and animals rely on us to preserve their habitats.
That atomic energy though harnessed by American scientists and army men for destructive purposes may be utilised by other scientists for humanitarian purposes is undoubtedly within the realm of possibility. ... An incendiary uses fire for his destructive and nefarious purpose, a housewife makes daily use of it in preparing nourishing food for mankind.
Children discover and verify their theories in quite the same way that scientists do: through experimentation. They manipulate the world and discover regularities of causation from those manipulations. Why do they do it? The discovery of regularities comes with a pleasurable burst of insight, which all of us, but especially children and scientists, continuously long for like bonbons or opium.
Matthew M. Hurley
Ever since Sir Isaac Newton's times, scientists have worked in the same sort of way: They show a great respect for experiment and observation, They don't cherry pick data, They take a skeptical approach to what they do. And then scientists work together to get a consensus as to what should be believed And that generates very reliable knowledge and that reliable knowledge drives innovation
The word smart is not applied to all professions, even if you are smart in that profession. No one talks about smart lawyers. They may say a brilliant lawyer. They'll talk about a creative artist. Smart is saved for scientists. It just is. It's not even really applied to medical doctors. It applies to scientists in the lab figuring out what hadn't been figured out before.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists.
To the scientists of the Renaissance, your critic was really your ally, helping you advance upon reality. Critics in science are not like drama critics, determining flops and successes. Criticism to scientists is just another means of finding out whether they're wrong, like running another experiment to see if it confirms or refutes a theory. Along with the advocacy principle of the courtroom, it is one of the best ways human beings have evolved to get closer to the truth.