The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.
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We gain our ends only with the laws of nature; we control her only by understanding her laws.
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Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.
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To me, being an intellectual doesn't mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.
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The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.
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Man masters nature not by force but by understanding. This is why science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked for no spell to cast over nature.
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Power is the by-product of understanding.
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By the worldly standards of public life, all scholars in their work are of course oddly virtuous. They do not make wild claims, they do not cheat, they do not try to persuade at any cost, they appeal neither to prejudice nor to authority, they are often frank about their ignorance, their disputes are fairly decorous, they do not confuse what is being argued with race, politics, sex or age, they listen patiently to the young and to the old who both know everything. These are the general virtues of scholarship, and they are peculiarly the virtues of science.
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That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.
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Dissent is the native activity of the scientist, and it has got him into a good deal of trouble in the last years. But if that is cut off, what is left will not be a scientist. And I doubt whether it will be a man.
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It doesn't matter whether you're talking about bombs or the intelligence quotients of one race as against another if a man is a scientist, like me, he'll always say Publish and be damned.
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No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.
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Science has nothing to be ashamed of even in the ruins of Nagasaki. The shame is theirs who appeal to other values than the human imaginative values which science has evolved.
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The values by which we are to survive are not rules for just and unjust conduct, but are those deeper illuminations in whose light justice and injustice, good and evil, means and ends are seen in fearful sharpness of outline.
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The world is full of people who never quite get into the first team and who just miss the prizes at the flower show.
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Bronowski, Jacob

No biography at present.

15 quotations