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date: 21 February 2020

Arts and Sciences 

  1. 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.
    W. H. Auden 1907–73 English poet: The Dyer's Hand (1963) ‘The Poet and the City’
  2. Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
    Francis Bacon 1561–1626 English lawyer, courtier, philosopher, and essayist: Essays (1625) ‘Of Studies’
  3. A contemporary poet has characterized this sense of the personality of art and of the impersonality of science in these words—‘Art is myself; science is ourselves’.
    Claude Bernard 1813–78 French physiologist: An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865, tr. H. C. Green)
  4. Art is meant to disturb, science reassures.
    Georges Braque 1882–1963 French painter: Le Jour et la nuit: Cahiers 1917–52
  5. In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature, the oldest.
    Edward George Bulwer-Lytton 1803–73 British novelist and politician: Caxtoniana (1863) ‘Hints on Mental Culture’
  6. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.
    G. K. Chesterton 1874–1936 English essayist, novelist, and poet: Orthodoxy (1908) ch. 2
  7. Don't talk to me of your Archimedes' lever. He was an absent-minded person with a mathematical imagination. Mathematics commands all my respect, but I have no use for engines. Give me the right word and the right accent and I will move the world.
    Joseph Conrad 1857–1924 Polish-born English novelist: A Personal Record (1919)
  8. Scientists are explorers, philosophers are tourists.
    Richard Phillips Feynman 1918–88 American theoretical physicist: Christopher Sykes (ed.) No Ordinary Genius (1994)
  9. Even if I could be Shakespeare, I think I should still choose to be Faraday.
    Aldous Huxley 1894–1963 English novelist: in 1925, attributed; Walter M. Elsasser Memoirs of a Physicist in the Atomic Age (1978)
  10. If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility.
    Peter Medawar 1915–87 English immunologist and writer: ‘J. B. S.’ (1968)
  11. Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.
    Karl Popper 1902–94 Austrian-born philosopher: ‘The Philosophy of Science’ in C. A. Mace (ed.) British Philosophy in the Mid-Century (1957)
  12. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?
    C. P. Snow 1905–80 English novelist and scientist: The Two Cultures (1959)