- 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.
The Dyer's Hand (1963) ‘The Poet and the City’ 1907–73 English poet:
- Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.
Essays (1625) ‘Of Studies’ 1561–1626 English lawyer, courtier, philosopher, and essayist:
- 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’.
An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine (1865, tr. H. C. Green) 1813–78 French physiologist:
- Art is meant to disturb, science reassures.
Le Jour et la nuit: Cahiers 1917–52 1882–1963 French painter:
- In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature, the oldest.
Caxtoniana (1863) ‘Hints on Mental Culture’ 1803–73 British novelist and politician:
- 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.
Orthodoxy (1908) ch. 2 1874–1936 English essayist, novelist, and poet:
- 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.
A Personal Record (1919) 1857–1924 Polish-born English novelist:
- Scientists are explorers, philosophers are tourists.
No Ordinary Genius (1994) 1918–88 American theoretical physicist: Christopher Sykes (ed.)
- Even if I could be Shakespeare, I think I should still choose to be Faraday.
Memoirs of a Physicist in the Atomic Age (1978) 1894–1963 English novelist: in 1925, attributed; Walter M. Elsasser
- If a scientist were to cut his ear off, no one would take it as evidence of a heightened sensibility. 1915–87 English immunologist and writer: ‘J. B. S.’ (1968)
- Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.
British Philosophy in the Mid-Century (1957) 1902–94 Austrian-born philosopher: ‘The Philosophy of Science’ in C. A. Mace (ed.)
- 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?
The Two Cultures (1959) 1905–80 English novelist and scientist: