Science Philosophy


Alan Alda’s Center for Communicating Science:

Link to the PDF for Advice for a Young Investigator, written in 1897 by Santiago Ramon y Cajal (the father of neuroscience).  This is an incredibly inspiring read for science trainees of any discipline.

Kristy’s Favorite Quotes

“There are an awful lot of scientists today who believe that before very long we shall have unraveled all the secrets of the universe. There will be no puzzles anymore. To me it’d be really, really tragic because I think one of the most exciting things is this feeling of mystery, feeling of awe, the feeling of looking at a little live thing and being amazed by it and how its emerged through these hundreds of years of evolution and there it is and it is perfect and why.”

-Jane Goodall

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
— John Muir

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“Change favors the prepared mind.”

-Louis Pasteur

“Scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for mankind. ”

-Marie Curie

“–There is no better high than discovery

–We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers…

–You teach me, I forget. You show me, I remember. You involve me, I understand.”

-E.O Wilson (who described the idea of Consilience, or the unity of knowledge)

“Not a day without an experiment.”

-Max Rubner

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

-Richard P. Feynman

“The secret is comprised in three words- Work, Finish, Publish.”

-Michael Faraday

“Our novice runs the risk of failure without additional traits: a strong inclination toward originality, a taste for research, and a desire to experience the incomparable gratification associated with the act of discovery itself.”

-Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Advice for a Young Investigator

“As long as our brain is a mystery, the universe, the reflection of the structure of our brain will also be a mystery.”

-Santiago Ramón y Cajal (Father or Neuroscience)

“Scientists are explorers.”

-Richard Feynman

“The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter – for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way.”

-Nikola Tesla