Inspiring Quotations about Creativity in Science
Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination.— The Quest For Certainty 1929
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) U. S. inventor.
There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something!
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.
The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of eighteen.
The mere formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Three rules of work
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious—it is the source of all true art and science.
Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality.
Carl Sagan :
It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.
Julius Sextus Frontinus
Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further development.
–Highly regarded engineer in Rome, 1st century A.D.
(Nobel-prize winning biochemist who discovered vitamin C)
And if everybody says that you are wrong, then you are one step ahead. Butthere is one situation which is better still, when everyone begins to laugh about you, then you know you are two steps ahead.
One cannot step twice into the same river.
Willis Harman and Howard Rheingold
While the rational mind is important, we gain a new perspective when we learn how many of the greatest scientific insights, discoveries, and revolutionary inventions appeared first to their creators as fantasies, dreams, trances, lightening-flash insights, and other non-ordinary states of consciousness.
Kekule, famous for his dream-inspired scientific breakthrough—discovering the molecular structure of benzene, advised his fellow scientists: “Let us learn to dream, gentlemen.”
Charles Franklin Kettering (1876-1958) U. S. engineer and inventor.
Whenever you look at a piece of work and you think the fellow was crazy, then you want to pay some attention to that. One of you is likely to be, and you had better find out which one it is. It makes an awful lot of difference.
Dr. Edwin Land
An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
Arthur Molella, Lemelson Center Director,
“Play is serious business. At stake for us are the ways we socialize and teach future generations of scientists, inventors, artists, explorers, and other individuals who will shape the work in which we live. It is safe to say that humans, as a species, have always had a concept of play. But only recently has play begun getting the serious attention it deserves as a source of discovery.” (Creativity at Work Newsletter July 02)
All sciences are now under the obligation to prepare the ground for the future task of the philosopher, which is to solve the problem of value, to determine the true hierarchy of values.
I wish to be at any time hereafter only a yea-sayer!
We must be physicists in order to be creative since so far codes of values and ideals have been constructed in ignorance of physics or even in contradiction to physics.
A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions.. as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.
There are no facts, only interpretations.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, felt that the pioneer scientist must have ” a vivid intuitive imagination, for new ideas are not generated by deduction, but by artistically creative imagination.”
An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: What does happen is that the opponents gradually die out.
In “Shorter Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations,” by John Bartlett, 1937, 1980, 1992.
Henri Poincaré, Mathematician
It is by intuition that we discover and by logic we prove.
Knowledge has three degrees—opinion, science, and illumination. The means or instrument of the first is sense; of the second, dialectic; of the third, intuition. This last is absolute knowledge founded on the identity of the mind knowing with the object known.
Francis Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer, philosopher.
No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.
Leonardo da Vinci
Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.
Science is the captain, and practice the soldiers.
Science is the observation of things possible, whether present or past; prescience is the knowledge of things which may come to pass, though but slowly.
Those who fall in love with practice without science are like a sailor who enters a ship without a helm or a compass, and who never can be certain whither he is going.
The acquisition of any knowledge is always of use to the intellect, because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.