Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Inquiry is a duty, and error in research is not a sin." - Benjamin ben Moses, or Benjamin Nahawandi or Benyamin ben Moshe al-Nahawendi

"The beginning of research is curiosity, its essence is discernment, and its goal truth and justice." - Isaac Halevi Satanov, fully Isaac ben Moses Halevi Satanov

"Imperfect knowledge is the parent of doubt: thorough and honest research dispels it." - Tyron Edwards

"The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research." - Albert Einstein

"We know well enough how little light science has so far been able to throw on the problems that surround us. But however much ado the philosophers may make, they cannot alter the situation. Only patient, persevering research, in which everything is subordinated to the one requirement of certainty, can gradually bring about a change." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"No research is ever quite complete. It is the glory of a good bit of work that it opens the way for something still better, and this repeatedly leads to its own eclipse." - Mervyn Henry Gordon

"The practical man is the adventurer, the investigator, the believer in research, the asker of questions, the man who refuses to believe that perfection has been attained... There is no thrill or joy in merely doing that which any one can do... It is always safe to assume, not that the old way is wrong, but that there may be a better way." - Henry Robert Harrower

"What is research, but a blind date with knowledge?" - Will Henry

"Research is an organized method of trying to find out what you are going to do after you cannot do what you are doing now." - Charles F. Kettering, fully Charles Franklin Kettering

"Research... is nothing but a state of mind - a friendly, welcoming attitude toward change; going out to look for a change instead of waiting for it to come. Research, for practical men, is an effort to do things better." - Charles F. Kettering, fully Charles Franklin Kettering

"The most beautiful thing in the world is, precisely, the conjunction of learning and inspiration. Oh, the passion for research and the joy of discovery!" - Wanda Landowska

"The trouble with research is that it tells you what people were thinking yesterday, not tomorrow. It’s like driving a car using a rearview mirror." - Bernard Loomis

"The art of our era is not art, but technology. Today Rembrandt is painting automobiles; Shakespeare is writing research reports." - Howard Sparks

"Research teaches a man to admit he is wrong and to be proud of the fact that he does so, rather than try with all his energy to defend an unsound plan because he is afraid that admission of error is a confession of weakness when rather it is a sign of strength." - H. E. Stocher

"There are no permanent changes because change itself is permanent. It behooves the industrialist to research and the investor to be vigilant." - Ralph L. Woods

"New research suggests that the brain influences, and may, in fact, be wired to experience God or deep spirituality. Religious experience often stems from temporal-lobe and limbic system function,, and obsessions (religious and others) stem from too much activity in the anterior cingulated gyrus and basal ganglia." - Daniel Amen

"Reading to children at night, responding to their smiles, with a smile, returning their vocalizations with one of your own, touching them, holding them – all of these further a child’s brain development and future potential, even in the earliest months. Research demonstrates that the early responsiveness of caring parents sets the tone for future self-esteem, trust, problem solving, ability to communicate successfully and motivation for future learning." - T. Berry Brazelton, fully Thomas Berry Brazelton

"The bare fact is that truth cannot be tolerant and cannot admit compromise or limitations that scientific research looks on the whole field of human activity as its own, and must adopt an uncompromisingly critical attitude towards any other power that seeks to usurp any part of its province." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The great question which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'what does a woman want?'" - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The accumulated research pertaining to the accuracy of our memories and beliefs can be summarized as follows: All memories and beliefs are subject to change and distortion. Conscious beliefs and memory recall are highly dependent on language, emotion, and social interaction; as these variables change, so do our memories and beliefs. Children’s memories and beliefs distinguish poorly between fantasies and facts. The older a memory, the more difficult it is to ascertain accuracy." - Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

"Learning to learn is to know how to navigate in a forest of facts, ideas and theories, a proliferation of constantly changing items of knowledge. Learning to learn is to know what to ignore but at the same time not rejecting innovation and research." - Raymond Queneau

"All of nature is considered to be intelligent and alive, thus an active research partner." - Apela Colorado, aka Pamela Colorado

"If you look at the research that's published, it's always 'Research says that such-and-such will happen if you suntan,' and attached to that is usually a demand for more research money. That's how the fear market is created." - Frank Furedi

"The deep study of nature is the most fruitful source of mathematical discoveries. By offering to research a definite end, this study has the advantage of excluding vague questions and useless calculations; besides it is a sure means of forming analysis itself and of discovering the elements which it most concerns us to know, and which natural science ought always to conserve. " - Joseph Fourier, fully Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier

"Sharing the code just seems like The Right Thing to Do, it costs us rather little, but it benefits a lot of people in sometimes very significant ways. There are many university research projects, proof of concept publisher demos, and new platform test beds that have leveraged the code. Free software that people value adds wealth to the world." - John Carmack, fully John D. Carmack II

"Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud, and that the major cancer research organizations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them." - Linus Pauling, fully Linus Carl Pauling

"As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter." - Max Planck, fully Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck

"Let's tell the truth to people. When people ask, 'How are you?' have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don't want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you." - Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson

"Wonder is the foundation of all philosophy, research is the means of all learning, and ignorance is the end." -

"Wonder is the foundation of all philosophy, research is the means of all learning, and ignorance is the end." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"I try to carry out the most precise and discriminative analyses I can in order to show in what ways things change, are transformed, are displaced. When I study the mechanisms of power, I try to study their specificity... I admit neither the notion of a master nor the universality of his law. On the contrary, I set out to grasp the mechanisms of the effective exercise of power; and I do this because those who are inserted in these relations of power, who are implicated therein, may, through their actions, their resistance, and their rebellion, escape them, transform them—in short, no longer submit to them. And if I do not say what ought to be done, it is not because I believe there is nothing to be done. Quite on the contrary, I think there are a thousand things to be done, to be invented, to be forged, by those who, recognizing the relations of power in which they are implicated, have decided to resist or escape them. From this point of view, my entire research rests upon the postulate of an absolute optimism. I do not undertake my analyses to say: look how things are, you are all trapped. I do not say such things except insofar as I consider this to permit some transformation of things. Everything I do, I do in order that it may be of use." - Michel Foucault

"My work is like digging, it's archaeological research among the arid materials of our times. That's how I understand my first films, and that's what I'm still doing." - Michelangelo Antonioni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce

"The salvation of Judaism cannot come either from Orthodoxy or from Reform. Orthodoxy is altogether out of keeping with the march of human thought. It has no regard for the world view of the contemporary mind. Nothing can be more repugnant to the thinking man of today than the fundamental doctrine of Orthodoxy, which is that tradition is infallible. Such infallibility could be believed in as long as the human mind thought of God and revelation in semi-mythological terms. Then it was conceivable that a quasi-human being could hand down laws and histories in articulate form. Being derived from a supramundane source, these laws and histories, together with the ideas based on them, could not but be regarded as free from all the errors and shortcomings of the human mind. Whenever a tradition contradicts some facts too patent to be denied, or falls below some accepted moral standard, resort is had to artificial interpretations that flout all canons of history and exegesis. The doctrine of infallibility rules out of court all research and criticism, and demands implicit faith in the truth of whatever has come down from the past. It precludes all conscious development in thought and practice and deprives Judaism of the power to survive in an environment that permits of free contact with non-Jewish civilizations." - Mordecai Menaham Kaplan

"While the national conversation about education would never be the same, stunningly few of the Commission’s recommendations actually have been enacted. Now is not the time for more educational research or reports or commissions. We have enough commonsense ideas, backed by decades of research, to significantly improve American schools. The missing ingredient isn’t even educational at all. It’s political. Too often, state and local leaders have tried to enact reforms of the kind recommended in A Nation at Risk only to be stymied by organized special interests and political inertia. Without vigorous national leadership to improve education, states and local school systems simply cannot overcome the obstacles to making the big changes necessary to significantly improve our nation’s K-12 schools" - National Commission on Excellence in Education NULL

"If you decide to do something and it turns out badly, research shows that it probably won’t haunt you down the road. You’ll reframe the failure, explain it away, move on, and forget it. Not so with failures to act." - Neal Roese

"Fifteen years of research have been combined into a list of the top four biggest regrets of the average American: not getting more education, career regrets, regrets in love, not spending enough time with kids. The list is essentially a summary of the biggest traps, pitfalls, and mistakes into which people like you might blunder. Look over the list and try to identify areas of your life that represent the greatest vulnerability to future regret. And act now to avoid regret later." - Neal Roese

"Don’t Over-react. You may react to a regrettable situation by taking many fewer chances. Don’t. This only ensures that you will miss out on new opportunities. Think Downward. Consider the downward alternatives. How could a bad situation have gone even worse? This makes you feel appreciative of what you have. Do It. If you decide to do something and it turns out badly, research shows that it probably won’t haunt you down the road. (You’ll reframe the failure and move on.) But you will regret the things left undone. Regrets are Opportunities Knocking. Our brains produce the most “if only” thoughts about things in our lives that we can still change. So consider regret as a signal flashing: It’s not too late! " - Neal Roese

"The People with AIDS Coalition (PWAC) was founded in New York City in 1985 by a group of nine people who had contracted AIDS. The founders were inspired by the Denver Principles, a manifesto adopted in 1983 by PWAs at the National Lesbian and Gay Health Conference held in Denver. The Denver Principles proclaimed the need for self-empowerment and self-reliance by PWAs as well as the necessity of their taking an active role in the formulation of decisions affecting their lives. During thealmost eight years of its corporate existence PWAC became the largest self-help organization of people living with AIDS/HIV in America. Projects developed by PWAC include the Community Research Initiative (CRI), a network of medical doctors and patients who undertook their own drug studies; the People With AIDS Health Group, a not-for-profit buyer's club set up to provide easier access to drugs and other therapeutic substances difficult to obtain; a national telephone hotline; and a newsletter." - People with AIDS Coalition NULL

"Those who knew that the judgements of many centuries had reinforced the opinion that the Earth is placed motionless in the middle of heaven, as though at its centre, if I on the contrary asserted that the Earth moves, I hesitated for a long time whether to bring my treatise, written to demonstrate its motion, into the light of day, or whether it would not be better to follow the example of the Pythagoreans and certain others, who used to pass on the mysteries of their philosophy merely to their relatives and friends, not in writing but by personal contact, as the letter of Lysis to Hipparchus bears witness. And indeed they seem to me to have done so, not as some think from a certain jealousy of communicating their doctrines, but so that their greatest splendours, discovered by the devoted research of great men, should not be exposed to the contempt of those who either find it irksome to waste effort on anything learned, unless it is profitable, or if they are stirred by the exhortations and examples of others to a high-minded enthusiasm for philosophy, are nevertheless so dull-witted that among philosophers they are like drones among bees. " - Nicholas Copernicus

"A good deal of my research in physics has consisted in not setting out to solve some particular problem, but simply examining mathematical equations of a kind that physicists use and trying to fit them together in an interesting way, regardless of any application that the work may have. It is simply a search for pretty mathematics. It may turn out later to have an application. Then one has good luck. " - Paul Dirac, fully Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac

"The research worker, in his efforts to express the fundamental laws of Nature in mathematical form, should strive mainly for mathematical beauty. He should take simplicity into consideration in a subordinate way to beauty... It often happens that the requirements of simplicity and beauty are the same, but where they clash, the latter must take precedence. " - Paul Dirac, fully Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac

"First-world science is one science among many; by claiming to be more it ceases to be an instrument of research and turns into a (political) pressure group." - Paul Feyerabend, fully Paul Karl Feyerabend

"The sciences of today are business enterprises run on business principles. Research in large institutes is not guided by Truth and Reason but by the most rewarding fashion, and the great minds of today increasingly turn to where the money is - which means military matters." - Paul Feyerabend, fully Paul Karl Feyerabend

"The validity of usefulness, adequacy of popular standards can be tested only by research that violates them." - Paul Feyerabend, fully Paul Karl Feyerabend

"In this age of specialization, I sometimes think of myself as the last 'generalist' in economics, with interests that range from mathematical economics down to current financial journalism. My real interests are research and teaching." - Paul Samuelson, fully Paul Anthony Samuelson

"If politics is the art of the possible, research is surely the art of the soluble. Both are immensely practical-minded affairs. " - Peter Medawar, fully Sir Peter Brian Medawar

"In an earlier stage of our development most human groups held to a tribal ethic. Members of the tribe were protected, but people of other tribes could be robbed or killed as one pleased. Gradually the circle of protection expanded, but as recently as 150 years ago we did not include blacks. So African human beings could be captured, shipped to America, and sold. In Australia white settlers regarded Aborigines as a pest and hunted them down, much as kangaroos are hunted down today. Just as we have progressed beyond the blatantly racist ethic of the era of slavery and colonialism, so we must now progress beyond the speciesist ethic of the era of factory farming, of the use of animals as mere research tools, of whaling, seal hunting, kangaroo slaughter, and the destruction of wilderness. We must take the final step in expanding the circle of ethics. " - Peter Singer

"Science develops best when its concepts and conclusions are integrated into the broader human culture and its concerns for ultimate meaning and value. Scientists cannot, therefore, hold themselves entirely aloof from the sorts of issues dealt with by philosophers and theologians. By devoting to these issues something of the energy and care they give to their research in science, they can help others realize more fully the human potentialities of their discoveries. They can also come to appreciate for themselves that these discoveries cannot be a genuine substitute for knowledge of the truly ultimate. Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish." - Pope John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła, aka Saint John Paul the Great NULL

"Conclusion: What, then, is the importance of modern science for the argument for the existence of God based on the mutability of the cosmos? By means of exact and detailed research into the macrocosm and the microcosm, it has considerably broadened and deepened the empirical foundation on which this argument rests, and from which it concludes to the existence of an Ens a se, immutable by His very nature. It has, besides, followed the course and the direction of cosmic developments, and, just as it was able to get a glimpse of the term toward which these developments were inexorably leading, so also has it pointed to their beginning in time some five billion years ago. Thus, with that concreteness which is characteristic of physical proofs, it has confirmed the contingency of the universe and also the well-founded deduction as to the epoch when the cosmos came forth from the hands of the Creator. Hence, creation took place in time. Therefore, there is a Creator. Therefore, God exists! Although it is neither explicit nor complete, this is the reply we were awaiting from science, and which the present human generation is awaiting from it. It is a reply which bursts forth from nature and calm consideration of only one aspect of the universe; namely, its mutability. But this is already enough to make the entire human race, which is the peak and the rational expression of both the macrocosm and the microcosm, become conscious of its exalted Maker, realize that it belongs to Him in space and in time and then, falling on its knees before His sovereign majesty, begin to invoke His name: Rerum, Deus, tenax vigor,-Immotus in te permanens, -- Lucis diurnae tempora successibus determinans (Hymn for None). (A free English translation is: "O God, creation's secret force/Thyself unmoved, yet motion's source/Who from the morn till evening's ray/Through every change dost guide the day.") The knowledge of God as sole Creator, now shared by many modern scientists, is indeed, the extreme limit to which human reason can attain. Nevertheless, as you are well aware, it does not constitute the last frontier of truth. In harmonious cooperation, because all three are instruments of truth, like rays of the same sun, science, philosophy, and, with still greater reason, Revelation, contemplate the substance of this Creator whom science has met along its path unveil His outlines and point out His features. Revelation, above all, makes His presence, so to speak, immediate, vitalizing, and loving, like that presence of which either the simple faithful or the scientist is aware in his inner soul when he recites unhesitatingly the concise terms of the ancient Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth." Today, after so many centuries which were centuries of civilization because they were centuries of religion, the need is not so much to reveal God for the first time as it is rather to recognize Him as a Father, reverence Him as a lawgiver, and fear Him as a Judge. If they would be saved, the nations must adore the Son, the loving Redeemer of mankind, and bow to the loving inspirations of the Spirit, the fruitful Sanctifier of souls. This persuasion, taking its remote inspiration from science, is crowned by Faith which, being ever more deeply rooted in the consciousness of the people, will truly be able to assure basic progress for the march of civilization. This is a vision of the whole, of the present as of the future, of matter as of the spirit, of time as of eternity, which, as it illuminates the mind, will spare to the men of today a long tempestuous night. It is that Faith which at this moment inspires Us to raise toward Him Whom we have just invoked as Vigor, Immotus, and Pater, a fervent prayer for all His children entrusted to Our care: Largire lumen vespere,-Quo vita nusquam decidat, (Hymn for None)-light for the life of time, light for the life of eternity." - Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Marìa Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli NULL

"It is undeniable that when a mind enlightened and enriched with modern scientific knowledge weighs this problem calmly, it feels drawn to break through the circle of completely independent or autochthonous matter, whether uncreated or self-created, and to ascend to a creating Spirit. With the same clear and critical look with which it examines and passes judgment on facts, it perceives and recognizes the work of creative omnipotence, whose power, set in motion by the mighty "Fiat" pronounced billions of years ago by the Creating Spirit, spread out over the universe, calling into existence with a gesture of generous love matter bursting with energy. In fact, it would seem that present-day science, with one sweeping step back across millions of centuries, has succeeded in bearing witness to that primordial "Fiat lux" uttered at the moment when, along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, while the particles of chemical elements split and formed into millions of galaxies. It is quite true that the facts established up to the present time are not an absolute proof of creation in time, as are the proofs drawn from metaphysics and Revelation in what concerns simple creation or those founded on Revelation if there be question of creation in time. The pertinent facts of the natural sciences, to which We have referred, are awaiting still further research and confirmation, and the theories founded on them are in need of further development and proof before they can provide a sure foundation for arguments which, of themselves, are outside the proper sphere of the natural sciences. This notwithstanding, it is worthy of note that modern scholars in these fields regard the idea of the creation of the universe as entirely compatible with their scientific conceptions and that they are even led spontaneously to this conclusion by their scientific research. Just a few decades ago, any such "hypothesis" was rejected as entirely irreconcilable with the present state of science. As late as 1911, the celebrated physicist Svante Arhenius declared that "the opinion that something can come from nothing is at variance with the present-day state of science, according to which matter is immutable." In this same vein we find the statement of Plato: "Matter exists. Nothing can come from nothing, hence matter is eternal. We cannot admit the creation of matter." " - Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Marìa Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli NULL