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Jacob Bronowski Quotes





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Dissent is the native activity of the scientist, and it has got him into a good deal of trouble in the last years. But if that is cut off, what is left will not be a scientist. And I doubt whether it will be a man.
 

Einstein was a man who could ask immensely simple questions. And what his work showed is that when the answers are simple too, then you can hear God thinking.
 

Every animal leaves traces of what it was; man alone leaves traces of what he created.
 

Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime.
 

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.
 

It is vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
[Action]
 

Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.
[Knowledge]
 

Man is unique not because he does science, and his is unique not because he does art, but because science and art equally are expressions of his marvelous plasticity of mind.
[Art]
 

Man masters nature not by force but by understanding. This is why science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked for no spell to cast over nature.
 

No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power.
 

Power is the by-product of understanding.
 

Science has nothing to be ashamed of even in the ruins of Nagasaki. The shame is theirs who appeal to other values than the human imaginative values which science has evolved.
 

That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.
 

The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.
 

The most wonderful discovery made by scientists is science itself.
 

The values by which we are to survive are not rules for just and unjust conduct, but are those deeper illuminations in whose light justice and injustice, good and evil, means and ends are seen in fearful sharpness of outline.
 

The wish to hurt, the momentary intoxication with pain, is the loophole through which the pervert climbs into the minds of ordinary men.
 

The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation.
[Action]
 

The world is full of people who never quite get into the first team and who just miss the prizes at the flower show.
[Life]
 

To me, being an intellectual doesn't mean knowing about intellectual issues; it means taking pleasure in them.
 


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