scientistquotes

Which Scientist Said What Quiz

Think you know your famous science quotes? Let’s find out in this 12 question quiz. There are no prizes, so it doesn’t pay to Google. Try your best on your own. Report your score in the comment area at the bottom. Good luck!

1. “There is no law except the law that there is no law.”

 
 
 
 

2. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

 
 
 
 

3. “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.”

 
 
 
 

4. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

 
 
 
 

5. “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

 
 
 
 

6. “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

 
 
 
 

7. “Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.”

 
 
 
 

8. “A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

 
 
 
 

9. “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

 

 
 
 
 

10. “I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale.”

 
 
 
 

11. “In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.”

 
 
 
 

12. “I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.”

 
 
 
 

36 replies
  1. Bran says:

    Another really fun quiz! I got 7 / 12 … there was one in particular that really surprised me, as I had never really associated Newton with any sense of humility, despite having read this quote from him before.

  2. xAxis says:

    wow. How did you people got these high results. I got 3, one of which (q. 6) was educated guess.
    1 – Impossible to guess. All pre 19th century scientists were admirers of the laws in nature. I would never expect Kepler or Cabeus to say that. I thought maybe Ferma somehow (he was an atheist), but was 90% sure it was Wheeler. Wrong
    3 – Knew it was not Descartes, but didn’t expect it to be Galileo
    5 – Knew it couldn’t be Feynman nor Curie (must be someone who was alive when computers made a boom), and really looked more something that Hawking would say than Sagan (as epenguin remarked based on banality of the expression) and a certain dose of humour characteristic to Hawking. Wrong
    6 – Impossible to miss in my opinion. I mean, would a real scientist say something like this? :)
    7 – Something really archaically sounding, so I chose the oldest, Maxwell. But wrong, it was the youngest, Hawking.
    And so on, each question until 11, would eliminate at least one, but all wrong.
    11 – [I]“In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite.” – [/I]I’ve heard this one before, and I liked it very much. Something that actually a poet would say. But I couldn’t remember who sad it. I knew it was neither Tesla nor Born. (For people who don’t know Tesla exquisitely well, this is a red herring, as he is known to have liked poetry and has translated some of the Serbian Poems into English) I thought of Dirac’s social awkwardness and autism, vs Pauli’s love for night life and shady bars and decided it should be Pauli. Wrong
    12 – Again, the right answer, Feynman is known to have had many interests other then the physics. He travelled a lot and socialised with great variety of people. He practised art and made and sold some nice paintings, played bongos and was in a samba marching band, and is the author of three books. How likely is that he would have sad that “a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.”? But he did.
    Greg, when are you going to make some easier quiz? Something like “Who sad “Alea Jacta Est” “, or “To be or not to be”. :)

  3. Dr. Courtney says:

    [QUOTE=”atyy, post: 5368813, member: 123698″]10.

    I guessed #10 had to be Curie. I didn’t think theorists would talk about “a scientist in his laboratory”![/QUOTE]

    10 is pretty good.

  4. fresh_42 says:

    [QUOTE=”Samy_A, post: 5368543, member: 574914″]Some I’d never heard before. But there were two that I have read many times in books or articles and still got wrong.[/QUOTE]
    1 correct answer (Newton) was due to a linked Feynman lecture here on PF I completely enjoyed 3 days ago :smile:
    (I belong to those people to whom it’s easier to remember the unimportant stuff.)

  5. Bran says:

    Another really fun quiz! I got 7 / 12 … there was one in particular that really surprised me, as I had never really associated Newton with any sense of humility, despite having read this quote from him before.

  6. epenguin says:

    9/124 I acutally knew. Quite pleased with better than random results for the rest.Mostly based on having some idea of many of their personalities.1 wrong. It didn't sound like anything a serious scientist would say, so I put down Cabeus, the only one I have never heard of.6 wrong, but it was half and half getting between Bohr and Azimov7 right. Guessed Hawking, based on banality of  thought and expression10 right. Clearly said by an experimental scientist11  right. Dirac had that sort of philistine purism and was essentially autistic; maths was beautiful to him, but not music because it had too many unnecessary or arbitrary twiddly bits; the unliteralness of poetic meaning he probably would have been uncomfortable with.12 wrong. I put Bardeen of whom I know little. I thought a bit about Feynman, but decided it was a tad too banal for him, and not quite what he would have said, but he did also play to the crowd bit.

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