alone of all the subjects contains within itself the lesson of the danger
of belief in the infallibility of the greatest teachers in the preceding
generation . . .
As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way:
Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.
Richard Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.
Richard Feynman, Nobel-prize-winning physicist
Real science is always more like auto mechanics-getting the damned thing to work-than is dreamed of by philosophers in their texts on scientific method.
I think that we shall have to get accustomed to the idea that we must not look upon science as a "body of knowledge", but rather as a system of hypotheses, or as a system of guesses or anticipations that in principle cannot be justified, but with which we work as long as they stand up to tests, and of which we are never justified in saying that we know they are "true".
Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery
Science is a wonderful thing, if one doesn't have to earn a living at it.
A carpenter, a schoolteacher,
and scientist were traveling by train through Scotland when they saw a black
sheep through the window of the train.
"Aha," said the carpenter with a smile, "I see that Scottish sheep are black."
"Hmm," said the school teacher, "You mean that some Scottish sheep are black."
"No," said the scientist glumly, "All we know is that there is at least one sheep in Scotland, and that at least one side of that one sheep is black."
From a lecture in one or more of my science classes
Science is the process of "finding out." It is the art of interrogating nature, a system of inquiry that requires curiosity, intellectual honesty, skepticism, tolerance for ambiguity, and openness to new ideas and the sharing of knowledge.
Roberta H. Barba
To do science
is to search for repeated patterns, not simply to accumulate facts.
Robert H. MacArthur, Geographical Ecology
purpose of the scientific method is to make sure Nature hasn't misled you
into thinking you know something you don't actually know.
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
way in which even the ablest of the scientists in every generation have
had to fight through thickets of erroneous observations, misleading generalizations,
inadequate formulations, and unconscious prejudice is rarely appreciated by those who obtain their scientific knowledge from
James Bryant Conant (1893-1978), Science and Common Sense
Contrary to popular belief, scientists are not detached observers of nature and the facts they discover are not simply inherent in the natural phenomena they observe. Scientists construct facts by constantly making decisions about what they will consider significant, what experiments they should pursue, andhow they will describe their observations.
Ruth Hubbard and Elijah Wald, 1993