Science and Technology Quotes
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Some quotes from Science & Technology "experts". Have a look at this if you think they have all the answers.First published on the 29th of March 2013 — Last updated on the 6th of August 2021
The following are a few quotes from highly regarded experts in their field. Looking back now, we see how obviously wrong they were. It could be that we look back in a decade and will be ashamed of how much of what we believe now was actually not true.
Did you know
- ... that Albert Einstein was considered retarded, Isaac Newton was thought to be a slow learner, Joseph Priestly (the discoverer of oxygen) never took a science course, and Louis Pasteur got a C in chemistry.
- ... that in 1876 when G. G. Hubbard learned of his future son-in-law's invention, he called it "only a toy." His daughter was engaged to a young man named Alexander Graham Bell.
- ... that in 1969 the New York Times published an apology for once printing derisive comments about an inventor's theory. Robert Goddard was on the receiving end of the Time's criticism of his contention that rockets could operate in outer space. The apology was printed the day after Apollo 11 left earth orbit for the moon.
- ... that in the early 1940's a GE engineer was charged with a task of utmost importance to the war effort: develop a cheap substitute for rubber that would be used to produce tires, gas masks, and a whole host of military gear. James Wright tackled the task diligently -- and wound up inventing Silly Putty.
- ... that neither Wilber nor Orville Wright graduated from high school. However, they were both avid readers.
- ... that Charles Goodyear began his experiments on rubber in a debtors' prison. He was there so often that he referred to it as his "hotel."
- ... that Darryl F. Zanuck of 20th Century Fox thought TV was just a passing fancy. In 1946 he said, 'Video won't be able to hold any market after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
Quotes from the experts and scientists
- "... after a few more flashes in the pan, we shall hear very little more of Edison or his electric lamp. Every claim he makes has been tested and proved impracticable." — New York Times, 16th January 1880
- "Professor Goddard ... does not know the relation of action to reaction ... he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in our high schools" — New York Times, 13th January 1920
- "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible — Lord Kelvin, British physicist, 1895.
- "There is no likelihood that man can ever tap the power of the atom" — Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize physicist, 1923.
- "There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the moon because of insurmountable barriers to escaping the earth's gravity" — Dr. F. R. Moulton, University of Chicago astronomer, 1932.
- "I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it." — Erwin Schrodinger talking about Quantum Mechanics.
- "As far as the Laws of Mathematics refer to Reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to Reality" — Albert Einstein (1879-1955).
- "Only two things are certain: the Universe and human stupidity; and I'm not certain about the Universe" — Albert Einstein (1879-1955).
- "Relativity seemed to impress him, however at this point I no longer understood my theory" — Albert Einstein, upon reading a 1907 paper of Minkowski's transformation of his Special Relativity theory into mathematical terms relating to the four dimensions X, Y, Z, and T (Minkowski was Einstein's former mathematics teacher).
- "Radio has no future." — Lord Kelvin, Scottish physicist, 1897.
- "Man will not fly for 50 years." — Orville Wright, aviation pioneer, 1901.
- "What use could this company make of an electrical toy [telephone]?" — William Orton, President of Western Union.
- "The horse is here to stay. The automobile is only a fad." — Advice given by the President of Michigan Savings Bank to Horace Rackham, lawyer of Henry Ford.
- "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." — Marshal Ferdinand Foch, French military strategist, 1911.
- "Nobody now fears that a Japanese fleet could deal an unexpected blow on our Pacific possessions. Radio makes surprise impossible." — Josephus Daniels, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, 1922.
- "Germany is unable to wage war." — David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, 1934.
- "[Concerning television], people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." — Darryl F. Zanuck, 20th Century Fox, 1946 (JG).
- "[Man will never reach the Moon] regardless of all future scientific advances." — Dr. Lee de Forest, a father of radio, 1967.
- "The dream of some Zionists for the restoration of Hebrew as a living language has as little chance of success as the dream of the restoration of a Jewish state in Palestine." — Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1905.
Quotes from the experts regarding computers
- "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
- "Everything that can be invented has been invented." — Charles Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents, 1899.
- "I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957.
- "But what... is it good for?" — Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
- "Computers in the future may perhaps only weigh 1.5 tons." — Popular Mechanics, 1949.
- "There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home." — Kenneth Olsen, President and Founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977.
- "640K ought to be enough for anybody" — Popularly attributed to Bill Gates, 1981