Speaking of Science

September 2012's selection of notable quotes

Sep 1, 2012
The Scientist

 

No other sense can arouse you like touch. . . . If touch didn’t feel good, there’d  be no species, parenthood, or survival. . . .touch is not only most basic to our species, but the key to it.


—The late Duke neuroscientist Saul Schanberg, quoted by science writer Diane Ackerman in her book A Natural History of the Senses (1990)

 

Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.


—Author Margaret Atwood, in her Booker Prize–winning novel The Blind Assassin (2000)

 

 

I strongly recommend that you continue this voluntary moratorium until you can have this open and transparent process addressing the fundamental principles.


Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an address to influenza investigators about the cessation of research on a highly pathogenic bird flu strain (Nature, July 13, 2012)

 

 

To see the world for a moment as something rich and strange is the private reward of many a discovery.


—Nobel-Prize–winning physicist Edward Purcell, who discovered the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance in liquids and solids and was born 100 years ago, on August 30, 1912

 

 

I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!


—NASA Mars rover Curiosity, in its first tweet after touching down safely on the Red Planet (Aug. 5, 2012)

 

 

Within weeks [Curiosity’s] three chemistry labs could possibly beam back the first evidence of extraterrestrial life—either as it may have existed in the past or as it currently survives under the Mars surface.


—The editorial board of The Christian Science Monitor, on the potential for NASA’s new Mars rover to discover molecular traces of life on the planet (Aug. 6, 2012)