Knowledge is an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty.

— Jacob Bronowski

The most tempting Jacob Bronowski quotes that will add value to your life

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 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.


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


Ask an impertinent question and you are on the way to the pertinent answer.


The force that makes the winter grow Its feathered hexagons of snow , and drives the bee to match at home Their calculated honeycomb, Is abacus and rose combined. An icy sweetness fills my mind , A sense that under thing and wing Lies, taut yet living , coiled, the spring .


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.


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.


Science is a very human form of knowledge.

We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible.


Power is the by-product of understanding.


The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.


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


Dissent is the mark of freedom.


About Jacob Bronowski

Quotes 112 sayings
Nationality English
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

One aim of physical sciences had been to give an exact picture the material world. One achievement of physics in the twentieth century has been to prove that that aim is unattainable.


Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding


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.


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


You will die but the carbon will not;

its career does not end with you. It will return to the soil, and there a plant may take it up again in time, sending it once more on a cycle of plant and animal life.


Man is not the most majestic of the creatures;

long before the mammals even, the dinosaurs were far more splendid. But he has what no other animal possesses: a jigsaw of faculties, which alone, over three thousand million years of life, made him creative. Every animal leaves traces of what he was. Man alone leaves traces of what he created.


Satire is not a social dynamite. But it is a social indicator: it shows that new men are knocking at the door.


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.


I set out to show that there exists single creative activity,which is displayed alike in the arts and in the sciences.It is wrong to think of science as a mechanical record of facts, and it is wrong to think of the arts as remote and private fancies. What makes each human, what makes them universal, is the stamp of the creative mind.


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.


To me, being an intellectual doesn't mean knowing about intellectual issues;

it means taking pleasure in them.


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


Progress is the exploration of our own error.


A theory in its day helps to solve the problems of the day.


We are all afraid for our confidence, for the future, for the world.

That is the nature of the human imagination. Yet every man, every civilization, has gone forward because of its engagement with what it has set itself to do.


We gain our ends only with the laws of nature; we control her only by understanding her laws.


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


It doesn't matter whether you're talking about bombs or the intelligence quotients of one race as against another if a man is a scientist, like me, he'll always say Publish and be damned.


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


The men who made the Industrial Revolution are usually pictured as hardfaced businessmen with no other motive than self-interest. That is certainly wrong. For one thing, many of them were inventors who had come into business that way.


We are all shot through with enough motives to make a massacre, any day of the week that we want to give them their head.


That series of inventions by which man from age to age has remade his environment is a different kind of evolution -- not biological, but cultural evolution . . . "The Ascent of Man.


Astronomy is not the apex of science or of invention.

But it is a test of the cast of temperament and mind that underlies a culture.


It is a mistake to think of creative activity as something unusual


Nations in their great ages have not been great in art or science, but in art and science.


Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal.


There must be something unique about man because otherwise, evidently, the ducks would be lecturing about Konrad Lorenz, and the rats would be writing papers about B. F. Skinner.


There are three creative ideas which, each in its turn, have been central to science. They are the idea of order, the idea of causes, and the idea of chance.


The most powerful drive in the ascent of man is his pleasure in his own skill.

He loves to do what he does well. And having done it well, he loves to do it better.


By the worldly standards of public life, all scholars in their work are of course oddly virtuous. They do not make wild claims, they do not cheat, they do not try to persuade at any cost, they appeal neither to prejudice nor to authority . . .


It is very much easier to divide your outlook on the world into two halves, to say that you know this belongs to the daily half and this belongs to the Sunday half.


Science is a tribute to what we can know, although we are fallible.


Fifty years from now if an understanding of man's origins, his evolution, his history, his progress is not in the common place of the school books we shall not exist.


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


The discoveries of science, the works of art are explorations - more, are explosions, of a hidden likeness. The discoverer or artist presents in them two aspects of nature and fuses them into one. This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born, and it is the same act in original science and original art.


The basis for poetry and scientific discovery is the ability to comprehend the unlike in the like and the like in the unlike.


The symbol and the metaphor are as necessary to science as to poetry.

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