Brian Cox Quotes

Who the Hell is Brian Cox?

Brian Cox is an English physicist, professor and author of the books Wonders of the Universe and Why Does E=mc²?

Born March 03, 1968

Books by Brian Cox


Best 22 Quotes by Brian Cox

“Every carbon atom in every living thing on the planet was produced in the heart of a dying star.”

Brian Cox
Wonders of the Universe

“In science, there are no universal truths, just views of the world that have yet to be shown to be false.”

Brian Cox
Why Does E=mc²?

“It is undoubtedly true that Galileo didn’t intend to challenge the very theological foundations of the Church of Rome by observing the Moon through a telescope. But scientific discoveries, however innocuous they may seem at first sight, have a way of undermining those who don’t much care for facts. Reality catches up with everyone eventually.”

Brian Cox
Human Universe

“Look at any randomly selected piece of your world. Encoded deep in the biology of every cell in every blade of grass, in every insect’s wing, in every bacterium cell, is the history of the third planet from the Sun in a Solar System making its way lethargically around a galaxy called the Milky Way. Its shape, form, function, colour, smell, taste, molecular structure, arrangement of atoms, sequence of bases, and possibilities for the future are all absolutely unique. There is nowhere else in the observable Universe where you will see precisely that little clump of emergent, living complexity. It is wonderful.”

Brian Cox
Wonders of Life

“Michael Faraday, the son of a Yorkshire blacksmith, was born in south London in 1791. He was self-educated, leaving school at fourteen to become an apprentice bookbinder. He engineered his own lucky break into the world of professional science after attending a lecture in London by the Cornish scientist Sir Humphry Davy in 1811. Faraday sent the notes he had taken at the lecture to Davy, who was so impressed by Faraday’s diligent transcription that he appointed him his scientific assistant. Faraday went on to become a giant of nineteenth-century science, widely acknowledged to have been one of the greatest experimental physicists of all time. Davy is quoted as saying that Faraday was his greatest scientific discovery.”

Brian Cox
Why Does E=mc²?

“Real scientist are delighted when they find out they are wrong. And to me that is one of the greatest gifts that a scientific education can bring. There are too many people in this world who want to be right. And too few who just want to know.”

Brian Cox
Forces of Nature

“Science is delighted frustration. It is about asking questions, to which the answers may be unavailable – now, or perhaps ever. It is about noticing regularities, asserting that these regularities must have natural explanations and searching for those explanations.”

Brian Cox
Forces of Nature

“Science is most definitely not a priesthood where people stand on a mountain and pass truths down to the waiting minions below.”

Brian Cox

“Science is the enemy of the certain.”

Brian Cox
The Infinite Monkey Cage

“So if we assume we are not the only civilization in the galaxy, then at least a few others must have arisen billions of years ahead of us. But where are they?”

Brian Cox
Human Universe

“The practice of science happens at the border between the known and the unknown. Standing on the shoulders of giants, we peer into the darkness with eyes opened not in fear but in wonder.”

Brian Cox

“The problem with today’s world is that everyone believes they have the right to express their opinion AND have others listen to it.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!”

Brian Cox

“The ultimate paradox, of course, is that even though we're all going to die, we've all got to live in the meantime…”

Brian Cox

“There are no absolute truth in science. Authority counts for nothing when contradicted by nature.”

Brian Cox
Forces of Nature

“There are three known planets in the PSR B1257 system, which have been named Draugr, Poltergeist and Phobetor. Poltergeist was the first to be discovered. I know, I was curious about their names as well. Poltergeist means "pounding ghost". The Draugr are the undead in Norse legends who live in their graves. And Phobetor is the personification of nightmares, and the son of Nyx, Greek goddess of the night.
Astronomers are goths.”

Brian Cox
Forces of Nature

“To me, and to the participants of at the Green Bank conference, the idea that a civilization might destroy itself is both ludicrous and likely. We are pathetically inadequate at long-term planning, idiotically primitive in our destructive urges and pathologically incapable of simply getting along.”

Brian Cox
Human Universe

“Two and a half million years ago, when our distant relative Homo habilis was foraging for food across the Tanzanian savannah, a beam of light left the Andromeda Galaxy and began its journey across the Universe. As that light beam raced across space at the speed of light, generations of pre-humans and humans lived and died; whole species evolved and became extinct, until one member of that unbroken lineage, me, happened to gaze up into the sky below the constellation we call Cassiopeia and focus that beam of light onto his retina. A two-and-a-half-billion-year journey ends by creating an electrical impulse in a nerve fibre, triggering a cascade of wonder in a complex organ called the human brain that didn’t exist anywhere in the Universe when the journey began.”

Brian Cox

“United States spends more on pet grooming than it does on fusion research.”

Brian Cox
Human Universe

“We are the cosmos made conscious and life is the means by which the universe understands itself.”

Brian Cox

“We explore because we are curious, not because we wish to develop grand views of reality or better widgets.”

Brian Cox

“We shall see that if it were possible to exceed the speed of light, we could construct time machines capable of transporting us backward through history to any point in the past. We could imagine journeying back to a time before we were born and, by accident or design, preventing our parents from ever meeting. This makes for excellent science fiction, but it is no way to build a universe, and indeed Einstein found that the universe is not built like this. Space and time are delicately interwoven in a way that prevents such paradoxes from occurring.”

Brian Cox
Why Does E=mc²?

“You have to get old because of the geometry of spacetime.”

Brian Cox
Forces of Nature