Peter Medawar Quotes

Who is Peter Medawar?

Sir Peter Brian Medawar was a Brazilian-British biologist and writer.

Born February 28, 1915
Died October 02, 1987

Books by Peter Medawar


Best 20 Quotes by Peter Medawar

“An experiment not worth doing is not worth doing well.”

Peter Medawar

“Heredity proposes and development disposes.”

Peter Medawar

“If a person is A) poorly, B) receives treatment intended to make him better, and C) gets better, then no power of reasoning known to medical science can convince him that it may not have been the treatment that restored his health.”

Peter Medawar

“People who write obscurely are either unskilled in writing or up to mischief.”

Peter Medawar

“Psychoanalytic theory is the most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of the twentieth century and a terminal product as well-something akin to a dinosaur or zeppelin in the history of ideas, a vast structure of radically unsound design and with no posterity.”

Peter Medawar

“Science is the art of the solvable.”

Peter Medawar

“Scientific reasoning is a dialogue between the possible and the actual, between proposal and disposal between what might be true, and what is in fact the case.”

Peter Medawar

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Under Desk Leg Trainer

“Scientists who think science consists of unprejudiced data-gathering without speculation are merely cows grazing on the pasture of knowledge.”

Peter Medawar

“The bells which toll for mankind are – most of them, anyway – like the bells of Alpine cattle; they are attached to our own necks, and it must be our fault if they do not make a cheerful and harmonious sound.”

Peter Medawar

“The USA is so enormous, and so numerous are its schools, colleges and religious seminaries, many devoted to special religious beliefs ranging from the unorthodox to the dotty, that we can hardly wonder at its yielding a more bounteous harvest of gobbledygook than the rest of the world put together.”

Peter Medawar

Advice to a Young Scientist Quotes

“I believe in intelligence, and I believe also that there are inherited differences in intellectual ability, but I do not believe that intelligence is a simple scalar endowment that can be quanitified by attaching a single figure to it — an I.Q. or the like.”

Peter Medawar
Advice to a Young Scientist

“I cannot give any scientist of any age better advice than this: the intensity of a conviction that a hypothesis is true has no bearing over whether it is true or not.”

Peter Medawar
Advice to a Young Scientist

“It can be said with complete confidence that any scientist of any age who wants to make important discoveries must study important problems. Dull or piffling problems yield dull or piffling answers. It is not enough that a problem should be 'interesting'.”

Peter Medawar
Advice to a Young Scientist

“It is a common failing – and one that I have myself suffered from – to fall in love with a hypothesis and to be unwilling to take no for an answer. A love affair with a pet hypothesis can waste years of precious time. There is very often no finally decisive yes, though quite often there can be a decisive no.”

Peter Medawar
Advice to a Young Scientist

Products by Peter Medawar

Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought Quotes

“Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth.”

Peter Medawar
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought

“The purpose of scientific enquiry is not to compile an inventory of factual information, nor to build up a totalitarian world picture of natural Laws in which every event that is not compulsory is forbidden. We should think of it rather as a logically articulated structure of justifiable beliefs about nature.”

Peter Medawar
Induction and Intuition in Scientific Thought

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“My hope is to demonstrate that virtually all intelligible action is born, sustained, and/or extinguished within the ongoing process of relationship. From this standpoint there is no isolated self or fully private experience. Rather, we exist in a world of co-constitution. We are always already emerging from relationship; we cannot step out of relationship; even in our most private moments we are never alone.”

Relational Being


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The Art of the Soluble Quotes

“The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.”

Peter Medawar
The Art of the Soluble

The Life Science Quotes

“The alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all.”

Peter Medawar
The Life Science

The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science Quotes

“For a scientist must indeed be freely imaginative and yet skeptical, creative and yet a critic. There is a sense in which he must be free, but another in which his thought must be very precisely regimented; there is poetry in science, but also a lot of bookkeeping.”

Peter Medawar
The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science

“Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.”

Peter Medawar
The Strange Case of the Spotted Mice and Other Classic Essays on Science