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Quotes of the day: James Bryant Conant

Published Wednesday, February 10, 2016 @ 3:59 PM EST
Feb 10 2016

James Bryant Conant (March 26, 1893 – February 11, 1978) was an American chemist, a transformative President of Harvard University, and the first U.S. Ambassador to West Germany. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A Harvard education consists of what you learn at Harvard while you are not studying.

Behavior which appears superficially correct but is intrinsically corrupt always irritates those who see below the surface.

Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

Democracy is a small hard core of common agreement, surrounded by a rich variety of individual differences.

Diversity of opinion within the framework of loyalty to our free society is not only basic to a university but to the entire nation.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance.

Education is what is left after all that has been learnt is forgotten.

Every vital organization owes its birth and life to an exciting and daring idea.

He who enters a uEach honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence.

I venture to define science as a series of interconnected concepts and conceptual schemes arising from experiment and observation and fruitful of further experiments and observations. The test of r scientific theory is, I suggest, its fruitfulness.

It seems as though I were in a lunatic asylum, but I am never sure who is the attendant and who the inmate.

Public education is a great instrument of social change. Through it, if we so desire, we can make our country more nearly a democracy without classes.

Science advances, not by the accumulation of new facts, but by the continuos development of new concepts.

Science emerges from the other progressive activities of man to the extent that new concepts arise from experiments and observations, and that the new concepts in turn lead to further experiments and observations.

Some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases.

The dignity of man is vindicated as much by the thinker and poet as by the statesman and soldier.

Whether a man lives or dies in vain can be measured only by the way he faces his own problems, by the success or failure of the inner conflict within his own soul. And of this no one may know save God.


(February 11 is also the birthday of Burt Reynolds and Thomas Edison.)

Categories: James Bryant Conant, Quotes of the day


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