American Astronomer Quotes
The wastage of the skills and talents of our capable young scientists is a disgrace to the world. The resources exist to put them all to work doing constructive things. Instead of that the substance of the earth is expanded on frivolities, on all kinds of power wasting devices and gas guzzling cars. Worst of all is the expenditure of technical expertise, energy and money on the arms race. Despite the wherewithal to wipe man off the face of the earth, ten times over, there is clamor to squander even more.
Dying visions of angels and Christ and God and heaven are confined to credibly good men. Why do not bad men have such visions? They die of all sorts of diseases; they have nervous temperaments; they even have creeds and hopes about the future which they cling to with very great tenacity; why do not they rejoice in some such glorious illusions when they go out of the world?
I have long believed that an experimentalist should not be unduely inhibited by theoretical untidyness. If he insists in having every last theoretical T crossed before he starts his research the chances are that he will never do a significant experiment. And the more significant and fundamental the experiment the more theoretical uncertainty may be tolerated. By contrast, the more important and difficult the experiment the more that experimental care is warranted. There is no point in attempting a half-hearted experiment with an inadequate apparatus.
There is a point of view among astronomical researchers that is generally referred to as the Principle of Mediocrity.... If the Sun and its retinue of worlds is only one system among many, then many other systems will be like ours: home to life. Indeed, to the extent that this is true, we should be prepared for the possibility that, even in the Milky Way galaxy, billions of planets may be carpeted by the dirty, nasty business known as life.