American Chemist Quotes
In science, conjecture drives both experiment and theory for it is only by forming conjectures (hypotheses) that we can make the direction of our experiments and theories informed. If such and such is true, then I should be able to do this experiment and look for this particular result or I should be able to find this theoretical formulation. Conversely, experiment and theory drive conjecture. One makes a startling observation or has a sudden insight and begins to speculate on its significance and implications and to draw possible conclusions (conjecture).
Some sort of false logic has crept into our schools, for the people whom I have seen doing housework or cooking know nothing of botany or chemistry, and the people who know botany and chemistry do not cook or sweep. The conclusion seems to be, if one knows chemistry she must not cook or do housework.
The ingenuity and effective logic that enabled chemists to determine complex molecular structures from the number of isomers, the reactivity of the molecule and of its fragments, the freezing point, the empirical formula, the molecular weight, etc., is one of the outstanding triumphs of the human mind.
The achievement of the objective in itself cannot but thrill all chemists, who even before they know the details of the journey can apprehend from their own experience the joys and elations, the disappointments and false hopes, the obstacles overcome, the frustrations subdued, which they experienced who traversed a road to the goal.
No one can predict how far we shall be enabled by means of our limited intelligence to penetrate into the mysteries of a universe immeasurably vast and wonderful; nevertheless, each step in advance is certain to bring new blessings to humanity and new inspiration to greater endeavor.
To those of us who spend our lives working on scientific problems, science is a great intellectual adventure of such interest that nothing else we ever do can compare with it. We are attempting to understand the order of a physical universe, vast in extent in space and time, and most complicated and beautiful in its details.