„While it was long possible and sometimes tempting for physicists to deny the usefulness of the molecular hypothesis, we economists have the good luck of being some of the ‘molecules’ of economic life ourselves, and of having the possibility through human contacts to study the behavior of other ‘molecules’.“

—  Tjalling Koopmans, Tjalling Koopmans in: Review of economics and statistics, Vol. 31 -(1949), p. 87
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Tjalling Koopmans
1910 - 1985
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Context: I am afraid I am not in the flight for “aerial navigation”. I was greatly interested in your work with kites; but I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of. So you will understand that I would not care to be a member of the aëronautical Society. As a response to Major B. F. S. Baden Powell's request to join the Aeronautical Society, December 8, 1896 http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/papers/letters.html#baden-powell. Often reproduced out of context and without citation to any primary source as "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible", like in The Experts Speak : The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation (1984) by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky, p. 236

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—  Lionel Robbins British economist 1898 - 1984
Context: The economist studies the disposal of scarce means. He is interested in the way different degrees of scarcity of different goods give rise to different ratios of valuation between them, and he is interested in the way in which changes in conditions of scarcity, whether coming from changes in ends or changes in means—from the demand side or the supply side—affect these ratios. Economics is a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. An Essay on the nature and significance of Economic Science (1932), Chapter I: The Subject Matter of Economics

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—  Jane Goodall British primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist 1934
Context: I think if we study the primates, we notice that a lot of these things that we value in ourselves, such as human morality, have a connection with primate behavior. This completely changes the perspective, if you start thinking that actually we tap into our biological resources to become moral beings. That gives a completely different view of ourselves than this nasty selfish-gene type view that has been promoted for the last 25 years. Frans de Waal, in a NOVA interview, " The Bonobo in All of Us" PBS (1 January 2007) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/bonobo-all-us.html; quotes from this interview were for some time misplaced on this page, which probably generated similar misattributions elsewhere, and the misplacement was not discovered until after this quotation had been selected for Quote of the Day, as a quote of Goodall. Corrections were subsequently made here, during the day the quote was posted as QOTD.

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