„Science talks about very simple things, and asks hard questions about them. As soon as things become too complex, science can't deal with them… But it's a complicated matter: Science studies what's at the edge of understanding, and what's at the edge of understanding is usually fairly simple. And it rarely reaches human affairs. Human affairs are way too complicated. In fact even understanding insects is an extremely complicated problem in the sciences. So the actual sciences tell us virtually nothing about human affairs.“
„Understanding is, after all, what science is all about — and science is a great deal more than mindless computation.“
— Roger Penrose English mathematical physicist, recreational mathematician and philosopher 1931
As quoted in The Golden Ratio : The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number (2002) by Mario Livio, p. 201.
„As you study science, and really try to understand what is happening behind the curtain, not just reading the predigested press releases but actually talking to scientists or reading technical papers, you realize that… it's always more complicated than you think…. No measurement is simple…. The way you make the comparison will address different issues.“
— Steven Novella American neurologist, skepticist 1964
SGU, Podcast #528, August 22nd, 2015 http://www.theskepticsguide.org/podcast/sgu/528
„The true line is not between “hard” natural science and “soft” social sciences, but between precise science limited to highly abstract and simple phenomena in the laboratory and inexact science and technology dealing with complex problems in the real world.“
— Herbert A. Simon American political scientist, economist, sociologist, and psychologist 1916 - 2001
„Science is […] a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.“
— Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996
Context: Science is [... ] a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along. Charlie Rose: An Interview with Carl Sagan http://www.charlierose.com/guest/view/4553, May 27, 1996.
„College education tends to make simple things complicated and hard to understand. What we should do is to teach our children the most essential and simple principles of life and ways to handle problems.“
— Zheng Yuanjie Chiese writer 1955
Zheng Yuanjie (2004) in: "Zheng Yuanjie's 19 years in fairy tales" on chinadaily.com.cn, May 10, 2004 ( online http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-05/10/content_329434.htm).
„The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible.“
— Paul Dirac theoretical physicist 1902 - 1984
As quoted in Dirac: A Scientific Biography (1990), by Helge Kragh, p. 258
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, statistician, former trader and risk analyst 1960
„This is an exercise in fictional science, or science fiction, if you like that better. Not for amusement: science fiction in the service of science. Or just science, if you agree that fiction is a part of it, always was, and always will be as long as our brains are only miniscule fragments of the universe, much too small to hold all the facts of the world but not too idle to speculate about them.“
— Valentino Braitenberg Italian-Austrian neuroscientist 1926 - 2011
„The social sciences, ultimately, are about patterns, rules, and phenomena available to certain objective forms of explanation; the humanities, especially the study of literature, are about exceptional cases, singular works, and individuals that require subjective understanding.“
— Russell Berman American academic 1950
„Calculations are to the economic science what bones are to the human body. Without them it will always be a vague and confused science, at the mercy of error and prejudice.“
— François Quesnay French economist 1694 - 1774
François Quesnay in letter to Mirabeau (Archives Nationales, Ms. 779, 4 bis, p.2 note); as cited in: Richard Van Den Berg and Albert Steenge. "Tableaux and Systèmes. Early French Contributions to Linear Production Models." Cahiers d'économie Politique/Papers in Political Economy 2 (2016): 11-30.
„Science teachers have a special responsibility to study the nature of science as a discipline, how it works, how it is described by sociologists, historians, and philosophers from different points of view…. Science education cannot just be about learning science: Its foundation must be learning about the nature of science as a human activity.“
— Jay Lemke American academic 1946
p. 175; as cited in: Hanuscin, Deborah L., and Michele H. Lee. "Teaching Against the Mystique of Science: Literature Based Approaches in Elementary Teacher Education." Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum presentations (MU) (2010).
„The aims of social science with respect to human organizations are like those of any other science with respect to the events and phenomena of its domain. Social scientists wish to understand human organizations, to describe what is essential in their form, aspects, and functions.“
— Daniel Katz American psychologist 1903 - 1998