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7 Inspirational Quotes from Scientists to Motivate Your Scientific Adventures

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

Sometimes learning and practicing science can hurt the head. To keep yourself going, I've collected a few relatable and inspirational quotes from history's collection of scientific-inclined minds.

1. “Everything was so new, the whole idea of going into space was new and daring. There were no textbooks, so we had to write them.” – Katherine Johnson

When you're learning, sometimes you have to tread further than what your mind expects to. Who knows, you might even end up being the one to discover how to best do something, or you might discover the existence of something none of us knew we had. Take it from Katherine Johnson, a bright mind who pioneered a path into the aerospace workforce for POC and women, plus calculated a path into space for the NASA Mercury missions (the goal of which was to get a U.S. person to orbit Earth)— sometimes you have to make the rules.

2. "Principles for the development of a complete mind: study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses— especially learn to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else." — Leonardo da Vinci

Keep the world in perspective while you work. Why are you studying your science? How does it effect everything around you? Leonardo da Vinci, known for both mechanical inventions and paintings, understood well back in the 15th century that it was important to observe the world around him to inspire his work.

3. "We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done." — Alan Turing

Why are you doing what you're doing? What is it that you hope to do with what you learn? Although the future is malleable, it's up to you what you'd like to do in it. Remember Alan Turing's words, as this LGBT computer scientist created the basis for all the computers we now use, as well as breaking the Nazi Enigma Code in WW2. Who knows what you could do with a similar mindset to his?

4. "It adds to the joy of discovery to know that your work may make a difference in people's lives." — Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal

Not only will what you do make a difference in the physical environment around you, but what you do affects people. The more you study what you're passionate about, the more you're able to help people. When AIDS became a global epidemic in the 1980s, Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal cloned the HIV virus to understand how it was affecting the immune system, and her work laid the foundations for understanding other infectious diseases such as COVID-`19. Perhaps you can remember just how important your work is (or will be) to other people and do great things too.

5. "People generally thought that sharks are dumb eating machines. After some study, I began to realize that these 'gangsters' of the deep had gotten a bad rap." — Eugenie Clark

Sometimes you have to do a little bit of rewiring your mind about a topic. You might think of it in one way walking into it, then after a bit of time getting to know it, you might think completely different. For example, Eugenie Clark helped clear up a ton of misconceptions about sharks with her biology and behavior studies. Perhaps you could be studying something you really don't like, then find something fairly interesting about it to keep your motivation up.

6. "When people come together around common vision, they can accomplish great things. We need the instruments that pull our people together, not apart." — Nainoa Thompson

Sometimes a person can spend too much time focusing on a topic by themselves, and they could use more people to talk to about that topic to get excited about it again. Remember that other people can help you find your way forward to make the world a better place, as expressed by Nainoa Thompson, a master navigator and developer of the star compass.

7. "There are no incurable diseases— only the lack of will. There are no worthless herbs— only the lack of knowledge." — Ibn Sina (Avicenna)

If you keep in mind that there is a solution to every problem, as long as you keep working to find it, you'll be able to make progress towards the solution. Keep Ibn Sina's words in mind— after all, he was the founder of early modern medicine and even introduced quarantine to avoid the spreading of infections. Perhaps his words can help keep your willpower up for learning new things.

Keep going with your scientific study, wherever your interests may lie. Take it from history, if you keep going, it can only get better. If you still want a break from studying though, try looking up some of these people; their bios might provide further interest and inspiration.

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