Chris Aldrich
I have known more people whose lives have been ruined by getting a Ph.D. in physics than by drugs.
Jonathan I. Katz

A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s?

I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question — such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? — not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.

C.P. Snow

C.P. Snow

But nothing would be more devastating than reduced access to a technical library.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in response to the question “If you lost everything tomorrow, what would you do?”

What I do know is that there is a fundamental difference between science and politics. In fact, I’ve come to view them more and more as opposites.
In science, progress is possible.
Nate Silver, in The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t

Suppose that we were asked to arrange the following in two categories—

distance, mass, electric force, entropy, beauty, melody.

I think there are the strongest grounds for placing entropy alongside beauty and melody and not with the first three.

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington 

in The Nature of the Physical World, 1927

Surely, God could have caused birds to fly with their bones made of solid gold, with their veins full of quicksilver, with their flesh heavier than lead, and with their wings exceedingly small. He did not, and that ought to show something. It is only in order to shield your ignorance that you put the Lord at every turn.

Salviati’s (Galileo’s voice) response to Simplicio (Pope Urban VIII)

Galileo Galilei in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems

One cool judgment is worth a dozen hasty councils. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat.
Woodrow Wilson,  28th U.S. president

Dave Brubeck: It’s About Time (Unsquare Dance) at Beckman Auditorium