„There does not exist a category of science to which one can give the name applied science. There are sciences and the applications of science, bound together as the fruit of the tree which bears it.“
— Louis Pasteur French chemist and microbiologist 1822 - 1895
Revue Scientifique (1871) Variant translation: There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science.
„[Computer science] is not really about computers -- and it's not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators, and biology is not about microscopes and Petri dishes... and geometry isn't really about using surveying instruments. Now the reason that we think computer science is about computers is pretty much the same reason that the Egyptians thought geometry was about surveying instruments: when some field is just getting started and you don't really understand it very well, it's very easy to confuse the essence of what you're doing with the tools that you use.“
— Hal Abelson computer scientist 1947
Source: Introductory lecture to Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQLUPjefuWA
„As a result, the topic became – primarily in the USA – prematurely known as ‘computer science’ – which, actually, is like referring to surgery as ‘knife science’ – and it was firmly implanted in people’s minds that computing science is about machines and their peripheral equipment. Quod non“
— Edsger W. Dijkstra Dutch computer scientist 1930 - 2002
Context: A confusion of even longer standing came from the fact that the unprepared included the electronic engineers that were supposed to design, build and maintain the machines. The job was actually beyond the electronic technology of the day, and, as a result, the question of how to get and keep the physical equipment more or less in working condition became in the early days the all-overriding concern. As a result, the topic became – primarily in the USA – prematurely known as ‘computer science’ – which, actually, is like referring to surgery as ‘knife science’ – and it was firmly implanted in people’s minds that computing science is about machines and their peripheral equipment. Quod non [Latin: "Which is not true"]. We now know that electronic technology has no more to contribute to computing than the physical equipment. We now know that programmable computer is no more and no less than an extremely handy device for realizing any conceivable mechanism without changing a single wire, and that the core challenge for computing science is hence a conceptual one, viz., what (abstract) mechanisms we can conceive without getting lost in the complexities of our own making. Dijkstra (1986) On a cultural gap http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/transcriptions/EWD09xx/EWD924.html (EWD 924).
„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.
„The greatest danger to good computer science research today may be excessive relevance. Evidence for the worldwide fascination with computers is everywhere, from the articles on the financial, and even the front pages of the newspapers, to the difficulties that even the most prestigious universities experience in finding and keeping faculty in computer science. The best professors, instead of teaching bright students, join start-up companies.“
— Dennis M. Ritchie American computer scientist 1941 - 2011
„I just don't like the word 'fun'--it's like Volkswagen, or bell-bottoms, or patchouli-oil or bean-sprouts... it rubs me up the wrong way.“
— Tom Waits American singer-songwriter and actor 1949
„Software engineering is the part of computer science which is too difficult for the computer scientist.“
— Friedrich Bauer German computer scientist 1924 - 2015
Bauer (1971) "Software Engineering." Information Processing: Proceedings of the IFIP Congress 1971, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, August 23-28, 1971.
— George William Russell Irish writer, editor, critic, poet, and artistic painter 1867 - 1935
Context: For sure the enchanted waters pour through every wind that blows. I think when night towers up aloft and shakes the trembling dew How every high and lonely thought that thrills my being through Is but a ruddy berry dropped down through the purple air, And from the magic tree of life the fruit falls everywhere.
„In my vision, space-age objects, in the form of small computers, will cross these cultural barriers to enter the private worlds of children everywhere. They will do so not as mere physical objects. This book is about how computers can be carriers of powerful ideas and of the seeds of cultural change, how they can help people form new relationships with knowledge that cut across the traditional lines separating humanities from sciences and knowledge of the self from both of these. It is about using computers to challenge current beliefs about who can understand what and at what age. It is about using computers to question standard assumptions in developmental psychology and in the psychology of aptitudes and attitudes. It is about whether personal computers and the cultures in which they are used will continue to be the creatures of "engineers" alone or whether we can construct intellectual environments in which people who today think of themselves as "humanists" will feel part of, not alienated from, the process of constructing computational cultures.“
— Seymour Papert MIT mathematician, computer scientist, and educator 1928 - 2016
„I can’t be as confident about computer science as I can about biology. Biology easily has 500 years of exciting problems to work on. It’s at that level.“
— Donald Ervin Knuth American computer scientist 1938
Computer Literacy Bookshops Interview http://karthikr.wordpress.com/2006/04/06/donald-knuth-%e2%80%94-computer-literacy-bookshops-interview-1993/ Computer Literacy Bookshops Interview (1993) On why bioinformatics is very exciting
— Rudolf Carnap German philosopher 1891 - 1970
Rudolf Carnap (1929) from the Vienna Circle manifesto.
„Simply translating the act of the scientist is the first job of any science writer. Then, in my more grandiose moments, the other big job of a science writer is to see connections, to see the forest composed by all these trees. The act of being a scientist, by definition, the act of being a modern scientist requires you to really focus. You have to drill down. You have to spend years studying one brick, one synaptic protein, one kind of thing that turns on the amygdala, one very particular question.“
— Jonah Lehrer American science writer 1981
„The invention of the printing press probably marks the beginning of the decline of civilization. Once you have it, science follows close behind. Next thing you know the idiots have better weaponry. Then atom bombs. Meantime, social organization becomes increasingly dependent on technology, which becomes increasingly vulnerable to error or sabotage. If we can judge by our own experience, it looks as if you get the printing press, then about a thousand years. After that it’s back to the trees.“
— Jack McDevitt American novelist, Short story writer 1935
Chapter 27 (p. 243)