Scientific literacy is an intellectual vaccine against the claims of charlatans who would exploit ignorance.
Rational thoughts never drive people's creativity the way emotions do.
No astrophysicist would deny the possibility of life. I think we're not creative enough to imagine what life would be like on another planet. Show me a dead alien. Better yet, show me a live one!
There's no shame in admitting what you don't know. The only shame is pretending you know all the answers.
Quantum physics fluctuates all the time. But now the fluctuations are not just particle coming into and out of existence, which happens all the time. It's whole universe coming into and out of existence.
I said that if an alien came to visit, I'd be embarrassed that we fight wars to pull fossil fuels out of the ground to run our transportation. They'd be like,'What?'
No astrophysicist would deny the possibility of life. I think we're not creative enough to imagine what life would be like on another planet. Show me a dead alien. Better yet, show me a live one.
When students cheat on exams it's because our school system values grades more than students value learning.
I think the greatest people in society carved niches that represented the unique expression of their combinations of talents, and if everyone had the luxury of expressing the unique combination of talents in this world, our society would be transformed overnight.
I have to recognize the elements of exploration that excite people. It's not only the discoveries and the beautiful photos that come down from the heavens; it's the vicarious participation in discovery itself.
In 5-billion years the Sun will expand and engulf our orbit as the charred ember that was once Earth vaporizes. Have a nice day.
The cosmic perspective not only embraces our genetic kinship with all life on Earth but also values our chemical kinship with any yet to be discovered life in the universe, as well as our atomic kinship with the universe itself.
If you're a scientist, and you have to have an answer, even in the absence of data, you're not going to be a good scientist.
We are all connected; to each other, biologically, to the earth, chemically, to the universe atomically.
As children we all wonder -- we wonder all the time. And that gets lost in adulthood. It gets beaten out, it gets filtered out or diluted out.
When I was a kid, I thought that if everyone looked up the way I did then everyone would want to study the universe just like me -- how could they not? This naiveté is what tells me that my interest was more a calling than a rational comparative assessment about what to be when I grew up.
Your center of mass is a place you cannot visit but you always carry with you. Like memories, it is part of life's baggage.
You could do math early, but there are no brilliant 16-year-old novelists. They don't know the human condition yet.
Science is like an inoculation against charlatans who would have you believe whatever it is they tell you.
As they are currently practiced, there is no common ground between science and religion... Although just as in hostage negotiations, it's probably best to keep both sides talking to each other.
In all civilizations we've studied, all cultures that we know of across the Earth and across time have invested some kind of attempt to understanding where where, where they come from, and where they are going.
All the great advances in cinema came about from technology. The 3-D camera was not invented by a movie director. The new industries are driven by the innovations in science and technology.
Curiosity is a self-driven motivation to explore and to learn. Learning is like... you know, you have to take your medicine. And that is what it has become. And that's unfortunate.
We only went to the moon for military reasons. The space enthusiasts of the day kept saying, Oh, we're on the moon; we should be on Mars in ten years. That's if it was driven by exploration, but it's never been driven by exploration.
Exploration is what you do when you don't know what you're doing. That's what scientists do every day. If a scientist already knew what they were doing, they wouldn't be discovering anything, because they already knew what they were doing.
I'm revealing information to people. I'm not creating it. And to the extent that people embrace it, I think they're empowered by it, because any time you have a bigger perspective today than you did yesterday, it's got to be only for the good of your mind, your body, your soul.
Space is the ultimate frontier. I think when people historically thought of the frontier, there was where you were living and then there was some edge beyond which no one had explored.
A bullet fired level from a gun will hit ground at same time as a bullet dropped from the same height. Do the Physics.
I'd like -- inviting aliens and have them observe what we do because so much of what we do that we take for granted will just be weird or extraordinary or just plain dumb when observed by an alien from another civilization.
I think I'm misunderstood when I post these comments about films. So here is Kate Winslet sitting on -- you know, laying on this plank. This ship is down. She let her boyfriend drown. They didn't even try a second time to get him to float on that with her. So I'm angry by that. I think.
It's odd that the word 'atheist' even exist. I don't play golf, is there a word for non-golf players ?
It could be that these other civilizations, if they are far more advanced intellectually than we are, would not even measure our existence as a blip on the intelligence radar. They could be so advanced that we are to them what worms are to us.
When did it become okay to be more offended by what someone with no power says than by what someone with power does?
Relativity. Gravity. Quantum. Electrodynamics. Evolution. Each of these theories is true, whether or not you believe in them.
Society needs to see science not as a luxury of funding but as a fundamental activity that drives enlightenment, economics, and security.
I think on some level, role models are overrated If you require a role model who looks just like you to be something you wanna be and you can't find one, is that a reason to not be what you wanna be? No!
I believe that the manned space program can engage the public by advancing the space frontier. Every next mission takes you farther out in space than you were before, either technologically or in terms of distance.
My interest in the space program has a certain purity to it because I recognize the romance of it but I was never seduced by it. That allowed me to view it through a more purely scientific lens. My interest in space while in school came about through my scientific activities.
The value of the space program is beyond science, it's beyond military; it's a cultural shift in how we think of our place in the universe.
In America, there are people who don't read science fiction but still think about tomorrow, so it's not only the force of science-fiction that makes you a tomorrow thinker.
One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong.
Speaking as just simply an American who cares about the economic health of our country, I see one of the surest ways to bring wealth and prosperity to the country is to innovate in science and technology.
Jesus Christ rose up from the tomb. Well, he's the son of God, and now he's like God's spirit at this point. Why would a spirit need to move a rock? Why not just pass through the rock? But also, why wait for the guards to go to sleep?
Imagination alone is not enough, because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.
Let us not fool ourselves into thinking we went to the Moon because we are pioneers, or discoverers, or adventurers. We went to the Moon because it was the militaristically expedient thing to do.
Astronauts are the only kind of celebrity I know who can have a line of people waiting for their autograph, even if the line of people does not know in advance the astronaut's name.
While I'm a big fan of science fiction, especially as rendered in expensive Hollywood blockbusters, it's the real universe that calls to me.
We already know the limits of Einstein's theories. From the centers of black holes at the very beginning of the universe -- we call these singularities -- Einstein's equations fail. In fact, people have joked that's where God is dividing by zero.
I want to know what dark matter and dark energy are comprised of. They remain a mystery, a complete mystery. No one is any closer to solving the problem than when these two things were discovered.
As important as the civil rights movement was, I think what will rise to the top is that we left Earth in that time.
One of the great challenges in this world is knowing enough about a subject to think you're wright, but not enough about the subject to know you're wrong.
My investment of time, as an educator, in my judgment, is best served teaching people how to think about the world around them. Teach them how to pose a question. How to judge whether one thing is true versus another.
Politics will take whatever shape it needs for people to get elected. But at the end of the day, the population remains and that's really, as an educator, who I care about.
The educated elite is not without their own actual snobbery. And I kind of an anti-elitist in that regard.
If factual information upsets you, then you are creating a world that is not embracing objective truths, and that's not how you advance a democracy.
Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.
Access to science is greater than ever before. There are more vehicles out there that grant the public access to science. Not to mention the Internet.
With one linear centimeter of your lower colon there lives and works more bacteria (about 100 billion) that all humans who have ever been born. Yet many people continue to assert that it is we who are in charge of the world.
Just before I said I wanted to be an astronomer I said I wanted to be a baseball player. I was quite athletic at the time, probably because I was bigger than other kids, and if you're bigger than other kids and you're 11 you win everything.
UFO (Unidentified Flying Object)sightings are not higher among amateur astronomers than they are in the general public. In fact, they're lower. You say, why is that so? Well, because we know what the hell we're looking at!
Had Earth been much closer to the Sun, the oceans would have evaporated. Had Earth been much farther away, the oceans would have frozen. In either case, life as we know it would not have evolved.
These early, single-celled organisms unwittingly transformed Earth's carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into one with sufficient oxygen to allow aerobic organisms to emerge and dominate the oceans and land.
Quarks are quirky beasts. Unlike protons, each with an electric charge of +1, and electrons, with a charge of -1, quarks have fractional charges that come in thirds.
Filling out the entire electromagnetic spectrum, in order of low-energy and low-frequency to high-energy and high-frequency, we have: radio waves, micro waves, ROYGBIV, ultra violet, x rays, and gamma rays.
These same oxygen atoms, normally found in pairs (O2), also combined in threes to form ozone (O3) in the upper atmosphere, which serves as a shield that protects Earth's surface from most of the Sun's molecule-hostile ultraviolet photons.
This general flattening of objects that rotate is why Earth's pole-to-pole diameter is smaller than its diameter at the equator. Not by much: three-tenths of one percent--about twenty-six miles.
Earth has also tidally locked the Moon, leaving it with identical periods of rotation on its axis and revolution around Earth. Wherever and whenever this happens, the locked moon shows only one face to its host planet.