Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bernard Lovell on the limits of science

Sir Bernard Lovell, inspirational founder of the Jodrell Bank radio telescope, was realistic about how far his subject did and didn't reach:

"I am no more surprised or distressed at the limitation of science when faced with this great problem of creation that I am at the limitation of the spectroscope in describing the radiance of a sunset or at the theory of counterpoint in describing the beauty of a fugue" (This was in one of his Reith Lectures)

He was a church organist for 40 years as well as a Physics prof, writer and scientific entrepreneur. I met him a few years ago, shook his hand and had the pleasure (for me anyway) of telling him how he'd inspired me as a boy.

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