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“There is this great danger in student life. Now, we rest all upon what Socrates said, or what Copernicus taught; how can we dispute authority which has come down to us, all established, for ages? We must at least question it; we cannot accept anything as granted, beyond the first mathematical formulae. Question everything else.” — Maria Mitchell
Maria (pronounced in the proper English way after the Great Vowel Shift with a long-I sound, not the foreign European way we generally do now) Mitchell was an astronomer and astronomy professor in the middle to late Nineteenth Century. Back in her day, the students were at least learning Socrates and Copernicus and Aristotle. (How many teeth do women have, Aristotle? Have you tried asking a few to open their mouths to let you count?) Now, the students learn nonsense and pay coming and going for the pleasure, but how many of their professors would suggest they question what they are being taught?
August First is the anniversary of Maria Mitchell’s birth. Happy Birthday Miss Mitchell.Published in