So many people today — and even professional scientists — seem to me like someone who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is — in my opinion — the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth.
Letter to Robert A. Thorton, Physics Professor at University of Puerto Rico (7 December 1944).
(14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955) German-born Swiss-American physicist.