Julius Sumner Miller
Professor Julius Sumner Miller (May 17, 1909 – April 14, 1987) was an American science popularizer, most famous for his work on children's television programs, including his work as "Professor Wonderful" in "Fun with Science" portions of syndicated episodes of The Mickey Mouse Club.
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- Why is it so?
- Stock phrase, which he used often throughout his career, after he had demonstrated something to an audience, beginning in 1959 with his educational program, Why Is It So? on KNXT Channel 2 in Los Angeles, California.
- Whatever work you undertake to do in your lifetime, it is very important that first you have a passion for it — you know, get excited about it — and second, that you have fun with it. That's important. Otherwise, you see, your work becomes nothing but an idle chore. Then, you hate the life you live.
- Why Is It So?, episode 1 (1963), Australian ABC Television show
- My view is this: We teach nothing. We do not teach physics nor do we teach students. (I take physics merely as an example.) What is the same thing: No one is taught anything! Here lies the folly of this business. We try to teach somebody nothing. This is a sorry endeavour for no one can be taught a thing.
What we do, if we are successful, is to stir interest in the matter at hand, awaken enthusiasm for it, arouse a curiosity, kindle a feeling, fire up the imagination. To my own teachers who handled me in this way, I owe a great and lasting debt.
- Julius Sumner Miller, in What Science Teaching Needs, Junior college journal, volume 38 (1967), by American Association of Junior Colleges, Stanford University.
- If I want a word, I make it. I don't like combustion. It's too quiet. I have some stuff in a state of combustication.
- in Science Demonstrations, #30 Physics of Toys: Electrostatic - Magnetic, Instructional TV Service (1969)
- Kids are my favorites … their spirit and curiosity has not yet been dulled by schools.
- We are approaching a darkness in the land. Boys and girls are emerging from every level of school with certificates and degrees, but they can't read, write or calculate. We don't have academic honesty or intellectual rigor. Schools have abandoned integrity and rigor.
- As quoted in "TV and Classroom Physicist : 'Professor Wonderful,' Julius Sumner Miller, Dies" by Gerald Faris, in The Los Angeles Times (16 April 1987)
- My first TV series on demonstrations in physics — titled Why Is It So? were now seen and heard over the land. The mail was massive. The academics were a special triumph for me. They charged me with being superficial and trivial. If I had done what they wanted my programs would be as dull as their classes! I knew my purpose well and clear: to show how Nature behaves without cluttering its beauty with abtruse mathematics. Why cloud the charm of a Chladni plate with a Bessel function?
- The Days of My Life : An Autobiography (1989), p. 212
- Julius Sumner Miller Foundation
- Australian Julius Sumner Miller tribute page
- Julius Sumner Miller page at a Hilarious House of Frightenstein tribute site
- Julius Sumner Miller at TV.com
- Julius Sumner Miller at the Internet Movie Database
- Why is it so? site at Australia's ABC.net.au featuring original episodes
- Julius Sumner Miller 1909–1987, Physics Department, University of Sydney.
- "The Drama of Really Cold Stuff" and Julius Sumner Miller | GeekDad | Wired.com, 12.07.07