Julius Sumner Miller

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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.

Professor Julius Sumner Miller (May 17, 1909April 14, 1987) was an American science popularizer, most famous for his work on children's television programs.

Quotes[edit]

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.
Why cloud the charm of a Chladni plate with a Bessel function?
  • Why is it so?
    • Stock phrase, used often when he had demonstrated something to an audience, and wanted it explained.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

External links[edit]

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