„Data don't generate theory – only researchers do that.“

—  Henry Mintzberg, p. 584
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Henry Mintzberg
kanadischer Ökonom, Professor für Betriebswirtschaft und ... 1939
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„Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program.“

—  Karl Popper Austrian-British philosopher of science 1902 - 1994
Unsourced variant: Evolution is not a fact. Evolution doesn't even qualify as a theory or as a hypothesis. It is a metaphysical research program, and it is not really testable science. <!-- perhaps in "Darwinism as a metaphysical research programme" in Methodology and Science Vol. 9 (1976), p. 103 — 119. -->

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„The paradigm of physics - with its interplay of data, theory and prediction - is the most powerful in science.“

—  Geoffrey West British physicist 1940
From: Joao Medeiros. " The city in numbers: An equation that explains urban life http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2011/05/start/the-city-in-numbers," in wired.co.uk/magazine 29 March 2011.

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„Theory in the social sciences should have three major functions. First, it should aid in the codification of our existing concrete knowledge. It can do so by providing generalized hypotheses for the systematic reformulation of existing facts and insights, by extending the range of implication of particular hypotheses, and by unifying discrete observations under general concepts. Through codification, general theory in the social sciences will help to promote the process of cumulative growth of our knowledge. In making us more aware of the interconnections among items of existing knowledge which are now available in a scattered, fragmentary form, it will help us fix our attention on the points where further work must be done.
Second, general theory in the social sciences should be a guide to research. By codification it enables us to locate and define more precisely the boundaries of our knowledge and of our ignorance. Codification facilitates the selection of problems, although it is not, of course, the only useful technique for the selection of problems for fruitful research. Further than this, general theory should provide hypotheses to be applied and tested by the investigation of these problems...
Third, general theory as a point of departure for specialized work in the social sciences will facilitate the control of the biases of observation and interpretation which are at present fostered by the departmentalization of education and research in the social sciences.“

—  Talcott Parsons American sociologist 1902 - 1979
p. 3

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„Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.“

—  Wernher von Braun German, later an American, aerospace engineer and space architect 1912 - 1977
In an interview in the New York Times (16 December 1957), cited in a footnote on page 32 of "Work, Society, and Culture" by Yves Reni Marie Simon, and also in a footnote (in German) on page 360 of "Vita activa oder Vom taetigen Leben" by Hannah Arend (1981) Variants: Basic research is when I'm doing what I don't know I'm doing. Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. Basic research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.