„When the theory performs well you also think, “Are there parallel results in naturally occurring field data?” You look for coherence across different data sets because theories are not specific to particular data sources. Such extensions are important because theories often make specific assumptions about information and institutions which can be controlled in the laboratory, but which may not accurately represent field data generating situations. Testing theories on the domain of their assumptions is sterile unless it is part of a research program concerned with extending the domain of applications of theory to field environments“
— Vernon L. Smith American economist 1927
„The Society for General Systems Theory and its publication General Systems was a mixed bag. Few authors were actually doing research - they philosophized, and many prematurely resolved dilemmas by mathematical equations in a language poorly understood by the empirical investigator.“
— Roy R. Grinker, Sr. American psychiatrist and neurologist 1900 - 1993
Grinker (1976) in General systems. Vol.19, p. 57
„A key location for the development of general systems theory was the University of Michigan’s Mental Health Research Institute (MHRI) where General Systems, the yearbook of the (SGSR) was based for many years. A mental health research institute may seem a peculiar place to find systems theory.“
— Stuart A. Umpleby American scientist 1944
p. 80: About General Systems Theory
„CONSIDERABLE attention has recently been devoted to understanding behavior in large organizational systems. Although some of this work has been based on research, it has more typically been general theorizing with little support from research data. Our interest in examining complex organizations is to study more systematically and empirically their internal functioning in relation to the demands of the external environment on the organization and the ability of the organization to cope effectively with these demands, contributing to a theory of the functioning of large organizations based on empirical research.“
— Paul R. Lawrence American business theorist 1922 - 2011
„Looking back to data, we can see if the consequences are plausible; looking forward to theory, we can see if general principles are suggested.“
— John H. Holland US university professor 1929 - 2015
„In brief, we do more research on men in prison, men in the military, and men in general than we do on women for the same reason we do more research on rats than we do on humans.“
— Warren Farrell author, spokesperson, expert witness, political candidate 1943
„The personality of firms like Polaroid, Xerox, Control Data, IBM, ITT, LTV and General Motors clearly reflects aspects of company and management intent that are manifested only partially in such activities as research expenditures, choice of product line and recruitment and development of organization members.“
— Kenneth R. Andrews Business scholar 1916 - 2005
„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.
— Henry Mintzberg Canadian busines theorist 1939
— 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. -->
„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
„Do research. Feed your talent. Research not only wins the war on cliche, it's the key to victory over fear and it's cousin, depression.“
— Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting
— 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.
„To physicists such as myself, the huge amount of invisible dark matter needed to make Einstein's theory fit the astrophysical data is reason enough for exploring modified gravity theories.“
— John Moffat 1932
Chapter 9, Other Alternative Gravity Theories, p. 143