Academic Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old academic quotes, academic sayings, and academic proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


The academic life is wonderful. That's why people love to do research.     

Michael Marmot

The reason academic disputes are so vicious is that so little is at stake.     

Noam Chomsky

To overcome the academic prose you have first to overcome the academic pose.     

C. Wright Mills

Nothing infuriates an academic more than a talented and successful colleague.     

William McKeen

A literary academic can no more pass a bookstore than an alcoholic can pass a bar.     

Carolyn Heilbrun

In academic life, false ideas are merely false, and useless ones can be fun to play with.     

Michael Ignatieff

Academic staff rather enjoy coming to conclusions, but they don't like coming to decisions at all.     

Noel Annan

My whole academic career was totally out of Jewish anxiety, and issues surrounding achievement and adequacy.     

Ram Dass

The academic world was marching toward ever more specialized knowledge, expressed in ever more dense jargon.     

Michael Crichton

Academic and aristocratic people live in such an uncommon atmosphere that common sense can rarely reach them.     

Samuel Butler

The armoury of having any academic education does not necessarily set you up for being a good or better actor.     

Benedict Cumberbatch

The academic mind reflects infinity, and is full of light by the simple process of being shallow and standing still.     

Gilbert K. Chesterton

The academic community has in it the biggest concentration of alarmists, cranks and extremists this side of the giggle house.     

William F. Buckley, Jr.

If you need to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument.     

Neil deGrasse Tyson

All too often, academic departments defend their territory with the passion of cornered animals, though with far less justification.     

Bruce Jackson

No academic ever expects to be taken seriously by more than three other people, because really, we write for three people in our field.     

Howard Gardner

The failure of academic feminists to recognize difference as a crucial strength is a failure to reach beyond the first patriarchal lesson. In our world, divide and conquer must become define and empower.     

Audre Lorde

Some people stay in the academic world just to avoid becoming self-aware. You can quote me on that.     

Michael McKean

Academic education is the act of memorizing things read in books, and things told by college professors who got their education mostly by memorizing things read in books.     

Elbert Hubbard

Academic disciplines are subject to being overtaken by attacks of "knowingness"- a state of mind and soul that prevents shudders of awe and makes one immune to enthusiasm.     

Richard Rorty

Academic work is one of those fields which contain a pearl so precious that it is worth while to sell all our possessions, keeping nothing for ourselves, in order to be able to acquire it.     

Simone Weil

Academics love to make theories about a body of work, but each book consumes the writer and is the sum of his or her world.     

Jeanette Winterson

Academic questions are interlopers in a world where so few of the real ones have been answered.     

Henry S. Haskins

Academics get paid for being clever, not for being right.     

Donald Norman

When academics claim a topic is obsolete, they mean merely they are tired of flogging it with their cliches.     

Kenny Smith

And in most highly academic environments in the United States, no one fails anything.     

Paul Tough

Most academic economists know nothing of economy. In fact, they know little of anything.     

Edward Abbey

An academic dialect is perfected when its terms are hard to understand and refer only to one another.     

Mason Cooley

As an academic, what do you have? You have the quality of your work and the integrity with which you do it.     

Ezekiel Emanuel

First fulfill your academic obligations and then you will have the right to call yourself a leader of the left.     

Salvador Allende

In the academic world, most of the work that is done is clerical. A lot of the work done by professors is routine.     

Noam Chomsky

In academic life you seek to state absolute truths; in politics you seek to accommodate truth to the facts around you.     

Pierre Trudeau

Academic failure contributes to poverty and poor health and undermines workforce productivity in ways that harm the entire society.     

Anthony Biglan

Academic training in beauty is a sham. We have been so deceived, but so well deceived that we can scarcely get back even a shadow of the truth.     

Pablo Picasso

It is still an act of academic heresy to regard Egypt as the cradle of civilization and originator of Jewish and Christian religious traditions.     

Michael Tsarion

Academic freedom is being lost by a great many people who dare to challenge Darwinism. That's a terrifying situation. That's contrary to the principles of science.     

Ben Stein

The academic mind, as we know, is sometimes capable of assuming an aggressive attitude. The official mind, on the contrary, is and has to be, expert in the art of self-defence.     

Ronald Fisher

Academic achievement was something I'd always sought as a form of reward. Good grades pleased my parents, good grades pleased my teachers; you got them in order to sew up approval.     

Caroline Knapp

Academics tend to have wonderfully infantile senses of humor.     

John Lithgow

Academics act like they are important, but when something is academic it is meaningless. People say, 'It's academic, now let's get work done.     

Evan Sayet

Academic sociologists have been trained to conceive of their discipline - sociology - as the scientific study of society, and to remit to the sister discipline of psychology the study of individuals.     

Richard Wall

Academic Marxists, with their elitist sense of superiority to popular taste, are the biggest snobs in America.     

Camille Paglia

Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low.     

Wallace S. Sayre

Academic Marxism is a fantasy world, and unctuous compassion-sweepstakes, into which real workers or peasants never penetrate.     

Camille Paglia

Academics don't normally manage to alter people's way of thinking through their strength of argument.     

David Crystal

The idea that academics should remain ''above the fray'' only gives ideologues license to misuse our work.     

Stephanie Coontz