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PETS3学习笔记-Unit28

2008-09-05 11:20   我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

Unit28 Popular Science

  Dialogues /monologues:

  1、what does the gravity has to do with the planets staying in orbit around the sun?
  has to do with : V. 与……有关

  2、It may be a case of communicating knowledge, drawing attention to new issues or enteraining on the basis of science subjects — and there is no reason why the same program cannot combine all three.
  draw sb attention to sth :令某人注意某事。如:
  She draw my attention to the boy who is crying on the road.

  3、The film opens with an interview with Andrew Wiles, the man who discovered the solution to Fermat's last theorem, which had remained unsolved for centuries.
  open with :用……作为开场,以……开头。如:
  He opened the conference with a speech of welcome.

  4、But I still hope I can open screens of any size depending on the distance I want to be from the wall in my living-room.
  但是我还希望可以根据我离起居室墙的距离随意调整屏幕的大小。

  Passage:

The World Wide Lab

  The 20 th century was the golden age of the laboratory. Answers to the great research questions were sought within sheltered chambers, where small groups of specialized experts scaled down (or up) phenomena in joyful isolation. Call it the era of trickle-down science: knowledge emerged from a confined center of rational enlightenment, then slowly became known to the rest of society. Science was what was made inside the walls where white coats were at work. Outside the laboratories boundaries began the realm of mere experience — not experiment.

  Today, all this is changing. Indeed, it would be an understatement to say that soon nothing, absolutely nothing, will be left of this top-down model of scientific influence.

  First, the laboratory has extended its walls to the whole planet. Instruments are everywhere. Houses, factories, and hospitals have become lab outposts. Think, for instance, of global positioning systems: thanks to satellite networks, geologists and biologists can now take measurements outside their laboratories with the same degree of precision they achieve inside. Meanwhile, a worldwide network of environmental sensors monitors the planet in real time. And research satellites observe it from above, as if the earth were under a microscope. The difference between outdoor science and lab science has slowly eroded.

  Second, you no longer need a white coat or a Ph.D. to research specific questions. Take the AFM, a French patient advocacy group that focuses on ignored genetic diseases. It has hired researchers, pushed for controversial procedures like genetic therapy, and built an entire industry, producing at once a new social identity and a new research agenda. In the U.S. , the audacity to challenge the experts, to storm the labs, started with AIDS activists and breast cancer groups; not it has spread to interested parties of all sorts, from patients who organize their own clinical trials to environmentalists who do their won fieldwork. A crucial part of doing science is formulating the questions to be solved; it's clear that scientists are no longer alone in this endeavor.

  Third, there is the question of scale. The size and complexity of scientific phenomena under examination has grown to the point that scaling them down to fit in a laboratory is becoming increasingly difficult. Think of global warming: to be sure, labs are running complex models on huge computers. But how do you simulate a phenomenon that is happening on us, with us, through the action of each of us as much as those of entire oceans and the high atmosphere? If the working hypothesis for global warming is that it's a product of human activity, isn't the only way to test this hypothesis to stop our harmful emissions and see — later and collectively — what has happened?

  The sharp divide between a scientific inside, where experts are formulating theories, and a political outside, where non-experts are getting by with human values, is evaporating. And the more it does, the more the fate of humans is linked to that of things, the more a scientific statement(“the earth is warming)resembles a political one(”the earth is warming!). The matters of fact of science become matters of concern of politics.

  Translate Reference:

  20 世纪是实验室的黄金时期。一组一组的专家们抱着愉快的心情躲在实验室里分析各种现象,他们正是在这些隐蔽的实验室探索那些伟大研究课题的答案。我们把这个叫做滴入式科学时代,即研究成果先从实验室出来,然后再慢慢向社会传播。科学是实验室里那些穿大白褂的研究人员得出的。研究室之外是实践的领域——而不是实验。

  今天,所有的这一切都变了。当然,说在科学影响方面这种自上而下的模式将不复存在,只是轻描淡写。

  首先,实验室已将领域扩张到了全世界,到处都是仪器。房子,工厂,医院已经成了实验场所。比方说全球定位系统:由于卫星的覆盖网络,地质学家和生物学家可以在实验室外面进行测量而且精确度和在实验室里测量的一样。同时,全球的环境监测器随时对地球进行观察,就仿佛把地球置于一个显微镜下面。室外科学和实验室科学之间的差异正在慢慢消失。

  其次,不再非得是穿白大褂的研究人员或者是博士才可以对具体的问题进行研究。像 AFM ,一个法国病人组织,主要针对不被重视的基因疾病。这个组织专门请了研究人员,力图在诸如基因治疗这样备受争议的研究上取得进展,而且他们建立了一整套体系,这套体系在为该组织获得新的社会地位的同时还设置了一个新的研究日程。在美国,关心艾滋病的活动家们和乳癌组织首先大胆地对专家们提出挑战并且攻击实验室。这种影响现在已经扩大到了各种利益集团,从自己组织临床试验的病人到亲自进行实地调查的环境保护者。做科学最关键的就是阐述那些等待解决的问题,很显然,在这方面科学家们不再是单独的团体。

  再次,还有范围的问题。要想到等待检测的科学现象的范围缩小到适合实验室的研究是越来越难了。想想全球变暖的问题:可以肯定的是,复杂的模型在实验室里巨大的电脑上运行。但是怎么样模拟我们身上以及周围正在发生的现象?还有我们的行为所引起的整个海洋和大气层上空所发生的现象?如果全球变暖是由人类活动的这一假设可行的话,那么检测这个假设的唯一方法是不是就是停止释放有害气体然后集中来看会发生什么?

  实验室内部是科学家们构思假设的地方,而外部是非科学家们靠人类价值勉强维持的政治,这两者之间的差异正在消失。而且,这种差异越消失,人类的命运就越与政治联系在一起。科学的表述(地球正在变暖!)体现的是政治的表述(地球正在变暖!)。科学的事实变成了与政治利益有关的事情。

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