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让科学服务于公众

Science in service to the public good | Siddhartha Roy

大学刚毕业
Fresh out of college,
我就去了一家顾问公司
I went to work for a consulting firm.
适应期时 领导倾囊相授
During orientation, the leaders dished out advice.
有一个我一辈子都忘不了
Amongst them was one pithy counsel I will never forget.
他跟我们说:“放松心态 掌控一切”
He told us, “Be easy to manage.”
考虑到自己当时还很幼稚
Considering how naïve I really was at the time,
我把他的建议牢记在心
I took his advice to heart.
并告诉自己
I told myself,
“没错 我会是团队的核心
“Yes, I will be the ultimate team player.
我会完成所有交代的任务
I will do everything I’m told.
我会轻松掌控一切的”
I will be easy to manage.”
直到我读了研究生
It wasn’t until I arrived in graduate school
并亲眼目睹科学家和工程师在密歇根弗林特
and witnessed firsthand the criminal actions of scientists and engineers
水危机中的犯罪行为
in the water crisis in Flint, Michigan
才明白事实上这种思想
that I realized how dangerous and yet surprisingly common
多么危险 多么普遍
this line of thinking really is.
不要犯错:
Make no mistake:
弗林特水危机是当时最严重的环境问题之一
the Flint water crisis is one of the most egregious environmental injustices of our time.
18个多月以后
For over 18 months,
10万居民 包括上万的孩子
100,000 residents, including thousands of young children,
都接触了含铅量高 受污染的饮用水
were exposed to contaminated drinking water with high levels of lead.
铅是一种强力的神经毒素
Lead is a potent neurotoxin
能造成人们认知及发育的残疾
which causes cognitive and developmental disabilities
对胎儿和小孩尤其有害
and is especially harmful to growing fetuses and young children.
罗马帝国时期开始 我们就知道它的危险
We’ve known about its dangers since the Roman Empire.
在众多健康问题中
Amongst a whole host of health issues,
有12人死于军团病感染
12 people died by contracting Legionnaires’ disease.
弗林特的水利建设
Flint’s water infrastructure
复杂的地下管道网络
the complex network of underground pipes
已经遭受了严重的破坏
has been severely damaged.
如今 随着水质改善
And while the water quality is slowly improving
管道也在替换
and the pipes are being replaced now,
都过了两年多了
more than two years later,
饮用水的水质仍不够安全
the water is still not safe to drink.
因此 人们仍感到震惊
So, people are still in shock.
他们问自己
They ask themselves,
“怎么会发生这种事?”
“How could this have happened?”
简言之就是:密歇根政府任命的一名
The short answer is: the crisis began when an emergency manager,
处理突发事件的官员 导致了这次危机
appointed by Michigan’s governor,
他决定用当地河流作为饮用水源以节约资金
decided to switch their water source to a local river to save money.
这种行为持续了很久
But it continued for so long
因为密歇根政府机构
because scientists and engineers at government agencies
及联邦政府的科学家及工程师
in the state of Michigan and in the federal government
在处理这个问题时 并没有遵守联邦法规
did not follow federal regulations for treating the water right.
更为严重的是
What was more,
他们违背法律 精心策划了这场骗局
they actively cheated on the law and orchestrated cover-ups.
在公然宣称水龙头流出的棕色且发臭的水
They ridiculed residents asking for help,
可以安全饮用时
while publicly insisting that the brown, smelly water coming out of the tap
他们嘲弄了寻求帮助的居民
was safe to drink.
当地 州 以及联邦的整个系统
The system at the local, state and federal levels completely failed
都无法保护我们最脆弱的
to protect our most vulnerable,
整个区域的人口只能自求多福
and an entire population was left to fend for itself.
如今 值此不公正对待中 弗林特居民正团结一心
Now, amidst this injustice, Flint residents were rallying together.
他们当中更有一些瞩目的女性——
Amongst them were some amazing women of Flint —
妈妈们关心自己的孩子——
mothers concerned about their kids —
(她们)集合起来 发起了许多民间组织
who came together forming many grassroots coalitions,
这些团体开始抗议 要求做出改变
and these groups started protesting and demanding change.
同时他们也向外界科学家寻求帮助
The group also reached out to outside scientists for help,
并收到一些回应
and a few responded.
他们中有位米格尔•德尔•托拉尔
Amongst them was a guy named Miguel Del Toral,
是EPA 即美国环境保护局的水质专家
a water expert at the US EPA — the Environmental Protection Agency —
他撰写了这份科学报告
who actually wrote this scientific memo
并把它寄给了密歇根州及联邦政府
and sent it to the state of Michigan and the federal government
要求他们重视这个问题
to bring their attention to this problem.
他被冠以“拼命三郎”的称号
He was characterized a “rogue employee,”
然后就没声音了
and silenced.
在与弗林特居民合作的过程中
In collaboration with Flint residents,
我们学校的调查团队
our research team here at Tech,
含学生 科学家 由马克•爱德华教授带领
of students and scientists led by professor Marc Edwards,
在全城范围进行了检测
conducted citywide testing
证明弗林特的水确实受到了污染
to prove that Flint’s water was indeed contaminated,
某些家庭的水甚至有毒
even toxic in some homes.
我们也证实了弗林特几个月的抗议
We substantiated what Flint had been screaming for months,
并将其发布到网上 让全世界都看到
and put it on the Internet for the world to see.
如今 当我卷入其中
Now, when I was getting involved,
当我对此认同时
when I said yes to this,
我都不知道我面临的是什么
I had no idea what I was getting into.
但此次行程的每时每刻都很值得
But every second of this journey has been totally worth it.
这就是 科学服务社会
This was science in service to the public.
这就是我读研究生院的原因
This is what I came to graduate school for,
这就是我更愿意选择的人生
and this is how I would rather spend my life.
同样 这次联合
And so this coalition —
这个居民 牧师 记者 科学家组成的不像样的组织
this unlikely coalition of citizens, pastors, journalists and scientists —
聚到一起 用科学 主张和行动揭露事实
came together to uncover the truth using science, advocacy and activism.
一位当地的儿科医生指出
A local pediatrician figured out
在这次危机中
that the instances of childhood lead poisoning had indeed doubled
儿童所受毒害是成人的两倍
in Flint during the crisis.
密歇根州也被迫承认存在这个问题
And the state of Michigan was forced to acknowledge the problem
并保证采取措施修正
and take steps to correct it.
这个团队以及很多人都保护了弗林特的孩子
This group and many others got Flint’s kids protected.
几个月以后
A few months later,
奥巴马总统来到这里 宣布联邦进入紧急状态
President Obama came in and declared a federal emergency,
如今 弗林特在医疗保健 营养及教育方面
and now Flint is getting more than 600 million dollars
已经得到了超过6亿的资金
in healthcare, nutrition, education
并且翻修了他们的水利设施
and overhauling their water infrastructure.
然而 那些忽视公共安全 傲慢而冷酷的
However, the arrogance and the callous disregard for public health
政府机构的科学家和工程师们
shown by scientists and engineers at these government agencies
毫无信仰
is beyond belief.
病态文化在这些团体中发酵
These unhealthy cultures that are festering in these groups,
只知道迎合条文规定 检查表面
where the focus is on meeting regulations and checking boxes
而不关注保护公众健康
as opposed to protecting public health,
这种行为太让人震惊了
is just appalling.
请看看这封环境保护组织的员工写的邮件
Just consider this email that an EPA employee wrote,
内容是:
where she goes,
“我不确定我们想在弗林特社区留有风险”
“I’m not so sure Flint is a community we want to go out on a limb for.”
全体人口明显都人性缺失
The dehumanization of an entire population could not be more obvious.
现在 与工程学的标准比较
Now, contrast that to the first canon of engineering,
我认为 工程学的标准应该把人放在首位:
which, in my opinion, should be the first law of humanity:
“公众健康 安全及福利
“To hold paramount the health, safety and welfare of the public,”
高于一切”
above all else.
很少有人知道希波拉底式的誓言
This is the Hippocratic Oath we’ve rarely acknowledged,
更不要说其内涵了
let alone embraced.
因此 当科学家 工程师担任像医生那样的角色
And so when scientists and engineers, very much like medical doctors,
操控全局
screw up,
人们会受伤
people can get hurt
甚至死亡
even die.
如果我们的专业人员 甚至学生不能改变现状
If our professionals and even students fail to get that,
社会将付出巨大代价
society pays a huge price.
我崇拜一个人 尽管他早已湮没在历史的尘埃中
Buried deep in history lies a character I deeply admire —
他叫彼得·巴尔金斯基 是一位工程师
an engineer named Peter Palchinsky.
他生活于苏联时期
He lived in the time of the Soviet Union.
由于诚实 他不断陷入麻烦之中
And Palchinsky repeatedly got in trouble for his radical honesty
他不自觉的指出了苏联盲目追求
and willingness to point out major flaws in the Soviets’ mindless pursuit
工业化冒进的主要问题
of rapid industrialization.
人人都要遵从上级的命令
Everyone was expected to follow orders coming from the top.
而那些提出问题或反馈的人却遭受冷遇
Anyone asking questions or offering feedback was unwelcome.
苏联创造了规模空前的工程师大军
The Soviets had created the largest army of engineers the world had ever seen,
但他们多是大机器生产下 缈如尘埃的牺牲品
and yet most of them were mere cogs in a gigantic machine heading for doom.
另一方面 巴尔金斯基希望工程师
Palchinsky, on the other hand, implored engineers
可以看到经济 政治 及他们行为产生的社会结果
to look at the economic, political and social consequences of their actions;
换句话说 要更多的以公众为关注中心
in other words, be more public-focused.
他理性而勇敢的声音被视为
His fearless voice of reason was seen as a threat
政治建设的威胁
to the political establishment,
1929年 约瑟夫•斯大林判处他死刑
and Joseph Stalin had him executed in 1929.
巴尔金斯基对技术专家的看法完全不同于
Palchinsky’s view on technocrats is very different
现在普流行的看法
from one that is still very popular, still very common
即 没有感情的研究人员 就该在他象牙塔内的实验室
that of a dispassionate researcher working in his ivory tower lab,
或是像书呆子似的工程师在小隔间工作
or a nerdy engineer working in his cubicle.
很杰出 毋庸置疑
Brilliant, no doubt,
但却有点与世界脱轨
yet somehow cut off from the world,
毫无情感而言——
shows little emotion —
类似《星际迷航》里的斯波克 知道吧?
kind of like Spock from “Star Trek,” you know?
这家伙
This guy.
我们来试着向斯波克致敬
Let’s try and do the Spock salute.
我可能不会成功……
I don’t think I’ll succeed …
瞧 我成不了斯波克
See, I can’t be Spock.
感谢上帝 我不是斯波克
Thank goodness I can’t be Spock.
因为最近刊登在著名科学杂志上的文章
I was reminded of this distinction because a recent article came out
提醒了我这种区别
in a very reputed scientific journal,
有点以我们在弗林特做的为特征 如“早期理想主义”
which kind of characterized our Flint work as driven by “youthful idealism,”
及“好莱坞戏剧化情感”驱动似的
and “Hollywood’s dramatic sensibilities.”
它要求科学家不惜任何代价保护研究经费及制度
It asks scientists to protect their research funding and institutions
无论发生什么 不管原因为何
at all costs, no matter how just the cause.
如果你认为你困于某件事
And if you think you have to get involved in something,
即使很紧急
even if it’s an emergency,
都要试着找到一个活跃的组织或者是非政府组织
try finding an activist group or an NGO,
来获得学术团体的全部支持——
and obtain the full support of the academic community —
无论那意味着什么
whatever that means —
在你涉入之前
before you get involved.
不止一人提到 我们预防公众伤害的
Not one mention of our moral and professional obligation
道义和职业责任
of preventing harm to the public,
或者我们所拥有的专业知识
or the fact that we have all this expertise,
资源 甚至是
resources and, for some, even tenure
你知道的 终身责任制
to, you know, accomplish this task.
我并不是说科学家应该是一个激进分子
I’m not saying every scientist should be an activist.
坦白说 有时确实会产生痛心的后果
There are real and sometimes very painful consequences of speaking up.
但是提到这个想法 完全有这种可能性
But to denounce this idea, this possibility so completely
这样你就能保护你的研究经费了
so that you can protect research funding,
轻易因自私胆怯而尖叫
simply screams of self-serving cowardice,
这些都不是我们想要传达给学生的思想
and these are not the ideals we would want to pass to our students.
你知道 你可能想:“好吧 听起来很棒”
And so, you know, you may think, “OK, all this sounds great,
但你永远不会彻底改变组织文化
but you’ll never completely change organizational cultures,
或者学生 专家根深蒂固的想法
or imbibe mindsets in students and professionals
让他们把工作视为一种——
to look at their work as a public good —
为公众服务的科学
science in service to the public.”
也许吧
Maybe so.
但是更大的原因是
But could a big reason for that be
我们并没用这种理念培养学生
that we are not training our students right?
因为如果你观察地够细
Because if you look closely,
我们今天的教育系统 正专注于创造
our education system today is focused more on creating
前耶鲁大学教授威廉•德莱塞维茨所说的“优秀的绵羊”——
what ex-Yale professor William Deresiewicz calls “excellent sheep” —
年轻人聪明且富有雄心壮志
young people who are smart and ambitious,
不过同时他们内心也会存有保守 懦弱 迷茫
and yet somehow risk-averse, timid, directionless and, sometimes, full of themselves.
现在 孩子们 你们知道
Now, kids … you know,
孩提时 我们就喜欢上了科学
we fell in love with science when we were kids,
然而高中和大学时 我们却花大量的时间
and yet we somehow spend most of our time during high school and college
对别人俯首帖耳 唯命是从
just jumping through hoops
只知道做些能丰富简历的事
and doing things so that we can polish our résumé
而不是坐下好好思考
instead of sitting down
我们想要做什么 想成为怎样的人
and reflecting on what we want to do and who we want to be.
因此
And so,
大学毕业生的同理心
the markers of empathy in our college graduates
在过去的20年里 一直都在下降
have been dropping dramatically in the past two decades,
但却越来越自我陶醉
while those of narcissism are on the rise.
学工程学的学生逐渐在和社会公众脱离
There is also a growing culture of disengagement between engineering students and the public.
我们学的是如何建桥及解决复杂的问题
We are trained to build bridges and solve complex problems
而不是如何思考 生活 或融入这个世界
but not how to think or live or be a citizen of this world.
读大学的几年里 我一直为找工作而准备
My undergraduate years were explicit job preparation,
我无法表达那段时光多么痛苦 多么令人窒息
and I cannot tell you how suffocating and painful it was at times.
所以
And so,
一些人认为对于优秀的工程师和科学家来说 解决的办法就是
some people think the solution to great engineers, to great scientists,
接受更多的专业训练
is more technical training.
也许 这办法行得通
Maybe so.
但关于道德决定
But where are the discussions on ethical decision-making,
或者建筑特点
or building character,
或者去伪存真的讨论在哪儿呢
or discerning right from wrong?
鉴于我深爱和钦佩这一计划
Consider this project that I deeply love and admire.
即 《英雄想象计划》
It’s called, “Heroic Imagination Project.”
菲利普•津巴多心理学专家
A brainchild of Dr. Phil Zimbardo,
因斯坦福监狱实验而出名
famous for the Stanford Prison Experiment,
这项实验寻找了世界各地入学的学生
this program seeks to train school-going children around the world
把自己视为“看守”
to look at themselves as heroes-in-waiting,
和“囚犯”
or heroes-in-training.
这些年轻的孩子在模拟一段时间后 具备了一些技能和品质
So, these young minds work over time to develop skills and virtues
以至于机会来临的时候
so that when the opportunity comes,
无论它是什么
no matter what that opportunity be,
他们都能站出来 做出正确的选择
to stand up and do the right thing.
换句话说
In other words,
任何人都可以是英雄
anyone can be a hero.
请仔细想想
Think about that idea for a second.
为何我们不能像那样教科学和工程学——
Why don’t we teach science and engineering like that —
把英雄主义和公共服务看成是核心的价值观
where heroism and public service are seen as key values,
因为确实 英雄主义
because indeed, it’s often heroism
不只可以转变公众的冷漠
that is not only the antidote to public indifference,
还可以矫正我们在弗林特看到的罪恶系统
but also to systemic evil like we saw in Flint.
和我一起想象
And so, dream with me
21世纪的科学家与工程师是这个样子:
what a 21st-century scientist slash engineer could look like:
他们掌握科学
individuals who are driven to master the sciences
也服务于社会
so that they can serve society,
可以意识到他们的知识与决定的巨大力量
and are also aware of the tremendous power their knowledge and decisions have;
增加他们的道德勇气
folks who are developing their moral courage at all times,
意识到冲突和争论
and who realize that conflict and controversy
并非坏事
are not necessarily bad things
如果我们首先对公众和这个地球负责的话
if our ultimate loyalty is to the public and the planet.
这些人就像我们在弗林特做的那样 他们会站出来
These are the people who will stand up like we did in Flint
而不是仅仅是媒体中的救世主和英雄
not to be saviors or heroes in the media,
但他们可以成为值得信赖的毫无私心 演技好的演员
but altruistic and fundamentally good actors that you and I can trust.
设想 如果在班级 服务访问中 活动里
Imagine fostering such a public-focused mindset
大学期间 甚至高中阶段
in classes, on service trips and during activities
培养公众服务意识
during college or even high school,
这样 这些活跃的思维可以坚持这些理想
so that these young minds will hold onto those ideals
直到他们踏入真实的世界
when they actually enter the real world,
无论是咨询 学术或是政策制定
whether that be consulting, academia, policy making
甚至是成为国家元首也不会改变
or even becoming the president of a country.
我们眼前最大的挑战
Some of mankind’s greatest challenges lie ahead of us;
饮用水污染就是个例子
contaminated drinking water is just one example.
显然 我们会利用更多反对的声音
We could definitely use more nay.
我们急需更多富有同情心的支持者
We desperately need more compassionate upstanders
以及致力于公众服务的科学家及工程师
and public-focused scientists and engineers
他们会一直坚持做正确的事
who will strive to the do right thing,
而且 想掌控一切并不容易
and not be easy to manage.
谢谢大家
Thank you.

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视频概述

我们对学生的教育培养,更多的应该把重心放在公共事业上,服务于大众

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

喋喋

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审核团V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALTvG9MIR64

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