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科学研究的态度 – 译学馆
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科学研究的态度

The secret to scientific discoveries? Making mistakes | Phil Plait

Now, people have a lot of misconceptions about science —
人们对于科学有很多误解——
about how it works and what it is.
关于科学原理以及科学含义
A big one is that
一个最大的误解是
science is just a big old pile of facts.
科学只是一大堆陈旧的事实
But that’s not true — that’s not even the goal of science.
但并非如此——这甚至连科学的目的都算不上
Science is a process.
科学是一个过程
It’s a way of thinking.
它是一种思考方式
Gathering facts is just a piece of it, but it’s not the goal.
收集事实只是其中一步 但并非目的
The ultimate goal of science is to understand objective reality
科学的终极目标是用我们知道的最优方法
the best way we know how, and that’s based on evidence.
来厘清客观现实 即要以证据为基础
The problem here is that people are flawed,we can be fooled.
问题在于 人无完人 我们有可能被愚弄
— we’re really good at fooling ourselves.
我们真的很擅长欺骗自己
And so baked into this process is a way of minimizing our own bias.
所以 融入科学的探究过程是一种将偏见最小化的方法
So sort of boiled down more than is probably useful,
总的来说可能更好
here’s how this works.
科学的原理如下
If you want to do some science,
如果你想做点儿科学研究
what you want to do is you want to observe something…
观察一些事物……
say,”The sky is blue. Hey, I wonder why?”
比如 “天空是蓝色的 我想知道为什么?”
You question it.
你提出了疑问
The next thing you do is you come up with an idea that may explain it: a hypothesis.
接下来 你会想到一个 可以解释该问题的想法: 一个假设
Well,you know what? Oceans are blue.
你知道吗?海都是蓝色的
Maybe the sky is reflecting the colors from the ocean.
也许天空反射了海洋的蓝色
Great,but now you have to test it
很好 但现在你就要验证它
so you predict what that might mean.
你要预测这意味着什么
Your prediction would be,
你的预测会是
“ Well, if the sky is reflecting the ocean color,
哦 如果天空反射了海洋的蓝色
it will be bluer on the coasts
那么天空在海边的颜色
than it will be in the middle of the country.”
要比在国家内陆地区更蓝
Ok,that’s fair enough, but you’ve got to test that prediction.
好 这很合理 但你得验证那个预测
So you get on a plane,
于是你登上一架飞机
you leave Denver on a nice gray day,
在一个灰蒙蒙的好日子里 离开丹佛
you fly to LA, you look up and the sky is gloriously blue.
飞往洛杉矶 望向天空 天空映衬着壮丽的蔚蓝色
Hooray,your thesis is proven.
太好了!你的预测被证明了
But is it really?
真的吗?
No,you’ve made one observation.
不 你只进行了一次观察
You need to think about your hypothesis,
你得对这个假设进行思考
think about how to test it
思考如何检验它
and do more than just one.
还要重复多次
Maybe you could go to a different part of the country
也许你可以去这个国家的其他地方
or a different part of the year and see what the weather’s like then.
或是在一年的不同时间去 看看那时的天气如何
Another good idea is to talk to other people.
另一个好办法就是 和其他人聊聊
They have different ideas, different perspectives,
他们有不同的想法 不同的角度
and they can help you.
他们能帮助你
This is what we call peer review.
这就是我们所称的同行评议
And in fact that will probably also save you a lot of money and a lot of time,
事实上 这也会帮你省下很大一笔钱和时间
flying coast-to-coast just to check the weather.
不必只为了看看天气两头飞
Now,what happens if your hypothesis does a decent job but not a perfect job?
那么如果你的假设很好 但不是很完美怎么办?
Well,that’s OK,
这不是大问题
because what you can do is
因为你可以
you can modify it a little bit
对它进行一点修正
and then go through this whole process again —
然后再把整个流程走一遍——
make predictions, test them —
做预测 检验它——
and as you do that over and over again,
随着你一遍又一遍地重复
you will hone this idea.
你的假设便会被优化
And if it gets good enough,
如果假设变得足够好了
it may be accepted by the scientific community,
可能会被科学界采纳
at least provisionally, as a good explanation of what’s going on,
至少暂时性的 作为一种对此自然现象的合理解释
at least until a better idea or some contradictory evidence comes along.
直到更好的解释 或一些与之相矛盾的数据出现
Now,part of this process is admitting when you’re wrong.
科学探究过程的一部分就是犯错时认错
And that can be really, really hard.
这真的非常 非常难
Science has its strengths and weaknesses
科学有优势亦有劣势
and they depend on this.
而它依赖于承认错误
One of the strengths of science is that it’s done by people,
科学的优势之一是 它是由人来完成的
and it’s proven itself to do a really good job.
长久以来 我们获得的科学成就也毋庸置疑
We understand the universe pretty well because of science.
因为科学 我们对宇宙有非常不错的认知
One of science’s weaknesses is that it’s done by people,
而科学的一个劣势也恰恰在于 它是由人来完成的
and we bring a lot of baggage along with us when we investigate things.
当我们调查研究时 会背上很多包袱
We are egotistical, we are stubborn, we’re superstitious,
我们是任性主观的 我们固执且迷信
we’re tribal, we’re humans —
我们是群聚动物 我们是人类——
these are all human traits and scientists are humans.
这些都是人类的特点 而科学家也是人
And so we have to be aware of that when we’re studying science
所以在研究和做出假设时
and when we’re trying to develop our theses.
我们要意识到这一点
But part of this whole thing,
但这整件事情的一部分
part of this scientific process, part of the scientific method,
整个科学过程的一部分 整个科学方法的一部分
is admitting when you’re wrong.
在于犯了错误要承认
I know, I’ve been there.
我曾有过这样的经历
Many years ago I was working on Hubble Space Telescope,
多年以前 我在哈勃太空望远镜项目工作
and a scientist I worked
有一个共事的科学家
with came to me with some data,
带着数据来找我
and he said,”I think there may be a picture of a planet orbiting another star in this data.”
他说:“我认为这个数据表明 可能有颗行星围绕另一颗恒星运行”
We had not had any pictures taken of planets orbiting other stars yet,
人们当时还没有拍到行星绕其他恒星运行的照片
so if this were true,
如果这是真的
then this would be the first one and we would be the ones who found it.
就会是世界上的首次发现 而我们就是发现它的人
That’s a big deal.
这可了不得
I was very excited, so I just dug right into this data.
我无比激动 然后我就一头扎进数据里
I spent a long time trying to figure out
我花了很长的时间去推算
if this thing were a planet or not.
这个东西是不是行星
The problem is planets are faint and stars are bright,
问题是行星很暗 恒星很亮
so trying to get the signal out of this data
所以试图从这些数据中获取信号
was like trying to hear a whisper in a heavy metal concert —
就像在重金属音乐会上听到耳语一样
it was really hard.
真的很难
I tried everything I could,
我想尽了一切办法
but after a month of working on this,
但忙了一个月后
I came to a realization… couldn’t do it.
我意识…… 我做不到
I had to give up.
我不得不放弃
And I had to tell this other scientist,
而且我还要告诉其他科学家
“The data’s too messy.
“数据实在太乱了
We can’t say whether this is a planet or not.”
我们难以判断这是不是一颗行星”
And that was hard.
那挺难的
Then later on we got follow-up observations with Hubble,
之后不久 我们用哈勃望远镜做了后续观察
and it showed that it wasn’t a planet.
结果发现它并不是一颗行星
It was a background star or galaxy, something like that.
只是个背景恒星或星系 类似的东西
Well,not to get too technical, but that sucked.
我不想说得太专业 但那真是糟透了
(Laughter)
(笑)
I was really unhappy about this.
我对此真的十分失落
But that’s part of it.
但这就是科学的一部分
You have to say,” Look, you know,
你得承认:看吧
we can’t do this with the data we have.”
我们无法用现有数据进行分析
And then I had to face up to the fact
之后我还要面对
that even the follow-up data showed we were wrong.
后续数据证明 我们是错的这个事实
Emotionally I was pretty unhappy.
情感上 我十分失落
But if a scientist is doing their job correctly,
但如果一个科学家正确的进行了研究
being wrong is not so bad
犯了错误并不是什么坏事
because that means there’s still more stuff out there —
因为这说明还有更多的东西
more things to figure out.
等着我们去探索
Scientists don’t love being wrong but we love puzzles,
科学家不喜欢出错 但我们喜欢谜题
and the universe is the biggest puzzle of them all.
而宇宙就是谜题之最
Now having said that,
话虽如此
if you have a piece and it doesn’t fit no matter how you move it,
如果你有一小块拼图 但怎么摆弄都拼不上
jamming it in harder isn’t going to help.
硬塞进去也没有用
There’s going to be a time
如果你想要
when you have to let go of your idea
了解更大的局面
if you want to understand the bigger picture.
就得放弃目前所持有的观点
The price of doing science is admitting when you’re wrong,
做科研的代价就是当你犯错时要承认
but the payoff is the best there is:
但认错的回报是顶好的:
knowledge and understanding.
知识和理解
And I can give you a thousand examples of this science
我可以给你上千个科学案例
but there’s one I really like.
有一个我特别喜欢
It has to do with astronomy,
它和天文学有关
and it was a question that had been plaguing astronomers literally for centuries.
这个问题一直困扰着天文学家达几个世纪
When you look at the Sun, it seems special.
太阳看起来很特别
It is the brightest object in the sky,
它是天上最亮的物体
but having studied astronomy, physics, chemistry, thermodynamics for centuries,
但经天文学 物理学 化学 热力学几个世纪的研究后
we learned something very important about it.
我们发现一件十分重要的事
It’s not that special.
太阳并没那么特别
It’s a star just like millions of other stars.
和其他无数恒星一样 它只是一颗恒星
But that raises an interesting question.
那么另一个有趣的问题就出现了
If the Sun is a star and the Sun has planets,
如果太阳是颗恒星 并且太阳有行星(围绕其运行)
do these other stars have planets? Well,
那么其他恒星也有行星吗?
like I said with my own failure in the”planet” I was looking for,
就像我提过的 我个人寻找“行星”的失败经历
finding them is super hard,
发现行星 超级难
but scientists tend to be pretty clever people
但科学家越来越聪明
and they used a lot of different techniques
他们应用不同的技术
and started observing stars.
观察恒星
And over the decades they started finding some things that were pretty interesting,
数十年后 他们开始发现一些真正有趣的东西
right on the thin, hairy edge of what they were able to detect.
就在他们能够探测到的最最边缘
But time and again, it was shown to be wrong.
但事实一再证明 这是错的
That all changed in 1991.
情况在1991年才完全改变
A couple of astronomers — Alexander Lyne —
几位天文学家 — 亚历山大•莱恩
Andrew Lyne, pardon me —
安德鲁•莱恩 对不起
and Matthew Bailes, had a huge announcement.
还有马修•佰利 宣布了一个重大消息
They had found a planet orbiting another star.
他们发现了一个绕着另一颗恒星运行的行星
And not just any star, but a pulsar,
而且不是一般的恒星 是一颗脉冲星
and this is the remnant of a star that has previously exploded.
它是恒星由于之前的爆炸而剩下的残骸
It’s blasting out radiation.
它在爆炸时释放了大量辐射
This is the last place
这是宇宙中你最不可能
in the universe you would expect to find a planet,
找到行星的地方
but they had very methodically looked at this pulsar,
但他们相当系统地观察了这颗脉冲星
and they detected the gravitational tug of this planet as it orbited the pulsar.
当这颗行星绕脉冲星运行时 他们探测到了它的引力
It looked really good.
这看起来真的很棒
The first planet orbiting another star had been found…
第一颗绕另一颗恒星运行的行星被发现了……
except not so much.
只是没有那么多
(Laughter)
(笑)
After they made the announcement,
他们宣布后
a bunch of other astronomers commented on it,
其他一些天文学家对此发表了评论
and so they went back and looked at their data
于是乎 他们回头再看数据
and realized they had made a very embarrassing mistake.
才发现他们犯了个相当令人难堪的错误
They had not accounted for some very subtle characteristics
他们没有考虑到地球绕太阳的运动中
of the Earth’s motion around the Sun,
一些非常不明显的特征
which affected how they measured this planet going around the pulsar,
这些特征影响了他们测量这颗行星绕脉冲星运行的方式
and it turns out that when they did account for it correctly,
结果 当他们做了正确的计算时
poof — their planet disappeared.
“噗”—他们的行星不翼而飞了
It wasn’t real.
它不是真的
So Andrew Lyne had a very formidable task.
安德鲁•莱恩有一个非常艰巨的任务
He had to admit this.
他得承认这个错误
So in 1992 at the American Astronomical Society meeting,
于是在1992年美国天文学会会议
which is one of the largest gatherings
这个全世界最大的
of astronomers on the planet,
天文学会议上
he stood up and announced that he had made a mistake
他站起来并宣布他犯了个错误
and that the planet did not exist.
那个行星根本不存在
And what happened next — oh,
接下来发生的 哦
I love this — what happened next was wonderful.
我喜欢这部分 后来发生的事棒极了
He got an ovation.
他得到了满堂喝彩
The astronomers weren’t angry at him;
天文学家们并没有生他的气
they didn’t want to chastise him.
他们不想责怪他
They praised him for his honesty and his integrity.
他们赞扬他的诚实 他的正直
I love that!
我非常喜欢这一点!
Scientists are people.
科学家也是人
(Laughter)
(笑)
And it gets better!
事情变得越来越好!
(Laughter)
(笑)
Lyne steps off the podium.
莱恩走下讲台
The next guy to come up
下一位上台的人是
is a man named Aleksander Wolszczan
亚历山大•沃尔兹森
He takes the microphone and says, “Yeah,
他拿起麦克风说道“很遗憾
so Lyne’s team didn’t find a pulsar planet,
莱恩的团队没有发现脉冲行星
but my team found not just one
但我的团队发现了不止一个
but two planets orbiting a different pulsar.
而是两颗行星围绕不同的脉冲星运行
We knew about the problem that Lyne had,
我们知道莱恩存在的问题
we checked for it, and yeah, ours are real.”
我们仔细核实了自己的结果 我们的结果是真的”
And it turns out he was right.
结果他是对的
And in fact, a few months later,
事实上 几个月后
they found a third planet orbiting this pulsar,
他们发现了第三颗绕该脉冲星的行星
and it was the first exoplanet system ever found —
这是迄今为止发现的第一个系外星系统 ——
what we call alien worlds — exoplanets.
我们称之为外星世界 —— 系外行星
That to me is just wonderful.
它对我来说 简直妙极了
At that point the floodgates were opened.
就在那时 闸门被打开了
In 1995 a planet was found around a star more like the Sun,
1995年 一个行星被发现绕着类似太阳的恒星运行
and then we found another and another.
然后我们又发现了一个又一个
This is an image of an actual planet orbiting an actual star.
这是一颗围绕恒星运行的行星图像
We kept getting better at it.
我们不断进步
We started finding them by the bucketload.
我们开始成批成批地发现它们
We started finding thousands of them.
数以千计的行星被发现
We built observatories specifically designed to look for them.
我们建造了专门搜寻它们的天文台
And now we know of thousands of them.
利用这些天文台 我们发现了数千颗行星
We even know of planetary systems.
我们甚至了解了行星系统
That is actual data, animated,
这是真实的数据 动画显示了
showing four planets orbiting another star.
围绕另一颗恒星运行的四颗行星
This is incredible. Think about that.
真是难以置信 想想看吧
For all of human history,
纵观人类历史
you could count all the known planets
用两只手就可以算出
in the universe on two hands —
宇宙中所有的行星 ——
nine — eight? Nine?
9… 8?9?
Eight — eight.
8…8
(Laughter)
(笑)
Eh.

(Laughter)
(笑)
But now we know they’re everywhere.
但是现在 我们知道它们遍布宇宙
Every star —
每一颗恒星
for every star you see in the sky there could be three, five, ten planets.
你在空中看到的每颗恒星 都有3 5 10 颗行星环绕
The sky is filled with them.
它们布满了天空
We think that planets may outnumber stars in the galaxy.
我们认为行星也许比银河系的恒星还要多
This is a profound statement,
这是一个意义深远的论断
and it was made because of science.
这全要归功于科学
And it wasn’t made just because
得出这一结论
of science and the observatories and the data;
不止要归功于科学研究和数据观测
it was made because of the scientists who built the observatories,
能得出这个结论要归功于建造了天文台的科学家
who took the data,
他们得到了数据
who made the mistakes and admitted them and then let other scientists build on their mistakes
他们犯了错误并承认了错误 然后让其他科学家在他们的错误上前进
so that they could do what they do
这样 他们就能做他们该做的
and figure out where our place is in the universe.
并去弄清楚我们在宇宙中的位置
That is how you find the truth.
这是你发现真相的方式
Science is at its best when it dares to be human.
敢于为人的科学才是最好的
Thank you.
谢谢

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视频概述

菲尔•普莱特曾是哈勃太空望远镜的天文学家团队成员,他们认为自己可能捕捉到了有史以来第一张直接拍摄到系外行星的照片。但证据真的支持这一点吗?来看看普莱特展示科学研究是如何进步的 —— 通过大量的犯错和纠正错误,但回报是最好的:“知识和理解,”菲尔道。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

甪里

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY6aAPhs0tE

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