微博

ECO中文网

 找回密码
 立即注册

QQ登录

只需一步,快速开始

查看: 478|回复: 0
收起左侧

2011.10.07 历史学家斯蒂芬-杰-古尔德

[复制链接]
发表于 2022-9-10 21:58:52 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

马上注册 与译者交流

您需要 登录 才可以下载或查看,没有帐号?立即注册

x
Remembering Stephen Jay Gould, Evolutionary Biologist, Historian
By Maria Popova
OCTOBER 7, 2011
SHARE
For 27 years, iconic evolutionary biologist and science historian Stephen Jay Gould contributed illuminating and absorbing essays on everything from Aristotle to zoology for the magazine Natural History, many collected in a series of anthologies, offering some of the most articulate science writing of our time and influencing public opinion on science in a way few other writers have achieved. This month marks the bittersweet reprint of I Have Landed: The End of a Beginning in Natural History -- the tenth and final of these fantastic anthologies, featuring 31 of Gould's essays and commemorating the centennial of his family's arrival at Ellis Island. (The title comes from his grandfather's diary entry on that day.) It was originally published in 2002, mere weeks after Gould passed away from cancer.

From a fascinating essay on Vladimir Nabokov's lepidoptery poetically titled "No Science Without Facts Fancy, No Art Without Facts" to a meditation on Freud's evolutionary fantasy to a poignant scientific reflection on 9/11, the essays blend a head-spinning spectrum of serious scientific inquiry with the storytelling of fine fiction.


In fact, a big part of what makes Gould's thinking so compelling and his writing so alluring is the eloquence with which he blends popular interest with deep scientific insight. (The very notion of a scientific essay faces a great deal of resistance among many scientists, who find the essay format to be inappropriate for science.) Of the balance, Gould writes:

I have come to believe, as the primary definition of these 'popular' essays, that the conceptual depth of technical and general writing should not differ, lest we disrespect the interest and intelligence of millions of potential readers who lack advanced technical training in science, but who remain just as fascinated as any professional, as just as well aware of the importance of science to our human and earthly existence.
Gould closes his final essay for Natural History with this moving tribute to his grandfather, all the more profound in light of the author's own passing shortly thereafter:

Dear Papa Joe, I have been faithful to your dream of persistence and attentive to a hope that the increments of each worthy generation may buttress the continuity of evolution. You could write those wondrous words right at the beginning of your journey, amidst all the joy and terror of inception. I dared not repeat them until I could fulfill my own childhood dream -- something that once seemed so mysteriously beyond any hope of realization to an insecure little boy in a garden apartment in Queens -- to become a scientist and to make, by my own effort, even the tiniest addition to human knowledge of evolution and the history of life. But now, with my 300, so fortuitously coincident with the world's new 1,000 and your own 100, perhaps I have finally won the right to restate your noble words and to tell you that their inspiration still lights my journey: I have landed. But I also can't help wondering what comes next!
Deeply fascinating and beautifully written, I Have Landed: The End of a Beginning in Natural History isn't merely a precious time-capsule of one of the most important science writing voices of all time, but also a tender eulogy for the one mind that shaped so many.

TEMPLATEBrainPickings04.jpg
This post also appears on Brain Pickings.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings. She writes for Wired UK and GOOD, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow.



纪念进化生物学家、历史学家斯蒂芬-杰-古尔德
作者:玛丽亚-波波娃
2011年10月7日
分享
27年来,标志性的进化生物学家和科学史学家斯蒂芬-杰-古尔德为《自然历史》杂志撰写了从亚里士多德到动物学的各种富有启发性和吸引力的文章,其中许多文章被收集在一系列文集中,提供了我们这个时代最清晰的科学写作,并以其他作家很少达到的方式影响了公众对科学的看法。本月是《我已经着陆》的再版,苦乐参半。这是第十本也是最后一本神奇的选集,收录了古尔德的31篇文章,并纪念他的家人抵达埃利斯岛一百周年。(该书最初出版于2002年,在古尔德因癌症去世后仅数周。

从一篇关于弗拉基米尔-纳博科夫的鳞翅鱼的迷人文章,诗意地题为 "没有事实就没有科学,没有事实就没有艺术",到对弗洛伊德的进化论幻想的沉思,再到对9/11事件的深刻的科学反思,这些文章将严肃的科学探索与精美小说的故事性融合在一起,令人头皮发麻。


事实上,古尔德的思想之所以如此引人注目,他的文章之所以如此诱人,很大一部分原因在于他将大众的兴趣与深刻的科学洞察力融为一体的雄辩。(科学论文的概念在许多科学家中面临很大的阻力,他们认为论文的形式不适合科学。) 关于这种平衡,古尔德写道

作为这些 "通俗 "文章的主要定义,我已经开始相信,技术文章和一般文章的概念深度不应不同,以免我们不尊重数以百万计的潜在读者的兴趣和智慧,他们缺乏科学方面的高级技术培训,但他们仍然和任何专业人士一样着迷,一样清楚科学对我们人类和地球存在的重要性。
古尔德在为《自然历史》撰写的最后一篇文章的结尾,向他的祖父表达了这一感人的敬意,鉴于作者自己不久后的去世,这篇文章显得更加深刻。

亲爱的乔爸爸,我一直忠于你的梦想,坚持不懈地关注着一个希望,即每一代有价值的人的增量可以支撑起进化的连续性。你可以在你的旅程开始时,在所有的喜悦和恐惧中写下这些奇妙的文字。我不敢重复这些话,直到我能够实现我自己的童年梦想--对于一个住在皇后区花园公寓的没有安全感的小男孩来说,这个梦想曾经显得如此神秘,没有任何实现的希望--成为一名科学家,并通过自己的努力,为人类的进化和生命史的知识做出哪怕是最微小的贡献。但是现在,我的300岁,与世界上新的1000岁和你自己的100岁如此巧合,也许我终于赢得了重述你崇高话语的权利,并告诉你,他们的灵感仍然照亮我的旅程。我已经着陆了。但我也不禁想知道接下来会发生什么!
我已经着陆》深具魅力,写得很好。自然史中一个起点的结束》不仅是有史以来最重要的科学写作声音之一的珍贵时间囊,也是对塑造了如此多的人的一个思想的温柔讴歌。

TEMPLATEBrainPickings04.jpg
这篇文章也出现在Brain Pickings上。

Maria Popova是Brain Pickings的编辑。她为《连线》英国版和《GOOD》杂志撰稿,是麻省理工学院娱乐业的未来研究员。
您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 立即注册

本版积分规则

QQ|小黑屋|手机版|网站地图|关于我们|七月天| ECO中文网 ( 京ICP备06039041号  

GMT+8, 2022-11-30 20:59 , Processed in 0.073350 second(s), 20 queries .

Powered by Discuz! X3.3

© 2001-2017 Comsenz Inc.

快速回复 返回顶部 返回列表