查看: 478|回复: 0

2011.10.07 历史学家斯蒂芬-杰-古尔德

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

Remembering Stephen Jay Gould, Evolutionary Biologist, Historian
By Maria Popova
OCTOBER 7, 2011
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.

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.


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。


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


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