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是科学探索,还是政治表演?

来源:中央气象台发布时间: 2019-06-16 22:25

  是科学探索,还是政治表演?

  撰文/刘树勇

  1961年4月12日,前苏联宇航员尤里•阿列克谢耶维奇•加加林驾驶着宇宙飞船登上了太空。那张加加林坐在太空仓里朝地球人招手的照片出现在世界各大报纸的头版上。

苏联人当然很得意,赫鲁晓夫兴奋得直拍桌子。但这件事儿让美国人很受刺激,他们觉得这事儿让美国人丢了脸——要上太空去蹓跶,那也得我们美国人先上去蹓跶一圈儿才对。1961年到1966年期间,美国人相继以“水星号”和“双子星号”飞船先后16次完成了载人太空飞行。1967年初,美国人又搞了一个“阿波罗飞行计划”,尽管阿波罗一号飞船在发射台上就夭折了,三位宇航员全部殉难,但他们没有泄气,劲头还挺足,每隔两个半月就发射一艘阿波罗号飞船到太空中去转悠一圈儿,容易得就跟走趟亲戚似的。到了1969年7月16日,美国人用阿波罗11号飞船,索性把三位美国人送到月球上去了。宇航员尼尔•阿姆斯特朗登上月球的一刹那,说了一句挺牛的话:“这是我的一小步,但却是人类的一大步。”全球约有6亿人口通过电台或者电视机知道了人类第一次在月球上像袋鼠那样跳跃着行走。刚上任的美国总统尼克松与宇航员通话之后说了一句更牛的话:“毫无疑问,这是人类有史以来最具历史意义的一个电话。”大家都知道,他这话其实是冲着前苏联领导人说的。

  这是典型的冷战思维。说白了,就是俩大老爷们儿在瞎斗气儿,你出一拳,我踢你一脚,谁也不服谁。但这样的较劲当中透露出一些有意思的信息:一个是,国家政治意识形态的对立冲突,会殃及科学以及一切本来很稀松平常的世俗中事,比如本来是娱乐的体育,比如本来是独立的学术。另一个是,国家主义政治战略,往往会点燃民族主义情绪,于是这种高昂的民族主义冲动以及由此冲动导致的爱国激情会特别具有感染力。但是,很少有人会冷静地注意到,这种感人的情绪背后,隐含着国民视野的狭隘与内在的不自信,充满了民族自我中心主义式的盲目与疯狂。

  但也有例外。曾经主持人类第一颗原子弹研制的物理学家奥本海默战后就曾对记者不无嘲讽地说过:“在政治家眼里,科学已经成为炫耀权力的砝码。”他的老师爱因斯坦在他说这话之前就说过另外一句话:“民族主义就像天花,早晚是要出的。”可天花老在出,它就有点儿不大正常了。

  我看重太空探索这样的实践,起码的一个收获就是,它让我们人类发现自己在广袤的宇宙当中是如此的微不足道!我亦对那些意志非凡的宇航员心存敬仰,他们是我们人类共同寻求一个更为远大的生存空间的先行者。正因为如此,我将太空探索看成是人类共同的触角,而不是政治角逐的舞台。我不愿意将那些腾空而起的火箭简单地看成是国力提升的表现,我也不喜欢将那些在太空中行走的人们,和那些怀有远大梦想的科学家们的努力简单地看成是为国争光。太空探索的长远意义,远远超过我们习以为常的这种渺小的激动和骄傲。正是藉由这样的探索和努力,人类会感受到一种共同的命运与困境,同时也真实地表现出这种共同而巨大的焦虑。我宁愿相信,藉由太空探索这样的智慧与力量的展现,人类表达了征服这种共同焦虑的企图与决心,同时也在努力地超越政治、文化、民族乃至国家的界限,去发现和把握更多属于人类未来的生存与发展的可能。

  我们的期望,原不过如此。

Scientific research or political show?

 

Written by Liu Shuyong

 

On April 12th, 1961, the Soviet Union astronaut Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin successfully travelled to the space in a spacecraft. The photo in which Gagarin sat in the capsule waving to the earth appeared on the front pages of every international newspaper. Needless to say, Soviets were rather proud of themselves. Khrushchev was so exhilarated that he couldn’t help banning on the table. However, this was quite a blow to the Americans. They felt quite embarrassed—if someone could travel to the space, it should be Americans instead of the Soviets. Therefore, from 1961 to 1966, American launched “Mercury” and “Gemini” which completed 16 crewed flights. At the beginning of 1967, Americans started an “Apollo program”. Unfortunately, Apollo 1 was destroyed on launch pad and all three pilots died. However, Americans didn’t give up, or rather; they became more zealous about it. Every two and a half months, they launched an Apollo spacecraft to the space which made it seem to be as easy as visiting your relatives within reach. On July 16th, 1969, Americans sent three American astronauts onto the moon by Apollo 11. The moment Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon; he uttered a pretty immortal phrase: “"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." For the first time, on radio or television, approximately 600 million people all over the world got to know that human beings could jump like a kangaroo on the moon. After speaking with the astronauts on the phone, the newly broom president Nixon said something more inspiring: “Beyond doubt, this is the most historic phone call ever made." Everyone knew that the words aimed at the leaders of the Soviet Union.

 

This is the typical pattern of thinking of Cold War. Frankly, it was like two men mumping. You punch me first and I kick you back. No one will surrender. But between their fights revealed something quite interesting: for one thing, the conflicts of political ideology will influence science and commonplace things in daily life such as sports and academic autonomy. For another, nationalistic political strategies will lead to nationalism. The impulse of nationalism and sentiment is particular appealing. However, few people could keep a cool mind and notice that behind this moving sentiment hide the parochial national vision, inner low self-esteem, national egoism, blindness and craziness.

However, there are exceptions. After the war, the father of atomic bomb-- Oppenheimer told the journalists with sarcasms: “In the eyes of politicians, science has become a way to show off their power.” His teacher Einstein had said something similar even before he did: “Nationalism is like smallpox and they will get it sooner or later.” The problem is that it is abnormal that smallpox keeps attacking.

 

I thought highly of the space explorations. At least one thing is achieved: they enable human kinds to realize how tiny they are in the vast universe! What’s more, I thought highly of those astronauts with particular will. They are the forerunners who help human beings to find a broader living space. Due to this, I regard space explorations as the common interests of man kinds instead of the stages of political competitions. I’m unwilling to regard those launching rockets as an amelioration of a nation’s power. I don’t like to see those people walking in the space and those scientists with big dreams as only to bring honor to their countries. Space explorations are much more significant than the pride and excitement we have accustomed to. Just thanks to their research and efforts, human beings feel the common destiny and plight, and at the same time truly uncover the same enormous agitation. I prefer to believe that, due to the intelligence and strength of space exploration, human beings express the ambitions and determinations to conquer the common agitations together. And meanwhile, they are endeavoring to surpass the boundaries in politics, culture, race, and even nations, to discover and grasp more possibilities of future survival and development.

Our anticipation only goes this far.

(责任编辑:陈国栋)