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2019年翻译资格考试英语高级笔译材料:科学发展危险吗

中华考试网   2018-12-29   【

2019年翻译资格考试英语高级笔译材料:科学发展危险吗

  英译汉

  Is Science Dangerous?

  Lewis Wolpert

  Does society need protecting from scientific advances? Most emphatically not, so long as scientists themselves and their employers are committed to full disclosure of what they know.

  1. The idea that knowledge is dangerous is deeply embedded in our culture. Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat from the biblical Tree of Knowledge, and in Milton’s Paradise Lost the serpent addresses the Tree as the “Mother of Science”. The archangel Raphael advises Adam to be “lowly wise” when he tries to question him about the nature of the Universe. Indeed, Western literature is filled with images of scientists meddling with nature, with disastrous results. Scientists are portrayed as a soulless group, unconcerned with ethical issues.

  2. But is science in fact dangerous, and do scientists have special social responsibilities? It is essential to recognize that reliable scientific knowledge has no moral or ethical value. Science tells us how the world is: that we are not at the center of the Universe is neither good nor bad, nor is the possibility that genes could influence our intelligence or behavior.

  Moral Obligations

  3. Dangers and ethical issues come into play when scientific research is done in practice, for example in experiments involving humans and other animals or when science is applied to technology, or in issues related to safety. There is thus an important distinction between science and technology: between knowledge and understanding on the one hand, and the application of that knowledge to making something, or using it in some practical way, on the other.

  4. Science produces ideas about how the world works, whereas the ideas in technology result in usable objects. Technology is much older than science and, unaided by any science, it gave rise to early crafts such as agriculture and metalworking. I would argue that science mad virtually no contribution to technology until the nineteenth century – even the great triumphs of engineering such as the steam engine and Renaissance cathedrals were built with imaginative trial and error, virtually without any impact of science.

  5. Whatever new technology is introduced, it is not for scientists to make moral or ethical decisions about its use, as they have no special rights or skills in this regard. There is grave danger in asking scientists to be more socially responsible if they would also be given the right and authority to make such decisions on their own. The social obligations that scientists have, as distinct from those responsibilities they share with all citizens (such as supporting a democratic society and taking care of the rights of others), come from them having access to specialized knowledge of how the world works that is not easily accessible to others. Their obligation is to make public any social implications of their work and its technological applications, and to give some assessment of its reliability. In most areas of science it matters little to the public whether a particular theory is right or wrong, but in some areas, such as human and plant genetics, it matters a great deal.

  6. When the facts are examined dispassionately, it is not easy to find cases where scientists have behaved unethically in relation to the public. Contrary to some claims, there is no evidence that they did so either in the case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United Kingdom and elsewhere or in the AIDS blood scandal currently reverberating in France, for example.

  7. The most clear case of immorality in scientific research was the eugenics movement. The scientific assumptions behind this were crucial: that most human attributes (desirable and undesirable) are inherited. The scientists concerned completely failed to give an assessment of the reliability of their ideas or sufficiently to consider their implications. On the contrary, and even more blameworthy, their conclusions seem to have been driven by what they saw as desirable social implications. In contrast, the Allied scientists who built the atomic bomb behaved morally, and fulfilled their social obligations by informing their governments about the implications of atomic theory. The decision to build the bomb was taken by politicians, not scientists. Should scientists on their own ever be entitled to make such decisions? For the German eugenicists, there should have been a conflict between their responsibilities as scientists and as citizens.

  8. How, then, should scientists behave when faced with a conflict between their responsibilities as researchers and their responsibility to those for whom they work? Should a scientist in government employment allow his or her superiors to keep the dangers of eating certain foods secret from the public? Similarly, what is the ethical position of a scientist working for a chemical company who believes a product is dangerous, yet whose employment contract requires confidentiality about the nature of the research? In both cases, one should not underestimate the problems in hazard assessment, in itself a complex business. The problem is no different to that of anyone, for example an accountant, who discovers corruption: if no action is taken after reporting the matter to his or her superiors, the individual must make a very difficult decision. Scientists, just like everyone else, have to try not to become the unquestioning tools of their employers. Genetic Pornography

  Genetic Pornography

  9. The very term “genetic engineering” conjures up the image of Frankenstein and his monster – Mary Shelley was the unintentional evil fairy godmother of genetics – a tradition well-known in literature (Brave New World, The Island of Dr Moreau and so on), and most recently manifested by the likes of Jurassic Park and Godzilla. The media are aware of this and often report what I regard as genetic pornography – reports dressed up to titillate and frighten. A nasty example was a widely disseminated picture of a mouse with a “human” ear on its back – not a human ear at all but a piece of cartilage-like material. Newspapers print sensational and unjustified headlines, such as the “Frankenstein foods” idiocy surrounding genetically modified organisms in the United Kingdom.

  10. To apply genetic engineering requires considerable knowledge and, even more importantly, money, which in many cases is hard for scientists to come by. Indeed, for the public sector the expense of the applications of genetics and molecular biology can open up difficult choices: new medical treatments, requiring complex technology, cannot be given to all. There has to be some principle of rationing, and this poses serious moral and ethical dilemmas much more worthy of consideration than those of genetic engineering and the like.

  Dangers of Genetics

  11. So what dangers does genetics pose to society? “Bioethics” is a growth industry that purports to address this question, but one should regard this field with caution, as bioethicists have a vested interest in finding difficulties. Nevertheless, it has made some valuable contributions, including advice on experiments on human embryos in the United Kingdom and on the rights of fetuses. But advances in genetics raise few new ethical issues – there are no new ethical issues in relation to the current hysteria over cloning.

  12. Some of the common fears about cloning are little more than science fiction at present, for example the danger of producing enormous numbers of genetically identical individuals. It is amusing to watch moralists swing from denying that genes have an important effect on intelligence or behavior to saying that a cloned individual’s behavior will be entirely determined by the individual’s genetic make-up. At present, the risk of human cloning leading to abnormalities is high and so it should not be attempted, and I hope no mother would be so unwise as to become involved. Gene therapy – introducing genes to cure a genetic disease such as cystic fibrosis – has risks, as do all new medical treatments. There may well be problems with insurance and testing, but are these any different from those related to someone considered to be at increased risk of contracting AIDS or cancer?

  13. Genetically modified foods have raised extensive public concern, and there seems no alternative but to rely on regulatory bodies to assess their safety (as is the case with other foods.) The consumer is entitled to make a choice, and making a satisfactory choice requires trust or knowledge. But that depends on everyone sticking to the rules on quality control and full disclosure of what is in the food; the role of legislators is to make sure that these rules are rigorously followed. As with the licensing of medicines, each new genetically modified food must be considered individually. Science commissioned by a government and carried out in-house in government research labs is not appropriate when the results have important implications for public health and government policy. It is essential in doing science to expose all one’s acquired knowledge to criticism by others. The main lesson to be learned from the experience with BSE is that openness is all important.

  14. Other fears related to the so-called tyranny of knowledge which, claims Ian Kennedy, arises through the choices it forces on us “for which none of us is prepared spiritually or intellectually”. Thus, couples may be faced with difficult choices about prenatal diagnosis of genetic diseases: this could lead to choices about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy, or whether to inform siblings of a possible genetic risk of which they are not aware. There are problems, but I believe that one must not underestimate people’s capacity to deal with difficult choices when they understand the issues. Ultimately, the choice as to whether to seek knowledge rests with the individual. Most ethical issues in medicine are best resolved by considering the rights of the people involved to determine their own futures.

  Censorship

  15. Are there areas of research that are so socially sensitive that they should be avoided, even proscribed? One possible area is the genetic basis of intelligence, and particularly the possible link between race and intelligence. Are there, as the literary critic George Steiner has argued, “certain orders of truth which would infect the marrow of politics and would poison beyond all cure the already tense relations between social classes and these communities?” In short, are there doors in front of current research that should be marked “Too dangerous to open”?

  16. I realize the dangers, but I cherish the openness of scientific investigation too much to put up such a notice. I stand by the distinction between knowledge of the world and how it is used. So I must answer Steiner’s question in the negative, provided of course that scientists fulfill their social obligations. The better understanding we have of the world, the better chance we have of making a just society. One should not abandon the possibility of using a scientific idea to do good because one could use the same idea to do bad. There is no knowledge that is not susceptible to manipulation for evil purposes.

  17. Once one begins to censor the acquisition of objective knowledge, one is on the most slippery slope of all. Scientists cannot easily predict the social and technological implication of research. It was once argued that radio waves would have no practical applications, and Lord Rutherford famously said that the application of atomic energy was moonshine. Those investigating the resistance of certain bacteria to viral infection did not predict the discovery of restriction enzymes, an indispensable tool for cutting up DNA and hence the basis of genetic engineering.

  18. To those who doubt whether the public or politicians are capable of making the “correct” decisions about science and its applications, I commend the advice of Thomas Jefferson: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise that control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their direction.”

  19. But how do we ensure that the public are involved in decision-making, and that scientists, doctors, engineers, bioethicists and other experts, who must be involved, do not appropriate decision-making for themselves? How do we ensure that scientists take on the social obligation of making the implications of their work public? We must rely on our democratic institutions: elected representatives; a free, vigorous and even responsible media, affected groups and the researchers themselves. National and international councils that can assess the ethical issues relating to the applications of science and promote public debate are no doubt valuable. But one wonders what such a committee would have said if the public had been offered a convenient form of transport, but at the cost, in the United Kingdom alone, of more than 3,000 lives per year, a quarter of a million injured and the untold damage of pollution. Where are the car-ethicists?

  参考译文

  人类社会需要保护以抵挡科学发展带来的危险吗?当然不需要,只要科学家及其雇主们致力于公开他们所知道的一切详情。

  1.知识是危险的这一观念在我们的文化中根深蒂固。圣经中的亚当和夏娃被禁食“智慧之树”上的果实,而弥尔顿《失乐园》中的蛇将此树称为“科学之母”。当亚当试图向天使长拉斐尔询问有关宇宙本质的问题时,拉斐尔建议他最好“知之甚少”。事实上,西方文献中有大量关于科学家扰乱自然界,而后导致灾难后果的记载。科学家被描绘成一群冷酷和无视伦理道德的人。

  2.那么科学真地是危险的吗?科学家需要肩负起特定的社会责任吗?我们必须认识到,可靠的科学知识并不负载道德或伦理的价值。科学只告诉我们世界为何等模样:我们人类不处于宇宙的中心这一事实本身无好坏之分;基因会影响我们的智力和行为这一可能性亦无优劣之别。

  道德义务

  3.当科学研究在现实生活中进行时,就会带来危害性及有关的伦理问题,例如涉及人或其它动物的实验;或是将研究成果用于技术实施;又或是相关的研究涉及到人们的安全问题。由此可见,科学和技术之间有一重要区别:科学知识旨在了解自然,而技术却是运用这一知识制造产品或将这一知识运用于实际目的。

  4.科学研究推导有关世界本质的观念,而技术观念则旨在制造可使用的产品。技术远比科学源远流长。而且没有科学的指引,单凭技术也发展了诸如农业和金属制造业之类的行业。我认为19世纪之前,科学实际上未对技术做出太多的贡献——即使是那些辉煌的技术成果,如蒸汽机和文艺复兴时期的大教堂,也是在没有任何科学观念的影响下,通过当时人们富于想象的反复试验完成的。

  5.无论发明什么样的技术,科学家均不应该对该技术的运用做涉及道德伦理方面的决策,因为他们在这方面没有任何特殊的权利或能力。如果要求科学家承担更多的社会义务,并赋予他们特权进行相关的决策,那么将会出现严重的危机。科学家所承担的社会责任有别于他们与其他公民共同分担的社会义务(例如支持民主社会或尊重他人权益),这种责任源于他们具备专业的知识去了解世界的本质,而普通人未能拥有这些知识。科学家的义务是公开他们的研究成果以及有关的技术应用对社会可能产生的影响,同时还需对研究的可靠性加以评价。在大多数的科学研究领域,就公众而言,某一理论的对错无关紧要,然而在某些领域,如有关人类和植物基因的研究,理论的是非会变得至关重要。

  6.如果客观冷静地审视以往的事实,我们很难发现科学家在有关研究中表现出有悖伦理的行为。例如最近在英国和其它地方出现的疯牛病现象,以及在法国引起轩然大波的由输血导致的艾滋病丑闻中,我们发现与某些人所宣称的现象完全不同,科学家在这些事件中并未表现出任何违反公共伦理道德的行为。

  7.科学研究中最明显的不道德行为是优生运动。这一运动的科学理据至为关键:人类绝大多数的特征(好的或不好的)均为遗传。进行此项研究的科学家未能全面评价这一观点的可靠性,对这一观点的后果也是考虑不周。更有甚者,也是更应受到谴责的是,这批科学家似乎在一种他们认为是有益于社会的观念的驱使之下,得出有关的结论。与此相反,那些共同研究原子弹的科学家的行为表现得十分合乎伦理。他们承担各自的社会责任,知会政府有关原子理论可能会产生的社会影响。是否制造原子弹的决策权在于政治家,而不是科学家。那么应不应该赋予科学家同样的决策权呢?对那些进行优生研究的德国科学家而言,他们本应该感到作为科学家和公民之间的义务冲突。

  8.那么,当作为研究者的义务和作为受雇者的义务之间发生冲突时,科学家应该如何行事呢?受雇于政府部门的科学家是否应该默许上司向公众隐瞒某类食品有害的真情呢?同样,在化学制品公司工作的科学家如果知道某一产品有危害,但其工作合同却注明他必须严守研究机密时,他又将站在哪一方的伦理道德立场上呢?在上述两种情形下,科学家均不应该低估这样的事实:他们需要权衡的利弊本身就是一件十分棘手的难题。此类难题与其他行业人员所遇到的问题一样。例如,一位会计发现公司财务上出现贪污现象,如果他向上司汇报了有关情况,但上司却未采取任何行动,那么该会计就面临难以抉择的处境。科学家同其他任何人一样,应该尽量不要成为任由雇主支配的无声工具。

  泛滥的基因宣传

  9.“基因工程”一词本身让人联想起弗兰肯斯坦和他的怪物——玛丽·雪莱无意间成为基因科学的始作俑者——这一传统在文学作品中来源已久(例如先前的《勇敢新世界》、《蒙罗博士岛》等作品),还有最近的《侏罗纪公园》和《哥拉斯》等电影。媒体十分清楚这一现象,而且频繁地进行我称之为泛滥成灾的基因宣传报道——通常是故意制造耸人听闻的报道。一个令人作呕的例子就是四处张贴的一幅图片,一只老鼠背上生出一只“人耳”——其实根本不是人耳,而是一片类似软骨的东西。报纸上大肆刊登过分夸张并且无法证实的头条消息,例如“弗兰肯斯坦食品”之类的极端愚蠢的话语充斥英国有关基因改造有机体的报道之中。

  10.将基因工程运用于实际中需要有渊博的学识,另外,更为重要的是需要资金。而资金对大多数科学家而言一般很难获得。事实上,在政府资助的研究中,如果将基因研究和分子生物学研究成果应用于临床实践,会出现难以抉择的局面:新的医学治疗手段由于需要通过繁杂的技术程序,不可能提供给所有需要治疗的病人。这需要一定的配给政策来权衡。而这一点恰恰向人们提出了更为严峻的伦理道德难题,这一难题远比基因工程以及类似研究提出的伦理道德问题更值得人们去深思熟虑。

  基因研究的危险所在

  11.基因研究会对社会产生什么样的危害呢?“生物伦理学”是一门旨在解答此类问题的新兴行业。但是人们应该审慎看待这一领域,因为生物伦理学家们只热衷于发掘一些棘手的难题。不过,这一领域也的确有所贡献,例如,在英国人类胚胎实验研究方面和胎儿权利等方面所提出的建议。但是,基因研究所取得的进步并未带来什么新的伦理问题——例如目前人人都在争论的克隆技术就未涉及任何新的伦理道德问题。

  12.人们现在对于克隆的恐惧其实同对科幻小说所引起的恐惧相差无几,例如,我们害怕制造出大量基因完全相同的人。伦理学家们时而矢口否认基因会对人的智力和行为产生重要影响,时而又宣称克隆人的行为完全由其基因决定。看到这一现象不免令人哑然失笑。目前,克隆人类导致异常现象的可能性还很大,所以不应该对此进行尝试。我想任何一个明智的母亲都不会做这种事情的。基因疗法,即通过基因治愈一些先天性疾病,例如囊性纤维变性,同其他任何一种新的治疗方法一样,具有一定的危险性。这也许还有医疗保险、临床试验等问题;但是这些问题与病人可能会感染艾滋病或癌症的问题有什么区别呢?

  13.基因改造食品引起了人们的广泛关注。公众别无选择,只能依靠监管部门鉴定有关食品的安全性(这与其它食品属于同样的情形)。消费者有权利做出选择,但是选择本身有赖于信任和知识。这就需要所有的人严格遵守食品质检的规定,公开食品中的成份。立法机关的作用就在于监督所有的法规得以严格执行。与药品审批程序一样,每一种新的基因改造食品必须逐一审查。由政府委派、并在政府资助的实验室里进行的科学研究项目,如果发现其研究成果会对公众健康和政府政策产生严重影响时,应该被视为不宜之事。从事科学研究的人应该将自己所掌握的一切情况公诸于众。疯牛病这一事件给我们的最大教训就是,开诚布公的确至为关键。

  14.人们对所谓的知识独裁产生恐惧,正如伊登·肯尼迪所言,是由于我们被迫要接受一些“从精神上和智力上均无任何准备”的选择。例如,夫妻在接受产前先天性疾病检查时,可能会面对艰难的选择:也许要决定是否终止怀孕,或者是否告知亲属们他们所不了解的一种遗传疾病。虽然困难重重,但我相信不能低估公众了解事实真相后面对困难进行抉择的能力。当然,是否需要了解真情取决于个人。当我们考虑到当事人的权利,由他们自己对将来作出决定,那么医学上的诸多伦理问题都可以得到最好的解决。

  审查制度

  15.有无一些研究领域因为会产生过激的社会反应而需要避免或禁止呢?也许对智力与基因关系的研究,特别是种族与智力关系的研究属于此类领域。有没有如文学批评家乔治·斯坦纳所说的“某些真理会重挫政府支柱,而且会无可救药地激化原本就已十分紧张的社会阶级矛盾”呢?简言之,目前的科学研究中有没有一些领域需要贴上“危险勿动”的标签呢?

  16.我了解科学研究的危险所在,但我更珍视科学研究的公开性,不赞成张贴此类标签。我赞同将认识世界的科学知识与运用这种知识区别开来的做法。因此,回答斯坦纳的问题时,我会说不,当然前提是科学家必须承担自己的社会责任。只有当我们更好地认识世界时,才能建立一个公平正义的社会。不能因为科学研究成果会被误作邪恶之用,而放弃将其用于造福人类的可能性。任何一种科学知识都不能避免遭到滥用的威胁。

  17.一旦开始审查人们获取客观知识的可能性,我们就迈向了危险之路。科学家并不能完全准确地预测所从事的研究会产生何种社会和技术的影响。例如人们一度争论放射波没有任何实用价值;罗赛福爵士也曾断言运用原子能乃是海市蜃楼。另外,研究细菌抗体和病毒感染的科学家也未能预见到会发现抑制酶,这一成分现在已经成为切分核糖核酸的必要工具,其实也是基因工程的基础。

  18.对于那些怀疑公众或政客能否就科学研究及其运用做出“正确”抉择的人而言,我推荐托马斯·杰弗逊说过的一句话:“我仅知道社会的最高决策权不在别处,就在人民之中。如果我们认为人民不够开通,难以行使理智的决策权利,那么,补救的方法不是将此权利从他们手中收回,而是给他们指明方向。”

  19.如何才能确保公众参与决策?如何确保科学家、医生、工程师、生物伦理家还有其他有关的专家不会滥用决策权为自己谋利呢?如何确保科学家确实承担社会义务将自己的研究告知公众呢?对此,我们必须依靠我们的民主制度:各界的代表、自由而积极负责的媒体、有关的组织机构和研究人员。诚然,有必要建立起相关的全国和国际的理事会,以便评估科学研究之应用的伦理问题,并开展广泛的公众讨论。但也许人们会产生质疑,这样一个理事会在面临下述问题时会如何表态:公众拥有了一种方便的交通工具,但其代价却是仅在英国一个国家,每年就有约三千多人丧生,二十五万人受伤,另外还造成无法估量的污染。此时,汽车伦理学家们会做何言论呢?

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