Communication in science/科学界交流
A Science plays an increasingly significant role in people’s lives, making the faithful communication of scientific developments more important than ever.Yet such communication is fraught with challenges that can easily distort discussions, leading to unnecessary confusion and misunderstandings.
B Some problems stem from the esoteric nature of current research and the associated difficulty of finding sufficiently faithful terminology. Abstraction and complexity are not signs that a given scientific direction is wrong, as some commentators have suggested, but are instead a tribute to the success of human ingenuity in meeting the increasingly complex challenges that nature presents. They can, however, make communication more difficult. But many of the biggest challenges for science reporting arise because in areas of evolving research, scientists themselves often only partly understand the full implications of any particular advance or development. Since that dynamicapplies to most of the scientific developments that directly affect people’s lives global warming, cancer research, diet studies—learning how to overcome it is critical to spurringa more informed scientific debate among the broader public.
C Ambiguous word choices are the source of some misunderstandings. Scientists often employ colloquial terminology, which they then assign a specific meaning that is impossible to fathomwithout proper training.The term “relativity,” for example, is intrinsically misleading. Many interpret the theory to mean that everything is relative and there are no absolutes. Yet although the measurements any observer makes depend on his coordinates and reference frame, the physical phenomena he measures have an invariant description that transcends that observer’s particular coordinates. Einstein’s theory of relativity is really about finding an invariant description of physical
phenomena. True, Einstein agreed with the idea that his theory would have been better named “Invariantentheorie.” But the term “relativity” was already entrenched at the time for him to change.
D “The uncertainty principle” is another frequently abused term. It is sometimesinterpreted as a limitation on observers and their ability to make measurements.
E But it is not about intrinsic limitations on any one particular measurement;it is about the inability to precisely measure particular pairs of quantitiessimultaneously? The first interpretation is perhaps more engaging from aphilosophical or political perspective. It’s just not what the science is about.
F Even the word “theory” can be a problem. Unlike most people, who usethe word to describe a passing conjecture that they often regard as suspect,physicists have very specific ideas in mind when they talk about theories.For physicists, theories entail a definite physical framework embodied in aset of fundamental assumptions about the world that lead to a specific set ofequations and predictions—ones that are borne out by successful predictions.Theories aren’t necessarily shown to be correct or complete immediately.Even Einstein took the better part of a decade to develop the correct versionof his theory of general relativity. But eventually both the ideas and themeasurements settle down and theories are either proven correct, abandoned orabsorbed into other, more encompassing theories.
G “Global warming” is another example of problematic terminology.Climatologists predict more drastic fluctuations in temperatureandrainfall— not necessarily that every place will be warmer. The namesometimes subverts the debate, since it lets people argue that their winter wasworse, so how could there be global warming? Clearly “global climate change”would have been a better name. But not all problems stem solely from poorword choices. Some stem from the intrinsically complex nature of much ofmodern science. Science sometimes transcends this limitation: remarkably,chemists were able to detail the precise chemical processes involved in thedestruction of the ozone layer, making the evidence that chlorofluorocarbongases (Freon, for example) were destroying the ozone layer indisputable.
H A better understanding of the mathematical significance of results and lessinsistence on a simple story would help to clarifymany scientific discussions.For several months, Harvard was tortured months, Harvard was torturedby empty debates over the relative intrinsic scientific abilities of men andwomen. One of the more amusing aspects of the discussion was that thosewho believed in the differences and those who didn’t used the same evidenceabout gender-specific special ability. How could that be? The answer is that thedata shows no substantial effects. Social factors might account for these tinydifferences, which in any case have an unclear connection to scientific ability.Not much of a headline when phrased that way, is it? Each type of sciencehas its own source of complexity and potential for miscommunication. Yetthere are steps we can take to improve public understanding in all cases. Thefirst would be to inculcate greater understanding and acceptance of indirectscientific evidence. The information from an unmanned space mission is noless legitimate than the information from one in which people are on board.
I This doesn’t mean never questioning an interpretation, but it also doesn’tmean equating indirect evidence with blind belief, as people sometimessuggest. Second, we might need different standards for evaluating science withurgent policy implications than research with purely theoretical value. Whenscientists say they are not certain about their predictions, it doesn’t necessarilymean they’ve found nothing substantial. It would be better if scientists weremore open about the mathematical significance of their results and if thepublic didn’t treat math as quite so scary; statistics and errors, which tell us theuncertainty in a measurement, give us the tools to evaluate new developmentsfairly.
J But most important, people have to recognize that science can be complex.If we accept only simple stories, the description will necessarily be distorted.When advances are subtle or complicated, scientists should be willing to gothe extra distance to give proper explanations and the public should be morepatient about the truth. Even so, some difficulties are unavoidable. Mostdevelopments reflect work in progress, so the story is complex because no oneyet knows the big picture.
27.why the faithful science communication important?
AScience plays an increasingly significant role in people's lives.
28.what is the reason that the anthor believe for the biggest challenges for science reporting?
C Scientists do not totally comprehend the meaning of certain scientific evolution.
29.according to the 3th paragraph, the reference to the term and example of “theory of relativity ”is to demonstrate
B common people may be misled by the inaccurate choice of scientific phrase
30.which one is a good example of appropriate word choice
D Freon's destructive process on environmental
31.what is surprising finding of the harvard debates in the passage?
B The proof applied by both sides seemed to be of no big difference