A university tutor is addressing his students Tom Werner/Getty Images

让学术界重获新生

剑桥——学术自由是对确保政治或意识形态势力不阻碍真相发现起关键作用的一种珍贵的商品。但这并不意味着知识分子应当躲进学术掩体,在保护我们免受“非专家”责难的同时,允许自我意识迅速泛滥,允许自己关注对其他任何人都无关紧要的话题。我们这些专家应当向外界解释我们自己。

首先这意味着研究人员应当以接受问责的方式向外界公开他们的研究成果,从而确保公共资金和教育福利的使用方式符合纳税人的利益。公开研究成果的义务也确保公众能够受到教育,这不仅关系到课题本身,同时也关系到学术研究的实际运作方式。

学术书籍和期刊往往给人留下这样的印象,那就是学术界通过整洁、有序而且合乎逻辑的方式来揭示真理。但科学研究远不是什么纯粹地带;事实上,它更像一个战场,充满了计算失误、试验失败和最终被丢弃的假设。通往真理的道路往往迂回曲折,走在真理之路上的人们往往要经受激烈的竞争和专业阴谋。

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