科学能否拯救世界?

剑桥——对大多数人来说,历史上还从未有如今这般适宜生活的时代。推动经济进步的发明——信息技术、生物科技和纳米技术——对发展中和发达国家的生活水平均有提升作用。我们越来越离不开可以将任何地方的任何人与世界上所有信息及文化联系起来、将这个星球上每一个人联系起来的网络。

21世纪的技术将带来环保的生活方式和资源,缓解困境,提高全世界20亿最贫困人口的生活际遇。而且,上世纪60、70年代最大的威胁——核毁灭——已经减弱。不过,如果新的超级大国之间重新出现抵牾,这个威胁还会再次出现。此外,还有其他的危险,源自人类对这个星球集体影响的扩大,以及个人权利的增加。

二战之后不久,芝加哥大学的物理学家们开办了一份杂志,名为《原子科学家公报》,旨在促进军备控制。《公报》封面上的标志是一个时钟,指针指在午夜附近,表明编辑们对当时全球形势动荡的判断。每隔几年,时钟上的分针都会移动,有时向前,有时退后。1962年古巴导弹危机期间最接近午夜。

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