科学,治好你自己

纽约—科学也许是人类作为一个物种所取得的最大成功。拜发轫于17世纪的科学革命之功,今天的人类享受着即时通讯、快速交通、丰富而多样的饮食并能有效地预防和治疗曾经致命的疾病。此外,科学也是人类解决诸如气候变化、新病原体、外星火球和激增的污染等生存威胁的最大希望。

但科学的大厦经受着内部和外部力量的双重威胁。如今科学界必须用其自我修正能力——基于新信息、发现、实验和思想(几个世纪以来的科学进步积累)——解决这些威胁。

科学进步的一大妨碍是研究资金的日渐短缺——这一趋势因全球经济危机而被放大了。不确定的融资前景不但妨碍科学家追求高风险的、间接的、但可能引出关键发现的蹊径;还令吸引最优秀人才从事科学事业变得更加困难,特别是当科学事业要求大量训练和专业化时。

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