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          耶魯教授 致北大學生的一封信
          發布時間: 2012-10-30 瀏覽次數: 1368

          (中國有句老話,叫做入鄉隨俗。這位美國教授應該學一學中國的最高指示“考試可以作弊嘛,抄一遍也是好的嘛。)

          背景:
          Prof. Sterns
          是耶魯大學知名進化生物學家,本學期在北大開設Key Issues in Evolut
          ion
          Principles of Evolution 兩門課程,總計40余名學生。 12月初,有一位學生交的期末論文中發現明顯剽竊,為此教授公開宣布判此人零分并致函所有同學以示告誡。然而所有論文都遞交之后,又發現兩人有嚴重剽竊行為。教授因此非常傷心,致函如下:

          翻譯:Ent

          To my students in Beijing, Fall 2007:

          While grading papers today I encountered two more cases of plagiarism.
          One was sophisticated but serious. The other was so blatant that it
          was almost unbelievable. That makes a total of three students who
          have failed my courses because of plagiarism.

          今天批閱論文的時候,我又遇到了兩例剽竊行為。一例手法老練但是情節嚴重,另一例則是厚顏無恥得令人難以置信。這樣總計就有三名學生因為剽竊而在我的課程中不及格。

          If I had not warned you and given you the opportunity honestly to
          correct your essays, there would have been several more. I thank those of
          you who were honest and showed me what you had copied.

          假如我前些時候沒有警告過你們,并給你們一次機會去誠實地改正你們的文章,這種事情還會多好幾例。有些同學誠實地告訴了我他們都抄襲了哪些部分,我向他們表示感謝。

          Plagiarism disturbs me greatly, both because it corrodes my relationship
          with you as my students, and because it tells me things about China and
          Beida that neither you nor I want to hear.

          這些剽竊行為讓我非常苦惱,不但因為它損害了你我之間的師生關系,也因為它告訴了我一些關于北大、關于中國的事情,而這些事情是你我都不愿意聽到的。

          It corrodes my relationship with you because I work hard to be a good
          teacher, I take time to prepare good lectures, and I spend many hours
          providing detailed feedback on essays. It is hard work. You cannot
          imagine what it is like to correct the details of the 500th essay until
          you have done it yourself. I do that to help you
          learn to think more clearly, to express yourself convincingly, and to
          develop your intellectual power, your ability to understand the world.
          I also do it because I value you, I value your ideas, and I think the world
          will be a better place when you can all think clearly and behave
          intelligently. Later in life, some of you will be leaders with important
          positions. I want you to be competent and honest,
          for I have seen too often what terrible things can happen when
          leaders are incompetent and dishonest. Leadership aside, I want all of you
          to be able to create value in your lives, whatever you end up doing,
          and you cannot do that if you deceive.

          它傷害了我們之間的關系,因為我為了當一名好老師而付出了許多努力。我花了許多時間準備課堂講授,又花了許多時間給你們的文章寫下詳盡的反饋。這些工作都很辛苦。你無法想象,當改到第500篇文章的細節的時候你是什么感覺,除非你親身經歷。我做這一切,是為了讓你們學會更清晰地思考問題,學會有說服力地表達自己的觀點,學會培養自己的理性,鍛煉自己理解世界的能力。我做這一切,也因為我珍視你們,珍視你們的想法,而且我想,如果你們都能夠清晰地思考、明智地行動的話,這個世界也會變得更加美好。在以后的人生道路里,你們當中有的人會成為身居要位的領導,我希望你們能夠德才均備,因為無德無才的領導者所能帶來的可怕災難,我已經見過太多了。就算不當領導,我也希望你們所有人都能在你們的生命中創造一些有價值的東西,無論你們最后從事什么。而如果你欺騙的話,你是做不到這一點的。

          When a student whom I am teaching steals words and ideas from an
          author without acknowledgment, I feel cheated, dragged down into the mud.
          I ask myself, why should I teach people who knowingly deceive me?
          Life is too short for such things. There are better things to do.

          當我所教的學生從別人那里偷竊話語和思想的時候,我感到受了欺騙,心情沉重如同跋涉泥沼。我會問自己,我為什么要給那些存心欺騙我的人上課呢?生命是如此的短暫,太不值得。有比這好得多的事情可以做。

          Disturbingly, plagiarism fits into a larger pattern of behavior in China.
          Cxiaoneinternational intellectual property rights. Beida sees
          nothing wrong in copying my textbook, for example, in complete violation
          of international copyright agreements, causing me to lose income,
          stealing from me quite directly. No one in China seems to care.
          I can buy DVDs in stores and on the street for about one US dollar.
          They cost $20-30 outside China; the artists who produced them are
          losing enormous amounts of stolen income, billions of dollars each year.
          China has become notorious for producing defective products that have to
          be recalled because the pose health threats to consumers. A recent cartoon in
          an
          American newspaper shows the Central Committee reacting to an accusation that
          they have violated human rights. The response? "Wait until they see what
          we put in their toothpaste next!" Corruption is a serious problem in a boomin
          g
          economy. For example, in the mining industry, about 5000 miners die each year
          and mine owners cut corners in violation of the law. The social fabric breaks
          when workers die because owners are greedy. The Mandate of Heaven is lost.

          讓人不安的是,剽竊已經成為整個中國行為模式的一部分。中國忽視國際知識產權。比如說,復印我的書徹頭徹尾違反了國際版權協議,使我損失了收入,對我而言近乎直接的偷竊,然而北大人卻對此安之若素。再比如,我只花大約一美元就能在街頭和店鋪買到DVD光碟,這些碟片在別國要賣上二三十美元。創作它們的藝術家因此損失的大筆收入全是被偷走的,每年幾十億。因為生產劣質商品對消費者造成潛在的健康威脅而不得不召回,中國已經是臭名昭著了。最近美國報紙上刊載的一幅漫畫描繪了中央委員會被指責侵犯人權。猜他們怎么回答?往他們牙膏里擱點東西,看他們還敢吭聲不?經濟繁榮的背后,腐敗已經成為嚴重的問題。就拿礦業來說,每年大約有五千名礦工死去,就因為礦主為了省事為了利潤而不惜違反法律 (譯注:cut corners 指貶義的抄近道,此為意譯。)
          礦主的貪婪導致工人死去,象征著社會階層之間紐帶的斷裂。天道已喪。

          China appears to have lost her way. Confucius said, do not
          do to others what you do not want them to do to you. He also said, a
          gentleman is honest. Honesty and reciprocity are the basis of trust and
          community. We cannot get along in a world filled with deceit and defection;
          such a world becomes a Hobbesian war of all against all, nasty and brutal.
          We cannot do science if we cannot trust what others publish. There is no
          reason to try to replicate a result if it cannot be trusted. It
          would not be worth the effort. Without replication there can be no shared
          knowledge that is tested and trustworthy - that is, no science. Without
          science, there can be no technology. And without technology, there can be
          no steady increase in productivity, economic growth, and a better life for al
          l.
          中國似乎已經迷失了她的道路。孔子說過,己所不欲勿施于人。他還說過,人而無信不知其可。(直譯是君子有信,不過一時想不起原話是怎么說的了。) 誠實互惠是信任與社群的基礎。在一個充滿欺詐和背叛的社會中,我們無法生存,這樣的世界成了霍布森(是他吧?哲概的東西快忘干凈了)式的每個人與每個人為敵的戰爭,險惡而野蠻。若是我們不能相信別人發表的東西,我們就沒法做科研。誰都沒有理由去企圖重復一個不可信的結果,不值得費那功夫;而沒有重復就不會有經過驗證而可信靠、可共享的知識,也就沒有科學。沒有科學就不會有技術,沒有技術就不會有生產力的穩步發展,經濟水平的持續增長,也就不會給所有人都帶來更美好的生活。
          The penalties for plagiarism that you will encounter later in life are very
          serious. If you do it as a graduate student, you can be expelled from
          university, and you will not get your degree. If you do it as a faculty
          member, you can lose your job. I know you may not believe that, for
          the sociology professor at Beida who translated an entire book into Chinese
          and published it with his name on it only lost his administrative positions
          but kept his professorship and salary. But things are not like that elsewhere
          .
          When plagiarism is detected in the United States, it can end the
          career of the person who did it. That is also true in Europe.
          在你們今后的人生里,剽竊將會遇到極為嚴厲的懲罰。身為研究生如果剽竊,就會直接開除,沒有學位。身為教員如果剽竊,就會丟掉飯碗。我知道你們可能不信,因為北大那位把整本書翻成中文就署上自己名字出版的社會學家 (這是誰啊...) 僅僅丟了行政職務,卻仍然保有教授之位和薪水。然而事情在別處并非如此。在美國如果發現有人剽竊,此人的職業生涯可以就此毀于一旦。歐洲亦然。

          The fact that I have encountered this much plagiarism at Beida tells me
          something about the behavior of other professors and administrators here.
          They must tolerate a lot of it, and when they detect it, they cover it up
          without serious punishment, probably because they do not want to lose face.
          If they did punish it, it would not be this frequent.
          我在北大遇見了如此之多的剽竊,這一事實說明了其它教授和行政官員的所作所為。他們必然是對此頗為容忍,而當發現有人剽竊時,他們未加嚴厲懲罰就遮掩過去,很可能是因為他們不愿丟臉。假如他們真的施以懲罰,剽竊決不會這么猖獗。

          I have greatly enjoyed teaching some of you. I have encountered young minds
          here that are as good as any in the world. Many of you are brave, most
          of you work very hard, most of you are honest, and some of you are brilliant.
          But I am leaving with very mixed feelings. It is quite sad that so many
          promising young Chinese think it is necessary to cheat to succeed. They
          damage themselves even more than the people from whom they steal and the
          people whom they deceive with stolen words.
          給你們當中一些人上課的時候,我感受到了極大的喜悅。我在這里遇到的年輕的頭腦,和世界上任何地方比起來都毫不遜色。你們當中許多人都很勇敢,大部分人都很努力,大部分人都很誠實,有些人相當聰明。然而當我離去時,心情是復雜的。這么多前途無量的中國年輕人認為要靠作弊才能成功,讓我十分傷心。比起那些被他們竊走思想的人,和那些被他們用竊來的的話語所欺騙的人,他們傷害得還要多的,是他們自己。

          Sincerely, Steve Stearns

           

                                                                          

           
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