Opening a speech on Zhang Shuangnan: Why do we lack scientifTime:2019-10-12 | Release:Inspirational | Category:Inspirational speech
Opening a speech on Zhang Shuangnan: Why do we lack scientific spirit?
The topic I want to share with you today is science, because most of the knowledge of science comes from books. A book related to science, a book of special significance to me, is the first three minutes written by Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg. This book was actually written three years before he won the Nobel Prize, so the advantage of writing a popular science book is that it is very likely that after three years, you will win the Nobel Prize. I read this book in the late 1980s. At that time, I had already graduated. That book gave me a very big shock. What is it? Looking up at the stars and seeing very many stars, where did these substances come from? How did the universe originate? This is also the question that philosophers have asked for more than two thousand years. In this book, he said that physicists and scientists now have a theory called the big bang theory, which has been verified by experiments and observations. This theory says that after only three minutes of the big bang, it formed. These substances that later formed stars. So philosophers have asked for more than two thousand years, but there is no answer to the question, what is the origin of the universe, physicists and scientists simply answered. This is a huge earthquake for me. The power of science is so great that it can solve the answers to the problems that our philosophers have always wanted to find.
So I graduated from Tsinghua University in 1984. I think my book is obviously not enough, so what should I do? I have been studying for two years in the Academy of Sciences. I feel that I have not read enough books. I know very few things. I went abroad to study in the UK. I went to the UK to find out that I didn’t read enough books. . why? When I discussed our research with my colleagues, they often asked a question. He said, "What's the science of it?" Just say that you did this research, or we Discuss the question, what is the science inside, ask this question. Every time I hear this question, I look blank. I know what astronomy is. I know what is physics. I also know what chemistry and biology are. I know that I don't know what science is. This reminds me of it. I have read books for so many years, primary school, junior high school, high school, university, postgraduate, and then I have been studying in the UK. I have never had a teacher. I have never taught a teacher. I have taught me what science is. It is scientific knowledge. I have learned a lot. No one has ever told me what the scientific spirit is, what the scientific method is, and I have never known.
I will tell you two stories, one is related to Confucius , and it is called a two-child debate. The two children were quarreling there, Confucius found out, Confucius was very curious, and the two children were doing a good job. They found a child saying that Mr. Kong is a saint, you know everything, we both You are quarreling now, you can’t make a decision, you give a sentence. A child said, it must be that the sun is close to us in the morning. Why, the morning sun looks big, the big one shows that it is close to us; another child said, nonsense, especially cool in the morning It was very hot at noon, and the heat was obviously close to us, but it looked smaller. Confucius thought that this thing was troublesome. In the morning, it was big and cool. It was hot and small. When was it near? So Confucius said, I don't know what this answer is. So how did this story come to an end? The two children laughed at Confucius and said, hahaha, you are not knowing much more than we know. But in fact, whether the sun is close to us in the morning or close to us at noon, there must be only one answer. Of course, we know the same thing today, right? Why is it cool in the morning, but it looks big? Why does it look small at noon, but it is very hot? There are atmospheric science problems, measurement problems, heat transfer problems, and a wide range of problems. But for more than two thousand years, we have not gone to the bottom of the question, asking the truth behind it, what is it. This is typical, with a sophistry instead of a ground-breaking question to win the debate instead of pursuing the truth.
The second story is actually more prosperous, that is, it is worrying. There is a man in Laos. He is worried all day. Why doesn’t this gas fall down and kill him? The stars in the sky, the sun, the moon, why don’t you fall and kill him, this place under your feet, is it not? If you don't make it, will you give him away? If you don't live, you won't be able to live. Every day, I worry about these problems, so I can't sleep. He has a friend who guides him. He said, this person is really nothing to look for. You see this gas is mad. You breathe in it every day, walking freely inside, breathing freely, walking freely, it obviously won’t fall down. So it won't fall down. That line, the gas does not fall down, the stars on that day can’t fall off? Then his friend turned him on again, responding to the current saying, this star, these things are light, how can light fall? It’s just that the light is falling, and it’s okay to stare at you. Right, it’s okay. He also said, what if the land collapses in case? He said that you see, you are awkward, this land is a big thing, it is very strong, you can not fall. So the conclusion is that because the sky does not collapse, the sky does not collapse, because the land does not sink, so the land does not sink, don't worry.
This friend heard it, haha, it’s okay. So our story is over. But in fact, why is the gas not falling down? Why do stars run in the sky without falling? Westerners question this question and produce Newtonian mechanics. Right, we don't ask this question. We think this question is nonsense. These issues are serious astronomical issues, mechanics problems, atmospheric science issues, earth science issues, and a series of scientific issues. For more than two thousand years until today, we have used the idiom of worrying people to laugh at whimsical and unrealistic people. So what does this story tell us? Instead of arranging the roots, it is not collapsed, because it does not collapse, so it is not trapped, so it is not trapped, and pragmatism is used instead of pursuing the truth. Since it has not collapsed, why do you worry about it? Think about it, is there such a thing in our daily lives?
Why is this problem occurring? This is related to a very famous problem in the history of science. This problem is called the Joseph Needham problem. Joseph Needham is a British scholar and historian. He studied China's history of science and technology and got a conclusion. The ancient Chinese culture and technology are more advanced than the West, and they are much advanced, but science is not produced in China. He asked why. ?
We often say that we have brilliant scientific achievements in ancient China, examples, and the four ancient scientific inventions. These four ancient Chinese glory achievements are all technology, without any science. We didn't ask the question, what was the reason behind these technologies. If you want to ask, what is the truth behind the science behind the compass? Electromagnetism; what is the reason behind papermaking? Chemistry? What is the truth behind the movable type printing? Automation science; what is gunpowder? Chemistry. If we ask the truth behind this and clarify it, our science in China has already taken the lead, and what backward technology has brought us to China. I think we all know it. This is also an example of our inability to distinguish between science and technology. We believe that good things are scientific things, but we don't really know what science is.
A few years ago, when Putin was the prime minister of Russia, Russia and Germany were working together to develop an astronomical satellite. The scientific goal of this project is to understand what dark energy is. After listening to this report, Putin said that he spoke very well. This project seems to be quite meaningful, but I have two questions. I would like to ask scientists. First, is dark energy useful? Second, is dark energy dangerous? He wants to know these two questions because it costs a lot of money. Russian scientists look at each other and don’t know how to answer them. German scientists say that this question is a good answer. He said that if Mr. Prime Minister asked Einstein’s theory of relativity a hundred years ago, the danger of relativity is not dangerous, Einstein’s answer. Just like the last time Mr. Wang answered the answer to all questions in this place, three words - don't know! Why don't you know the answer? The reason why the answer is not known is this. Scientific research is concerned with the laws of science, and Einstein does not know, but after one hundred years, we look at whether relativity is useful or not, and the danger is not dangerous. The principle based on nuclear power plants, relativity, we have to go to the hospital, often, I hope you don't go, but everyone still has the opportunity to go, X-ray inspection, CT inspection, etc., we often use Accelerator, the principle on which the accelerator is based, the special theory of relativity. Therefore, we have seen in this place that relativity is very useful, dangerous is not dangerous, and the danger is a mess. The principle of atomic bombs and hydrogen bombs is relativity. Dark energy, we absolutely do not know whether it is useful or not today, the danger is not dangerous, what is it after a hundred years, no one knows, it may also be useful, but where it is used, it is impossible to know, it may be dangerous, how The danger may not be known, this is science. Science is concerned with studying the laws of science and discovering the laws of science.
What is science? Science is simply a matter of four words. Science itself has three properties. I call it the three elements of science. Keep a quick note of the notes, and maybe you will test them later. The first element, the purpose of science, discovers the law. It can be the law of nature, or the law of human behavior, it can be the law of social activities, it can be the law of economics, it can be, as long as it is the purpose of discovering the law, this may be science, but not necessarily If it is science. The second element of science is the spirit of science.
There are three spirits of science: questioning, independence, and uniqueness. What is the question? There is a geocentric saying that everyone has repeatedly questioned whether you are right or not, and whether the observations can be matched. With the heliocentric theory, Kepler is still questioning, you are not right in this circular orbit, can you combine with astronomical observations? Shang, with Kepler's law, Newton is still not satisfied, why is there Kepler's law, and constantly questioning. The second of the scientific spirit is independence. Independence means that no matter who does this scientific research, Americans do it, the British do it, the Chinese do it, as long as it is done, the result is the same. The only thing to say is that in the end, the scientific law you are pursuing is unique. Even if Newton does not find Newton's law of gravity, if we wait for a long time, it may be discovered by Xiaosa. It is called the law of gravity, but it is the same. It is sooner or later, different people find it, so this is the same, this is its uniqueness. Then science has methods: logic, quantification and positivism. Logicalization means that you can follow the logic of some axioms and follow your logic. Quantification means you have to be able to do calculations, this is a mathematical tool. The third is empirical, you need to do observations and experiment to develop science. So science has three elements, a scientific purpose, a scientific spirit, and a scientific method.
Our country is a big country in aerospace technology. Last year, our number of launches was the same as that of the United States. But if we count, we are in the sky, for example, the satellites doing scientific research in the sky, we have a very small proportion. . But the good thing is that now our country is gradually recognizing the role of science. General Secretary Xi proposed that space technology, space applications and space science should develop simultaneously. So in the future, I believe that we will use our advanced space technology to do scientific exploration to explore the universe and understand the scientific laws in the universe. In this matter, we should do more and more. This is actually a reason for me to return to China more than a decade ago. I feel that China's future will definitely provide us with more and more opportunities. My speech is here, thank you all.
[ Opening the speech of Zhang Shuangnan's speech points ]:
1. This is a huge earthquake for me. The power of science is so great that it can solve the answers to the problems that our philosophers have always wanted to find.
2. No one has ever told me what the scientific spirit is, what the scientific method is, and I have never known.
3, two stories tell us that science is to get to the bottom!
4. The four inventions of ancient China are all technology, without any science.
5. The focus of science is to study the laws of science and discover the laws of science.
6. Science has three elements, the purpose of science, the spirit of science, and the method of science.