暑期英语悦读:当今科学活动的日益职业化

2011-08-09 12:49:36 来源: 海天考研 举报
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Specialization can be seen as a response to the problem of an increasingaccumulation of scientific knowledge. By splitting up the subject matter intosmaller units, one man could continue to handle the information and use it asthe basis for further research. But specialization was only one of a series ofrelated developments in science affecting the process of communication. Anotherwas the growing professionalisation of scientific activity.

No clear-cut distinction can be drawn between professionals and amateursin science: exceptions can be found to any rule. Neverthelss, the word “amateur”does carry a connotation that the person concerned is not fully integrated intothe scientific community and, in particular, may not fully share its values.The growth of specialization in the nineteenth century, with its consequentrequirement of a longer, more complex training, implied greater problems foramateur participation in science. The trend was naturally most obvious in thoseareas of science based especially on a mathematical or laboratory training, andcan be illustrated in terms of the development of geology in the UnitedKingdom.

A comparison of British geological publications over the last century anda half reveals not simply an increasing emphasis on the primacy of research,but also a changing definition of what constitutes an acceptable researchpaper. Thus, in the nineteenth century, local geological studies representedworthwhile research in their own right; but, in the twentieth century, localstudies have increasingly become acceptable to professionals only if theyincorporate, and reflect on, the wider geological picture. Amateurs, on theother hand, have continued to pursue local studies in the old way. The overallresult has been to make entrance to professional geological journals harder foramateurs, a result that has been reinforced by the widespread introduction ofrefereeing, first by national journals in the nineteenth century and then byseveral local geological journals in the twentieth century. As a logicalconsequence of this development, separate journals have now appeared aimedmainly towards either professional or amateur readership. A rather similarprocess of differentiation has led to professional geologists coming togethernationally within one or two specific societies, where the amateurs have tendedeither to remain in local societies or to come together nationally in adifferent way.

Although the process of professionalisation and specialization was alreadywell under way in British geology during the nineteenth century, its fullconsequences were thus delayed until the twentieth century. In sciencegenerally, however, the nineteenth century must be reckoned as the crucialperiod for this change in the structure of science.

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专业化可被看作针对科学知识不断膨胀这个问题所做出的反应。通过将学科细分为各个小的单元,个人能够继续处理这些信息并将它们作为进一步研究的基础。但是专业化仅仅是一系列相关科学进步中影响交流过程的的一个。另一现象是科学活动的日益职业化。

在科学领域内,职业人士与业余人士之间没有明确的区分:任何规律都有其例外。但是“业余”这个词的确具有一种含义,即相关的那个人没有完全融入某个科学家群体,尤其是他可能并不完全认同他们的价值观。19世纪的专业化的发展,导致了对更长更复杂的训练的要求,意味着业余人员进入科学界会遇到更大的困难。特别是在以数学和实验室训练为基础的科学领域,这种倾向自然尤为明显,这可以通过英国的地质学发展过程得到证实。

对过去一个半世纪的英国地质出版物所进行的比较表明不但人们对研究首要性的重视程度在不断增加,而且对什么是可以接受的论文的定义也在不断变化。因此,在19世纪,局部的地质研究本身就代表了一种有价值的研究;而到了20世纪,如果局部的研究能够被职业人员接受,那么它就必须结合和思考一个更加广阔的地质面貌。另一方面,业余人员继续以传统方式从事局部的研究。结果,业余人员在职业化地质学杂志发表文章更加困难。审稿制度首先在19世纪的全国性杂志中实行,后来在20世纪一些地方性地质杂志中也开始实行,这使这个结果得到进一步加强。这样发展的必然结果是出现了针对专业读者和业余读者的不同杂志。类似的分化过程也导致职业地质学家聚集起来,形成一两个全国性的团体,而业余地质学家则要么留在地方性团体中,要么以不同方式组成全国性的团体。

虽然职业化和专业化过程在19世纪的英国地质学界中已经得到迅速发展,但是它的效果一直拖到20世纪才充分显示出来。然而,从整个科学来看,19世纪必须被视为科学结构发生该变化的关键阶段。


冯卉 本文来源:海天考研 责任编辑:王晓易_NE0011
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