I'm going to try and explain why it is that perhaps we don't understand as much as we think we do. I'd like to begin with four questions. This is not some sort of cultural thing for the time of year. That's an in-joke, by the way.
我会试着解释为何 我们知道的东西很可能并没有我们自以为知道的多 我想从四个问题开始,不是那种今年流行的文化问题 对了，刚刚那句是个圈内笑话
But these four questions, actually, are ones that people who even know quite a lot about science find quite hard. And they're questions that I've asked of science television producers, of audiences of science educators -- so that's science teachers -- and also of seven-year-olds, and I find that the seven-year-olds do marginally better than the other audiences, which is somewhat surprising.
不过这四个问题，事实上 即使是很懂科学的人也会觉得很难应答 我拿这些问题去问科学节目制片人 问那些有科学教育背景的观众 也问教科学的老师还有七岁孩童 我发现七岁孩童答得比其他人好 这是有些令人惊讶
So the first question, and you might want to write this down, either on a bit of paper, physically, or a virtual piece of paper in your head. And, for viewers at home, you can try this as well.
第一个问题，我建议你把问题记下来 抄在纸上，或想像中的纸上 坐在电脑前的你也可以试著作答.
A little seed weighs next to nothing and a tree weighs a lot, right? I think we agree on that. Where does the tree get the stuff that makes up this chair, right? Where does all this stuff come from?
And your next question is, can you light a little torch-bulb with a battery, a bulb and one piece of wire? And would you be able to, kind of, draw a -- you don't have to draw the diagram, but would you be able to draw the diagram, if you had to do it? Or would you just say, that's actually not possible?
问题二，你能否点亮一个小灯泡 只用1个电池、1个灯泡、和1条电线? 那你能画出上述问题的图解吗?不用真的画 但如果需要的话， 你能画出来吗? 还是你会说 这个不可能?
The third question is, why is it hotter in summer than in winter? I think we can probably agree that it is hotter in summer than in winter, but why? And finally, would you be able to -- and you can sort of scribble it, if you like -- scribble a plan diagram of the solar system, showing the shape of the planets' orbits? Would you be able to do that? And if you can, just scribble a pattern.
第三个问题，为什么夏天比冬天热? 大家应该都同意夏天比冬天还热 但为何如此?最后，你能不能 简单的勾勒出 太阳系的平面图... 呈现出行星轨道运行的形状 你可以画得出来吗? 你画得出来的话，就把形状画出来
OK. Now, children get their ideas not from teachers, as teachers often think, but actually from common sense, from experience of the world around them, from all the things that go on between them and their peers, and their carers, and their parents, and all of that. Experience. And one of the great experts in this field, of course, was, bless him, Cardinal Wolsey. Be very careful what you get into people's heads because it's virtually impossible to shift it afterwards, right?
好，孩童对事物的概念不是老师教的 老师时常这么以为，但实际上概念来自于常理 来自于孩童对周遭世界的体验 来自于他们跟同伴彼此交流 还有跟保姆、父母亲、所有人交流的经验 这个领域中的一个专家，对了，愿他安息 就是渥西主教，他说要你将东西放进其他人的闹袋里的时候要小心 因为那些东西几乎不会再改变，对吧?
I'm not quite sure how he died, actually. Was he beheaded in the end, or hung?
Now, those questions, which, of course, you've got right, and you haven't been conferring, and so on. And I -- you know, normally, I would pick people out and humiliate, but maybe not in this instance.
现在回到那四个问题，大家都知道是什么问题了 你们彼此之间也没有讨论答案 我平时习惯点人站起来回答让他丢脸 不过这次就不点了
A little seed weighs a lot and, basically, all this stuff, 99 percent of this stuff, came out of the air. Now, I guarantee that about 85 percent of you, or maybe it's fewer at TED, will have said it comes out of the ground. And some people, probably two of you, will come up and argue with me afterwards, and say that actually, it comes out of the ground. Now, if that was true, we'd have trucks going round the country, filling people's gardens in with soil, it'd be a fantastic business. But, actually, we don't do that. The mass of this comes out of the air. Now, I passed all my biology exams in Britain. I passed them really well, but I still came out of school thinking that that stuff came out of the ground.
种籽可以很重，基本上所有的这些 99%都来自于空气 我相信有85%的人，或许在你们TED会比较少 会说木材来自于大地，而有些人 也许你们中的一两位， 可能结束后会来找我争论 说木材其实是来自于大地 若是如此，那我们就会有让卡车跑来跑去 把人们的花园都填上土，那会是很棒的生意。 不过实际上我们不会那么做 因为木材的材料大部分其实是从空气中来的 我在英国念书时考生物每考必过 我的成绩很好，但毕业后 还是以为木材来自于大地
Second one: can you light a little torch-bulb with a battery bulb and one piece of wire? Yes, you can, and I'll show you in a second how to do that. Now, I have some rather bad news, which is that I had a piece of video that I was about to show you, which unfortunately -- the sound doesn't work in this room, so I'm going to describe to you, in true "Monty Python" fashion, what happens in the video. And in the video, a group of researchers go to MIT on graduation day. We chose MIT because, obviously, that's a very long way away from here, and you wouldn't mind too much, but it sort of works the same way in Britain and in the West Coast of the USA. And we asked them these questions, and we asked those questions of science graduates, and they couldn't answer them. And so, there's a whole lot of people saying, "I'd be very surprised if you told me that this came out of the air. That's very surprising to me." And those are science graduates. And we intercut it with, "We are the premier science university in the world," because of British-like hubris.
你能用一枚电池和一根电线点亮灯泡吗? 是，你可以，我会示范怎么做。 不过，现在有个坏消息 本来有个影片要给大家看 可惜在这边声音放不出来 所以我就口头描述一下的，用巨蟒剧团的表演方式， 影片内容是这样的，在影片里有一群研究员 在毕业典礼那天去麻省理工学院 为什么是麻省理工呢?因为它离这里很远 大家也就不会太介意 不过场景设在英国结果也差不多 或是设在美国西岸 我们问了麻省理工的毕业生这四个问题 这些理工科毕业生也答不出来 而且还有很多学生表示 “我很惊讶你说木材是从空气中来的 ”这真的让我很吃惊“，那些理工的毕业生这么说 我们用”我们是全球第一的理工大学“来作影片的结尾。 因为英国人很傲慢
And when we gave graduate engineers that question, they said it couldn't be done. And when we gave them a battery, and a piece of wire, and a bulb, and said, "Can you do it?" They couldn't do it. Right? And that's no different from Imperial College in London, by the way, it's not some sort of anti-American thing going on.
我们拿第二个问题去问硕士毕业的工程师们 他们说这不可能做得到 我们拿了电池、电线、和灯泡 问他们”你能做到吗?“，他们没办法，是吧? 顺道一提，伦敦的帝国学院的情况估计也差不多如此 我们不是在做什么反美的事
As if. Now, the reason this matters is we pay lots and lots of money for teaching people -- we might as well get it right. And there are also some societal reasons why we might want people to understand what it is that's happening in photosynthesis. For example, one half of the carbon equation is how much we emit, and the other half of the carbon equation, as I'm very conscious as a trustee of Kew, is how much things soak up, and they soak up carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
虽然听来颇像。问题的关键是我们花了很多钱 来教育大众，我们应该正确地来做这件事。 其中也有一些社会因素 让我们想使大众了解光合作用如何运作 例如，有一半的碳储量是人类排放的 而另一半碳储量 我相当关切，身为皇家植物园的受托管理人
That's what plants actually do for a living. And, for any Finnish people in the audience, this is a Finnish pun: we are, both literally and metaphorically, skating on thin ice if we don't understand that kind of thing.Now, here's how you do the battery and the bulb. It's so easy, isn't it? Of course, you all knew that. But if you haven't played with a battery and a bulb, if you've only seen a circuit diagram, you might not be able to do that, and that's one of the problems.
是植物吸收多少二氧化碳 植物就是以此维生的 如果在场有芬兰人，这是芬兰话的双关语 我们无论在实际上或隐喻上，都是如履薄冰 要是我们不明白那些事 电池和灯泡只要这要做就行 很简单，不是吗?你们都懂了 但要是你没有亲手碰过电池和灯泡 如果你只看过电路图 你可能就做不出来，这是个麻烦
So, why is it hotter in summer than in winter? We learn, as children, that you get closer to something that's hot, and it burns you. It's a very powerful bit of learning, and it happens pretty early on. By extension, we think to ourselves, "Why it's hotter in summer than in winter must be because we're closer to the Sun." I promise you that most of you will have got that. Oh, you're all shaking your heads, but only a few of you are shaking your heads very firmly.
那么，为何夏天比冬天热? 我们从小就知道，离热的东西太近 你就被烫到，这真很有效的教育方法 很小的时候大家就学到了 延伸这个论点，我们觉得夏天比冬天热 一定是因为我们离太阳比较近 我相信大多人都懂了 哦，大家都在摇头 不过只有几个人摇得很坚定
Other ones are kind of going like this. All right. It's hotter in summer than in winter because the rays from the Sun are spread out more, right, because of the tilt of the Earth. And if you think the tilt is tilting us closer, no, it isn't. The Sun is 93 million miles away, and we're tilting like this, right? It makes no odds. In fact, in the Northern Hemisphere, we're further from the Sun in summer, as it happens, but it makes no odds, the difference.
其他人只是这样子摇而已，好吧 夏天比冬天热是因为太阳的辐射线 传播得比较多，地球倾斜的关系 如果你以为是朝太阳的方向倾斜，那就错了 太阳离地球1亿5千万公里，地球倾斜角度大略如此 倾斜不是差别所在，在北半球 夏天时我们离太阳更远 跟倾斜没有关系
OK, now, the scribble of the diagram of the solar system. If you believe, as most of you probably do, that it's hotter in summer than in winter because we're closer to the Sun, you must have drawn an ellipse. Right? That would explain it, right? Except, in your -- you're nodding -- now, in your ellipse, have you thought, "Well, what happens during the night?"
好，问题四是画出太阳系的平面图 如果大家相信，大多数可能都相信 夏天比冬天热是因为地球离太阳较近 大家应该都画了椭圆形 对吧?这就能解释了吧? 除非，你点头了，你画了个椭圆形 你有想过，「夜晚又是怎么回事」?
Between Australia and here, right, they've got summer and we've got winter, and what -- does the Earth kind of rush towards the Sun at night, and then rush back again? I mean, it's a very strange thing going on, and we hold these two models in our head, of what's right and what isn't right, and we do that, as human beings, in all sorts of fields.
澳洲和美国这边，澳洲是夏天 这边是冬天，难道说 地球在晚上会冲向太阳 然后再冲回来?这实在很奇怪 我们脑中有两种思考模式，对的和错的 身为人类，我们在很多领域都这样思考
So, here's Copernicus' view of what the solar system looked like as a plan. That's pretty much what you should have on your piece of paper. Right? And this is NASA's view. They're stunningly similar. I hope you notice the coincidence here.
左边是哥白尼画的太阳系平面图 跟你们纸上画的差不多，对吧 右边是NASA的版本，两张图非常相似 我希望大家注意其中的巧合 要是你知道人们有错误观念
What would you do if you knew that people had this misconception, right, in their heads, of elliptical orbits caused by our experiences as children? What sort of diagram would you show them of the solar system, to show that it's not really like that? You'd show them something like this, wouldn't you? It's a plan, looking down from above. But, no, look what I found in the textbooks. That's what you show people, right?
你会怎么做 在他们脑中，楕圆形的轨道 是他们儿时经验教的吗? 你会给他们看什么样的太阳系示意图? 证明太阳系不是他们想的那样 你会给他们看这种图吗? 这是俯瞰的平面图 可是并非如此，瞧瞧我在教科书里找到的 你会给他们看这种图对吧?
These are from textbooks, from websites, educational websites -- and almost anything you pick up is like that. And the reason it's like that is because it's dead boring to have a load of concentric circles, whereas that's much more exciting, to look at something at that angle, isn't it? Right?
出自教科书 出自教育网站 你找得到的几乎都是这种图 会以这种视角呈现是因为 只有一堆同心圆太死板无趣 从这种视角看太阳系比较新鲜刺激 不是吗?
And by doing it at that angle, if you've got that misconception in your head, then that two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional thing will be ellipses. So you've -- it's crap, isn't it really? As we say.
因为弄成这种视角 如果你脑中有了这种误解 用二度空间来呈现三度空间就会变成椭圆形 这真是糟糕，可不是吗?
So, these mental models -- we look for evidence that reinforces our models. We do this, of course, with matters of race, and politics, and everything else, and we do it in science as well. So we look, just look -- and scientists do it, constantly -- we look for evidence that reinforces our models, and some folks are just all too able and willing to provide the evidence that reinforces the models.
因此，我们寻求证据来增强我们的心智模式 我们用这种方式处理种族、政治、所有事 当然也用这种方式处理科学，我们只观看 是科学家在这么做，我们不断寻求证据 来增强我们的心智模式，有些人很有办法 也乐意提供证据来增强那些模式
So, being I'm in the United States, I'll have a dig at the Europeans. These are examples of what I would say is bad practice in science teaching centers.
These pictures are from La Villette in France and the welcome wing of the Science Museum in London. And, if you look at the, kind of the way these things are constructed, there's a lot of mediation by glass, and it's very blue, and kind of professional -- in that way that, you know, Woody Allen comes up from under the sheets in that scene in "Annie Hall," and said, "God, that's so professional." And that you don't -- there's no passion in it, and it's not hands on, right, and, you know, pun intended.
类似教学中心，这些图取自法国维叶特科博馆 以及伦敦科博馆的迎宾翼展示区 你看看这些东西建成的模样 有很多玻璃隔板，蓝光色调，弄得很专业似的 那种方式，就像是伍迪艾伦从床单里冒出来 在《安妮霍尔》戏中的那一幕 他说“老天，这真是太专业了” 这其中没有热情，没有动手参与，是吗 这是个双关，不过也有好的教学方法
Whereas good interpretation -- I'll use an example from nearby -- is San Francisco Exploratorium, where all the things that -- the demonstrations, and so on, are made out of everyday objects that children can understand, it's very hands-on, and they can engage with, and experiment with. And I know that if the graduates at MIT and in the Imperial College in London had had the battery and the wire and the bit of stuff, and you know, been able to do it, they would have learned how it actually works, rather than thinking that they follow circuit diagrams and can't do it. So good interpretation is more about things that are bodged and stuffed and of my world, right? And things that -- where there isn't an extra barrier of a piece of glass or machined titanium, and it all looks fantastic, OK?
我举一个例子，离这里很近，旧金山探索馆 在那里所有的东西，展示品之类的 都是用孩子能懂的日常用品做成的 都可以动手玩，孩子们可以专心玩好好体验 我知道麻省理工毕业生 以及伦敦帝国学院毕业生 手上有电池电线点亮灯泡的话 他们会明白其中的原理 而不是觉得他们照着电路图来做是做不到的 好的教学方法不是 沉溺陶醉在自己世界里对吧? 那些东西也不该被隔着 用玻璃或是钛制品隔开 看起来很漂亮就好，好吗?
And the Exploratorium does that really, really well. And it's amateur, but amateur in the best sense, in other words, the root of the word being of love and passion.
旧金山探索馆在这点做得非常好 看上去很业余，但业余得很对头 也就是说，根本的出发点是出自爱和热情
So, children are not empty vessels, OK?So, as "Monty Python" would have it, this is a bit Lord Privy Seal to say so, but this is -- children are not empty vessels.
所以，孩童不是空瓶子 用“巨蟒剧团”的说法 就是有点像英国掌玺大臣会说的 意思是说孩童不是空无一物的瓶子
They come with their own ideas and their own theories, and unless you work with those, then you won't be able to shift them, right?
他们生来就有自己的想法和理念 如果你没从这些地方着手，就改变不了他们 对吧?
And I probably haven't shifted your ideas of how the world and universe operates, either. But this applies, equally, to matters of trying to sell new technology.
我大概没有改变大家的想法 对于世界和宇宙到底如何运作 不过这些道理同样可以用在推销新科技上也
For example, we are, in Britain, we're trying to do a digital switchover of the whole population into digital technology [for television].
And it's one of the difficult things is that when people have preconceptions of how it all works, it's quite difficult to shift those.
有个难题是 人们对事物运作的方式一旦有了成见 就很难去改变
So we're not empty vessels; the mental models that we have as children persist into adulthood. Poor teaching actually does more harm than good.
我们不是空瓶子，我们保有心智模式 从幼年到成年一直都存在 不良的教学是弊多于利
In this country and in Britain, magnetism is understood better by children before they've been to school than afterwards, OK? Same for gravity, two concepts, so it's -- which is quite humbling, as a, you know, if you're a teacher, and you look before and after, that's quite worrying. They do worse in tests afterwards, after the teaching.
在美国和英国，在磁力知识上 孩童在就学前学得比较好 重力知识也一样，两个不同概念，这实在可悲 如果你是个老师，看见受教前和受教后的差别 实在令人忧心，学童在受教后考得更差
And we collude. We design tests, or at least in Britain, so that people pass them. Right? And governments do very well. They pat themselves on the back. OK?
我们都是共犯，我们设计测验方式 至少在英国是这样，好让人们能通过考试 政府也帮了不少忙，他们推波助澜 懂吗?
We collude, and actually if you -- if someone had designed a test for me when I was doing my biology exams, to really understand, to see whether I'd understood more than just kind of putting starch and iodine together and seeing it go blue, and really understood that plants took their mass out of the air, then I might have done better at science. So the most important thing is to get people to articulate their models.
我们都是共犯 如果有人替我设计测验 在我要考生物的时候 让我能真正明白，明白我是否真的懂了 不是只在淀粉中加入碘液 看着反应呈现蓝色 而且能真正明白植物是从空气中茁壮的 我的科学可能就会学得比较好 所以，最重要的是要让人们能表述清楚他们的模型
Your homework is -- you know, how does an aircraft's wing create lift? An obvious question, and you'll have an answer now in your heads. And the second question to that then is, ensure you've explained how it is that planes can fly upside down. Ah ha, right.
回家作业是，机翼是怎样帮助飞机起飞的? 这问题很好懂，大家心中也有答案了 注意事项是 你要确保自己能解释为何飞机头向下的时候也能飞， 对吧
Second question is, why is the sea blue? All right? And you've all got an idea in your head of the answer. So, why is it blue on cloudy days? Ah, see.
问题二，海为何是蓝色的? 大家心中应该都有答案了 那么，为什么阴天时海还是蓝的?看吧 (笑声) 我一直想在美国讲这句话
I've always wanted to say that in this country. (Laughter) Finally, my plea to you is to allow yourselves, and your children, and anyone you know, to kind of fiddle with stuff, because it's by fiddling with things that you, you know, you complement your other learning. It's not a replacement, it's just part of learning that's important. Thank you very much. Now -- oh, oh yeah, go on then, go on.
最后，我希望大家能让自己，还有孩子 以及任何你认识的人，去动手接触事物 因为亲自接触了事物，你知道的 你就补足了其他方面的学习不足，这不是替换 这只是学习中很重要的一部分 谢谢大家 那么，噢，没关系，继续吧