The first Chinese citizen to give a Harvard graduation speech recalled why his mom lit his hand on fire

“改变世界或许可以很简单”-哈佛大学毕业典礼演讲台上的中国第一人
时间:2018-05-02 单词数:8420

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导读:哈佛大学毕业典礼上,来自中国的学生何江,作为优秀毕业生代表之一登上毕业典礼演讲台,讲述中国故事。这是哈佛大学给予毕业生的最高荣誉,何江成为第一位享此殊荣的中国学生,与他同台演讲的,还有著名导演史蒂芬.斯皮尔伯格。

“改变世界或许可以很简单”-哈佛大学毕业典礼演讲台上的中国第一人_最新英语新闻

When I was in middle school, a poisonous spider bit my right hand.

我在上中学的时候,被一只有毒的蜘蛛咬了右手。

I ran to my mom for help, but instead of taking me to a doctor, my Mom set my hand on fire.

我去向母亲求救,但是她没有找医生,而是用火来烤我的手。

After rubbing my hand with several layers of cotton then soaked in wine, she put a chopstick into my mouth and ignited the cotton.

她用酒浸过的棉纱绕住我的手。缠了好几层之后,让我嘴里咬住一根筷子,然后点燃了棉纱。

Heat quickly penetrated the cotton and began to roast my hand.

热量快速穿透棉花,开始炙烤我的右手。

The searing pain made me want to scream but the chopstick prevented it.

这股灼痛让我想要大叫,不过我嘴里咬着的筷子让我叫不出来。

All I could do was watch my hand burn, one minute, then two minutes, until my mom put out the fire.

我当时唯一能做的就是看着我着火的手,一分钟过去了,两分钟过去了,直到母亲把火熄灭。

You see the part of China I grew up in was a rural village, and at that time, pre-industrial.

如你所见,我是在中国的一个小山村里成长的,在那个时候那里还没有实现工业化。

When I was born, my village had no cars, no telephones, no electricity, not even running water and we certainly didn’t had access to the modern medical resources.

在我出生的那个年代,我们村没车、没电话、也没电,连自来水都没有,更没法获得现代化的医疗资源。

There was no doctor my mother could bring me to see about this spider bite.

当我被蜘蛛咬伤时,根本没有我母亲可以带我去看的医生。

For those who study Biology, you may have brought the science behind my mom’s cure: heat deactivates proteins and the spider’s venom is simply a form of protein.

对于学生物学的人来说,你也许已经知道了我母亲这种治疗方式的科学依据:热量能够让蛋白质失去活性,而蜘蛛的毒液只是蛋白质组成的。

It’s cool how that folk remedy actually incorporates the base of biochemistry, isn’t it?

土办法里竟然也包含着现代生物化学的基础原理,想想也挺酷的,不是吗?

But I am a Ph. D student in Biochemistry at Harvard, I now know that better, less painful and less risky treatment existed.

但是作为一个在哈佛学习生物化学的博士,我现在知道了其实有更好的、不那么痛、危险系数更小的治疗方法。

So, I can’t help but ask myself, why I did’t receive one at that time?

所以我忍不住问我自己,为什么那个时候我没有用这样的方法来治疗呢?

Fifteen years have passed since that incident, I am happy to report that my hand is fine.

这件事已经过去十五年了,我很高兴地告诉你们:我的手现在恢复地很好。

But this question lingers and I continued to be troubled by the unequal distribution of scientific knowledge throughout the world.

但这个问题仍旧萦绕着我,我依旧会被世界上科学知识的分布不均衡问题所困扰。

We have learned to edit the human genome and unlock many secrets of how cancer progress.

我们已经学会编辑人类基因组,揭开了许多癌症形成的秘密。

We can manipulate neuron activity literally with the switch of light.

我们甚至可以通过光束来操控大脑神经元的活动。

Each year with more advances in Biomedical research, exciting transformative accomplishments.

每一年生物医学领域都有巨大进步和让人兴奋的、颠覆性的伟大成就。

Yet, despite the knowledge we have amassed, we haven’t been so successful in deploying it to where it’s needed most.

然而,尽管人类已经掌握和积累了大量知识,但是我们还是没能很好地把它们运用在最需要的地方。

According to the World Bank, 12% of the world population lives on less than 2 dollars a day.

据世界银行统计,目前世界仍有12%的人一天的生活费不到2美元。

Malnutrition kills more than 3 million children annually.

每年超过三百万的儿童死于营养不良。

Three hundred million people are afflicted by Malaria globally.

全球有三亿人正受疟疾折磨。

All over the world, we constantly see these problems of poverty, illness, and lack of resources impeding the flow of scientific information.

在世界各地,我们经常看到贫穷、疾病和资源短缺这些问题,这些都阻碍了科学知识的传播。

Life-saving knowledge we take for granted in our modern world is over-unavailable in the underdeveloped regions.

现代社会里那些习以为常的救生知识在不发达地区还未普及。

And so, in far too many places, people are still essentially trying to cure a spider bite with fire.

于是,在世界上很多地区,人们仍然用火疗的方法来处理蜘蛛咬伤事件。

While studying at Harvard, I saw how scientific knowledge can help others in simple, yet profound ways.

在哈佛学习期间,我知道了科学知识是如何用简单的又深刻的方式帮助到其他人的。

The bird flu pandemic in the 2000s looked to my village like a spell cast by demons.

在2000年的时候,禽流感肆虐,对我们村而言,这种病就像是魔鬼的诅咒。

Our folk medicine didn’t even have half-measures to offer.

在我们的民间治疗中根本找不到解决办法。

What’s more, farmers did not know the difference between the common cold and flu.

更严重的是,农民们不知道普通的感冒和流感之间的区别。

They did not understand that the flu was much more lethal than common cold.

他们不明白流感比普通的感冒要致命地多。

Most were also unaware that the virus could transmit across different animal species.

而且,大部分人根本不了解流感病毒可以在不同物种间传播。

So when I realized that simple hygiene practices like separating different animal species could help to contain the spread of the disease,

所以当我了解了简单有效的卫生措施,比如隔离不同的物种可以遏制疾病的传播,

and that I could help make this knowledge available to my village.

并把这样的信息告诉我的村民。

That was my first "aha" moment as a bioscientist.

我的心里第一次有了作为生物科学家的成就感。

But it was more than that: it was also a vital inflection point of my own ethical development, my own self-understanding as a member of the global community.

但不仅仅如此:这是我个人道德理念的一个重要转折,也自知作为地球上一员的自我使命。

Harvard dares us to dream big, to aspire, to change the world.

哈佛教导我们敢于拥有伟大梦想,勇往直前,去改变这个世界。

Here on this Commencement Day, we are probably thinking of grand destinations and big adventures that await us.

今天在这个毕业典礼上,大家可能正幻想着等待我们的伟大理想和征途。

As for me, I am also thinking of the farmers in my village.

于我,我仍在思考着我家乡的农民们的命运。

My experience here reminds me how important it is for researchers to communicate our knowledges, to those who need it.

我的经历提醒着我,学者将知识传授给需要的人是多么重要。

Because by using the science we already have, we could probably bring my village and thousands like it into the world you and I take for granted every day.

因为通过使用我们已经掌握的科学,我们可以把我家乡的村民和成千上万类似的人带入到你我熟知的世界。

And that’s an impact every one of us can make!

这是我们每一个人都可以发挥的影响!

But the question is, will we make the effort, or not?

但问题是,我们会这样去做吗?

More than ever before, our society emphasized science and innovation, but an equally important emphasis should be on distributing the knowledge we have to those who needed.

今天的社会比以往任何一个时代都强调科学和创新的重要性。但同样重要的是,把人类已掌握的知识传播到特别需要它们的地方。

Changing the world doesn’t mean everyone has to find the next big thing.

改变世界并不意味着每个人都要找到下一个巨大突破。

It can be It can be as simple as becoming better communicators and finding more creative ways to pass on the knowledge we have, to people like my mom and farmers in the local community.

改变世界可以很简单:成为一个更好的沟通者,用有效的方法把我们掌握的知识传递给像我母亲以及村里其他的村民。

Our society also needs to recognize that the equal distribution of knowledge is a pivotal step of human development and we will work to bring this into a reality.

我们这个社会也需要认识到知识的均衡传播是人类发展的关键环节,并应该努力让它成为现实。

And if we do that, then perhaps a teenager in rural China who is bitten by a poisonous spider will no longer have to burn his hand, but will know to seek a doctor instead.

如果我们能够做到这些,那么一个被毒蜘蛛咬伤的中国农村少年将不会忍受“火疗”,而会得到医生的专业治疗。

Thank you!

谢谢!

来源:爱语吧爱语吧作者:Penny

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