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Shakespeare or science?

文科还是理科?这是个问题

中文 英文 双语 2011-10-20    来源:21st Century      阅读数:176796
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导读:在科技快速进步、经济蓬勃腾飞的今天,科学技术似乎已经与人文艺术成了南辕北辙(at cross purposes)的两个词。学生们都期望毕业后能找一份理想的高新工作,于是文科日益受到冷落。
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文理科选择
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文科还是理科

On 21st-century campuses, is there room still for traditional literature such as Shakespeare?
在21世纪的大学校园里,还有莎士比亚此类传统文学的空间吗?

A declining number of students think so in the US–a trend that worries leaders at many top universities, where engineers often outnumber humanity students.
在美国,能给出肯定答案的学生数量越来越少,这一趋势令不少顶尖名校的领导们为之感到担忧,而这些大学的理工科学生数量往往超过人文学科学生。

Seeking to reignite interest in the liberal arts, Stanford University last month welcomed the Class of 2015 with a rich opening volley of literature and philosophy. They are designed to elevate freshmen dreams beyond cool jobs, such as working at Google.
为了激发同学们对文科的兴趣,上个月斯坦福大学在开学时为2011级的新生们献上了一场文学与哲学(联合对抗理科)的阻击战。这一安排旨在激励新生们的梦想,使他们不再紧盯像进入谷歌这样很酷的工作机会。

The 1,718 incoming students–nearly half of whom arrive intending to major in the sciences or engineering–listened to a lecture organized by the College of Humanities and Arts, where acclaimed author and physician Abraham Verghese praised the meaning, and opportunities, of a liberal arts education.
这1718名新生中近乎半数人是冲着理科或工科而来,他们听了一个由人文和艺术学院组织的讲座,在课堂上备受赞誉的作家兼内科医生亚伯拉罕•韦尔盖塞先生为新生们阐明了人文学科教育的意义与机遇。

“We’re trying to break the idea that college is just something to get through on your way to a career,” said Debra Satz, associate dean for Humanities and Arts. “It is a gift.”
“我们试图去打破这一观点,即大学只是你通往事业道路上的一个中转站。”人文艺术学院副院长黛布拉•赛兹说道,“这次活动算是一种礼物。”

In the humanities’ heyday of the mid-60s, more than 1 in 3 Stanford students majored in languages, literature, the arts, history, cultural studies and philosophy. By 1995, only about 1 in 10 did–a figure that hasn’t changed much in a decade. Meanwhile, interest in engineering, math and computer science has climbed.
在上世纪70年代中期正值人文学科鼎盛时期,斯坦福大学超过三分之一的学生主修语言学,文学,艺术,历史,文化或哲学专业。而到了1995年,只有大约十分之一的学生选择这些专业了,这一数字在之后的十年里并无太大改变。而与此同时,学生们对工程学、数学和计算机科学的兴趣与日俱增。

This trend is echoed in five decades of data from other schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Brown and Yale.
在哈佛、普林斯顿、布朗和耶鲁大学等学校过去50年的数据中,这一趋势也有所体现。

At a Stanford appearance last year, Geoffrey Harpham, director of the National Humanities Center, said the humanities must be reinvigorated and are critical to the US’ future. “The genius of this country,” he said, “is a program of education for all its citizens.”
去年,美国国家人文科学中心负责人杰弗里•哈珀姆曾现身斯坦福大学并称人文学科必须寻求复兴,这对美国的未来非常重要。他说道:“这个国家被赋予的独特之处就是全民教育计划。”

But for students who came of age in the Great Recession, the siren song of science can be tough to resist. And as tuition costs rise, fewer seem willing to explore the question: How do I live a life of true meaning?
但对于那些在经济大萧条时期长大成年的学生们来说,很难抵制来自理科的诱惑。同时,由于学费增加,很少有人愿意去探究像“我怎样才能获得真正有意义的人生?”此类的问题。

“I don’t see a lot of risk-taking,” Satz said. “Very few students are enrolled in courses like 19th Century France, or The Literature of Revolution.”
“我不觉得这要冒多大的风险。”赛兹说道,“很少有学生入学时便选择19世纪的法国或变革的文学之类的课程。

Economic anxiety is well-grounded, according to an analysis by Georgetown University. It shows that over a lifetime, the earnings of workers who majored in engineering, computer science or business were up to 50 percent higher than the earnings of those who majored in the humanities, the arts and education.
乔治城大学的一项分析显示,人们对经济形势的担忧是有理有据的。同样一生的时间里,主修工程学、计算机科学或商学的人的收入要比那些主修人文学科、艺术或教育的人高出近50%。

“Shakespeare wasn’t in it for the money. If you’re all about the money, I wouldn’t go there,” Satz said. But she added humanities students who go on to graduate school and land jobs in tech-intensive fields do just fine.
“莎士比亚醉心于文学可不是为了钱。如果你们都只是为了钱,我也不会选择文科。”赛兹说道。但她也补充说,那些继续进修读研并在技术密集型领域工作的文科学生们都做得很不错。

Of this year’s new students at Stanford University, 25 percent said they intended to major in the natural sciences; 21 percent plan to study engineering. Humanities were the primary academic interest of 17 percent.
在今年的斯坦福大学新生中,25%的人表示自己更倾向于主修自然科学;21%的人计划去学工程学。对文科首先感兴趣的学生最少,只有17%。

Magdalena Barrera is a professor of American Studies in San Jose State University. She said there’s pressure from the family to major in something practical and lots of students are putting themselves through school.
玛格达琳娜•巴雷拉是圣何塞州立大学美国研究学的一名教授。她说来自家庭的压力会迫使学生选择比较实用的专业,不少学生们正在大学中接受教育。

“Many don’t recognize that skills like writing or critical thinking can open doors to good entry-level jobs,” she said.
“许多人并没有意识到,像写作或批判性思维这样的技能能为你打开通往第一份心仪工作的大门。”马格达琳娜说道。

21英语网站版权说明  (Translator & Editor: 21英语 Gene AND Aaron)


以上文章内容选自《21世纪英文报》,详情请见《21世纪英文报》925期
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