“科学能够带来技术的进步,技术能够推动经济的发展,经济的发展使得社会向前推进,但是我觉得这个逻辑不对,科学不等于科技。”这是著名神经科学家、清华大学教授鲁白在2019 GMIC“科学复兴节”的主题演讲中的一段话。

“Science can bring about technological advances; technology can facilitate economic development; economic development pushes society forward. However, I believe the logic is wrong. Science is not equivalent to science and technology.” This is part of the keynote speech by Bai Lu, a renowned neuroscientist and professor of Tsinghua University, at the 2019 GMIC “Science Revival Festival”.

作为汤森路透“世界最有影响力的科学家”中唯一一名在中国工作的神经科学家,鲁白并不满足于在业内的成就,他说现代社会把科学太功利化了,科学的确会带来技术的进步,但科学的本身是一种文化,他希望致力于这种文化的传播。

As the only neuroscientist working in China among “the world’s most influential scientists” nominated by Thomson Reuters, Bai Lu is not content with industry-wise achievements. He claimed that modern society has made science too utilitarian. Science does promote technological development, but science itself is a culture, and he desires to be committed to cultural transmission.

2015年,鲁白与北京大学教授饶毅、美国普林斯顿大学教授谢宇共同创办新媒体平台《知识分子》,期望以此推动国内科学思想的复兴。

In 2015, Bai Lu co-founded the new media platform “The Intellectual” with Professor Yi Rao of Peking University and Professor Yu Xie of Princeton University, with the expectation of stimulating the revival of domestic scientific outlook.

在被科技惯坏了的今天,人们已经变得越来越懒,懒于质疑,懒于思考。鲁白认为,一个社会的进步永远不是被大众来导向的,纵观人类历史上的发展,总是由少部分精神领袖把他们的思想通过各种各样的方式进行传播,从而推动全社会的进步。

Nowadays, as spoiled by technology, people are becoming lazier to question and ponder. Bai Lu believes that the progress of a society is never led by the masses. Based on the development of human history, more often than not, it’s a small number of spiritual pioneers who spread their philosophy in various ways, hence advancing the whole society.

本期《艾问顶级人物》,艾问创始人艾诚对话鲁白,让我们试着了解科学。

In this issue of “iAsk Top Leaders”, iAsk Founder Gloria Ai spoke with Bai Lu. Let’s try to understand science.

科学被功利化了?

Has science become utilitarian?

艾诚:今年全球移动互联网大会的“科学复兴”主题,是您和长城会创始人文厨一起来发起的,为什么会提出这个概念?

Gloria Ai: The theme of “Scientific Revival” of the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) this year was initiated by you and Chu Wen, Founder of the Great Wall Club (GWC). Why did you propose this concept?

鲁白:一个是时代的原因,时代已经进步到了今天。另外一个是经过我们一批人的努力,逐渐形成了一个共识——科学是一种生活方式。

Bai Lu: One of the triggers is the era, which has progressed thus far. The other reason is that with the endeavors of a group of people, a consensus has gradually been reached – Science is a way of life.

人类除了衣、食等各种生理需求之外,还有其他追求,其中有一项叫做好奇心。人的好奇心是极强的,渴望探索未知。这种探索的欲望也是生活的一部分,我们过去太穷,不太想这个问题,但今天这已经是人生非常重要的一部分。

In addition to various physiological needs such as clothing and food, human beings have other pursuits, one of which is called curiosity. Human beings have extremely strong curiosity, with the eagerness to explore the unknown. This desire to explore is also part of life. We used to be too impoverished to care about it, but today it has become a very crucial part of life.

艾诚:但由好奇心驱动去探索未知,等同于科学的复兴吗?

Gloria Ai: But is the exploration for the unknown driven by curiosity equivalent to science revival?

鲁白:是科学的一个重要组成部分。关于科学的一个最简单解释就是探索未知,从古希腊开始,人类想要了解自然、了解自我,这就是科学最最基本的东西。而且科学作为一种人类活动,它背后最大的一个驱动力也是好奇心。

Bai Lu: It is a vital component of science. One of the simplest explanations about science is to explore the unknown. Since ancient Greece, human beings have been trying to understand nature and themselves. This is the utmost fundamental in science. In addition, as a human activity, science’s biggest driving force is also curiosity.

艾诚:具体到科学复兴的过程,您希望大家能学习到什么?了解什么?

Gloria Ai: With regard to the detailed process of science revival, what do you expect people to learn or understand?

鲁白:提到复兴大家可能会想到文艺复兴,文艺复兴是复兴古希腊对艺术、对科学、对哲学的追求,引发了一场资本主义革命。我觉得现在中国整个社会需要对科学有一个逐渐提高的认知,政府要对科学更加重视,我们科学家要更多地投入到与社会的互动里去,这是科学复兴的一个基本内涵,其实就是科学传媒。

Bai Lu: When it comes to revival, people may think of the Renaissance. The Renaissance is the revival of ancient Greece’s pursuit of art, science, and philosophy, which triggered the Capitalist Revolution. I feel that the whole Chinese society needs to enhance its understanding of science gradually. The government should value science more. Scientists should be more devoted to interacting with society. This is a fundamental connotation of scientific revival, which in essence is science transmission.

艾诚:现在大家会有一个误解是说科学好就是技术好?技术好就是经济好?

Gloria Ai: Nowadays there is a common misunderstanding that scientific achievements equal promising technology, which further leads to great economy?

鲁白:这里面有一个误导,把科学太功利化了。科学的确会带来技术的进步,但科学的本身是一种文化,这种文化会带来各种做法,我们称之为科学精神。譬如说批判精神,譬如说好奇心、创造性,譬如说通过对话、辩论,能够把一个事情给分析清楚。科学精神不是明显的有一种应用,但对社会文明的进步是非常重要的,所以在提倡科学复兴的时候,我们更多的是宣扬科学精神,希望大家都能把科学精神贯穿到自己的行为当中去。

Bai Lu: It is a misunderstanding, which makes science too utilitarian. Science does bring about technological progress, but science itself is a culture that initiates a variety of practices, which we call the scientific spirit. For example, it is demonstrated as the spirit of criticism, curiosity, creativity, or the ability to analyze through discussions and debates. Scientific spirit cannot be applied in practice, but it is crucial to the advancement of social civilization. Therefore, when promoting science revival, we focus more on popularizing the scientific spirit. We hope that everyone can incorporate such spirit into their behaviors.

或许这和社会大众的理解不同,但是一个社会的进步永远不是被大众来导向的,你看人类历史上的发展,总是由少部分精神领袖,把他们的思想通过各种各样的方式来传播,然后推动全社会的进步。所以我做的这个尝试其实非常值得,包括我们在做《知识分子》时也提出一个口号,叫做“影响有影响力的人”。

Perhaps it differs from the understanding of the general public, but the advancement of a society is never led by the masses. Based on the development of human history, more often than not, it’s a small number of spiritual pioneers who spread their philosophy in various ways, hence advancing the whole society. Therefore, the attempt I made was actually worthwhile, just like how we proposed the slogan on “The Intellectual”, i.e. “Influence the influential”.

科学家每天需要获取什么人生奖励?

What life rewards do scientists need every day?

艾诚:科学家是一个什么样的群体?

Gloria Ai: What are the features of the scientist group?

鲁白:科学家就是从事科学研究的人,他可能是大学教授,也可能是研究所的研究员。从事科学研究的人有这么几个驱动力,首先,就是刚才我说过的好奇心,这个是最原始的驱动力;

Bai Lu: Scientists are those who are engaged in scientific research. They may be a college professor or a researcher at a research institute. There are several driving forces for people dedicated to scientific research. First of all, curiosity, which I mentioned earlier, is the most primitive driving force;

其次,被同行认可是科学家非常看重的,在科学杂志上发表论文,才可以真正定义自己;

Secondly, being acknowledged by peers is very valuable to scientists. Only by publishing a paper in a scientific journal can you truly position yourself.

第三个驱动力,是战胜强者的满足感,很多科学家的快感来自于把最强的对手打败。

The third driving force is the satisfaction of defeating the strong. Plentiful scientists take pleasure in defeating the strongest rival.

艾诚:那您自己呢?为什么要创办《知识分子》?

Gloria Ai: What about yourself? Why did you establish “The Intellectual”?

鲁白:我希望大家对科学有一个完整的认知,应该让大家知道,科学家首先是人,有很多科学家是非常有趣的人。我在《知识分子》创立之初也曾提到过,我把生活分成四种,常见的两种是物质生活和情感生活。

Bai Lu: I hope that people can have a comprehensive understanding of science. It should be commonly acknowledged that firstly scientists are people and that many scientists are also interesting. I also mentioned at the establishment of “The Intellectual” that I classified life into four categories. The two common ones are material life and emotional life.

但除此之外还有两种生活,一种是智慧生活,思考、探索和追求未知。这种生活状态在科学家群体中非常普遍,很多科学家会主动地去体验这样一种生活,每天的生活中至少有一部分是在想或做一些具有创造性的事情,探索一些解不开的结,他觉得是一种人生的奖励,就跟大家吃好吃的、喝到好酒一样的。

On top of that, there are two other types of life. One is smart life, where you think about, explore and pursue the unknown. This state of life is very common among scientists. A large number of scientists would take the initiative to experience such a life. They would think about or do certain creative things as part of their everyday life at least. Exploring some unsolved myths is a life reward for them, just like how people enjoy great food or alcohol.

最后还有一种生活,精神生活。这种不太常见,就是当我们突然体验到了比现在的人生要更宽广的世界,譬如认知到了外太空的事物。

The last type is spiritual life, which is less common. It happens when we suddenly experience a much broader horizon than the current life, such as recognizing beings in outer space.

艾诚:那么作为一个脑科学家,您被问到最多的问题是什么?

Gloria Ai: What is the most frequently asked question as a neuroscientist?

鲁白:被问到最多的一个问题是人工智能会不会有一天取代我们的人脑,人类会不会被人工智能统治。但这实在是一个多余的担忧。

Bai Lu: One of the most frequently asked questions is whether artificial intelligence will one day replace our human brain, and whether human beings will be ruled by artificial intelligence. Frankly, this is seriously an unnecessary concern.

从脑科学的层面来看,人脑大概可以分成五个功能:第一个是感知外周的世界,这叫感觉功能;第二个是运动功能,我可以对外界实行某一种力或作用;第三个是记忆,就是我对外界的信息会处理、储藏;第四个层面叫认知功能,会思考、会分析、会判断,会做出各种各样智慧的活动;第五个层面是情感。

From the perspective of brain science, the human brain basically serves five functions: firstly, the ability to interpret the outside world, namely sensory function; secondly, motor skills, meaning the ability to exert a certain force or effect on the outside world; thirdly, memory, i.e. the ability to process and store the information from the outside world; fourthly, cognitive function, which is the ability to think, analyze, judge and executive various intelligent activities; the fifth one is emotion.

在感知跟运动这两个方面,我们逐渐会被人工智能给取代。但有两个一定是人工智能无法取代的,一个是意识和自我意识,人有自我意识,知道自己活着,知道自己在讲话,这是人类所特有的非常高级的大脑功能。第二个是创造性,我们的大脑有一个可变的过程,大脑用得越多,做得越好。这个变是人类拥有创造性的基础,也是人工智能无法做到的。

In terms of sensory and motor functions, artificial intelligence will gradually outdo human beings. However, two capabilities will absolutely not be replaced by artificial intelligence. The first one is consciousness and self-awareness. Human beings are self-aware that they are alive and talking, which is a very advanced brain function unique to human beings. The second is creativity. The brain is able to develop. The more you use your brain, the more it develops. The development is the fundamental for human creativity and cannot be achieved by artificial intelligence.