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双语:HBO名嘴炮轰伪科学

2016-05-16    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

双语:HBO名嘴炮轰伪科学

为啥很多科研成果都像是在瞎扯淡?《上周今夜秀》名嘴告诉你答案。

On Mother’s Day, John Oliver delivered the mother of all scientific mockeries. His aim: to debunk the type of “studies” typically cited on morning talk shows such as NBC’s Today that purport to challenge conventional medical wisdom with surprising new data.
就在母亲节那天,美国HBO电视台名嘴、《上周今夜秀》的主持人约翰•奥利弗扮演了一把“伪科学斗士之母”。包括NBC电视台《今日》(Today)在内的一些早间新闻脱口秀节目,不时会引用所谓最新“研究成果”的耸人听闻的数据来挑战传统医学智慧。奥利弗此次“手撕”的就是这样的科研结果。

Illustrating how such information gets blown out of proportion by a revved-up news cycle that thrives on out-of-context and unconfirmed breakthroughs of limited scientific merit, the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight delivered a trash-talking civics lesson as a comedy of errors.
为了解释媒体是如何断章取义,并且发扬强大的宣传机器,将一些科学价值有限的科研进展吹得天花乱缀的,奥利弗给观众们上了一堂学术打假课。

“There are so many studies being thrown around, they can seem to contradict one another,” Oliver said Sunday. “In just the last few months, we’ve seen studies about coffee that claim it may reverse the effects of liver damage, help prevent colon cancer, decrease the risk of endometrial cancer and increase the risk of miscarriage.”
“现在到处都能看到所谓的研究结果,而它们有些是相互矛盾的。”奥利弗在本周日的节目中开炮道:“就在最近几个月,还有所谓的科研成果声称,喝咖啡能逆转肝损伤,并且有助于预防结肠癌,降低子宫内膜癌的风险,但同时也会增加流产的风险。”

“Coffee today is like God in the Old Testament,” he continued. “It will either save you or kill you depending on how much you believe in its magic powers.”
他继续道:“如今的咖啡就像《旧约》里的上帝。它可能会救你的命,也可能杀掉你,这取决于你有多相信它的神力。”

Publicity-hungry scientists
渴望出名的科学家

Problem A, according to the British satirist’s report, is a rush to marketplace that finds scientists under constant pressure to publish research papers in order to land funding and academic tenure. In academia, as in Hollywood, sexy sells. “Scientists know nobody is publishing a study called “Nothing is Up with Acai Berries,” Oliver noted.
这位英国嘲讽达人在节目中称,之所以会出现这种现象,问题之一在于科学界都在急着奔向市场。科学家们为了获得资金和学术终身职位,常年承受着必须发表科研论文的压力。而学术界也像好莱坞一样,通常是最“热辣”的课题反响最好。奥利弗指出:“科学家们都知道,没人会发表一篇名叫《巴西莓没啥疗效》的研究论文。”

Worse, such exploratory studies are seldom double checked by other scientists. “There is no reward for being the second person to discover something,” the host said. “There is no Nobel Prize for fact checking. Incidentally, ‘There is no Nobel Prize for fact checking’ is a motivational poster in Brian Williams’ MSNBC dressing room.”
更糟糕的是,这种探索性的研究结果很少会由其他科学家再核实一遍。“对于任何发现来说,第二个发现它的人都是拿不到奖励的。对研究成果进行核实的人不可能拿到诺贝尔奖。顺带说一句,‘诺贝尔奖不会发给真相检查者’也是布莱恩•威廉姆斯贴在MSNBC电视台更衣室里的励志海报上的词儿。(此处又是在黑威廉姆斯炮制假新闻的事儿。)

Dumbed down science
郁闷的科学

From there, he explained, scientific press releases further dumb-down and misrepresent the studies’ informational content. And by the time broadcast news reports mainline those into popular consciousness, the unconfirmed facts take on a life of their own. “Some of this is on us, the viewing audience,” Oliver said. “We like fun, poppy science that we can share like gossip. And TV news producers know it.”
奥利弗继续解释道,除此之外,科技媒体还会发布进一步断章取义的报道,并对这些科研成果的内容信息进行误读。等到广播电视新闻节目大张旗鼓地将这些已被高度简化的知识灌输给普罗大众时,这些未经确认的事实也有了自己的生命力。“这个问题的部分责任也在我们广大观众。人们都喜欢有趣的科学养生知识,这样我们就可以在朋友圈传来传去了。而电视新闻的制片人们也明白这一点。”

Exhibit A: KTVU News report from last year stating that drinking one to three glasses of champagne per week may delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. “Fantastic news!” an anchorman snorted.
举个例子:KTVU电视台去年的一则新闻报道称,每周喝一到三杯香槟,可能会推迟痴呆症和阿尔茨海默症的发作时间。“这消息简直好得不得了!”电视主持人说道。

“No it isn’t!” said Oliver. “Aside from the fact that if you are celebrating with champagne three times a week, your standards of celebration need to be much higher!” More to the point, it turns out that widely cited study was conducted on rats. Which is problematic considering tests conducted on lab rodents are not always applicable to humans. “How do you not tell people that? And how do you not show them photos of the experiments?” Oliver railed, cutting away to a supposed photo of the experiments: a pair of hipster rats wearing fashionable hats and holding flutes of champagne near giant lines of cocaine. “Those are chic rats!”
“但并非这么回事!”奥利弗继续说:“更何况,如果你每周开三次香槟庆祝好事,其实你的庆祝标准也该提高了。” 更重要的是,事实证明,许多被媒体广泛引用的科研成果都是在老鼠身上实验的。而这相当有问题,因为有些测试对实验室的小白鼠管用,未必对人类也管用。“你为什么不告诉人们这一点?你为什么不把实验的照片给他们看?”奥利弗质问到此处,将画面切换到了一组所谓的“实验用小白鼠”上:两只颇有嬉皮士派头的小老鼠各戴一顶非常时髦的帽子,手里端着香槟,身边是一排排相比之下显得十分巨大的可卡因粉。“这些老鼠真时尚啊!”

Even Ted Talks are suspect
连Ted演讲也很可疑

But Oliver made clear that “morning show-style science” isn’t the exclusive province of television. He pointed toward a 2011 Ted Talk by Paul Zak, during which the neuroeconomist extolled a “moral molecule:” the hormone oxytocin which is manufactured by the human body during a certain physical exchange. “Here’s your prescription from Dr. Love,” Zak says, referring to himself in the third person in a clip from the Ted Talk. “Eight hugs a day. We have found that people who release more oxytocin are happier.”
不过奥利弗也指出,“早间新闻秀”式的半吊子科学并非只是电视台的专宠。他提到了2011年由保罗•扎克主讲的一次Ted演讲。在这次演讲中,这位神经经济学家对一种“道德分子”大加吹捧。这种神奇的分子其实就是人体所分泌的一种激素——催产素,它在人体的某些身体接触的过程中也会分泌。“这就是姓‘爱’的医生给你开的处方。”扎克在那次演讲中这样说道,这位“爱医生”显然说的就是他自己。“每天8个拥抱。我们发现,分泌催产素更多的人会更快乐。”

Grimacing, Oliver proceeded to gleefully shred “Dr. Love.” “First of all, don’t call yourself Dr. Love,” he said. “That’s the name a tabloid gives a dentist who ejaculated on his sedated patients. And second, there’s no way I would be happier giving eight hugs a day. I’m English! That’s four lifetimes’ worth of hugs.”
奥利弗做了个鬼脸,然后继续欢快地手撕“爱医生”。“首先,不要叫自己‘爱医生’,那是路边小报给对着麻醉的病人撸管的多情牙医起的名字。其次,每天跟人拥抱8次也不可能让我更快乐。我是英国人!我们活四辈子才能拥抱这么多次。”

From there, Oliver pointed out another scientific research paper from the journal Biological Psychiatry views the idea of increased oxytocin leading to increased happiness “with skepticism.” Ergo: “When a stranger calling himself Dr. Love offers to hug you eight times a day, say no!” the comedian exclaimed.
然后,奥列弗又拿出一篇《生物精神病学》(Biological Psychiatry)期刊上的科研论文,这篇论文指出,认为催产素能提高人的快乐水平的看法是“可疑的”。因此奥列弗向观众严肃警告道:“如果有个怪蜀黍管自己叫‘爱医生’,提出要每天拥抱你8次,一定要拒绝哦!”

Up next on “Today”
怒撕NBC《今日》

Oliver saved his most potent vitriol for NBC’s Todaywhich “lives for scientific studies” according to its own self-description. That much was teed up in a clip featuring co-hosts Natalie Morales and Tamron Hall gently arguing about the health benefits of whole milk vis a vis scientific studies regarding its pros and cons. They were interrupted by weatherman Al Roker, who opined: “You find the study that sounds best to you. And go with that.”
奥利弗把最猛的火力留给了NBC电视台《今日》栏目。根据该栏目的自我描述,它就是“为了科学研究而活”的。这时奥列弗插入了一段视频,内容是《今日》主持人娜塔丽•莫拉莱斯和塔玛龙•豪尔正在煞有介事地争论全脂牛奶的利弊,并各自搬出了一些科研成果作为理论依据。这时他们的争论被天气预报的主持人艾尔•洛克打断了,他发表了自己的意见:“你只要找到听起来最适合你的科学研究,然后按它说的做就行了。”

“No! No! No!” Oliver said, slamming his hand against his desk. “If you start thinking that science is a la carte and if you don’t like it, another study will be along soon, that is what leads people to believe man-made climate change isn’t real. Or thatvaccines cause autism—both of which the scientific consensus is pretty clear on.”
“不!不!不!”奥利弗一边说一边用手拍着桌子。“你以为科学是点菜吗?如果你不喜欢这一道,另一道马上就来了?正因为这样,才导致有人相信人为的气候变化不是真的;也正因为这样,才有人相信疫苗会导致自闭症。而对这两个问题,科学界的共识已经十分清楚了。”

“Is science bullshit?” Oliver asked at one point. “No, but there is a lot of bullshit currently masquerading as science.”
“科学是扯淡吗?”奥利弗自问自答道:“不是的,但是当前冒充科学来扯淡的,实在太多了。”(财富中文网)

Chris Lee is a former staff writer forEntertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek andThe Daily Beast. He covers entertainment, culture and business in Los Angeles.
本文作者Chris Lee曾任《娱乐周刊》、《洛杉矶时报》、《新闻周刊》和《野兽日报》等媒体的特约撰稿人,主要报道洛杉矶地区与娱乐、文化和商业有关的话题。

译者:朴成奎



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