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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第120期:势不两立的科学(21)

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Owen would never again do important research, but the latter half of his career was devoted to one unexceptionable pursuit for which we can all be grateful. In 1856 he became head of the natural history section of the British Museum, in which capacity he became the driving force behind the creation of London's Natural History Museum. The grand and beloved Gothic heap in South Kensington, opened in 1880, is almost entirely a testament to his vision.
欧文再也没有从事重要的研究,但在后半生致力于一件非同寻常的事,我们对此表示感激。1856年,他成为大英博物馆自然史部主任,在那个岗位上推动了伦敦自然史博物馆的创建。那栋位于南肯辛顿的宏伟而可爱的哥特式建筑物于1880年向公众开放,几乎完全成了他远见卓识的见证。
Before Owen, museums were designed primarily for the use and edification of the elite, and even then it was difficult to gain access. In the early days of the British Museum, prospective visitors had to make a written application and undergo a brief interview to determine if they were fit to be admitted at all. They then had to return a second time to pick up a ticket—that is assuming they had passed the interview—and finally come back a third time to view the museum's treasures.
欧文之前,博物馆主要供少数精英使用和陶冶情操,连他们也很难进门。大英博物馆建立之初,想参观的人不得不写一份申请书,经过一个简单的面试,才能决定他们是否适合进场。然后,他们还得回来取票——那就是说,假如他们的面试获得通过的话——最后再次回来观看博物馆里的宝贝。
大英博物馆.jpgEven then they were whisked through in groups and not allowed to linger. Owen's plan was to welcome everyone, even to the point of encouraging workingmen to visit in the evening, and to devote most of the museum's space to public displays. He even proposed, very radically, to put informative labels on each display so that people could appreciate what they were viewing. In this, somewhat unexpectedly, he was opposed by T. H. Huxley, who believed that museums should be primarily research institutes. By making the Natural History Museum an institution for everyone, Owen transformed our expectations of what museums are for.
即使到了那个时刻,他们也只能集体参观,被赶着快速往前走,不得随便停留。欧文的计划是人人都受欢迎,甚至鼓励工人们利用晚上时间来参观。他把博物馆绝大部分的地方用来陈列公开展品。他甚至很激进地提出为每件展品安放说明,以便让人们欣赏自己眼前的东西。他在这个问题上遭到了T.H.赫胥黎的反对,这是有点儿没有想到的。赫胥黎认为,博物馆主要应当是研究机构。通过把自然史博物馆变成人人可去的地方,欧文改变了我们原先建博物馆的目的。
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grateful ['greitfəl]
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adj. 感激的,感谢的
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appreciate [ə'pri:ʃieit]
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vt. 欣赏,感激,赏识
vt. 领会,充分意
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unexceptionable [,ʌnik'sepʃənəbl]
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adj. 无懈可击的;完美无缺的;极好的
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application [.æpli'keiʃən]
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n. 应用; 申请; 专心
n. 应用软件程序
 
linger ['liŋgə]
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vt. 消磨,无所事事
vi. 逗留,消磨,徘
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devoted [di'vəutid]
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adj. 投入的,深爱的 v. 投入 vbl. 投入
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opposed [ə'pəuzd]
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adj. 反对的,敌对的 v. 和 ... 起冲突,反抗
 
institution [.insti'tju:ʃən]
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n. 机构,制度,创立
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determine [di'tə:min]
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v. 决定,决心,确定,测定
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elite [ei'li:t]
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n. 精华,精锐,中坚份子
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