首位在哈佛毕业典礼致辞的中国农村小伙,都讲了点啥?

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美国东部时间2016年5月26日上午10点,何江,一名在湖南农村长大、上大学才第一次进城的中国小伙儿,站在了哈佛大学毕业典礼的讲台上。作为哈佛研究生优秀毕业生代表,他发表了题为《蜘蛛咬伤轶事》的主题演讲,成为了哈佛历史上第一位享此殊荣的中国大陆学生。他在演讲中到底说了什么?一起来看看吧!



在演讲中,何江从自己在湖南农村长大时的经历谈起,进而阐述了科学发展对于贫困落后地区的意义:“比以往任何时候,我们的社会都更强调科学和创新。但我们的社会同样需要关注的一个重心是将知识传递到那些真正需要的地方。改变世界并不意味着每个人都要做一个大突破。”


“改变世界可以非常简单”。在演讲的最后,何江说,“改变世界也意味着我们的社会,作为一个整体,能够更清醒地认识到科技知识更加均衡的分布,是人类社会发展的一个关键环节,而我们也能够一起奋斗将此目标变成现实。”



哈佛毕业典礼上,外围观众从大屏幕上观看何江的演讲直播


从偏远地区的农家子弟,到哈佛大学毕业生,何江的成长历程颇为艰辛。他曾经居住的小镇直到九十年代才通电,而何江一家不仅始终点油灯来节省开支,更和邻居们自己挖井打水喝。


 “教育资源也是相当的有限。” 何江这样说道。他和他的哥哥每天要走90多分钟才能翻山越岭到达他们那个曾经因暴雨而垮塌的简陋的学校,甚至连那里的数学老师都是一个屠夫兼职的。那时候,何江从没有想过自己会有机会来到哈佛这样的学校学习。他从没有出过他所在的村镇,更没有用过电脑,直到2005年成为他们家族的第一位大学生。


已经在哈佛大学获得分子细胞生物学博士学位的何江最近已被麻省理工大学聘为博士后研究者,并在《细胞生物学》(The Journal of Cell Biology)、《实验医学》(The Journal of Experimental Medicine) 等多家学术期刊中发表研究成果。他在哈佛的研究着重于单分子成像技术以及这项技术在生物过程研究,尤其是病毒感染领域的应用。


更宽泛地说,何江希望把这项医学领域的进步带到依然欠发达的地区,比如他的故乡。他更希望毕业典礼上,在座的每一位即将成为科学家、成为医生的毕业生,能和他有一样的想法。


 “我经历了从乡野到现代化生活的巨大反差,更清楚地了解到知识和科技分布的不均衡性。” 何江说,“我们可以非常容易地通过分享和交流现代世界的知识给欠发达的地区来帮助在那里的人们,这就是一直激励我写下这篇演讲稿并把这个理念传递给更多人的动力。我希望在这全新的航程的起点,能够唤醒所有哈佛毕业生的初心。”



哈佛毕业典礼在礼堂举行



演讲全文
中文版



当我在上中学的时候,一次被一只有毒的蜘蛛咬了一口,我哭着跑向母亲求助。然而母亲并没有领着我去看医生,相反,她点燃了我的手。她将我的手用浸过白酒的棉布摩擦包扎之后,在我的嘴巴里塞进一支筷子让我咬着,然后就点着了棉布。


热量快速地穿过棉布直击我的皮肤,烘烤着我的手背。这种撕心裂肺的疼痛让我想要尖叫,但是却叫不出声,因为嘴里还咬着筷子。我所能做的只有盯着我的手看,一分钟,两分钟,直到母亲吹灭了火。


你可以看出我所成长的地方,一个中国的小村庄,在那个时候,还未工业化。当我出生的时候,我的村庄里还没有汽车,没有电话,没有电力,甚至没有自来水,更不用提现代化的医疗资源。在那里没有母亲可以领着我去看我被蜘蛛咬伤的伤口的医生。


对于那些学习生物的学生,你们或许已经看出来了我母亲这种民间疗法的科学依据:热量使蛋白质失活,而蜘蛛的毒液充斥着蛋白质。很厉害吧?这种民间疗法怎么会和现代科学这么契合,不是吗?但作为一个哈佛生物化学方向的博士生,我现在知道了一个更好的、疼痛更少、风险更小的疗法。


所以,我不禁问我自己,为什么我那个时候没有得到这样的治疗呢?这件事已经过去15年了,我可以很开心地向你们报告,我的手完好无损。但是那个问题依旧萦绕在我的脑海里,科学知识在世界上不均衡分布的问题也持续困扰着我。


我们学会了编辑人类的基因谱,揭示了许多有关癌症的秘密,我们可以轻易操纵神经元的活动,每年我们在生物化学领域都有着无数进步和成就。然而,我们却没有成功地将这些我们已有的知识传递给那些最需要它们的地方。


每年有12%的人口每天仅靠不足2美元生活,每年有300万儿童死于营养不良,全球有3亿人受到疟疾的侵扰。我们持续地看到贫困、疾病,和资源匮乏阻碍着科学的传播。那些我们习以为常,救人于水火之中的知识在那些欠发达地区非常匮乏,所以直至今日都还有人用火烧来治疗被蜘蛛咬下的伤口。


当我在哈佛学习时,我彻底明白了科学知识是怎样以一种简单却深刻的方式帮助他人的。2000年流感暴发,我的故乡像被魔鬼下了咒语一样一蹶不振,民间医术根本难以找到治疗方法。农民们不知道流感与普通感冒的差别,他们更不知道流感远远比普通感冒致死率高,他们中的绝大多数人不了解病毒是可以在牲畜之间传播的。


所以当我第一次了解到简单的卫生操作,比如隔离不同的牲畜可以帮助限制疾病,能够帮助我的故乡更便捷地获得这类知识的时候,我对我所从事行业的职业观念的理解有了一次重大转折,这也改变了我作为地球村一员的自我理解。


哈佛鼓励我们去梦想,去渴望,去改变世界。今天在毕业典礼上,我们是应该去考虑宏伟的目标,但对我来说,我也关心我故乡的村民们。


我的经历提醒着我,研究者们传递自己的知识给需要的人有多么重要。有了科学,我们可以将成千上万像我故乡一样的地区拉进这个我们已经习以为常的世界,这,是我们每个人都可以做的一件事。但问题是,我们是否愿意为此努力?


改变世界不代表每个人都要去发现什么伟大的东西,简单地成为一个传递者,把我们已有的知识带给这个地球村里无数像我母亲一样的人,就已经很好。


我们的社会应该消灭知识鸿沟,这是人类进步不可或缺的一步,需要我们来实现。如果我们行动了,兴许再有来自中国偏远地区的小男孩,当他被蜘蛛咬的时候,他会知道去看医生,而不是用火烧他的手。


谢谢!




 Commencement Speech
by JIANG HE



When I was in middle school, a poisonous spider bit my right hand. I ran to my mom for help, but instead of taking to a doctor, my Mom set my hand on fire. After rubbing my hand with several mares of cotton then soaked in wine,she put a chopstick into my mouth and ignited the cotton.


Heat quickly penetrated  the cotton and began to roast my hand. The searing pain made me want to scream but the chopstick prevented it. All I could do was watch my hand bone, one minute, then two minutes, until my mom put off the fire.


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


There was no doctor my mother could bring me to see about this spider bite. For those who study Biology, you may have brought the science behind my mom’s cure: heat deactivates proteins and the spider venom is full of protein. It’s cool how could this folk remedy incorporate with the base of  biochemistry, isn’t it?


But I am a Ph.D student in Biochemistry study at Harvard, I now know a better, less painful and less risky treatment existed. So, I can’t help but ask myself, why I did’t receive one at that time?


Fifteen years have passed since that incident, I am happy to report that my hand is fine. But this question lingers and I continued to be troubled by the unequal distribution of scientific knowledge throughout the world.


We have learn to edit the human geneal and uncover many secrets of how cancer progressing. We can manipulate neuron activity literally with the switch of light. Each year with more advances in Biomedical research, exciting transformative accomplishment.


Yet despite the knowledge we had on that, we haven’t be so successful deploying it to where need it most. According to the World Bank, 12% of world population lives on less than 2 dollars a day.


Malnutrition kills more than 3 millions children annually. Three hundred million people are afflicted by Malaria globally. All over the world, we constantly see the problem of poverty, illness and lack of resources impeding the flow scientific information.


Life-saving knowledge took for granted in our modern world is over-unavailable in the underdeveloped regions. And so, in far to many places, people are still essentially trying to cure a spider bite with fire.


While studying at Harvard, I saw how scientific knowledge can help others in simple, in profound ways. The burst through pandemic in 2000 took my village like a spell cast by demons.


Our folk medicine didn’t even have half-mattress offer. What’s more, farmers did not know the difference between the common cold and flu. They did not understand that the flu is much more lethal than common cold. Most of all are also unaware that the virus are transmitted  by animal species.


So when I realize that simple hygiene practices like separate different animal species could help contain this kind of disease and that I could help this kind of knowledge available to my village.


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


Harvard dares us to dream big, to aspire, to change the world. Here on this Commencement Day, we are appropriate the thinking of grand destination that wait us .


As for me, I am also thinking of the farmers in my village. My experience here reminds me how important it is for researchers to communicate our knowledges, to those who need it. Because by using the science we already have, we can proper my village and thousands like it into the world you and I take for granted every day and that’s an impact every one of us can made.


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


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


Changing the world doesn’t mean that everyone should find the next big thing. It can be a simplest to become a better communicator and find more creative ways to pass on the knowledge we had, to people like my mom and farmers in the local communities.


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


And if we do that, then perhaps a teenager in rural China with a beat by a poisonous spider will no longer burn his hand but will know to see a doctor instead.


Thank you !



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