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2018-11-25   第三周阅读,本文摘自2018/11/17期China版.


Tsinghua University may soon top the world league in SCIence research




TSINGHUA UNIVERSITY was born out of national humiliation. It was founded in the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion(义和团运动) —an anti-foreign uprising in 1900—and paid for with the reparations exacted from China by America. Now Tsinghua is a major source of Chinese pride as it contend s for accolades for research in SCIence, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). In 2013-16 it produced more of the top 1% most highly cited papers in maths and computing, and more of the 10% most highly cited papers in STEM, than any other university in the world, reckons Simon Marginson of Oxford University (see chart). The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) still leads in the top 1% of STEM papers, but Mr Marginson says Tsinghua is on track to be "number one in five years or less'.

引读:介绍清华大学简要建校历史背景及概述其在 STEM 领域(科学/技术/工程/数学))取得的重大进步.


1.  aftermath   the period of time after something such as awar, storm, or accident when people are still dealing with the results 〔战争/风暴/事故的〕后果,余殃,余波 :

2.  contend  to compete against someone in order to gainsomething 竞争 ; 争夺 :

3.  accolade  praise for someone who is greatly admired, or aprize given to them for their work 荣誉 ; 嘉奖,奖励 :


Tsinghua and Peking University are modelled on Western research universities. The two are also neighbours andrivals, China's Oxford and Cambridge. Tsinghua is the conventional, practic alone—the alma mater of many of the country's leaders, including the current one, Xi Jinping, and Hu Jintao, his predecessor . Peking University is the home of poets, philosophers and rebels; Mao Zedong worked in the library, and the university was at the forefront of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 . Likeother Chinese universities, the two foremost ones all but ceased to function during Mao's Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s; rival Red Guard factions waged bloody struggles for control of Tsinghua. But both quickly rebounded. Tsinghua retained its SCIentific bent and became the principal beneficiary of the country's boom in STEM research.



    1.    sb's alma mater  the school, college etc that someone used toattend 某人的母校

    2.    predecessor   someone whohad your job before you started doing it 前任 ;

    3.    wage   to be involved in a war against someone, or afight against something 发动,进行〔战争/斗争〕 :

    4.    beneficiary  someone who gets advantages from an action orchange 受益者,受惠者 :


Since 1995 the central government has mount ed a series of efforts, involving billions of dollars in spending, to turnChina's best universities into  world-class ones. First came Project 211, which aimed to improve around 100 institutions to make them fit for the 21st century. The latest incarnation of this scheme is the Double First Class Plan, which was launched in 2015. Its goal is to foster world standards in two groups, one consisting of leading universities and the other of select departments in awider range of institutions.



    1.   mount   organize, and begin an event or a course of action 准备 ; 安排 ; 组织 ; 开展 :

    2.   world-class   among the best in the world 世界第一流水平的 :

    3.   incarnation   a period oftime when someone or something has a particular job, use etc 〔某人做某项工作,某物的用途等的〕阶段 : (也可表示前世,某事物的化身)


Money is the lever . The funding system motivates universities to produce top-class research. Universities, in turn,give their academics an incentive to do so. A study by three Chinese researchers, published last year, noted that payments for getting a paper published had risen steadily from the $25 that was offered nearly 30 years agoby Nanjing University, the first university to give such rewards. Now such bonuses range up to $165,000—20 times the annual salary of an average academic—for a paper in Nature, depending on the institution. The system has responded. China's share of STEM papers in Scopus, the world's biggest catalogue of abstracts and citations, rose from 4% in 2000 to 19% in 2016, morethan America's contribution.

引读: 介绍中国科研产出量大(含清华在STEM领域取得科研成就)原因之一-----基 金支持和奖励机制


    1.   lever   a stick or handle on a machine or piece of equipment, thatyou move to operate it 〔机器或设备的〕控制杆,操纵杆 : (也可指手段/方式)


Tsinghua creams off the bestresearchers. And, like China itself, when it comes to scoring, it benefits fromits size. PhD students are the workforce of the research business. In 2017 theuniversity awarded 1,385 doctorates (some recipients are pictured), comparedwith 645 conferred by MIT. But numbers are not the main reason for Tsinghua'ssuccess. Yang Bin, its vice-president, says "the most important moment in thedevelopment of Tsinghua' was in 1978, when Deng Xiaoping said China would sendlarger numbers of students abroad. "We need to send tens of thousands,' Dengsaid. "This is one of the key ways of…improving our level of SCIentificeducation.' Officials worried that few of them would return, but Deng insistedthat enough would. He was right.


Forty years on, Tsinghua and the country's other top universities are reaping the rewards. The return flow of highly trained people is gathering pace. The government has provided extraresources to attract them. Tsinghua cannot match the best American packages,but it can offer six-figure dollar salaries—and the opportunity for young parents to bring up their children in their own culture. Qian Yingyi (Columbia,Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and subsequently dean of Tsinghua's school of economics and management) and Shi Yigong (dean of Tsinghua's school of lifeSCIences; previously at Johns Hopkins and Princeton) are among the star returnees who have transformed the university. "Those intellectuals played avery important role, changing the whole climate, raising standards,' says MrYang.



    1.    cream off  to choose the bestpeople or things from a group, especially so that you can use them for your ownadvantage 选取〔最佳的人或物〕 :

    2.    doctorates  a university degreeof the highest level 博士学位 :


Reforms in staff management havehelped, too. In 2012, in the school of which he was dean , Mr Qian replaced apersonnel system dominated by personal contacts and political clout with anAmerican-style tenure track : six years of research, then a review of performance, mainly based on published work, after which academics were hired permanently or shown the door. This approach then spread through the university. The result, says Mr Yang, is that "people work terribly hard here: the lightsare on all night, people work all weekend', hoping to get papers into leadingjournals. The speed with which their efforts have dragged Tsinghua up therankings is astonishing. In 2006-09 the university was 66th in the maths-and-computing-research league table. Now it is top. 



    1.   dean   someone in auniversity who is responsible for a particular area of work 〔大学的〕学院院长,系主任,学监 :

    2.   tenure track 又称 "up-or-out' , " 不升即离 ' 制 ,更多解释请参阅知乎 @ 张宏雷回答:


But there are worries about Tsinghua'sdirection—particularly among engineers, who used to dominate the university.Their applied skills have played a crucial role in China's modernisation, butbecause they produce relatively little cutting-edge theoretical research, theyhave been losing out under the new regime. Engineers complain that they struggle to get funding or promotion, and that the focus on research neglect stheir contribution to society.



   1.  cutting-edge  very modern and with all the newest features   領先的;最新的;尖端的


Others worry that the university isstill not cutting-edge enough. "Many Japanese people have won Nobel prizes,'says Mr Yang. "People are saying: 'Why not the Chinese?'' Mainland China hasonly one Nobel prize in SCIence, awarded to Tu Youyou for discovering ananti-malarial drug in the 1970s. Japan has 23; America has 282. Mr Yang reckonsthat the pressure to publish is problematic. "It's good for short-term results,but not for really big things, for unorthodox thinking. Too many people havethe attitude of followers. They're not entrepreneur ial enough. I say: Startsome new field. Don't care too much about recognition from peers. Risk yourwhole career.' Persuading researchers to think radically instead of incrementally would mean changing the way the system incentivises them.



    1.  unorthodox     不正统  

     2.   entrepreneur   someonewho starts a new business or arranges business deals in order to make money,often in a way that involves financial risks  企业家

     3.    incremental   happeninggradually over time  逐渐的,逐步的 :


And while China's universities forge ahead in the hard-SCIence league table, they seem less likely to triumph in thesocial SCIences. One problem is language. All the world's leading journals arepublished in English. That matters less for hard SCIentists, who communicate mostly in symbols, than for social SCIentists, who use many more words. Anacademic in Tsinghua's education department says Chinese social SCIentists complain that their best ideas are difficult to translate. "Writing papers forEnglish-language journals is like competing in an exam that is set by the West,' she quotes them as lament ing.



    1.   forge ahead  to make progress, especially quickly 〔尤指迅速地〕取得进展,突飞猛进 :

    2.   lament   to express annoyance or disappointment aboutsomething you think is unsatisfactory or unfair  抱怨 :




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