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专访:科学也艺术,意象派物理学家Mario Markus的化学元素诗集 精选

已有 3580 次阅读 2013-12-19 09:48 |个人分类:Physical Science|系统分类:论文交流|关键词:科学 艺术

thumbnail image:Poetry and ChemistryMario Markus教授致力于探索“宇宙的角落”,他最初以物理学家的身份探索等离子体的不稳定性和自组织的物理化学模式,后来以艺术家、作家和诗人的身份探索人性和科学的艺术。

Mario Markus教授出生于智利,于1973年在德国海登堡大学(University of Heidelberg)取得博士学位,研究方向为等离子体的不稳定性,之后他在海登堡大学的理论物理研究所当了一年的研究助理。1975年,他加入位于德国多特蒙得的马克斯-普朗克营养生理学研究所(Max Planck Institute for Nutrition Physiology),担任研究员,1988年开始在德国多特蒙得大学(University of Dortmund)任教,并于1997年升任教授。1993年,他成为马克斯-普朗克分子生理学研究所(Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology) 的工作小组负责人。MarioMarkus教授于2010年退休,但一直是马克斯-普朗克研究所的访问学者。

在这次访谈中,Mario Markus教授向Wiley介绍了他最新的诗集。这本诗集十分有趣,因为每首诗都描述了化学元素周期表中的一种化学元素。Markus教授在访谈中还谈到了艺术可以为科学带来什么。

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Wiley:Tell us a bit how your career started, please.

向我们介绍一下您是如何开始科研生涯的。

Well, I guess my career started in high school in Chile, where I grew up. I had transformed my parents' house into an astronomical observatory and a research lab on ant behavior. The price was that I never learned to dance to Rock and Roll. Later, during my doctorate work in Heidelberg, Germany, I fell in love with self-organization, a subject that accompanied me then to Dortmund,where I became a professor and a research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology.

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Wiley:What made you interested in sciences?

您为什么会对科研感兴趣呢?

This also started in high school. In a time when no television existed yet in Chile, the lessons in chemistry and physics were like telenovelas for me. I was thrilled by wondering, what the teachers would be telling us next.

Later on, I chose to study physics because of a philosophical conviction: At that time, physics was for me the only subject that can honestly lead us to the most remote corners of the universe. In contrast, religion relies on faith, literature on the fantasy of the authors, chemistry – at that time for me – on mesoscopic empirism ...

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Wiley:What was your scientific work focused on?

您的研究领域主要是什么?

I worked mainly with self-organizing physico-chemical patterns. Amongother things, I discovered turbulence in the inorganic Belousov-Zhabotinskyreaction. And a chaotically pulsing biochemical clock.

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Wiley:What inspired you to write poems?

是什么契机让您开始写诗的?

After I had more or less completed my scientific career, I realized that there was one domain about which physics didn't give me answers, namely human nature. So I prepared myself for a journey within my old search for all“corners of the universe”. This included “painting” with the computer and writing a novel and poems.

And there was something else. The Birkhäuser-Verlag in Basel,Switzerland, edited a book called “Verknüpfungen”, meaning “Connections”, in which my computer “paintings” were put together with subjectively matching poems by Hans-Magnus Enzensgerger, Günter Kunert, Josef Reding, and others.During the editing process I got inspired by these poets.

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Wiley:So you carried on other artistic activities before you wrote the poems on the chemical elements?

所以您在给化学元素写诗之前,进行过其它形式的文艺活动?

Yes. First of all, while doing graphs on the stability of physical and chemical systems, I realized that if I “cheated” by inventing the underlying equations, I could produce astonishing graphs. I published this in the book“Die Kunst der Mathematik” and displayed it in a lot of exhibitions all over the world.

Then I wrote a science-fiction novel in Spanish, “Bilis Negra”, which wasn't much of a success. However, a comic was made out of it, which sells excellently.

Parallel to all that, verses on everyday experiences emerged and Icompiled the poems in the book “Punzadas” (“Twinges”), also in Spanish. Then I started to translate Latin American poems into German, recited them in many countries and produced bilingual CD-books. The chemical poems are just a small part of these activities.

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Wiley:Where do you get your ideas from?

您的灵感是怎么来的?

I didn't look for the particular ideas; they just appeared suddenlyafter waking up in the morning or while sitting on a train.

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Wiley:For whom are you writing the poems on the elements?

与化学元素有关的诗是写给谁的?

First of all, for all those people who think chemistry is cold and far from humanities, who say “ugh” to it. I was already disgusted in school about people like that. Secondly, I'm writing them for the literati, who reuse overand over the metaphors related to love, death, landscapes, and religion.Science renders an enormous amount of new metaphors for literati to enjoy.

The only problem, of course, is that the non-scientific reader may not understand them, so I had to give explanations along with the poems on the elements.

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Wiley:I would call your poems scientific lyrics, but how would you classify the literary style of your poems?

您的诗可以称得上是科学之颂,如果从文风上来看,您觉得属于哪一种呢?

In general, these poems may be classified into the field of Imagism, a movement that appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. One of its major representatives is the English poet Richard Aldington. Imagism is characterized by a clear, sharp, and simple language with a direct treatment of the “thing”and using absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation.

As regarding rhythm, the poems are composed in sequence of the internal musical phrase and are not bound to formal metrics.

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Wiley:Generally it is assumed that scientists cannot bring about works of literatureand art, and vice versa, as normally the range of competence of each is distributed asymmetrically. What do you think about this? Can art benefit sciences and vice versa?

人们通常认为科学家不能从事文艺创作,而文学家或艺术家也不适宜进行科学研究,因为每个人总有擅长和不擅长的地方。您觉得呢?艺术对于科学,或者科学对于艺术会不会有积极的影响呢?

For me the asymmetric distribution of the ranges of competence is a handicap. I am convinced that the great works of science derive from a non-technical intuition and fantastic, poetical assumptions: from the concept of a gravitational field through relativity to quantum mechanics, particlephysics, and cosmology. Bean counters who just rearrange that what is known are doomed to remain bean counters. Art could help them.

The same applies to poets who close their eyes to the marvels of science. Moreover, the “two cultures”, art and science, if not exactly distributed in the two halves of the brain as many people believe, a redistributed in different parts of our brains and anyone who neglects the value of one of the cultures is thus castrating (physically castrating!) oneself.

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Wiley:Your poems were published in German and Spanish as a book and you have given many readings in German, English and Spanish around the world. What kind of feedback did/do you get on your poems?

您用德语、英语和西班牙语写了许多诗歌,还出版了德语和西班牙语的诗集,读者有什么反馈吗?

People who just look at the books are not always enthusiastic. However,when I give a reading and I (or the person who introduces me) say/s things like those I have said in this interview, interest blossoms. Thus, I believe that for this kind of thing it is an important task to inspire people, to become a missionary for the conciliation of the two cultures.

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Wiley:Do you have any other interesting projects coming up?

接下来会尝试其它有趣的东西吗?

Oh yes! As a teenager I was a passionate butterfly collector. Now I feel very sad when I visit my old “hunting grounds” and see nothing. As a result of that I have been writing during the last years a book about the extinction of insects as well as about their amazing capacities and benefits for all of us. This book will be published in the Kosmos-Verlag, Stuttgart, atmy 70th birthday in 2014. It contains many photographs of insects that have disappeared.

Another book, which I plan to write after that, will be onquasi-two-dimensional crystals, like the ice flowers that form on windows.Their shape changes by changing the chemical composition. For this I have installeda lab in my private house near the campus. The lab is a gift from the Max Planck Institute after working there for 35 years. The aim of this book is to give instructions on producing such crystals as a hobby in people's homes.

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Wiley:Thank you for the interview.

感谢您接受采访。




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