文章來源:未知 文章作者:enread 發布時間:2017-06-12 08:39 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
Good afternoon. My remarks at this moment in our Commencement rituals are officially titled a "Report to the Alumni." The first time I delivered them, in 2008, I was the only obstacle between all of you and J.K. Rowling. I looked out on a sea of eager children, costumed Dumbledores, and Quidditch brooms waving impatiently in the air. Today, you await Mark Zuckerberg, whose wizardry takes a different form, one that has changed the world, and although he doesn't seem to have inspired an outbreak of hoodies, we certainly do have some costumes in this audience today. I see we are now handing out blankets.
This is a day of joy and celebration, of happy endings and new beginnings, of families and friends, of achievements and hopes. It is also a day when we as a university perform our most important annual ritual, affirming once again the purposes that animate1 us and the values that direct and inspire us.
I want to speak today about one of the most important - and in recent months, most contested - of these values. It is one that has provoked debate, dissent2, confrontation3, and even violence on campuses across the country, and one that has attracted widespread public attention and criticism.
I am, of course, talking about issues of free speech on university campuses. The meaning and limits of free speech are questions deeply embedded4 in our legal system, in interpretations5 of the First Amendment6 and its applications. I am no constitutional lawyer, indeed no lawyer at all, and I do not intend in my brief remarks today to address complex legal doctrines7. Nor, clearly, can I in a few brief minutes take on even a fraction of the arguments that have been advanced on this issue. Instead, I speak as one who has been a university president for a decade in order to raise three questions:
First: Why is free speech so important to and at universities?
Second: Why does it seem under special challenge right now?
And, third: How might we better address these challenges by moving beyond just defensively protecting free speech - which, of course, we must do - to actively8 and affirmatively enabling it and nurturing9 environments in which it can thrive?
So first: Why is free speech so important to and at universities? This is a question I took up with the newly arrived first-year students in the College when I welcomed them at Convocation last fall. For centuries, I told them, universities have been environments in which knowledge has been discovered, collected, studied, debated, expanded, changed, and advanced through the power of rational argument and exchange. We pursue truth unrelentingly, but we must never be so complacent10 as to believe we have unerringly attained11 it. Veritas is inspiration and aspiration12. We assume there is always more to know and discover so we open ourselves to challenge and change. We must always be ready to be wrong, so being part of a university community requires courage and humility13. Universities must be places open to the kind of debate that can change ideas and committed to standards of reason and evidence that form the bases for evaluating them.
Silencing ideas or basking14 in intellectual orthodoxy independent of facts and evidence impedes15 our access to new and better ideas, and it inhibits16 a full and considered rejection17 of bad ones. From at least the time of Galileo, we can see how repressing seemingly heretical ideas has blinded societies and nations to the enhanced knowledge and understanding on which progress depend. Far more recently, we can see here at Harvard how our inattentiveness to the power and appeal of conservative voices left much of our community astonished - blindsided by the outcome of last fall's election. We must work to ensure that universities do not become bubbles isolated18 from the concerns and discourse19 of the society that surrounds them.
Universities must model a commitment to the notion that truth cannot simply be claimed, but must be established - established through reasoned argument, assessment20, and even sometimes uncomfortable challenges that provide the foundation for truth. The legitimacy21 of universities' claim to be sources and validators of fact depends on our willingness to actively and vigorously defend those facts. And we must remember that limiting some speech opens the dangerous possibility that the speech that is ultimately censored22 may be our own. If some words are to be treated as equivalent to physical violence and silenced or even prosecuted23, who is to decide which words? Freedom of expression, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said long ago, protects not only free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought we hate. We need to hear those hateful ideas so our society is fully24 equipped to oppose and defeat them.#p#分頁標題#e#
Over the years, differences about the implementation25 of the University's free speech principles have often provoked controversy26. And we haven't always gotten it right. As long ago as 1939, an invitation from a student group to the head of the American Communist Party generated protest and the invitation was ultimately canceled by the Corporation. Bertrand Russell's appointment as William James Lecturer just a year later divided the Corporation, but President Conant broke the tie and Russell came. Campus conflicts over invited speakers are hardly new.
Yet the vehemence27 with which these issues have been debated in recent months, not just on campuses but in the broader public sphere, suggests there is something distinctive28 about this moment. Certainly, these controversies29 reflect a highly polarized political and social environment - perhaps the most divisive since the era of the Civil War. And in these already fractious circumstances, free speech debates have provided a fertile substrate into which anger and disagreement could be planted to nourish partisan30 outrage31 and generate media clickbait. But that is only a partial explanation.
Universities themselves have changed dramatically in recent years, reaching beyond their traditional, largely homogeneous populations to become more diverse than perhaps any other institution in which Americans find themselves living together. Once overwhelmingly white, male, Protestant, and upper class, Harvard College is now half female, majority minority, religiously pluralistic, with nearly 60 percent of students able to attend because of financial aid. Fifteen percent are the first in their families to go to college. Many of our students struggle to feel full members of this community - a community in which people like them have so recently arrived. They seek evidence and assurance that - to borrow the title of a powerful theatrical32 piece created by a group of our African-American students - evidence and assurance that they, too, are Harvard.
The price of our commitment to freedom of speech is paid disproportionately by these students. For them, free speech has not infrequently included enduring a questioning of their abilities, their humanity, their morality - their very legitimacy here. Our values and our theory of education rest on the assumption that members of our community will take the risk of speaking and will actively compete in our wild rumpus of argument and ideas. It requires them as well to be fearless in face of argument or challenge or even verbal insult. And it expects that fearlessness even when the challenge is directed to the very identity - race, religion, gender33, ethnicity, sexual orientation34, nationality - that may have made them uncertain about their right to be here in the first place. Demonstrating such fearlessness is hard; no one should be mocked as a snowflake for finding it so.
Hard, but important and attainable35. Attainable, we believe, for every member of our community. But the price of free speech cannot be charged just to those most likely to become its target. We must support and empower the voices of all the members of our community and nurture36 the courage and humility that our commitment to unfettered debate demands from all of us. And that courage means not only resilience in face of challenge or attack, but strength to speak out against injustices37 directed at others as well.
Free speech doesn't just happen and require intervention38 when it is impeded39. It is not about the freedom to out-shout others while everyone has their fingers in their ears. For free speech to flourish, we must build an environment where everyone takes responsibility for the right not just to speak, but to hear and be heard, where everyone assumes the responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect. It requires not just speakers, but, in the words of James Ryan, dean of our Graduate School of Education, generous listeners. Amidst the current soul-searching about free speech, we need to devote more attention to establishing the conditions in which everyone's speech is encouraged and taken seriously.
Ensuring freedom of speech is not just about allowing speech. It is about actively creating a community where everyone can contribute and flourish, a community where argument is relished40, not feared. Freedom of speech is not just freedom from censorship; it is freedom to actively join the debate as a full participant. It is about creating a context in which genuine debate can happen.
Talk a lot, I urged the Class of 2020 last fall; listen more. Don't stand safely on the sidelines; take the risk of being wrong. It is the best way to learn and grow. And build a culture of generous listening so that others may be emboldened41 to take risks, too. A community in a shared search for Veritas - that is the ideal for which Harvard must strive. We need it now more than ever.#p#分頁標題#e#
Thank you.


1 animate 3MDyv     
  • We are animate beings,living creatures.我們是有生命的存在,有生命的動物。
  • The girls watched,little teasing smiles animating their faces.女孩們注視著,臉上掛著調皮的微笑,顯得愈加活潑。
2 dissent ytaxU     
  • It is too late now to make any dissent.現在提出異議太晚了。
  • He felt her shoulders gave a wriggle of dissent.他感到她的肩膀因為不同意而動了一下。
3 confrontation xYHy7     
  • We can't risk another confrontation with the union.我們不能冒再次同工會對抗的危險。
  • After years of confrontation,they finally have achieved a modus vivendi.在對抗很長時間后,他們最后達成安寧生存的非正式協議。
4 embedded lt9ztS     
  • an operation to remove glass that was embedded in his leg 取出扎入他腿部玻璃的手術
  • He has embedded his name in the minds of millions of people. 他的名字銘刻在數百萬人民心中。
5 interpretations a61815f6fe8955c9d235d4082e30896b     
n.解釋( interpretation的名詞復數 );表演;演繹;理解
  • This passage is open to a variety of interpretations. 這篇文章可以有各種不同的解釋。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • The involved and abstruse passage makes several interpretations possible. 這段艱澀的文字可以作出好幾種解釋。 來自《現代漢英綜合大詞典》
6 amendment Mx8zY     
  • The amendment was rejected by 207 voters to 143.這項修正案以207票對143票被否決。
  • The Opposition has tabled an amendment to the bill.反對黨已經就該議案提交了一項修正條款。
7 doctrines 640cf8a59933d263237ff3d9e5a0f12e     
n.教條( doctrine的名詞復數 );教義;學說;(政府政策的)正式聲明
  • To modern eyes, such doctrines appear harsh, even cruel. 從現代的角度看,這樣的教義顯得苛刻,甚至殘酷。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
  • His doctrines have seduced many into error. 他的學說把許多人誘入歧途。 來自《現代漢英綜合大詞典》
8 actively lzezni     
  • During this period all the students were actively participating.在這節課中所有的學生都積極參加。
  • We are actively intervening to settle a quarrel.我們正在積極調解爭執。
9 nurturing d35e8f9c6b6b0f1c54ced7de730a6241     
養育( nurture的現在分詞 ); 培育; 滋長; 助長
  • These delicate plants need careful nurturing. 這些幼嫩的植物需要精心培育。
  • The modern conservatory is not an environment for nurturing plants. 這個現代化溫室的環境不適合培育植物。
10 complacent JbzyW     
  • We must not become complacent the moment we have some success.我們決不能一見成績就自滿起來。
  • She was complacent about her achievements.她對自己的成績沾沾自喜。
11 attained 1f2c1bee274e81555decf78fe9b16b2f     
(通常經過努力)實現( attain的過去式和過去分詞 ); 達到; 獲得; 達到(某年齡、水平、狀況)
  • She has attained the degree of Master of Arts. 她已獲得文學碩士學位。
  • Lu Hsun attained a high position in the republic of letters. 魯迅在文壇上獲得崇高的地位。
12 aspiration ON6z4     
  • Man's aspiration should be as lofty as the stars.人的志氣應當象天上的星星那么高。
  • Young Addison had a strong aspiration to be an inventor.年幼的愛迪生渴望成為一名發明家。
13 humility 8d6zX     
  • Humility often gains more than pride.謙遜往往比驕傲收益更多。
  • His voice was still soft and filled with specious humility.他的聲音還是那么溫和,甚至有點謙卑。
14 basking 7596d7e95e17619cf6e8285dc844d8be     
v.曬太陽,取暖( bask的現在分詞 );對…感到樂趣;因他人的功績而出名;仰仗…的余澤
  • We sat basking in the warm sunshine. 我們坐著享受溫暖的陽光。
  • A colony of seals lay basking in the sun. 一群海豹躺著曬太陽。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
15 impedes c8c92d3198ba71918f3f4f2d50bb7bab     
阻礙,妨礙,阻止( impede的第三人稱單數 )
  • High packing density greatly impedes the cooling of the array. 高存貯密度很不利于陣列的散熱。
  • The inflexibility of the country's labor market seriously impedes its economic recovery. 該國勞工市場缺乏靈活性,這嚴重阻礙了它的經濟恢復。
16 inhibits 7fbb1ac5e38d9e83ed670404679a2310     
阻止,抑制( inhibit的第三人稱單數 ); 使拘束,使尷尬
  • A small manufacturing sector inhibits growth in the economy. 制造業規模太小有礙經濟增長。
  • His bad English inhibits him from speaking freely. 他英語學得不好,這使他不能表達自如。
17 rejection FVpxp     
  • He decided not to approach her for fear of rejection.他因怕遭拒絕決定不再去找她。
  • The rejection plunged her into the dark depths of despair.遭到拒絕使她陷入了絕望的深淵。
18 isolated bqmzTd     
  • His bad behaviour was just an isolated incident. 他的不良行為只是個別事件。
  • Patients with the disease should be isolated. 這種病的患者應予以隔離。
19 discourse 2lGz0     
  • We'll discourse on the subject tonight.我們今晚要談論這個問題。
  • He fell into discourse with the customers who were drinking at the counter.他和站在柜臺旁的酒客談了起來。
20 assessment vO7yu     
  • This is a very perceptive assessment of the situation.這是一個對該情況的極富洞察力的評價。
  • What is your assessment of the situation?你對時局的看法如何?
21 legitimacy q9tzJ     
  • The newspaper was directly challenging the government's legitimacy.報紙直接質疑政府的合法性。
  • Managing from the top down,we operate with full legitimacy.我們進行由上而下的管理有充分的合法性。
22 censored 5660261bf7fc03555e8d0f27b09dc6e5     
  • The news reports had been heavily censored . 這些新聞報道已被大幅刪剪。
  • The military-backed government has heavily censored the news. 有軍方撐腰的政府對新聞進行了嚴格審查。
23 prosecuted Wk5zqY     
  • The editors are being prosecuted for obscenity. 編輯因刊載污穢文字而被起訴。
  • The company was prosecuted for breaching the Health and Safety Act. 這家公司被控違反《衛生安全條例》。
24 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.醫生讓我先吸氣,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他們很快就完全融入了當地人的圈子。
25 implementation 2awxV     
  • Implementation of the program is now well underway.這一項目的實施現在行情看好。
26 controversy 6Z9y0     
  • That is a fact beyond controversy.那是一個無可爭論的事實。
  • We ran the risk of becoming the butt of every controversy.我們要冒使自己在所有的紛爭中都成為眾矢之的的風險。
27 vehemence 2ihw1     
  • The attack increased in vehemence.進攻越來越猛烈。
  • She was astonished at his vehemence.她對他的激昂感到驚訝。
28 distinctive Es5xr     
  • She has a very distinctive way of walking.她走路的樣子與別人很不相同。
  • This bird has several distinctive features.這個鳥具有幾種突出的特征。
29 controversies 31fd3392f2183396a23567b5207d930c     
  • We offer no comment on these controversies here. 對于這些爭議,我們在這里不作任何評論。 來自英漢非文學 - 歷史
  • The controversies surrounding population growth are unlikely to subside soon. 圍繞著人口增長問題的爭論看來不會很快平息。 來自辭典例句
30 partisan w4ZzY     
  • In their anger they forget all the partisan quarrels.憤怒之中,他們忘掉一切黨派之爭。
  • The numerous newly created partisan detachments began working slowly towards that region.許多新建的游擊隊都開始慢慢地向那里移動。
31 outrage hvOyI     
  • When he heard the news he reacted with a sense of outrage.他得悉此事時義憤填膺。
  • We should never forget the outrage committed by the Japanese invaders.我們永遠都不應該忘記日本侵略者犯下的暴行。
32 theatrical pIRzF     
  • The final scene was dismayingly lacking in theatrical effect.最后一場缺乏戲劇效果,叫人失望。
  • She always makes some theatrical gesture.她老在做些夸張的手勢。
33 gender slSyD     
  • French differs from English in having gender for all nouns.法語不同于英語,所有的名詞都有性。
  • Women are sometimes denied opportunities solely because of their gender.婦女有時僅僅因為性別而無法獲得種種機會。
34 orientation IJ4xo     
  • Children need some orientation when they go to school.小孩子上學時需要適應。
  • The traveller found his orientation with the aid of a good map.旅行者借助一幅好地圖得知自己的方向。
35 attainable ayEzj8     
  • They set the limits of performance attainable. 它們確定著可達到的運行限度。
  • If objectives are to be meaningful to people, they must be clear, attainable, actionable, and verifiable. 如果目標對人們是具有意義的,則目標必須是清晰的,能達到的,可以行動的,以及可供檢驗的。
36 nurture K5sz3     
  • The tree grows well in his nurture.在他的培育下這棵樹長得很好。
  • The two sisters had received very different nurture.這倆個姊妹接受過極不同的教育。
37 injustices 47618adc5b0dbc9166e4f2523e1d217c     
不公平( injustice的名詞復數 ); 非正義; 待…不公正; 冤枉
  • One who committed many injustices is doomed to failure. 多行不義必自斃。
  • He felt confident that his injustices would be righted. 他相信他的冤屈會受到昭雪的。
38 intervention e5sxZ     
  • The government's intervention in this dispute will not help.政府對這場爭論的干預不會起作用。
  • Many people felt he would be hostile to the idea of foreign intervention.許多人覺得他會反對外來干預。
39 impeded 7dc9974da5523140b369df3407a86996     
阻礙,妨礙,阻止( impede的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • Work on the building was impeded by severe weather. 樓房的施工因天氣惡劣而停了下來。
  • He was impeded in his work. 他的工作受阻。
40 relished c700682884b4734d455673bc9e66a90c     
v.欣賞( relish的過去式和過去分詞 );從…獲得樂趣;渴望
  • The chaplain relished the privacy and isolation of his verdant surroundings. 牧師十分欣賞他那蒼翠的環境所具有的幽雅恬靜,與世隔絕的氣氛。 來自辭典例句
  • Dalleson relished the first portion of the work before him. 達爾生對眼前這工作的前半部分滿有興趣。 來自辭典例句
41 emboldened 174550385d47060dbd95dd372c76aa22     
v.鼓勵,使有膽量( embolden的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • Emboldened by the wine, he went over to introduce himself to her. 他借酒壯膽,走上前去向她作自我介紹。
  • His success emboldened him to expand his business. 他有了成就因而激發他進一步擴展業務。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
TAG標簽: speech university friends
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