万物简史 第464期:生命在前进(06)

发表时间:2018-10-12内容来源:VOA英语学习网

As a boy Walcott discovered that he had a knack for finding fossils, particularly trilobites, and built up a collection of sufficient distinction that it was bought by Louis Agassiz for his museum at Harvard for a small fortune—about $70,000 in today's money. Although he had barely a high school education and was self taught in the sciences, Walcott became a leading authority on trilobites and was the first person to establish that trilobites were arthropods, the group that includes modern insects and crustaceans.

沃尔科特还是个孩子的时候就发现自己具有寻找化石的本领,尤其是三叶虫。他收藏了一大堆相当不错的标本。路易斯·阿加西斯把标本买了下来,放在自己在哈佛大学的博物馆里,使沃尔科特发了一笔小财——相当于今天的70000美元。虽然他只是勉强受过中学教育,在科学方面完全自学成才,但他成了三叶虫问题的一名重要权威。他最先确定三叶虫是节肢动物,该属包括当代的昆虫和甲壳纲动物。

In 1879 he took a job as a field researcher with the newly formed United States Geological Survey and served with such distinction that within fifteen years he had risen to be its head. In 1907 he was appointed secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, where he remained until his death in 1927. Despite his administrative obligations, he continued to do fieldwork and to write prolifically. "His books fill a library shelf," according to Fortey. Not incidentally, he was also a founding director of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which eventually became the National Aeronautics and Space Agency, or NASA, and thus can rightly be considered the grandfather of the space age.

1879年,沃尔科特任职于新成立的美国地质调查局,担任野外研究员。他干得非常出色,l5年内升到了局长的位置。1907年,他被任命为史密森学会的秘书,在这个岗位一直干到1927年去世。尽管他忙于许多行政事务,但他仍然做野外工作,写出了大量作品。“他的著作塞满了图书管里的一个书架。”福泰说。需要提一句的是,他还是美国航空学顾问委员会的创始理事,该委员会后来成为美国国家航空和航天局,因此他完全有理由可以被认为是空间时代的鼻祖。

But what he is remembered for now is an astute but lucky find in British Columbia, high above the little town of Field, in the late summer of 1909. The customary version of the story is that Walcott, accompanied by his wife, was riding on horseback on a mountain trail beneath the spot called the Burgess Ridge when his wife's horse slipped on loose stones.

但是,现在人们之所以记得他,是因为1909年夏末他在加拿大不列颠哥伦比亚省菲尔德小镇高处的那项敏锐而又运气的发现。通常的说法是这样的:沃尔科特在他妻子的陪同下正骑马顺着一条山路走去,突然他妻子的马在碎石上滑了一下跌倒了。

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20181012/595047.html