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Standing on the shoulders of giants

刊登日期: 2018.09.14
作者: Grace Tse  

After a long summer holiday, your classmates and you have gone back to school. Despite the easy access to information via the internet nowadays, it is still important to attend school in order to receive an all-round education. A good school education can enable you to see new horizons by standing on the shoulders of giants. 

The saying “standing on the shoulders of giants” means that you can make rapid progress from the success and failure of the great thinkers who have preceded you. This saying is widely used in scientific exploration. Actually it was a famous scientist who made this phrase well-known in the world. Who was he? 
 
Isaac Newton (伊薩克.牛頓), the British scientist who discovered the effects of gravity, wrote this in a letter to his fellow scientist, Robert Hooke, in 1676. 
 
“If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” 
「如果我看得更遠,是因為我站在巨人的肩上。」
 
Newton felt that without building on the tremendous efforts made by other scientists, he could not have made further achievements in scientific discoveries. 
 
Some scholars believe that this saying started as early as the 12th century. In his book “Metalogicon”, John of Salisbury, an English bishop, wrote that: 
 
“Bernard of Chartres used to compare us to … dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants.” 
 
This saying has drawn much attention in modern times after the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom(英國皇家鑄幣局)inscribed it on the edge of its £2 coin issued between 1997 and 2015. Do take a good look at the edge if you ever have a £2 coin. 

 
Glossary
 
 Horizons 
眼界
Progress 
進步
Preceded 
居先於
Gravity 
引力
Tremendous efforts 
巨大努力
Achievements 
成就
Inscribed 
刻在
Edge 
邊緣

 

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