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海归是否会再出海?  

2010-09-12 10:33:01|  分类: 转载分享 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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海归是否会再出海?

一年前,王鸿飞兄到美国能源部西北太平洋国家实验室(PNNL)履新之前,便告诉笔者,但嘱“这件事情现在最好不要到网上去说。”

其实,鸿飞兄在2007年和2008年暑假来纽约时我们都曾见面,鸿飞兄也聊起将再次出海。

现在,鸿飞兄本人公开了在PNNL工作的情况。

王鸿飞“现在可以说了”的博文链接:http://www.sciencenet.cn/m/user_content.aspx?id=359412

其实,笔者还是写了一点文字,尽管当时并没有用中文在科学网上谈论此事,但是,英文博文于2009年7月7日在UPI Asia上发表,当然,笔者并没有提及鸿飞兄的名字。文末笔者发问:新近海归是否在若干年后面临鸿飞兄同样的选择再次出海?现在全文刊载于后:

Will returnees to China exit again?

A friend of mine recently moved from a premium research institution in Beijing to a national laboratory run by the United States Department of Energy in Washington state.

Our lives had crossed as we went to the same school in the United States around the same time, but we got to know each other only in recent years. He was recruited back to China upon finishing his post-doctoral stint.

While doing reasonably well in his research specialty -- otherwise he would not have caught the attention of his current employer, which recruits talent globally – he had not been respected as he should have been in China.

He is a candid person and not afraid of saying what he thinks, especially about research and education in China, about which he has had firsthand experience and many insights. On many occasions his comments are so straightforward as to make people uncomfortable.

There are many scholars and professionals in China like my friend. Their return to China has shown their loyalty to their motherland in the first place. They not only introduce good practices into China according to their overseas experience, but also hope to improve the country’s research and education enterprises on par with the international standard. They voice their concerns and criticize the system whenever they find an error, which is like tiny sand in their eyes.

However, in many cases such concerns have been considered dissent. These people’s genuine desire to make China have significant impact in research and education in the world has been ignored at best. Their academic achievements have not been judged with respect.

Returnees such as my friend may not have lost all hope, but they often do seek opportunities elsewhere or give their careers in China a second thought.

This reminds me of Albert O. Hirschman’s book, “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States.” In this classic, Hirschman addresses the question of how an organization declines as a result of the exit of its loyal members whose criticism of wrongdoings is ignored.

In any organization, if its loyal members have the opportunity to voice their opinions for the betterment of the organization, the members will continue to maintain their loyalty. If they have exhausted all such means and their loyalty is questioned, they will feel desperate and even betrayed. They probably then have no choice but to depart.

In the case of my friend, he seemed to feel it was no use making efforts to improve China’s research and education system. Instead of wasting time and energy engaging in things unlikely to yield meaningful outcomes, calling it quits was both reasonable and easy.

During the peak of the Cultural Revolution, some Taiwanese students went to mainland China after graduating from U.S. universities. While a couple of them still work in China and even have been elected prestigious members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, several soon determined that they would not fit into the Chinese system and left.

Unfortunately, many scholars such as my friend, who made similar decisions to return to China many years ago, choose to exit again. Recent years have witnessed more outstanding Chinese returning from overseas to take advantage of a booming economy and attractive opportunities. Will some of them exit again in the years to come?

"Will returnees to China exit again?"的链接为:http://upiasia.com/Society_Culture/2009/07/07/will_returnees_to_china_exit_again/4137/

笔者当时所写的中文如下:

 

海归的忠诚呼吁退出

 

H兄早就告知将前往由华裔担任部长的美国某部所属的一个国家实验室工作,但嘱笔者“不要向外公布这件事”。笔者估摸着H兄已经成行,所以将当时的一些想法记录于下。

 

H兄是海归,也是科学网的翘楚,博文经常是语不惊人死不休,但说的都是真话,尽管过于直白,就像那个说“皇帝其实没有穿衣服”的小孩,他的博文着实令某些人不舒服。

 

其实,科学网不差率直的博主和学者。他们表现出对祖国的忠诚loyalty),喜欢呼吁voice),而一旦对现状失望时,又不得不选择退出exit)。

 

笔者不知道H兄的“出走”是否在于其“呼吁”不起作用。当然,他的“忠诚”是不容怀疑的。

 

这些不是笔者的创新,而是出自赫希曼(Albert Hirschman)1970年出版的一本小书,现在已经是经典。作为经济学家,赫氏研究的是人们面对购买商品或参加组织的多种选择。

 

而研究中国科学技术政策的苏迈德(Richard P. Suttmeier)教授在1987年的一篇文章中最早将此说引入对中国知识分子的分析。

 

忠诚很容易理解。“忠诚”于什么?

  

发声往往是忠诚的表现,即使是对现行体制的批评,提出改进的意见,其目的是希望现存体制发生变化,表明不想出走。科学网就不乏建设性的声音。而发声者不是异己分子也不是反对派。正因为希望现行体制得以改善,他们才会唱反调。爱之深方能言之切。

 

出走是无可奈何的。出走者或觉得“发声”后收效甚微,从而现存体制丧失了信心,不再保持忠诚;或为现行体制所不容而被迫出走

 

忠诚发声出走三者的关系来说,如果允许发声,那么出走的空间就会缩小。

 

反之,如果对“发声”禁之若寒,或者“发声”等于白发,那么,即使是忠诚的人也会选择出走。中国科学界正面临着“发声”不起作用的危险。

 

留学生海归,其实是显示出对祖国的“忠诚”的表现,他们使用海外的学历和经历作为参照系“发声”,是希望体制能够得到完善。而他们一旦发现体制不如他们所希望的那样,没有可能得到改进,包括“发声”在内的种种“忠诚”的努力也完全没有得到认可的可能,他们甚至遇到种种障碍,“退出”也许是唯一的选择。

 

中国“文革”后期,有多位曾在美国学习和工作的台湾留学生选择到大陆工作,其中个别后来还被选为中国科学院院士。但是,如果笔者的记忆不错的话,他们中有一位姓“欧阳”的化学家和夫人曾在中国科学院上海有机化学研究所工作。后来他们因不适应国内的体制而选择“出走”。

 

而今,H兄在海归10年后作出了“退出”的选择,科学网的另一个博主W兄也在不久前“出走”了——这是他们的第二次“出走”。近年海归的那些“大牛”若干年后是否也会面临像H兄、W兄的选择?

文中的H兄便是鸿飞。

2009年10月,中国科学院所长代表团来美国考察培训,笔者有幸与陪同他们在纽约和华盛顿参访,其间在关于人才的一次交流中也谈起鸿飞兄再次出海一事。

另外,鸿飞兄在博文中提到,“去年刚过来的时候,有美国主流媒体要采访我,大概是因为当时人们比较关注国际上中国科学家大规模回流的问题,要拿我这样的例子做反其道而行之的典型。我从来不喜欢上媒体,最关心的是如何有机会做象样的研究。当年回国的时候,没有做过任何媒体宣传,现在正常地工作流动回到美国来,也不需要小题大作,自然就谢绝了。”

近年来,不时有美国主流媒体采访笔者,了解中国人才外流和人才回流的情况,笔者也就提出了自己的见解,认为营造人才施展才华的环境远比提供高薪来得有吸引力。而当有的媒体提到笔者关于海归再出海的博文,笔者往往会建议他们直接找文中提及的H兄和W兄。鸿飞兄没有接受访问,但是W兄还是至少接受了一家媒体的访问。

鸿飞兄“现在可以说了”,笔者现在也可以说了。

本文引用地址: http://www.sciencenet.cn/m/user_content.aspx?id=360135

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