Thought-provoking Exchanges with Nobel Prize Winner
— Hu Jiaqi, the Founder of SHAO, Replied Nobel Prize Winner
There have been loads of responses from all around the world since Hu Jiaqi, the fonder of SHAO (Save Human Action Organization), sent The Sixth Open Letter to Leaders of Mankind. One of the replies of great significance is from Professor Jacques Dubochet from Universite de Lausanne in Switzerland, who is the top scientist in the field of cryo-electron microscopy and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2017.
Professor Jacques Dubochet mentioned in his letter: “Science is knowledge and the problem is not about knowledge but what we do with it. Unfortunately, we are not doing well.” He made a further proposal that UNO should be in charge of supervising all technologies for their development and their use. He also pointed out: “It would be the end of all patents. Nobody could exploit knowledge for exclusive right or for financial interest”. Besides, he questioned Elon Musk’s plan of colonizing Mars.
Hu Jiaqi expressed his ideas frankly in his letter of reply. He believes that we can never use science and technology perfectly. There are mainly two reasons for this. First, we can not fully grasp the functions of science and technology correctly. Two examples are presented: the use of freon leads to the destruction of ozonosphere and the use of DDT exerts a negative impact on biodiversity. Second, it is impossible for us to use the products of science and technology with absolutely good intention. Mankind is a specific species, and even the best moral value and legal system can only play an effective role in restricting the entire society. The extremely bad things may happen anytime and may be committed by anyone. Therefore, the hope that science and technology can be well used is an extravagant one.
Basically, Mr. Hu’s attitude towards science and technology is that we should restrict it firstly, and use it well secondly. The so-called “restriction” means that science and technology can not develop to a higher level. A lot of technologies may bring extreme danger to mankind if they continue to develop. Enough time must be left for us to avoid the extermination. The so-called “to use well” means that we should scrutinize every science and technology carefully and spread all the existing mature and safe scientific and technological achievements of different countries to the whole world. The only way to achieve this goal is the unification of our mankind and the use of the power of a universal government to control science and technology. In this way, nobody could exploit knowledge for exclusive right or financial interest.
Finally, Mr. Hu pointed out under the condition that we can neither predict the safety of all science and technologies nor use each of them well, we have only one choice, that is, we should not allow science and technology to develop to such a level as to exterminate mankind, which means the restriction of scientific and technological development. There is no doubt that the overall existence of mankind is above everything.
Balzac once said : “A person who can think is really a person with infinite power.” The thought-provoking exchanges between Hu Jiaqi and Nobel Prize winner have brought us unlimited inspiration and expectation.