【新概念英语四】第15课 Secrecy in industry 工业中的秘密
First listen and then answer the following question.
Why is secrecy particularly important in the chemical industries?
Two factors weigh heavily against the effectiveness of scientific research in industry. One is the general atmosphere of secrecy in which it is carried out, the other the lack of freedom of the individual research worker.In so far as any inquiry is a secret one, it naturally limits all those engaged in carrying it out from effective contact with their fellow scientists either in other countries or in universities, or even, often enough, in other departments of the same firm. The degree of secrecy naturally varies considerably. Some of the bigger firms are engaged in researches which are of such general and fundamental nature that it is a positive advantage to them not to keep them secret. Yet a great many processes depending on such research are sought for with complete secrecy until the stage at which patents can be taken out. Even more processes are never patented at all but kept as secret processes. This applies particularly to chemical industries, where chance discoveries play a much larger part than they do in physical and mechanical industries. Sometimes the secrecy goes to such an extent that the whole nature of the research cannot be mentioned. Many firms, for instance, have great difficulty in obtaining technical or scientific books from libraries because they are unwilling to have their names entered as having taken out such and such a book, for fear the agents of other firms should be able to trace the kind of research they are likely to be undertaking.
J.D. BERNAL The Social Function of Science
【New words and expressions 生词和短语】
secrecy n. 秘密
effectiveness n. 成效，效力
inquiry n. 调查研究
positive adj. 确实的
process n. 过程
patent n. 专利；v. 得到专利权
agent n. 情报人员
①例句：His criminal record weighed heavily against him.
If you weigh against sth, you consider carefully the relative value or importance of sth.
例句：He needs no longer weigh reasons for and against his emigration.
③weigh sb down: make sb feel anxious or depressed使某人感到忧虑或沮丧。
例句：The responsibilities of the job are weighing her down.
2.the lack of...缺乏……
①If there is a lack of something, there is not enough of it or it does not exist at all.
例句：Despite his lack of experience, he got the job.
例句：They lacked the money to send him to university.
例句：The project had to be abandoned for lack of funds.
3.in so far as...，就……而言。
①If you engage in an activity, you do it or are actively involved with it.
例句：I have no time to engage in gossip.
②engage to sb，与某人订婚。
例句：She's engaged to Peter. 她与彼得订了婚
5.or even, often enough，这里是个插入语，把often enough拿掉句子仍然成立，只是意思稍有变化。
6.which are of such general and fundamental nature，其中to be of有“具有”的意思。
例句：My advice may be of use for you.
7.are sought for with complete secrecy，极端秘密地探索。
8.such and such a book。某一本书。
9.for fear (of doing sth/that...)，唯恐，以免。
例句：The nurse walked on tiptoe for fear of waking the patient.
例句：He told us to keep quiet for fear that we might disturb others.