《纽约时报》的一个迟到近50年的更正致歉

东升西点


Source: Flight International Blog

1969年7月17日,当阿波罗11号宇宙飞船开始了它的载人登月之旅的第二天,《纽约时报》刊登了一个更正致歉声明,为它在1920年1月13日的一篇社论的错误向读者致歉。那篇社论声称“太空旅行是不可能”。东升注意到,这个声明和那篇社论的时间相距几乎有50年之久。声明如下:

A Correction

  On Jan. 13, 1920, “Topics of the Times,” an editorial-page feature of the New York Times, dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in a vacuum and commented on the ideas of Robert H. Goddard, the rocket pioneer, as follows:
  “That Professor Goddard, with his ‘chair’ in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action to reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum agaist which to react – to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools.”
  Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th Century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.

罗伯特·戈达德 (Robert H. Goddard) 是美国的火箭之父。他于1926年3月16日成功发射了第一枚液体燃料火箭。当时,这枚火箭到达高度仅为12.5米。确实难以想象,43年之后,美国人就已经成功登上了月球。我不奇怪在1920年会有人怀疑火箭在真空中能够飞行,但我对《纽约时报》编辑部的如此认真而略感意外。不过,也许正是《纽约时报》对读者认真负责的态度让它保持长久的生命力。人是会犯错误的,可贵的是承认错误的勇气。这应该是一个良知媒体的底线吧。

作者: dongshengpoint

硅谷工程师

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