M: You are a professor of Physics at the University of Oxford. You are a senior advisor at the European Organization for Nuclear Research. You also seem to tour the global tirelessly, giving talks. And in addition, you have your own weekly TV show On Science. Where do you get the energy?
W: Oh, well. I just love what I do. I am extremely fortunate to have this life, doing what I love doing.
M: Professor, what exactly is your goal? Why do you do all of these?
W: well, as you said, I do have different things going on. But these I think can be divided into two groups: the education of science, and the further understanding of science.
M: Don't these two things get in the way of each other? What I mean is, doesn't giving lectures take time away from the lab?
W: Not really, no. I love teaching, and I don’t mind spending more time doing that now than in the past. Also, what I will say is, that teaching a subject helps me comprehend it better myself. I find that it furthers my own knowledge when I have to explain something clearly, when I have to aid others understanding it, and when I have to answer questions about it. Teaching at a high level can be very stimulating for anyone, no matter how much expertise they may already have in the field they are instructing.
M: Are there any scientific breakthroughs that you see on the near horizon? A significant discovery or invention we can expect soon.
W: The world is always conducting science. And there're constantly new things being discovered. In fact right now, we have too much data sitting in computers. For example, we have thousands of photos of planet Mars taken by telescopes that nobody has ever seen. We have them, yet nobody has had time to look at them with their own eyes, let alone analyze them.
Q1: Why does the woman say she can be so energetic?
Q2: What has the woman been engaged in?
Q3: What does the woman say about the benefit teaching brings to her?
Q4: How does the woman say new scientific breakthroughs can be made possible?
M: Do you think dreams have special meanings?
W: No. I don't think they do.
M: I don't either, but some people do. I would say people who believe that dreams have special meanings are superstitious, especially nowadays. In the past, during the times of ancient Egypt, Greece or China, people used to believe that dreams could foresee the future. But today, with all the scientific knowledge that we have, I think it's much harder to believe in these sorts of things.
W: My grandmother is superstitious, and she thinks dreams can predict the future. Once, she dreamed that the flight she was due to take the following day crashed. Can you guess what she did? She didn't take that flight. She didn't even bother to go to the airport the following day. Instead, she took the same flight but a week later. And everything was fine of course. No plane ever crashed.
M: How funny! Did you know that flying is actually safer than any other mode of transport? It's been statistically proven. People can be so irrational sometimes.
W: Yes, absolutely. But, even if we think they are ridiculous, emotions can be just as powerful as rational thinking.
M: Exactly. People do all sorts of crazy things because of their irrational feelings. But in fact, some psychologists believe that our dreams are the result of our emotions and memories from that day. I think it was Sigmund Freud who said that children's dreams were usually simple representations of their wishes, things they wished would happen. But in adults', dreams are much more complicated reflections of their more sophisticated sentiments.
W: Isn't it interesting how psychologists try to understand using the scientific method something as bazaar as dreams? Psychology is like the rational study of irrational feelings.
Q5: What do both speakers think of dreams?
Q6: why didn't the woman's grandmother take her scheduled flight?
Q7: What does the woman say about people's emotions?
Q8: What did psychologist Sigmund Freud say about adults' dreams?