中央研究院就是 National Academy of Taiwan

2021-09-29

(Please see below for English translation)

中央研究院 研究人員社團 自由學社

中央研究院的外文名稱 Academia Sinica,本意是中國學院或研究院,常被誤解為中華人民共和國的機構,困擾本院同仁已久。很高興院方為調整英文名稱進行研討,並請同仁提出建議。本院自由學社同仁經過商議,建議本院英文名稱調整為 National Academy of Taiwan(或 National Academy Taiwan),並申述理由數點如下。

  1. 稱為 National Academy 的機構幾乎各國都有,並且是代表國家的最高學術單位。大家最熟悉的是美國的 National Academy of Sciences(以及 National Academy of Medicine,National Academy of Engineering 等)。在一般的報導或討論中,Académie Française,The British Academy,日本的學士院(The Japan Academy)等機構,也常被稱為法國或英國、日本的 National Academy。

  2. 名稱中 National 一字,說明本院是國家級研究機構,並非地方機構,也非私人機構。台灣雖然藍綠對立嚴重。但是堅持國名為中華民國的人士,並不否認中華民國是一國家,當然也不否認中研院是國家級的研究單位。

  3. 名稱裡的 Taiwan 是為了和對岸的中華人民共和國(國際上認定的中國)區分。就如院方注意到的,目前國外不少研究單位,在和本院通訊或簽約時,就主動在現有名稱後加上 Taiwan 兩字,以便和中國科學院區別。幾年前日本的駐台代表處改名為日本台灣交流協會、立陶宛等國將我國辦事處定名為台灣辦事處等,都反應了這個識別的國際趨勢,不能狹義解釋為去中國化。

目前院方的研議小組委員會「試擬」了幾個名稱。我們簡短評論如下:

  1. 原來的 Academia Sinica,是目前問題的根源,自然不宜。

  2. 研議小組似乎覺得 Academia Sinica, Taiwan(或 Academia Sinica Taiwan)優點最多。不過這個名稱有兩個根本的問題。第一,此名稱意味是在台的中國研究院,並不符合事實。第二,中國政府如果在澳門設立 Academia Sinica Macau,或者在浙江或上海等地廣設 Academia Sinica Zhejiang (or Shanghai),不僅馬上造成混淆的效果,而且將本院降格成中國的地方研究單位。

  3. 有同仁贊成 Taiwanese Academy of Sciences(或 Taiwan Academy of Sciences 或 Academy of Sciences Taiwan)這個名稱。考量本院雖有自然科學,但也有人文研究。Sciences(或科學)在英文(及中文)語境都「不」包含人文。以本院的性質,至少要稱作 Academy of Arts and Sciences(或 Academy of Letters and Sciences)才合宜。但與其名稱拉長,不如就縮短成 National Academy,既不排除任何學科,也和目前的中文名稱(中央研究院)一樣,不偏指自然科學。

  4. 院方提案中還有中央研究院的直譯 Central Research Academy。目前國際上只有極權或共產國家,才會把 Central 當作是機構名稱的一部分,以凸顯其位階。此譯名不利我國作為民主國家的國際形象。

我們了解改名不易,也了解相應的調適必然產生,所以願意和院方及同仁做更進一步的討論。但是我們要指出,國際上重要學術機構與大型企業改名的前例比比皆是。德國的 Max Planck Society 就是由 Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft 改名而來,法國的巴黎大學也曾在 1970 年拆分成十三個大學,並各有不同的名稱。近年來又有個別的校園合併,又再次更改名稱。(企業改名可參考 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/08/10/10-of-the-biggest-company-name-changes-in-history/。)改名並不影響這些機構的重要性及已簽署合約的有效性,更何況本院的本名中央研究院並沒有變動。調整本院英文名稱有重要的意義,不必為了調整名稱造成的枝節,而裹足不前。

本院就是台灣的國家研究院,英文稱作 National Academy of Taiwan,簡單而自然。

歡迎院內同仁不分職級連署。連署網址:https://forms.gle/go2ATbGPDomEqGJC6

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Chung Yang Yen Chiu Yuan (中央研究院) is the National Academy of Taiwan

The name of our organization, Chung Yang Yen Chiu Yuan (中央研究院), in Western languages has been Academia Sinica, a term in Latin that means "Chinese academy." It is often confused with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the People's Republic of China, and had bothered colleagues for a long time. We are glad to see that the administration of the organization has begun the deliberation on the adjustment of this name and invited colleagues for proposals. Members of the Liberty Society, a faculty organization in this organization, have resolved, after extensive discussion, that "National Academy of Taiwan" is the best alternative. This proposal also finds support among academicians. The reasons for our proposal are as follows:

  1. There are institutions known as national academies in almost every country, and they are always the most prestigious institutions of the corresponding countries. The best known is the National Academy of Sciences (also National Academy of Medicine, and National Academy of Engineering) of the United States. Reports or discussions on the Académie Française, the British Academy, or the Japan Academy, often refer to it as the national academy of France (Britain, or Japan).

  2. The "national" in the proposed name states that it is a public institution supported by the national government, thus not a local or private institution. Though Taiwan is a divided society, even those who insist on the Republic of China as the name of the country do not, and cannot, deny that this organization is a national institution of the country.

  3. The Taiwan in the name serves to distinguish it from institutions of the People's Republic (the China that is internationally recognized). Just as the administration of this institution has noted, many foreign academic institutions have added, on their own initiatives, Taiwan to the end of Academia Sinica in their communications or agreements with this institution, so as to highlight the distinction between it from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. Likewise, a few years Japan's representative office in Taiwan changed its name to the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association from the very vague "Interchange Association." Just recently, Lithuania accepted Taiwan's diplomatic office as "Taiwanese Representative Office" in Lithuania. All these reflect the international trend to distinguish Taiwan from China. Therefore the proposed alternative cannot be interpreted simply as de-sinicization.

The committee that the administration formed to deliberate the name adjustment has come up with a few postulates. Let us comment on them.

  1. The first postulate, Academia Sinica, is the current name and the source of confusion, thus inadequate.

  2. The committee seems to think that Academia Sinica, Taiwan (or Academia Sincia Taiwan) has the most advantages. But there are two fundamental problems with it. First, this name means Chinese Academy in Taiwan, which is not the case. Second, China can easily open or rename institutions in Macau, Zhejiang, or Shanghai as Academia Sinica, Macau (Zhejiang, or Shanghai), to create confusion and in effect downgrade our institution to a local organization of China.

  3. A postulate that some colleagues like is "Taiwanese Academy of Sciences" (or Taiwan Academy of Sciences or Academy of Sciences Taiwan). If we consider that our institution includes research in the humanities, and that the term science (科學) means natural science and not the humanities, it can only be appropriate to name this institution Academy of Arts and Sciences (or Academy of Letters and Sciences). However, instead of lengthening the name, it would better to shorten it as National Academy. The shorter form does not rule out any academic discipline and, just like the current name in Chinese (中央研究院) it does not refer to natural sciences alone.

  4. The committee also postulates the literal translation of the Chinese name, which is Central Research Academy. Internationally speaking, only communist or authoritarian countries like to use the term "central" to refer to important organizations. As Taiwan has democratized, it would harm this institution's (and country's) image to name it a Central Academy.

We understand that a name change is not easy and that adjustments will ensue. We therefore will be willing to work with the administration and colleagues on this issue. Still we want to stress that name changes of academic institutions and corporations not unprecedented. The Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft of Germany was renamed Max Planck Society after World War II. The University of Paris was divided in 1970 into thirteen universities that each was given its own name. In recent years some of these campuses were remerged and acquired different names yet again. Incidents of corporation name changes are not unusual, either (see, e.g., https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/08/10/10-of-the-biggest-company-name-changes-in-history/ ). Name changes do not lessen the importance of these institutions and do not affect the validity of the agreements and contracts that they have signed—after all the name of our organization in Chinese does not change at all. The adjustment of this organization's name in Western languages, significant as described above, should not be shelved for technical reasons.

This organization is Taiwan's national academy. It is easy and natural to name it National Academy of Taiwan.

This letter was approved by the Liberty Society after collective discussions. This society was composed of about 80 faculty members of Chung Yang Yen Chiu Yuan (中央研究院). We welcome all colleagues of this institution to endorse this proposal.

The website for the endorsement is at https://forms.gle/go2ATbGPDomEqGJC6.

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至 2021-10-20 止之連署人名單
The signatories (updated on 2021-10-20):

郭佩宜(民族學研究所)  
馬徹(基因體研究中心)  
張谷銘(歷史語言研究所)  
彭保羅 Paul JOBIN(社會學研究所)  
莊庭瑞(資訊科學研究所)  
容邵武(民族學研究所)  
高承福(細胞與個體生物學研究所)  
鄭雅如(歷史語言研究所)  
莊樹諄(基因體研究中心)  
林俊宏(生物化學研究所)  
劉文(民族學研究所)  
鄭郅言(應用科學研究中心)  
于若蓉(人文社會科學研究中心)  
高明達(資訊科學研究所)  
莊委桐(經濟研究所)  
李英惠(分子生物研究所)  
杜素豪(人文社會科學研究中心)  
葉俊顯(經濟研究所)  
何建明(資訊科學研究所)  
張雯勤(人文社會科學研究中心)  
林文凱(臺灣史研究所)  
陳貴賢(原子與分子科學研究所)  
林圭偵(歷史語言研究所)  
陳孟彰(資訊科學研究所)  
蕭阿勤(社會學研究所)  
劉璧榛(民族學研究所)  
顧銓(植物暨微生物學研究所)  
吳叡人(臺灣史研究所)  
陳舜伶(法律學研究所)  
鄭瑋寧(民族學研究所)  
黃智慧(民族學研究所)  
謝叔蓉(統計科學研究所)
祝平一(歷史語言研究所)  
余慈顏(原子與分子科學研究所)  
廖福特(法律學研究所) 
麥舘碩(生物多樣性研究中心)
郭岱純(法律學研究所) 
鍾國芳(生物多樣性研究中心)
施純傑(資訊科學研究所)
林宗弘(社會學研究所)
陳弘儒(歐美研究所)
王家薰(資訊科學研究所)
楊雅雯(法律學研究所) 
謝叔蓉(統計科學研究所)
林榮信(應用科學研究中心)
胡哲銘(生物醫學科學研究所)
溫昱傑(物理研究所)
游智凱(細胞與個體生物學研究所)
洪子偉(歐美研究所)
邵允鍾(歐美研究所)
廖純中(資訊科學研究所)
蘇怡璇(細胞與個體生物學研究所)
郭志鴻(植物暨微生物學研究所)
李文華(院士)
李文雄(院士)
林明璋(院士)
周昌弘(院士)
陳良博(院士)
陳垣崇(院士)
陳鈴津(院士)
廖運範(院士)
湯志傑(社會學研究所)
邱文聰(法律學研究所)
廖祐葳(天文及天文物理研究所)
王昭雯(植物暨微生物學研究所)
陳蕾惠(分子生物學研究所)
蔡怡陞(生物多樣性研究中心)
蕭培文(農業生物科技研究中心)
陳逸然(農業生物科技研究中心)
許文堂(近代史研究所)
何明諠(資訊科技創新研究中心)
穆昱佳(資訊科學研究所)
洪勝崎(農業生物科技研究中心)
李承錱(資訊科學研究所)