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Questions:

  1. To what extent do you agree that some conflicts are constructive?
  2. What does a constructive conflict require?
  3. How important is it to be able to stand up to authority? Should we teach our children to be able to do that?
  4. How easy is it for you to stand up for what you believe in?
  5. What does Margaret mean when she says “… people like many of us, who have run organizations, and gone out of our way to try to find the very best people we can, mostly fail to get the best out of them.”
  6. Would you call yourself an argumentative person?
  7. Do you agree with this quote:

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

J. K. Rowling

 

Vocabulary:

to emerge — to start to exist; to appear or become known

She was really interested in a new science, the emerging field of epidemiology, the study of patterns in disease.

to make one’s mark — to make people notice you or to have an important effect on something (стать известным)

She appreciated that to make her mark, what she needed to do was find a hard problem and solve it.

incidence — he extent to which something happens or has an effectan area with (частота)

… the rising incidence of childhood cancers.

affluent — having a lot of money and a good standard of living

… the children who were dying seemed mostly to come from affluent families.

a shot — an attempt (Give it your best shot!)

… she knew she only had one shot at collecting her data.

a needle in a haystack — иголка в стоге сена

This really was a needle in a haystack sort of search.

conventional wisdom = the body of ideas or explanations generally accepted as true by the public or by experts in a field (общепринятое мнение)

Now that finding flew in the face of conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom held that everything was safe up to a point, a threshold.

preliminary = happening before a more important action or event (предварительный)

Alice Stewart rushed to publish her preliminary findings.

to abandon (the practice) = to stop doing

It was fully 25 years before the British and medical — British and American medical establishments abandoned the practice of X-raying pregnant women.

to drive = to force somebody to act in a particular way

Openness alone can’t drive change.

to crunch = to deal with large amounts of data very quickly

Different ways of looking at her models, at her statistics, different ways of crunching the data in order to disprove her.

head-to-head = in direct confrontation or conflict at close quarters

Alice’s daughter told me that every time Alice went head-to-head with a fellow scientist, they made her think and think and think again.

to embroil oneself in something = to involve somebody/yourself in an argument or a difficult situation

Afraid of the conflict that that would provoke, afraid to get embroiled in arguments that they did not know how to manage, and felt that they were bound to lose.

margin of error ~ погрешность

He thought that it was too complicated and he thought that its complexity created margins of error that could really hurt people.

whistle-blower = a person who informs people in authority or the public that the company they work for is doing something wrong or illegal

Joe was what a lot of people might think of as a whistle-blower, except that like almost all whistle-blowers, he wasn’t a crank at all, he was passionately devoted to the organization and the higher purposes that that organization served.

give (noun) = the ability of something to bend or stretch under pressure (упругость/эластичность)

And when he dared to speak, he discovered much more inside himself and much more give in the system than he had ever imagined.

to stand up to … — to resist somebody; to not accept bad treatment from somebody without complaining (противостоять, дать отпор)

It doesn’t really matter what the statements are about, what matters is that the candidates are willing and able to stand up to authority.

 

Спасибо моей коллеге Ирине за идею.