SectionⅡ Reading Comprehension
The Guardian view on Yvette Cooper’s ‘town of culture’ proposal: a fine idea
A group of Labour MPs, among them Yvette Cooper, are bringing in the new year with a call to institute a UK “town of culture” award. The proposal is that it should sit alongside the existing city of culture title, which was held by Derry-Londonderry in 2013, by Hull in 2017, and has been awarded to Coventry for 2021. Cooper and her colleagues argue that the success of the crown for Hull, where it brought in £220m of investment and an avalanche of arts, ought not to be confined to cities. Britain’s towns, it is true, are not prevented from applying, but they generally lack the resources to put together a bid to beat their bigger competitors; only one, Paisley, has ever made the shortlist. A town of culture award could, it is argued, become an annual event, attracting funding and creating jobs.
Some might see the proposal as a somewhat parochial step – a booby prize for the fact that Britain is no longer able to apply for the much more prestigious title of European capital of culture, a sought-after award bagged by Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008, and to be held by the southern Italian city of Matera in 2019. (The news that Brexit would render the UK ineligible for the title came, rather bizarrely under the circumstances, as a surprise to many in 2017.) A cynic might speculate that the UK is on the verge of disappearing into an endlessly regressive frenzy of self-celebration in its desperation to reinvent itself for the post-Brexit world: after town of culture, who knows what will follow – village of culture? Suburb of culture? Hamlet of culture?
It is also wise to recall that such titles are not a panacea. A badly run “year of culture” washes in and washes out of a place like the tide, bringing prominence for a spell but leaving no lasting benefits to the community. The really successful holders of such titles are those that do a great deal more than fill hotel bedrooms and bring in high-profile arts events and good press for a year. They transform the aspirations of the people who live there; they nudge the self-image of the city into a bolder and more optimisitic light. It is hard to get right, and requires a remarkable degree of vision, as well as cooperation between city authorities, the private sector, community groups and cultural organisations. But it can be done: Glasgow’s year as European capital of culture can certainly be seen as one of a complex series of factors that have turned the city into the powerhouse of art, music and theatre that it remains today.
Despite these caveats, the proposal of Ms Cooper and her colleagues is a sound one. There is, undeniably, much that is unsung about the UK’s townscape. Margate, for example, would make a wonderful town of culture; indeed, it needs little encouragement, since the excellent gallery Turner Contemporary is to host the Turner prize next year. The great Welsh and Scottish literary towns of Hay-on-Wye and Wigtown would make worthy recipients. Aldeburgh, host to the music-making legacy of Benjamin Britten, would be an obvious contender. The Gloucestershire town of Stroud has a distinctive arts scene. Some of this cultural fabric desperately needs cherishing and safeguarding: Oldham, for example, has an extraordinary theatrical heritage, currently under pressure as local authority funding is threatened.
A “town of culture” could be not just about the arts but about honouring a town’s quiddities – helping sustain its high street, supporting local amenities and above all celebrating its people. Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, should welcome this positive, hope-filled proposal, and turn it into action.
21.Cooper and her colleagues argue that a"town of culture" award could( )
A. increase the economic strength of Britian' s towns.
B. promote cooperation amang Britain's towns.
C. focus Britain's limited resources on cultural events.
D. consolidate the town_city ties in Britian.
22.According to the Paragraph2,the proposal might be regarded by some as( )
A. a sensible compromise.
B. an inaccessible target.
C. a self_deceiving attempt.
D. an eye_catching bonus.
23.The author suggests that a title holder is successful only if it( )
A. endeavors to maintain its image.
B. commits to its long_term growth.
C. brings its local arts to prominence.
D. meets the aspirations of its people.
24.Glasgow is mentioned in paragraph3to present( )
A. a contrasting case
B. a background story
C. a related topic
D. a supporting example
25.What is the author's attitude towards the proposal?
Text 2 閱讀原文
Scientific publishing has long been a licence to print money. Scientists need journals in which to publish their research, so they will supply the articles without monetary reward. Other scientists perform the skilled and specialised work of peer review also for free, because it is a central element in the acquisition of status and the production of scientific knowledge.
With the content of papers secured for free, the publisher needs only find a market for its journal. Until this century, university libraries were not very price sensitive. Since academic careers depend on publication, the demand for scientific publications is unbounded except by the price that scholarly libraries can be forced to pay. Scientific publishers routinely report profit margins approaching 40% on their operations, at a time when the rest of the publishing industry is in an existential crisis.
The Dutch giant Elsevier, which claims to publish one way or another 25% of the scientific papers produced in the world, made profits of more than £900m last year, while UK universities alone spent more than £210m in 2016 to enable researchers to access their own publicly funded research; both figures seem to rise inexorably despite increasingly desperate efforts to change them.
The most drastic, and thoroughly illegal, reaction has been the emergence of Sci-Hub, a kind of global photocopier for scientific papers, set up in 2012 by a Khazak graduate student, which now claims to offer access to every paywalled article published since 2015. The success of Sci-Hub, which relies on researchers passing on copies they have themselves legally accessed, shows the legal ecosystem has lost legitimacy among its users and must be transformed so that it works for all participants. That won’t happen without a fight.
In California the state university system has been paying $11m (£8.3m) a year for access to Elsevier journals, but it has just announced that it won’t be renewing these subscriptions. In Britain and Europe the move towards open access publishing has been driven by funding bodies. In some ways it has been very successful. More than half of all British scientific research is now published under open access terms: either freely available from the moment of publication, or paywalled for a year or more so that the publishers can make a profit before being placed on general release.
Yet, somehow, the new system has not yet worked out any cheaper for the universities. Publishers have responded to the demand that they make their product free to readers by charging their writers fees to cover the costs of preparing an article. These range from around £500 to $5,000, and apparently the work gets more expensive the more that publishers do it. A report last year from Professor Adam Tickell pointed out that the costs both of subscriptions and of these “article preparation costs” has been steadily rising at a rate above inflation ever since the UK’s open access policy was adopted in 2012. In some ways the scientific publishing model resembles the economy of the social internet: labour is provided free in exchange for the hope of status, while huge profits are made by a few big firms who run the market places. In both cases, we need a rebalancing of power.
26. Scientific publishing is seen as “a licence to print money” partly because
A. its content acquisition costs nothing
B. its marketing strategy has been successful
C .its payment for peer review is reduced
D. its funding has enjoyed a steady increase
27. According to Para.2 and 3, scientific publishers like Elsevier have
A. gone through an existential crisis
B. thrived mainly on university libraries
C. revived the publishing industry
D. financed researchers generously
28. How does the author feel about the success of Sci-Hub?
29. It can be learned from Para 5 and 6 that open access terms
A. render publishing much easier for scientists
B. allow publishers some room to make money
C. reduce the cost of publication substantially
D .free universities from financial burdens
30. Which of the following characterizes the scientific publishing model?
A. The few feed on the many
B. Costs are well controlled
C. Labour triumphs over status
D. Trial subscription is offered
Corporate gender quotas reinforce privilege
Progressives often support diversity mandates as a path to equality and a way to level the proverbial playing field. But all too often such policies are a disingenuous form of virtue-signaling that benefits only the most privileged and does little to help average people.
A pair of bills sponsored by Massachusetts state Senator Jason Lewis and House Speaker Pro Tempore Patricia Haddad, to ensure “gender parity” on boards and commissions, provide a case in point.
Haddad and Lewis are concerned that more than half the state-government boards are less than 40 percent female. Haddad claims legislators have a “strong obligation” to rectify the situation. Lewis describes the issue as “critically important.”
In order to ensure that elite women have more such opportunities, the duo have proposed imposing government quotas. If the bills become law, state boards and commissions will be required to set aside 50 percent of board seats for women by 2022. (The bill defines “woman” as any individual “who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”)
Not content to impose Soviet-style quotas on state-appointed boards, Lewis also wants to subject the private sector to social engineering. His second bill would require publicly held corporations headquartered in Massachusetts to have at least one female director by 2022. By 2024, private companies with six or more directors would be required to have a minimum of three women on the board. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to $100,000.
The proposal is similar to a measure recently adopted in California, which last year became the first state to require gender quotas for private companies.
In signing the measure, California Governor Jerry Brown admitted that the law, which expressly classifies people on the basis of sex, is probably unconstitutional.
The US Supreme Court frowns on sex-based classifications unless they are designed to address an “important” policy interest (such as privacy or safety). Because the California law applies to all boards, even where there is no history of prior discrimination, courts are likely to rule that the law violates the constitutional guarantee of “equal protection.”
But are such government mandates even necessary? Female participation on corporate boards may not currently mirror the percentage of women in the general population, but so what?
The number of women on corporate boards has been steadily increasing without government meddling. According to a study by Catalyst, between 2010 and 2015 the share of women on the boards of global corporations increased by 54 percent. And their numbers are still growing.
To be sure, women in 2015 still held only 15 percent of seats on global corporate boards, but the free market is clearly pushing companies in the right direction.
Requiring companies to make gender the primary qualification for board membership will inevitably lead to less qualified private sector boards. That is exactly what happened when Norway adopted a nationwide corporate gender quota. According to a 2012 paper by USC professor Kenneth R. Ahern and University of Michigan professor Amy K. Dittmar, Norway’s gender quota “led to younger and less experienced boards . . . and deterioration in operating performance, consistent with less capable boards.”
Advocates of state-mandated quotas may believe that less-experienced boards are a necessary price to pay to change corporate culture and increase leadership opportunities for women. But gender quotas do nothing of the sort.
Norway is once again instructive, since that country’s gender quotas have not had significant effect on corporate culture or led to the promotion of more women throughout the ranks. In fact, the only thing Norway’s gender quotas have done is benefit the individual women actually selected to serve on the corporate boards.
Writing in The New Republic, Alice Lee notes that increasing the number of opportunities for board membership without increasing the pool of qualified women to serve on such boards has led to a “golden skirt” phenomenon, where the same elite women scoop up multiple seats on a variety of boards.
Next time somebody pushes corporate quotas as a way to promote gender equity, remember that such policies (even if constitutional) are largely self-serving measures that make their sponsors feel good but do little to help average women.
Jennifer C. Braceras is director of the Center for Law & Liberty at Independent Women’s Forum.
1. The author believes that the bills sponsored by Lewis and Kaddad will
A. help little to reduce gender bias.
B. pose a threat to the state government.
C. raise women’s position in politics.
D. Greatly broaden career options
2. Which of the following is true of the California measure?
A. It has irritated private business answers.
B. It is welcomed by the Supreme Court.
C. It may go against the Constitution.
D. It will settle the prior controversies.
3. The author mentions the study by Catalyst to illustrate
A. the harm from arbitrary board decisions.
B. the importance of constitutional guarantees.
C. the pressure on women in global corporations.
D. the needlessness of government interventions.
4. No?? adoption of a nationwide corporate gender quota has led to
A. the understimation of elite women’s role.
B. the objection to female participation on boards.
C. the entry of unqualified candidates into the board.
D. the growing tension between labor and management.
5. Which of the following can be inferred from text?
A. Women’s needs in employment should be considered.
B. Feasibility should be a prime concern in policy making.
C. Everyone should try hard to promote social justice.
D. Major social issues should be the focus of legislation.
Congress is launching a bipartisan investigation into digital markets and the tech industry, looking into giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon for “competition problems” and “anti-competitive conduct”.
“The open internet has delivered enormous benefits to Americans, including a surge of economic opportunity, massive investment, and new pathways for education online,” the House judiciary chairman, Jerrold Nadler, said in a statement. “But there is growing evidence that a handful of gatekeepers have come to capture control over key arteries of online commerce, content, and communications.”
In addition to “documenting competition problems” and looking into “anti-competitive conduct”, the committee will assess “whether existing antitrust laws, competition policies and current enforcement levels are adequate to address these issues”, lawmakers said in a joint statement.
“Technology has become a crucial part of Americans’ everyday lives,” said Jim Sensenbrenner, antitrust subcommittee ranking member, in a statement. “As the world becomes more dependent on a digital marketplace, we must discuss how the regulatory framework is built to ensure fairness and competition.”
Earlier on Monday, US tech stocks dropped after reports that US antitrust officials were preparing to investigate companies such as Apple, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet. The power and control over the market that these tech companies hold has become a hot-button issue, with presidential hopefuls weighing in on the question of whether it is time to break up these companies in the way that the US government once broke up the railroad, oil and steel monopolies.
The Democratic senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has long argued the tech companies should face more scrutiny. “Today’s big tech companies have too much power – too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy,” Warren said in a blogpost. “They’ve bulldozed competition, used our private information for profit, and tilted the playing field against everyone else. And in the process, they have hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.” “I want a government that makes sure everybody – even the biggest and most powerful companies in America – plays by the rules,” she added.
Congressman Ro Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley, issued a more tempered statement advocating for “strong antitrust enforcement” that will not hinder the promotion of “innovation and growth”. “The House judiciary committee should hold tech accountable to strong antitrust enforcement,” he said. “But any investigation needs to be fact-based and lead to well-crafted regulatory outcomes. We should prevent anticompetitive platform privilege while promoting innovation and growth.”
Last Thursday, the French Senate passed a digital services tax,
France’s planned too is a clear warning....... and costly
36. The French Senate has passed a bill to
A. regulate digital services platforms
B. impose a levy on tech multinationals
C. protect french companies’ interests
D. curb the influence of advertising
37. It can be learned from Paragraph 2 that the digital services tax
A. Will prompt the tech giants to quit France
B. Aims to ease international trade tensions
C. It apt to arouse criticism at home and abroad
D. May trigger countermeasures against France
38. The countries adopting the unilateral measures share the opinion that
A. The current international tax systems needs upgrading
B. Redistribution of tech giants’ revenue must be ensured
C. Tech multiolatinational’ monopoly should be prevented
D. All countries ought to enjoy equal taxing rights
39. It can be learned from Paragraph 5 that the OECD’s current work
A. Is being resisted by us companies
B. Id faced with uncertain prospects
C. Needs to be readjusted immediately
D. Needs to involve more countries
40. Which of the following might be the best title for this text?
A . France leads the charge on Digital Tax
B. France Is confronted with trade sanctions
C. France Demands a Role in the Digital Economy
D. France says “No” to Tech Multinationals
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Part C 原文
and sciences flourishing extraordinarily among those with a more logical disposition. 46. With (the gap between) the Church's teachings and ways of thinking being eclipsed by the Renaissanc。，the gap between the MedievM and niodeni periods had been bridged, leading to new and unetplored intellectual territories.
During the Renaissance, the great minds of Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei demonstrated the power of scientific studv and discovery. 47. Before each of their revelations, many thinkers at the time had susMined more ancient ways of thinking, including the Ptolemaic and Aristotelian geocentric view that the Earth was at the centre of our universe. Copernicus theorized in 1543 that in actual fact, all of the planets that we knew of revolved not around the Earth, but the Sun, a system that was later upheld by Galileo at his own expense, Offering up such a theory during a time of high tension between scientific and religions minds was branded as heresy, and any such heretics that continued to spread these lies were to be punished by imprisonment or even death. Galileo was excommunicated by the Church and imprisoned for life for his astronomical observations and his support of the heliocentric principle.
48. Despite attopipts by [he Church to stnm£-ann rhis new cenenHioii of logicians and rationalists, more explAnations for how, the universe functioiied were beinz niAde, and at a rate [hat [he peopl—inchiding [he Church—ould do longer iguoie It was with these great revelations that a new kind of philosophy founded in reason was bom.
The Church :s long-standing dogma was losing the great battle for tmth to rationalists and scientists. This very fact embodied the new ways of thinking that swept through Europe during most of the 17th centime 49. As manv took on Che duty of trving to integrate reasoning and scientific philosophies into the world. The Renaissance was over and it was time fora new era—the Age of Reason.
The 17th and 18th centuries were times of radical change and curiosity. Scientific method, reductionism and the questioning of Church ideals was to be encouraged, as were ideas of liberty; tolerance and progress. 50. Such actions to seek knowledge and to iiKderstaud what infoniiAtion we already kpeyv were captured by the Latin phrase 'sqpere aude' or 'dare to know： after Immanuel Kant used it in his essay An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment9 It was the purpose and responsibility of great minds to go forth and seek out the truth, which they believed to be founded in knowledge.
46. With the Church's teachings and ways of thinking being eclipsed by the Renaissance,the gap between the Medieval and modern periods had been bridged,leading to new and unexplored intellectual territories.
47. Before each of their revelations,many thinkers at the time had sustained more ancient ways of thinking,including the geo-centric view that the Earth was at the centre of our universe.
48. Despite attempts by the Church to suppress this generation of logicians and rationalists,more explanations for how the universe functioned were being made at a rate that the people could no longer ignore.
49. As many took on the duty of trying to integrate reasoning and scientific philosophies into the world,the Renaissance was over and it was the time for a new era.
50. Such actions to seek knowledge and to understand what the information we already knew were captured by the Latin phrase 'sapere aude' or 'dare to know'.
Section Ⅲ Writing
The students union of your university has assigned you to inform the international students about an upcoming singing contest. Write a notice in about 100 words.
Write an essay of 160-200 words based on the pictures below. In your picture, you should
1) Describes the pictures briefly;
2) Interpret the implied meaning, and
3) Give your comments