Chapter 779: Feats or faults, leave it to the future generations to judge for themselves!
Translator: Legge Editor: - -
On the same day.
Peking University's Dean Pan had called Zhang Ye's mother several times. When his mother could no longer bear this incessant hounding, she finally gave in and allowed him to speak to Zhang Ye.
Zhang Ye took his mother's cell phone.
"Dean Pan, I'm really busy right now."
"Even if you are dying, you still have to come back here!"
"But I've already turned down the award. What's the point in me going over there?"
"The reporters have already clogged our doorsteps and there's also foreign reporters!"
"Then why don't you help me handle them a bit?"
"You're the main character. If you don't make an appearance, who can possibly handle them? Everyone is waiting for you to show yourself! You'd better hurry and come back here right now! The whole world has already found out about your rejection of the award. The Abel Foundation has also issued their statement. None of us are going to ask you to accept the award anymore, so even if you want it, there's nothing to accept. I want you to come back here and handle the media and clear up the incident yourself. There has to be a follow through no matter what. How can you just say nothing and not show yourself? What would that demonstrate? If the foreign media sees that, they might even think that all of our Chinese professors are this unreasonable!"
"The press conference will begin immediately, so come down at once."
"OK, I got it."
"You must be here at the venue!"
"I know. I won't make things difficult for you."
After he put down the phone, Zhang Ye informed his parents and changed into formal wear. Dean Pan was right. Ever since yesterday when this incident occurred, Zhang Ye had not made an appearance in public at all, nor did he express his attitude. Now that everything could no longer be changed, with his award turned down, Johannes getting sacked, and the Abel Foundation suffering a great blow, Zhang Ye was receiving a lot of criticism in the global mathematics field. No matter how it went, Zhang Ye still had to make an appearance and not let Peking University and Dean Pan bear the brunt of this pressure. In any case, Zhang Ye was used to such situations.
At Peking University.
Evening, 7 PM.
When Zhang Ye arrived in his car, a small-scale press conference was in progress in one of the smaller halls. Zhang Ye was escorted by Peking University's people through the back entrance, where he immediately saw the small hall packed with media reporters. The camcorders and cameras were set up all over the place, and about nine blond and brunette foreign reporters stood out in the crowd of people. Every one of them was staring at Dean Pan and a vice president of Peking University, posing questions to them.
When Zhang Ye appeared, the entire venue's atmosphere changed at once!
"Zhang Ye has arrived!"
"Teacher Zhang, did you turn down the award because of the Abel Foundation's contempt for you?"
"Professor Zhang, do you know the stir that you have caused in the global mathematics field with your rejection of the award? What are your views on the criticism from the foreign academics?"
The reporters were asking questions like they were on stimulants as question after question was raised!
A Peking University staff member immediately tried to maintain order. "One by one! Please raise your questions one by one!"
Dean Pan gave Zhang Ye a look.
That vice president of Peking University also looked at Zhang Ye with blame. Ever since the incident, this was the first time they were seeing him in person again. Regarding Zhang Ye's rejection of the award, it would be a lie if they said they didn't care. Which person of Peking University did not hope to see Zhang Ye be honored with the award? Yet it was too late to say anything anymore. It was already a foregone conclusion, so what else could they do? They could only hope that after the proof of Dale's Conjecture had been validated, there would be another chance at getting an international award. By then, Zhang Ye had better not act impulsively like this anymore. Though coming back to the point, after this incident, which international award would dare come knocking on Zhang Ye's door again!? This fellow's handling of matters was simply too unreliable. He was too much of a troublemaker!
Zhang Ye went up on stage and took a seat near the Peking University Vice President. Compared to the glum people up there, today's VIP, Zhang Ye, had a much more relaxed expression than everyone else. He even occasionally showed a smile, making that vice president and Dean Pan grit their teeth.
Zhang Ye spoke after he took his seat, "Good evening, dear friends from the media. The reason for my rejection of the award this time was entirely personal, so please don't speculate about it."
Hearing that, the Peking University Vice President and Dean Pan nodded slightly, looking a little better this time. They knew Zhang Ye had explained it this way because he had given it proper thought. The matter was already laid to rest; he had also gotten his revenge and vented his frustration. If he still raised the issue of the visa application, then that would have been very meaningless, and would also show his pettiness. Therefore, at this point, he might as well not bring it up anymore. Otherwise, if he continued being aggressive about things, the criticisms against Zhang Ye would surely increase. If that happened, it would guarantee that no one would ever consider him for any international awards in the future. This was something that Zhang Ye clearly understood.
But the more Zhang Ye understood this, the more Dean Pan and the school leaders felt helpless about this situation. Who said Zhang Ye was dumb? This fellow was definitely not stupid, and he knew and understood everything very well. However, for all his cleverness, it made the things he did seem even more unreasonable. Sometimes, this really made people not know how to react!
Zhang Ye continued answering the questions. "As for the criticism against me from the global mathematics field, since I did not go online today, I'm unclear about them. However, I must make clear that rejecting the award was purely a personal decision. Therefore, if anyone has anything they want to say, please aim it at me alone. Do not make things difficult for my bosses and colleagues at Peking University."
More questions were thrown out in quick succession.
Zhang Ye answered without reservation, with a mostly bureaucratic tone.
An hour passed. The vice president looked at his watch and then interrupted the reporters' questions to announce, "It's getting late. I'm sure everyone has asked enough questions, so let's end the press conference here!"
Zhang Ye and the Peking University people stood to leave.
The Vice President successfully left the stage, with Dean Pan following close behind, nearly making it out as well. However, it wasn't so smooth for Zhang Ye as he got surrounded by the reporters who had rushed up onto the stage!
A reporter from The Morning Post: "Give us a little more detail, Teacher Zhang!"
Zhang Ye said helplessly, "Alrighty then, I will answer one last question."
A foreign reporter asked, "Zhang, I heard that there were some Chinese mathematicians who also expressed their dissatisfaction with your rejection of the award. How do you view your fellow mathematicians' comments of you?"
A female reporter from Beijing Times asked, "Professor Zhang, there are people who are praising you, but at the same time, a lot of people are scolding you. There's a great amount of controversy surrounding you, so what I would like to know is not how others see you, since that is already publicly known. I'm curious about how you view yourself. If a monument was erected for future generations and you could write your deeds or achievements on it, or if you prefer, your regrets and self-criticism, what would you pen?"
This question was very interesting.
Zhang Ye looked at her and smiled. "On that monument, I would not leave any words."
"Not carve anything onto it?"
"What do you mean by that?"
Zhang Ye said very calmly, opening his mouth to slowly speak, "Feats or faults, leave it to future generations to judge for themselves!" With that, Zhang Ye turned and left without another word.
When Dean Pan heard that, he was taken aback.
The vice president also heard and immediately stopped in his tracks. He gave Zhang Ye a slightly startled glance.
The reporters on scene also showed shocked expressions!
Zhang Ye's words had not been heard by the people of this world before. However, this saying was very well-known in his previous world. The most widespread version of it was "there will be future generations to judge" or "give it to future generations to judge." The meaning behind these words was that perhaps several decades or centuries later, future generations would give a fair assessment. However, Zhang Ye did not put it this way here, as he chose the words "leave it to future generations to judge for themselves"-he essentially did not care how the future generations judged him. Be it praise or criticism, however the future generations judged him, Zhang Ye would not care. The only thing that mattered to him was this: a clear conscience!
As for anything other than that?
You can say whatever you like!!