Friday, May 08, 2009

Crease, Robert P. "TWO CULTURES Turns 50." PHYSICSWORLD.COM May 1, 2009.

Half a century ago this month, the physicist and author Charles Percy Snow (1905—1980) delivered the annual Rede Lecture in the Senate House of the University of Cambridge. (Usually referred to as C P Snow, he was later made a life peer and enjoyed appearing in the House of Lords as Baron Snow, despite being a self-professed socialist.) Its title — The Two Cultures — referred to a gulf Snow diagnosed between “literary intellectuals” and “natural scientists”, and it elaborated themes he had mentioned in the New Statesman three years earlier. The talk was published in Encounter in June and July 1959, and then as a book. Soon after the book appeared, critics attacked Snow’s abilities as a writer, his achievements as a scientist, the rigour of his concepts, the legitimacy of his characterizations and the validity of his claims. Yet the book remains in print, and its famous phrase continues to describe the gulf still perceived to exist between the arts and sciences. Read the rest here:

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