• Eileen Pollack, author of A Perfect Life, (Lithub.com – May 2016), acknowledges the Two Cultures lecture in her essay, “Why Fiction Needs More Women Scientists.”  She writes: Years ago, when I was trying to decide between physics and writing, my professor, John Hersey, told me to read C.P. Snow’s famous lecture “The Two Cultures,” in… [Continue Reading]

    Eileen Pollack on the Fully Connected Perfect Life of Fiction
  • The Jazz of Physics is a new book by Stephon Alexander.

    Jazzing Up the Cosmological Metaphor
  •   The book Two Cultures was based on a speech delivered by the English physicist C.P. Snow in the late 1950’s.  While there was considerable controversy at the time, and later, there is little evidence that work in the humanities has moved to bridge the continental drift between the two types of discipline. For poets,… [Continue Reading]

    Two Cultures Remembered
  • TwoCultures.net featires images from photographers and artists. Send your Two Cultures image.   Credit: Yoko Nekonomania | Flickr

    Image Credits
  • Traditional poets reify, dignify nature. They do not try to understand it, or to analogize using nature as seen through science.

    Nature 1
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Abstractions

Art in the Margins Do fiction, poetry try to exist in a simplified world that can no longer be sustained?

Multiple Views of Logic

The logic of science and anthropomorphic logic can, must be reconciled.

Interact with the Other

Students of the humanities must interact with The Other.

Interpreting Digital Media

Digital media is transformative in ways that extend far beyond new business models.

Not Wrong, Just Irrelevant

It's not so much that contemporary literature is bad, but that it's increasingly irrelevant to mainstream science and technology

Discourse

New forms of discourse have emerged, but require curation and analysis.

Image and Imagination

There is greater variety and volume of imagery, but imaginations are not being trained to embrace -- or expand beyond imagery.

Embracing Complexity

Cognitive complexity is a psychological characteristic or psychological variable that indicates how complex or simple is the frame and perceptual skill of a person.

Cognitive complexity is a notion introduced by James Bieri in 1955. Bieri later pursued an interest in English Romantic poetry and in 2005 published a two-volume biography of Shelley.

Scholarship

Describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics

"I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of: 'Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?"

--C.P. Snow

Polarities

Snow's Polarities "Two polar groups: at one pole we have the literary intellectuals, at the other scientists, and as the most representative, the physical scientists. Between the two a gulf of mutual incomprehension."

C.P. Snow

Read Snow's Original Paper

New Statesman has published the full text of the C.P. Snow article published in 1956. "It is that kind of moral health of the scientists which, in the last few years, the rest of us have needed most; and of which, because the two cultures scarcely touch, we have been most deprived."

Electronic microscopy of a human flea published by <i>The Telegraph</i>  http://bit.ly/23TrYkq

Third Space

Australian researchers proposed the "emergence of a 'third space' at the intersection of art and science in the public domain – a site of trans disciplinary engagement, inquiry and knowledge production that plays a vital role in the contemporary research landscape."

L. Muller, Bennett, J. Froggett, L., Bartlett, V. "Understanding Third Space:Evaluating Art-Science Collaboration" in Proceedings of ISEA 2015

Symbols via Google Material Icons
Photo by Kreg Steppe - https://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/
"The arts? The only one which is cultivated among scientists is music. It goes both wide and deep; there may possibly be a greater density of musical appreciation than in the traditional culture. In comparison, the graphic arts (except architecture) score little, and poetry not at all. Some novels work their way through, but not as a rule the novels which literary persons set most value on. The two cultures have so few points of contact that the diffusion of novels shows the same sort of delay, and exhibits the same oddities, as though they were getting into translation in a foreign country."

C. P. Snow

Photo by Anthony D'Onofrio https://www.flickr.com/photos/adonofrio/
"The first thing, impossible to miss, is that scientists are on the up and up; they have the strength of a social force behind them. If they are English, they share the experience common to us all – of being in a country sliding economically downhill – but in addition (and to many of them it seems psychologically more important) they belong to something more than a profession, to something more like a directing class of a new society. In a sense oddly divorced from politics, they are the new men."

C. P. Snow

"Neither culture knows the virtues of the other; often it seems they deliberately do not want to know. The resentment which the traditional culture feels for the scientific is shaded with fear; from the other side, the resentment is not shaded so much as brimming with irritation. When scientists are faced with an expression of the traditional culture, it tends (to borrow Mr William Cooper’s eloquent phrase) to make their feet ache."

C. P. Snow

Photo by arrathoonlaa@att.net - https://www.flickr.com/photos/21851382@N04/
"The traditional culture, which is, of course, mainly literary, is behaving like a state whose power is rapidly declining – standing on its precarious dignity, spending far too much energy on Alexandrine intricacies, occasionally letting fly in fits of aggressive pique quite beyond its means, too much on the defensive to show any generous imagination to the forces which must inevitably reshape it."

--C.P. Snow

Nature, Humans, Machines

"At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It's not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is."

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