"salvage biology revisited"
SSAR Annual Meeting
"… two groups …'the two cultures' … One of these contained the scientists, whose weight, achievement and influence did not need stressing. The other contained the literary intellectuals. … (who) …represent, vocalize, and to some extent shape and predict the mood of the nonscientific culture: they do not make the decisions, but their words seep into the minds of those who do. Between these two groups---the scientists and the literary intellectuals---
there is little communication and, instead of fellow feeling, something like hostility."
C. P. Snow THE TWO CULTURES: A SECOND LOOK (1963)
C. P. Snow originally presented his observations in 1959 during the excitement generated by a
revolution in physics research. Times had changed. The scientists of the post war era were well
respected and perhaps somewhat feared by the general populace. Their actions had directly
shaped world events. Alfred Einstein and his peers had controlled the opening of Pandora's Box.
In response the same Western Culture exploded with abstraction. Jackson Pollack and his peers
wove gold from the ashes of the atom. The triteness of "art for art's sake" became a 60's anthem.
Mass culture failed to grasp the significance of the ripple effect reflected by the leading edge of
Art and Science. Both reflected (and continue to reflect) parallel views of our collective understanding.
Today those views continue to ripple on tracks that no longer need to be parallel.
In the turn of the millennium the communications gulf between "the two cultures" has grown even deeper.
Western Culture collectively pays the price in terms of mistrust and a general lack of acceptance of the
Arts and the Sciences.
Oddly Nature seems to be paying the price of our inability to communicate.