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Whither the two cultures?

Image: Scholars at an Abbasid library, part of the Baghdad “House of Wisdom”;  by Yahyá ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti, 1237

This is a guest post by Viqar Husain, a theoretical physicist with research interests in quantum gravity – and scholarly interests that range much more widely.

Little of substance has been written about the literary and scientific “two cultures” since C.P. Snow’s historic essay lamenting the academic divide.  2009 marked its 50th anniversary, with limited commentary.

This is perhaps not surprising. A look at the louder discourse over the last two decades suggests unification is not near. If anything, the gulf perceived by Snow has widened to a chasm. Two prominent snapshots highlight this trend. Continue reading