Two Cultures

cpsnowThe term ‘Two Cultures’ was coined by Sir Charles Snow more than fifty years ago in his 1959 Rede Lecture to describe the gulf that existed then and persists today between scientists and non-scientists.  He equated not knowing the second law of thermodynamics to never having read anything by Shakespeare.  A number of my posts have referred to the Second Law of Thermodynamics because it explains why engines run and chemical reactions occur but to quote Peter Atkins, it is also ‘the foundation for understanding those most exquisite consequences of chemical reactions – acts of literary, artistic and musical creativity that enhance our culture‘.

Snow, C.P., The Two Cultures: and A Second Look, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1964.

Atkins, P., The Laws of Thermodynamics –  A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010.

3 thoughts on “Two Cultures

  1. Pingback: Why is thermodynamics so hard? | Realize Engineering

  2. Pingback: Ada Lovelace astride two cultures | Realize Engineering

  3. Pingback: Everything is flux but it’s not always been recognised | Realize Engineering

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