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The Sciences

The Two Cultures Reading Schedule


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[This is the first in a series of posts written in anticipation of the May 9 "Two Cultures" conference at the New York Academy of Sciences, which we helped organize.]

So: I've decided to do this C.P. Snow blogging thing. Here's the plan: Anyone who's interested, get yourself a copy of The Two Cultures. The lecture is less than 50 pages long, so it's not like it's a ton of work to read or anything. And (the joke is getting old) there are no equations! We recommend the following edition, pictured at left: Cambridge/Canto, 1993 paperback. There is a spectacularly good opening essay by Stefan Collini, and then there's also Snow's 1963 essay "The Two Cultures: A Second Look" included at the back. These are great additional readings, though on the blog here we'll only focus on the original lecture. Here's the schedule: We're going to take a week to allow everyone to get, in hand, a copy. Then, blogging about the book will begin the week of April 20. We'll divide the text up into three sections, and we'll devote a week to each. So it will go like this:

Week of April 20: Part I, "The two cultures," p. 1-21. Week of April 27: Part II-III, "Intellectuals as natural Luddites"; "The Scientific Revolution," p. 22-40. Week of May 4: Part IV, "The rich and the poor," p. 41-51.

Clearly, then, this will be a close readings. So: get your books, and start your engines...

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