Shelf 3: The Two Cultures: Literature and Science

When C.P. Snow, chemist and novelist, introduced the idea of a split between the “two cultures” of science and the humanities, he was thinking mostly about the division between Oxford and Cambridge in England.  But he could have been reflecting on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, where humanities and social scientists congregate at the Memorial Union while the science majors and engineers congregate at Union South.  One of my favorite classes to teach has been “Science and Literature” which brings together science-types fulfilling their literature requirement and humanities-types determined to prove to their science friends that they’re not totally ignorant.

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