Sunday, March 30, 2014

[Yasmin_discussions] was C.P.Snow Wrong ?


You may be interested in the discussion about whether C.P.Snow
was wrong-

In reply to sonia sheridan I replied as follows

>From Sonia Sheridan

CP Snow gave us a warning that was much needed. We have been acting on
that. This did not make CP Snow wrong. Instead thank him for the


thanks for your comment on my blog post being wrong-
yes Snow did give a good alert- but in recent discussions i
have become impressed at how his metaphor of the two cultures
has become ingrained in peoples thinking and has actually
become an obstacle

the other problematic metaphors are
a) left brain/ right brain- recent neuroscience makes clear that this is not the
most useful way to categorise cognitive functioning
b) the tree of knowledge- as trees age they become rigid and hard to
re structure- the metaphor of the network of knowledge immediately
is dynamic and reactive
c) the third culture metaphor- the idea must be to create links not to merge
d) the concept of Kuhnian paradigm change has been widely mis
interpreted (to Kuhn's dismay)

people still disseminate CP Snow as a fact- and the reality is there is now
a large and growing creative community that is hybrid and migrates easily
across the network of knowledge

i know its a bit polemical but i do think we need to change our metaphors !

If you read C.P Snow carefully he was much more nuanced than his followers
and his focus was on development in the developing world and the need to
have civil servants that understood science and technology

we are just peer reviewing the 50 submissions we received on the esoteric
topic of the arts, humanities and complex networks Leonardo Day at the
Network Science Conference in Berkeley June 3

and the breadth and depth of trans-disciplinary inquiry is mind boggling

Roger F Malina
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