While CP Snow’s observations about the lines dividing the “two cultures” in academia absolutely exist, I do not think that they are rooted in the areas he identifies. He see’s himself to walk both sides of the line, a false portrayal of unbiasedness which is immediately undermined by the qualities he describes of the two sides. Every personality type has pros and cons, which he presents with balance in regards to the scientists. However when looking through the biased lens of one of these personality types, which he clearly is, one can only see the negatives. His analysis of how literary intellectuals are, and how scientists perceive them, are both almost exclusively negative even if they are presented as positives. His generalizations focus on personality issues that are most of the time products of insecurities rooted in the exact same conditions in life, for better or worse, that gave this personality type the “active mind” that did not allow them the liberty to focus on the rigorous and often monotonous study of the maths and sciences without distraction. However, if someone always has issues and questions on the forefront of their mind, the creative-problem solving skills developed over time are exactly the ones potentially valuable to scientific progress.
As it was taught to me, science is just a method of making discoveries, either for the purpose of knowledge or innovation. Scientists are people that are intellectually well equipped to carry out this method in specific subject areas. However, ideas must guide all hypotheses in the first place. Isn’t this naturally a qualitative, creatively based pursuit? There is clearly a social divide between the personality types that spawn from these areas of study, but I don’t think the lack of respect comes from the humanities side. Whereas a government major may have a broad, memorized understanding of the inner-working of a nation’s government as it is, they still respect and encourage those who want to study the theory behind these government systems. This is because there is an understanding that this theory is what guides new policy, and can defend the old when supported by numbers. The fact that there is this mutual respect in government courses completely refutes the argument that the literary intellectuals are the ones leading this cultural divide.
I have never met a humanities major that looked down on science majors, outside of feeling as if they are closed minded due to the lack of respect and patronization they themselves received. There is no denying science is a time consuming and demanding area of study. Conversely I have met very few Math or Science majors who respect the way that humanities majors think, both in academics and life. Some have gone as far to directly call them out in the civil discourse and in public social discussion. Unlike Government majors, scientists typically don’t even go so far to entertain the proposed hypothesis of humanities majors if there is not sufficient evidence, which there rarely is for progressive ideas because that’s exactly what a hypothesis is supposed to be. This is because there is no respect for the course of study and if you cant put it in proper scientific terms apparently ones empirical or philosophical evidence bears no weight.
A healthy relationship would be for Philosophy to hypothesize science, science to verify philosophy, and government to implement these verified theories. I feel as if a literary-based education of scientific history and principles, which I hope to receive from STS, is the perfect area to bridge this gap for a more productive relationship between these two sides. With this considered, I find it disheartening that I am the only Humanities major in 2 periods of Intro to STS. While I understand the intimidation, if humanity subjects are ever to take a role in progress, more majors should become versed in areas of science.