There are two cultures–that of scientists, and that of literary humanists. These two cultures can be described by the quadrivium and trivium of liberal arts. The trivium, which consists of logic, grammar and rhetoric, is humanities, or soft sciences. The quadrivium, consisting arithmetic, astronomy, geometry and music, is sciences. Throughout history there has been disconnect between these two cultures, and there is too often a lack of understanding for the culture one does not associate with. As the trivium’s importance and relevance to society declined, the quadrivium was on an incline, and the divide between the two increased. While some people question whether the trivium is trivial compared to the quadrivium, I argue that they rely on each other far more than we seem to realize. Recognizing the bridge, and coming to an understanding between hard and soft sciences can ultimately enhance them both.
Initially, we must be aware of a few misconceptions that people use to generalize the two cultures. Humanitarians are thought to be the creative, eloquent and thoughtful people. Scientists are conversely viewed as driven, curious and straight forward. With these generalizations in mind, a very clear connection, or cross-cultural zone, can immediately be seen in music. Music technically falls into the quadrivium, and the mathematical patterns, chords and intervals lie within hard sciences. However, without the soft sciences, music is far from its finest. Creativity is necessary to create all music, and many of the best works are considered to express a great deal of emotion in a melodic way. Does this not mimic great pieces of writing? Yes, without the hard science behind the structure we would physically be unable to create, hear or understand music. However, without soft sciences we would be unable to truly appreciate the depth that music can explore.
The same goes for most other subfields of the two cultures. Arithmetics must be creative in the ways that they approach difficult integrations. Logic and the logos of rhetoric depends heavily on the hard facts provided by hard sciences. Underneath the current science of astronomy is a foundation told through writings and stories. Grammar relies entirely on patterns and structure that can be described through mathematics. Geometry is both science and art. The two cultures intertwine throughout, and there is no place in which one is seperate from the other.
In fact, when looking at the overlaps between, it becomes evident that they not only rely on each other, but are furthered by each other. A great scientific discovery is worthless if not expressed through writing in a manner that is comprehensible. Therefore a scientist must share some of the eloquence of a humanitarian. No matter how creative and insightful a writer is, without properly formatting their work, a piece would, too, be incomprehensible. So a writer similarly must rely on mathematical skills.
This is not to say that a writer is no more creative than a mathematician, nor a mathematician no more organized than a writer. Both might be true. This also is not to argue that people should have completely balanced education or else will not be great at anything. Because to a certain extent, having a focused path will only allow people to excel faster and further. However, a certain level of roundedness, or appreciation of the opposing culture, can only help one thrive in their own. Ultimately, there is a clear bridge between the two cultures that exists as a route to the best successes for each.