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ERIC Number: EJ1098503
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
"The Two Cultures" and the Historical Perspective on Science as a Culture
Rocherberg, Francesca
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2007 n1 Win 2007
In the Rede lecture of 1959, C.P.Snow speaks in terms of two cultures, one of science, the other of literary intellectuals. Snow's discussion presupposes that science represents a culture of its own, independent of and superior to the arts and humanities, and unified within itself. At our present distance from this claim, Snow's point of view can be seen as a product of the philosophical orientation to science as an embodiment of universal truths about nature as well as cold war pressures on the West to improve educational standards in science. As the terms in which science is discussed have changed in the last nearly half-century, so has our response to the terms of Snow's "Two Cultures" altered with time. The fields of history and sociology of science have shown the degree to which science is both fully enmeshed in society and conditioned by history, making it more difficult to support the idea of a separate "culture" of science immune from the effects of society and history. That the viability of a culture of science as an independent entity is contested in contemporary academic circles furthermore affects the mode in which students of science and the humanities are inculcated. This paper discusses the historical perspective on science as a culture and considers the impact of changing views about the nature, aims, and methods of science on the teaching of science and its history.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A