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die pages, the reader will have no great difficulty in finding once again all die familiar features: die laborious argument to explain away unpalatable facts; the appeal to authority ; the astonishing personal claim; die attempt to discredit die work of those who do not share the audior's view. Such features never lose dieir charm and undoubtedly make the book more attractive to read, but they do not, in my opinion, add anything ofsubstance to die audior's case. Bernard Katz University College, London The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution. By C. P. Snow. Rede Lecture, 1959. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1959. Pp. 58. $1.75. The "two cultures" are the culture ofdie men ofscience and the culture ofpractically all die rest ofWestern society, primarily the artistic and literary culture ofthe so-called "intellectuals." Sir Charles Snow is uniquely qualified to write such a book, being at die same time a novelist ofdistinction, with afelicity ofstyle which makes the book a delight to read, and a scientist who did his own bit of scientific research at Cambridge during "one ofdie most wonderful creative periods in all physics," and who later was in charge ofdie scientific recruitment ofBritain during the second World War. His thesis is diat there is a gulfofalmost total incomprehension between the two cultures , that this gulfis becoming wider, and diat the feeling ofthe intellectuals toward die scientists is by way ofbecoming actively anti-scientific. The reasons for this are analyzed; in diis analysis the scientist appears in a somewhat more favorable light than the intellectual . But Sir Charles is chiefly concerned widi die consequences, which can be viewed only with the most serious misgivings. The consequences are especially serious because society is now passing through a period ofthe most revolutionary change since die invention of agriculture. The change is the change resulting from the industrial revolution. Two periods in the industrial revolution are to be recognized: die early period, in which matters pretty much took dieir own course, and die present period ofenormously accelerated progress because ofthe deliberate exploitation ofthe results ofscientific research. A society is obviously unfitted to cope widi a change ofthis magnitude when the vast majority ofits cleverest people have no idea ofwhat science is about, do not see what is happening, and do not much care. Sir Charles sees no remedy for this situation except a reform ofeducation. He makes a number ofspecific suggestions, without much apparent optimism that the suggestionswill be adopted. He regardsdie situation as particularly serious in England but is free to point out serious weaknessesinbodi the United States and Russia. He regards Russia as, on die whole, facing the situation most realistically. The present industrial revolution will ultimately result in the abolition ofthe distinction between die rich and the poor nations; he foresees the abolition ofthe distinction by the end of the century. He regards the period during which die have-not nations are pulling up their living standards as a particularly critical period for die West. He en565 visages that the West—in practice diis means the United States almost exclusively—must so modify itseconomythat it canpour the requisite financialresources into die submerged nations, and must so modify its educational system as to produce the abnormal number ofengineers necessary to give the technical assistance which will be temporarily required to assist the backward countries. The reason? He says, "I do know this: diat ifwe don't do it, die Communist countries will in time." By implication this would be the supreme calamity. It seems to me that here is the weakest part ofSir Charles's argument. Whyis it such a calamity ifthe Communist countries do do it first? Is not our fear based on the premise that economic aid is inseparable from political domination, and that eventual world domination will continue to be the ultimate Communist objective? But the Communist world also contains intelligent people, and the scientific industrial revolution will make changes there as well as here. It is already becoming evident to the more intelligent ofthem that their society is notdeveloping along the lines postulated by Marx. The Communist society as well as ours has the seeds ofchange in it. Ifwe are really convinced...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 565-566
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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