C.P. Snow QuotesCharles Percy Snow, Baron Snow, CBE was an English novelist and physical chemist who also served in several important positions in the British Civil Service and briefly in the UK government. He is best known for his series of novels known collectively as Strangers and Brothers, and for The Two Cultures, a 1959 lecture in which he laments the gulf between scientists and "literary intellectuals".
I felt I was moving among two groups [literary intellectuals and scientists] comparable in intelligence, identical in race, not grossly different in social origin, earning about the same incomes, who had almost ceased to communicate at all, who in intellectual, moral and psychological climate had so little in common that instead of going from Burlington Hom or South Kensington to Chelsea, one might have crossed an ocean.
The main issue [of the Scientific Revolution] is that the people in the industrialised countries are getting richer, and those in the non-industrialised countries are at best standing still: so the gap between the industrialised countries and the rest is widening every day. On the world scale this is the gap between the rich and the poor.
Most of the scientists I have known well have felt – just as deeply as the non-scientists I have known well – that the individual condition of each is tragic. Each of us is alone: sometimes we escape from solitariness, through love or affection or perhaps creative moments, but those triumphs of life are pools of light we make for ourselves while the edge of the road is black: each of us dies alone.
For the first time I saw a medley of haphazard facts fall into line and order. All the jumbles and recipes and hotchpotch of the inorganic chemistry of my boyhood seemed to fit into the scheme before my eyes-as though one were standing beside a jungle and it suddenly transformed itself into a Dutch garden.
The only weapon we have to oppose the bad effects of technology is technology itself. There is no other. We can’t retreat into a nontechnological Eden which never existed…It is only by the rational use of technology to control and guide what technology is doing that we can keep any hopes of a social life more desireable than our own: or in fact of a social life which is not appalling to imagine.