Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard|
Cultures in Common: 50 Years of Reflection on Science, Technology, and Society
May 7-8, 2009,
On May 7, 1959, C.P. Snow, the prominent Cambridge (UK) scientist, novelist, and government adviser, gave a lecture that introduced a memorable phrase into discussions of science's place in society. Entitled "The Two Cultures," Snow's lecture described a growing gulf between the cultures of the sciences and the humanities, a divide that Snow saw as dangerous and a hindrance to responsible education and problem solving. The 50th anniversary of that lecture marks an occasion for us to take stock and to see whether Snow's arguments hold water today. On May 7-8, 2009, the Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Science, Technology and Society, together with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Humanities Center at Harvard, and the STS Program at MIT, will present a panel discussion and workshop on the "two cultures." Under the heading "Cultures in Common," a distinguished roster of speakers from Harvard, MIT, and beyond will explore the many ways in which the cultures of science—far from standing apart from the rest of the academic disciplines—are in constant conversation with the cultures of the humanities, the social sciences, the arts, the law, and, not least, engineering and applied sciences. The occasion will help frame an agenda for 21st century Cambridge (Massachusetts) conversations on education and research at the intersections of science, technology, and society.
An article on the panel was published in the Harvard Gazette: “Still ‘two cultures’ but who’s on top?”
Thursday, May 7: OPENING PANEL
4:30pm-6:30pm, followed by reception
History, Harvard University
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
History of Science, Harvard University
Constitutional Law, Harvard University Professor
Friday, May 5: WORKSHOP
9:00am :: Setting the Stage
Cultural Politics and the “Two Cultures” Controversy Controversy
Another Culture? American Responses to Snow and Leavis
Chair: Sheila Jasanoff (STS, Harvard Kennedy School)
10:30am :: Science in/and Culture
Science Is/As Culture
Icons and Mentors
Anthropology as an Unruly Discipline
Chair: Joseph Herman (Chemistry, Harvard University)
12:15pm :: Mediating Science, Appropriating Culture
Uses and Abuses of Snow in the Public Sphere
1:00pm :: Science, Law, Medicine
Judicial Science: An Oxymoron?
Cloning Cultures: Snow to Varmus, with Commentary by Harkin and Shelley
Ordering the Wild Frontier: The Cultures of the Internet
Images, Logics, and Cultures of Reason
Chair: Andrew Lakoff (Sociology, UC Berkeley)
2:30pm :: Science and Public Life
C.P. Snow and the Moralization of the Scientist: Alchemist, Magus and Shaman?
The Climate in Congress
The Other Two Cultures: East, West, and “Scientific Manpower”
Chair: Alex Wellerstein (History of Science, Harvard University)
4:15pm :: Cultures in Common?
Science, Art, Politics
Chair: Hélène Mialet (Anthropology, UC Berkeley)
William James and the Piranha
Sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School's Program on Science, Technology and Society, together with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Humanities Center at Harvard, and the STS Program at MIT.