Calling the humanities home

If we talk of ‘two cultures’ today, it’s not the divide between arts and sciences that we should have in mind.

The crucial issue is the gulf between commerce and higher education – especially between business and the humanities.

I don’t think that much of the rancour that so annoyed English physicist and novelist Charles Percy Snow circa 1960, still exists. There is something really quite touching about his description of a Shakespeare scholar snubbing a physicist after dinner in a Cambridge college. It sounds like a report from another world.

But another version of the two cultures does exist, and it is even more important. The ways in which humanities people think of business and the way some business people think of the humanities puts Snow’s common room bickering in the shade.

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