The great educational divide

Bridging the gap between the sciences and the humanities by reworking global education systems may be necessary before measures to tackle global warming gain effective traction

Devangshu Datta

“The Two Cultures” was the title of an essay written in the 1950s by C P Snow, the polymath novelist, civil servant and physicist. Snow described the deep divide between the sciences and the humanities in striking terms, and asserted this divide was a big handicap in creating policy to tackle real-world problems.
Snow said many highly educated people with humanities backgrounds would not be able to define “mass” or “acceleration”, or state the “Second Law of Thermodynamics” while he also bemoaned the inability of highly-trained scientists to identify famous quotes from Shakespeare.
The divide became really apparent to me personally during the Covid-19 pandemic. During that first brutal lockdown, a friend with an MA in history asked me to explain what “exponential growth” was, and how one could extrapolate the course of an epidemic, and suggest mitigating policy action.
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Feb 24 2023 | 10:20 PM IST

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