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Quentin Cooper looks at the 'Two Cultures' divide, 50 years on from CP Snow's lecture. Snow's observations were borne out of his time in Whitehall, finding himself to possess a scientific literacy that was then, he claimed, a rare commodity in what he termed the 'corridors of power'. Sir David King was Tony Blair's Chief Scientific Adviser, while Professor John Marburger was Scientific Adviser to President George W Bush. Quentin hears to what extent things have changed and how much of Snow's argument rings true today.

Also, the European Space Agency plans to launch a joint mission, firing two separate space telescopes into space atop one rocket: the Planck Surveyor and the Herschel Space Observatory. They will sit in a gravitational equilibrium point betweent he earth and the sun - a much more stable place for a telescope than earth orbit - and gaze at the universe in microwave and infrared light. Hubble only sees in visible light, when most of the universe actually emits in these arguably less aesthetic wavelengths. Professor George Efstathiou and Dr Dave Clements discuss the scientific hopes of these next-generation observatories.

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30 minutes

Last on

Thu 7 May 2009 16:30
BBC Radio 4 FM only

Inside Science

BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.

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