BBC Radio 4 presenter Mark Lythgoe asks why are scientists and artists so different?
The New Two Cultures
The science verses art debate started nearly 50 years ago when British scientist and novelist CP Snow gave his famous speech The Two Cultures. In it he lamented the breakdown of communication and understanding between the opposing sides.
In this series of two programmes, neuroscientist and arts enthusiast Mark Lythgoe looks into the worlds of science and art to find out if they’re still poles apart.
Mark explores the history of the split between the Two Cultures to find out why CP Snow’s lecture, and the resulting backlash, caused a global controversy.
Fine arts student Mia swaps places with quantum physicist Nic to find out whether the divide is still as deep today.
Recent psychology research suggests that people who work in science and arts think in a different way. So what is it that drives people to become scientists or artists, and is it innate? Listen again to programme 1
What happens when the ‘Two Cultures’ come together? In this programme Mark looks at what science can contribute to art and art to science.
Alex James from Blur is the new Artist in Residence in Oxford University’s Physics Department. Head Professor Roger Davies thinks that these collaborations are incredibly productive.
Bringing science and art together is now big business. The Wellcome Trust has spent £3million over the past decade funding Sciart projects.
But others, like biologist Lewis Wolpert, think that the benefit is one-sided claiming, “art has contributed zero to science.” Listen again to programme 2