Science & Technology

Opinion: Bridging intellectual division

Mena 1959 lectureCP Snow, a British physicist and novelist, warned a colleague in Cambridge that “the intellectual life of Western society as a whole is increasingly divided into two polar groups.” Yuki mentioned the gap between science scholars and the humanities, complaining that “literary intellectuals” and “physical scientists” did not understand or respect each other. Fast forward 62 years, the situation was exacerbated by a series of global challenges that required further retention, a reduction in the number of students majoring in the humanities, and the creative confluence of different types of knowledge.

In my new book Don’t be great mind idea Similarly, I record conversations with leading thinkers who bridge the gap between science and the humanities.

The rapid growth of many areas of scientific knowledge in the last three centuries has led to a model of niche knowledge. In science, you are trained to be technically proficient in a particular subfield. Those who dare to cross the field before their tenure are usually punished (read: denied tenure). The same hyperspecialization model pervades the humanities. Classicists do not study Edmund Hussar or Jorge Luis Borges, just as typical laser physicists do not understand astrophysicists. There are exceptions, of course, but they are rare in both areas. This focus is necessary for success in academia, but conflicts with the intellectual openness needed to learn from other areas of research.

The establishment of this knowledge influences our worldview and teaching style. Snow Lamentation was intended as an awakening call to promote intellectual openness and curiosity, an invitation that has not yet been paid attention to. In order to face the difficult challenges that threaten civilization, what you want to learn from others is those who have an interest far from your field of study or who have different political or cultural perspectives. Even is essential. And for this to happen, science and the humanities must be open to each other.

Thankfully, the barriers between science and the humanities are breaking down. Important questions that were once primarily in the humanities are now part of scientific research. Conversely, science and its use are inseparable from moral choices. All new technologies have light and shadow. The nature of free will, the nature of reality, the nature of consciousness, the future of mankind in the increasingly technological world, our future in the universe, the loneliness of the universe, the limits of scientific knowledge-such problems and many others. It is beyond the boundaries of learning. Looking at one of them from a one-sided perspective (scientific or humane) is like looking through a window with the blinds down. With these questions at the forefront, there is an unprecedented opportunity to bring science and the humanities into constructive engagement and reposition them as complementary and interdependent aspects of human knowledge.

read excerpt of Great hearts don’t think the same

For example, with CRISPR and other genetic engineering technologies, we are now at the limit of being able to modify the human genome in ways that benefit or annoy future generations. Jennifer Doudna, 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry With Emmanuelle Charpentier for the discovery of CRISPR Said She is increasingly worried about the potential ethical implications of genome editing, citing issues of access, eugenics, privileges, and global regulatory difficulties. In addition to this, there are fast-growing features of machine learning and other technologies. We find that promising technology can be turned into existence risk by advancing a scientific agenda without humanitarian considerations, primarily based on commercial interests. The unadvised utopian scenario of science as a cure for all evil can quickly turn into dystopia.

But this is the world we live in and the world that future generations will inherit. Great hearts don’t think the same Is a collection of privileged conversations with leading scientists and humanists in various disciplines that unravel some of these nasty and contemporary problems.They were part of a larger experiment Dartmouth Interdisciplinary Engagement InstituteCreated to remove interdisciplinary barriers between science practitioners and the humanities through conversations, fellowships, and workshops. Surprisingly, we have witnessed a great deal of support from guests and a diverse audience for this readjustment. Call out to the need for new means of communication and break down the barriers to open learning from each other.

Opinion: Bridging intellectual division Opinion: Bridging intellectual division

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