The Two Cultures — again! But this time the other way round

53 years ago this year, C.P. Snow gaves his famous Rede Lecture at Cambridge, about the intellectual and ideological chasm he perceived between Britain’s two cultures – that of ‘literary intellectuals’ vs that of scientists and engineers. He argued that the former dominated the latter, with devastating consequences for Britain’s future and its place in the world. In the half-century since then, it looks as though the pendulum has really swung the other way, as the utilitarian values implicit in the Browne Review of Higher Education start to distort the entire university system, and now the Gove ‘reforms’ of the school curriculum will excise Arts subjects from the new English baccalaureate.