Charles Percy Snow was born in Leicester in 1905 and – like his fictional alter ago Lewis Eliot – determined from an early age to be remembered. The essays in this issue, some 60 years after he first wrote about ‘The Two Cultures’, give testimony that in this respect he has been successful. There is still merit in his essential contentions that there are graduates in the humanities who remain out of touch with scientific developments – and science graduates who don’t read novels. But the world has changed: the computer revolution and the World Wide Web have permitted far broader access to each of the two cultures. While the split between the humanities and the sciences may have grown less, another fissure has become prominent: the sharp divide between those I call the true children of the European enlightenment and those who reject these values, the ‘fideists’. This argument began at Christ’s College, Cambridge.
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