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Cultures of Incomprehension?: The Legacy of the Two Cultures Debate at the End of the Twentieth Century

Lock, SJ; (2016) Cultures of Incomprehension?: The Legacy of the Two Cultures Debate at the End of the Twentieth Century. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews , 41 (2-3) pp. 148-166. 10.1080/03080188.2016.1223581. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper considers the impact of Snow's Two Culture's thesis on debates about the place of science and scientists in society in the latter part of the twentieth century. Debates concerned with the public understanding of science and the ‘science wars’, both of which relied to some extent on the dividing of society into ‘two cultures’, are contextualised within longer efforts by scientists to popularise definitions of science and society and their relationship with other epistemic communities. This paper argues that we should think about all these episodes as part of ongoing rhetorical boundary work, reflective of strains and stressors on science as an institution. The two cultures debate has provided one powerful rhetorical device, amongst many, for ongoing boundary work to establish or question science as the dominant form of knowledge in society and delineate who is allowed to speak for it, and wield its power.

Type: Article
Title: Cultures of Incomprehension?: The Legacy of the Two Cultures Debate at the End of the Twentieth Century
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/03080188.2016.1223581
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2016.1223581
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Interdisciplinary Science Reviews on 29 November 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/03080188.2016.1223581.
Keywords: science wars, public understanding of science, popular science, boundary work, popularisation, science communication
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1530387
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