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Hay festival: Division between sciences and arts puts planet in peril, warns Richard Holmes

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 11:40 AM
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Hay festival: Division between sciences and arts puts planet in peril, warns Richard Holmes
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/may/25/hay-festiva...

Hay festival: Division between sciences and arts puts planet in peril, warns Richard Holmes

Speaking at the Hay festival today, biographer Richard Holmes has urged scientists and artists to work together in the face of global warming

Alison Flood
guardian.co.uk, Monday 25 May 2009 16.42 BST

The author Richard Holmes has attacked the "dangerous" division between the arts and the sciences, warning that the split could prove fatal in the face of global warming.

Speaking at the Guardian Hay festival, the biographer insisted we have "a duty" to try to understand the scientific discoveries of the modern age, moving beyond the incomprehension and fear which have dogged relations between scientists and wider culture for hundreds of years.

"I believe passionately that the idea of two cultures is a terribly dangerous idea," he said. "The elephant in the room is what is happening to the planet, and it's scientific people who can tell us why the ice caps are melting. It's for all of us as citizens to understand science so proper decisions can be made. We need a complete understanding."

According to Holmes, whose latest book is an exploration of science in the Romantic era, which is shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction, scientists have an equal responsibility to bridge the divide.

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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 11:44 AM
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1. In the end, Art and Science are not all that different.
Art is passion, pursued with discipline.

Science is discipline, pursued with passion.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 12:19 PM
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2. Kind of a bogus argument
laying the problem at the feet of art. Unless by "art" he means television.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I don't think you're following the argument
Edited on Tue May-26-09 03:46 PM by OKIsItJustMe
He's not laying the problem at the feet of "art."

He's laying it partly at the feet of "science" for not doing a better job of communicating, and at the feet of "art" for not doing a better job of trying to understand the science.

The "Hay festival" he was speaking at is an "arts" festival (of sorts) so, substitute "us" or "we" for "arts." As in, "Scientists should do a better job of talking to us, and we should do a better job of trying to understand them."
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I sometimes neglect to look before I lip.
:blush:
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