The two cultures of intellectuals and farmers

Anne Buchanan, writing for Aeon:

The super-specialisation required by an ever-expanding knowledge base does have consequences, beyond mere spats over academic funding. Public health administrators know little about medicine; postgraduates in science studies or bioethics often have very little training in science; geneticists might never have seen a living example of the animal whose genes they study; liberal arts graduates have little idea how to interpret the weekly newspaper stories touting the discovery of genes for this or that disease. Yet the dominance of science and technology over other aspects of our society in the US has become clear in recent times. And this dominance introduces an important layer of artificiality that comes between most people in the industrialised world and the more nuanced natural world in which they actually live. To most people in the industrialised world, food might as well be made by machines, not by plants and animals, so little is the communication and understanding between city and country.

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