Stefan Collini

Jul 28, 2021

The Two Cultures, Revisited

Open Agenda 2021

The ‘Two Cultures’ debate of the 1960s between C.P. Snow and F.R. Leavis is one of the most misunderstood intellectual disputes of the 20th century. Most people think that the debate only revolved around the notion that our society is characterized by a divide between two cultures – the arts or humanities on one hand, and the sciences on the other. The Two Cultures, Revisited is based on an extensive, filmed conversation between Howard Burton and University of Cambridge intellectual historian Stefan Collini— and author of the book, What Are Universities For?— which provides a careful examination and illuminating insights of what the issues really were in this debate.

Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at

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