Saturday, April 2, 2016

Unit 1: Two Cultures

Changing Education Paradigms
Snow's identification of "Two Cultures" in the 1950's still holds true to today, and the divisions amongst academics is prevalent in institutions all over the world. UCLA’s entire academic portion of campus is separated by segments of North Campus and South Campus. Not only is this division directionally based, but more importantly it is separated between Arts and Sciences. Stereotypically, North Campus has the "easier and more fun" courses for Arts majors and South campus has the "smarter and more difficult" courses for Science majors. This obvious separation and stereotype only agitates the current tensions between Sciences and Arts, threatening the fragile bridge being constructed between the two fields (Changing Education Paradigms Video). It also begs the question: what kind of courses or majors lay in the middle of the two extremities? 
Left Brain vs. Right Brain
In Snow’s A Second Look, he predicts the rise of a Third Culture that will close the gap between Sciences and Arts (Two Cultures, Lecture One). The fields of study such as: psychology, anthropology, and design media and the arts have the ability to act as a "Third Culture" that may close the gap between literary intellectuals and scientists while encouraging the opposite spectrums  to come together to strengthen the connections arts and sciences have while advancing the world's intelligence (Vesna). Steven Pinker stated in his interview that collaboration between the two spheres is necessary, and this is clear because most successful contributions to society result from teams of people with various intellectual backgrounds.
It is recognized that this bridge-building is mostly facilitated at the university level due to its ability to subject art and science people to a wide range of disciplines through required general education courses. One major—as well as many others—offered at UCLA acts as a promising connection between arts and sciences. Human Biology and Society demands courses to be taken from both North and South Campus and challenges students to think intellectually and scientifically to solve issues. "If we assume that science and art share a problem-solving attitude, the only significant difference between them would disappear” and if the societies take advantage of the advanced technology at their expense in order to better collaborate and communicate with scientists, the gap amongst the two fields of intelligence will dissipate (Vesna).
UCLA's Human Biology and Society Major Pre-Requisites
Snow, C.P. The Two Cultures: And a Second Look. N.p.: n.p., 1963. Print.

Snow, C. P. “Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.” Reading. 1959. New York: Cambridge UP, 1961. Print. 

The RSA. "RSA ANIMATE: Changing Education Paradigms". 2010. Video. 

UCOnlineProgram. "Two Cultures part1." 2012. Video.

Vesna, Victoria. "Toward a Third Culture: Being In Between." Leonardo. 34 (2001): 121-125. Print.


  1. It's interesting that you mentioned the stereotypes on North and South campuses. My education background is largely scientific, and my feelings toward North and South campus classes are exactly the opposite of the stereotypes you mentioned. My experience might help to explain the underlying reason for segregation between the two cultures. When allocating my time and classes, I tend to spend all my time on the topics I'm interested in, which happen to be in the science field. It's easy for me to forget there is another whole group of people who see the world differently. There is nothing wrong with focusing on one's personal pursuit. But it's also important to acknowledge or attempt to understand different perspectives.

  2. I like how you brought up the division of our campus and the stereotypes that go with each one. I think that you make a valid point. Our campus was designed to keep arts and science separate. It is hard to appreciate all the subjects UCLA has to offer when our campus was engineered to make you choose art over science or vice versa. You asked the question "what majors lay in the middle of these two extremities?" I'm not entirely certain that there are any majors at UCLA that require both a great knowledge of art and science. We all have to fulfill a certain amount of general education units that satisfy both art and science requirements before we graduate. I think that these GE requirements are UCLA's attempt to bridge liberal arts majors and science majors together. If this method actually works is up for debate.