The two cultures – a footnote

One thing that has stuck in my mind form reading Stephen Jay Gould’s The Hedgehog, The Fox and the Magister’s Pox is his aside about the contrasting presentation styles of those in the sciences and those in the humanities. He claimed that scientists will never cover their powerpoint slides with slabs of texts and will never read out a lecture, whereas academics in the humanities are prone to do both. I don’t know if that’s correct in general but I’m sure he’s right to say writing a text and giving an oral presentations require different styles. So I’m feeling pretty pleased today that I’ve both finished (more or less) writing a lecture (the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Lecture at York on 27 February) and started thinking about the slides and presentation. But it’s going to make every lecture twice as much work from now on!

The Hedgehog, The Fox And The Magister’s Pox: Mending and Minding the Misconceived Gap Between Science and the Humanities