CP Snow

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Charles Percy Snow, Baron Snow , in publications mostly CP Snow (born October 15, 1905 in Leicester , † July 1, 1980 in London ), was a British scientist and writer. He gained fame through the thesis of the two cultures .


Snow studied physics in Leicester and Cambridge . From 1928 to 1940 he conducted research at Christ's College , Cambridge. From 1947 to 1964 he was director of the English Electric Co. , from 1964 to 1966 Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Technology.

He was knighted in 1957 ( Knight Bachelor ) and on October 29, 1964 as Baron Snow of the City of Leicester was raised to life peer , which a seat in the House of Lords was connected.

He has held more than 20 honorary doctorates. In 1960 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1961 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters .


Snow's first novel was the crime thriller Death under Sail from 1932. In the period that followed, he published numerous other works of fiction; he became known u. a. as the author of the Strangers and Brothers series , which focuses on academic science in government institutions. In his novel The Affair , published in 1959, he used details of the Emil Rupp scientific fraud case for a fictional story about a science fraud at Cambridge University .

Snow finally became famous for his thesis of the two cultures, which he proposed in the Rede Lecture in 1959 . This thesis describes the great gap between the cultures of humanities and literature on the one hand and natural science and technology on the other. Other authors criticized Snow's thesis, sometimes violently: " Snow is a fate ".

Snow also noted that the quality of education was declining worldwide. According to him, the breakdown of communication between the two cultures is one of the main obstacles to solving the problems of this world.



  • Death Under Sail. 1932.
  • Strangers and Brothers. 1940 (later title George Passant )
    • Strangers and brothers. Novel. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1964.
  • The light and the dark. 1947.
    • The light and the dark forces. Novel. Zsolnay, Berlin / Vienna / Leipzig 1948.
  • Time of Hope. 1949.
    • Years of hope. Novel. Zsolnay, Vienna 1951.
    • Time of hope. Novel. German publishing company, Stuttgart 1960.
  • The Masters. 1951.
    • The teachers. Novel. Desch, Munich 1952.
  • The New Men. 1954.
    • Decision in Barford. Novel. German publishing house, Stuttgart 1970.
  • Homecomings. 1956.
    • Ways home. Novel. German publishing house, Stuttgart 1962.
  • The Conscience of the Rich. 1958.
    • The conscience of the rich. Novel. German publishing company, Stuttgart 1961.
  • The Affair. 1959.
    • The affair. Novel. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1963.
  • Corridors of Power. 1963.
    • Corridors of power. Novel. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1967.
  • A coat of varnish. 1979.
    • Parlors in the twilight. Novel. Volk und Welt publishing house, Berlin 1983.


  • Science and Government. 1961.
    • Politics behind closed doors. Science and governance. German publishing company, Stuttgart 1961.
  • The two cultures and a second look. 1963.
    • The two cultures. Literary and scientific intelligence. Klett, Stuttgart 1967.
  • The physicists . 1981.


  • Helmut Kreuzer (ed.): Literary and scientific intelligence. Dialogue about the two cultures. Klett, Stuttgart 1969. (New edition as The Two Cultures. Literary and Scientific Intelligence. CP Snow's thesis in discussion. Dtv, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-04454-3 )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Honorary Members: Lord CP Snow. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 23, 2019 .
  2. Spiegel article from December 18, 1963
  3. ^ CP Snow: The Two Cultures. 1959. In: H. Kreuzer (Ed.): The two cultures. dtv, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-04454-3 .
  4. ^ R. Riedl : Culture: Late ignition of evolution? Answers to questions about evolution and epistemology. Piper, Munich 1987, p. 90.
  5. quoted in: S. Blömecke, N. Buchholtz, J. König: Zwei Kulturen? Mathematics teacher training students with different secondary subjects. 2012.
  6. ^ CP Snow: The Two Cultures. 1959. In: Helmut Kreuzer (Ed.): The two cultures. dtv, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-423-04454-3 .