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Yong Lee, Professor of Public Policy and Administration, (515) 294-8892
Dave Gieseke, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Public Relations,
   (515) 294-7742
Pat Miller, Lectures Program, (515) 294-9935
Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Nearly 50 years ago, author and scientist Charles Percy Snow presented a lecture at Cambridge University that has fueled debate among intellectuals ever since. Snow's theory, captured in his 1959 book "The Two Cultures," was that the communication gap between sciences and the humanities is dangerous for society and keeps us from solving the world's problems.

Neal Lane, science advisor to President Clinton and former director of the National Science Foundation, says it's time to revisit Snow's theory. Lane will deliver a "Science and Society Dialogue" at Iowa State University on Tuesday, March 4 at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

The lecture, coordinated by the Iowa State Institute of Science and Society in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is free and open to the public.

In his topic, "Fifty Years After Snow's Two Cultures, It is Time to Have a Conversation," Lane argues that society has changed over the last five decades.

"The world is a great deal more complex today, in part due to the impacts of technology," Lane writes. "It is more crowded, noisy, and dangerous. Science, engineering and technology have become a nearly seamless enterprise. And scientists have gone directly to the public without worrying about trying to close Lord Snow's two-cultures gap, hence without having the benefit of perspectives from the humanists, social scientists and the broader scholarly community."

In addition to serving as President Clinton's science advisor, Lane also was the White House director of science and technology policy. He is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University in Houston.

About Iowa State's Institute of Science and Society
Research conducted by Institute faculty analyzes how scientific advances may improve people's lives -- if the impacts are positive. Among other things, researchers study how attitudes and ethics about science are formed, how understanding of previous discoveries and advancements affects views about the future, and what's best for society and the rate at which new technologies are accepted and adopted.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the lead college for the Institute for Science and Society. Iowa State's College of Agriculture and the Plant Sciences Institute are partners in the project.

Additional sponsors for Lane's appearance include the University Committee on Lectures, the Miller Lecture Fund, and the academic departments and programs of economics, English, chemistry, history, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, physics and astronomy, political science, psychology, public policy and administration, and the Information Assurance Center.


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