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Document Type

Article

Abstract

In 1959, Sir Charles Snow (C.P. Snow) delivered a lecture at Cambridge University entitled The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution in which he identified a duality of cultures. There were the scientists and the humanists--two dimly acquanited cultures that rarely communicated, and when they did it was usually at cross-purposes. One culture was contentedly unknowing and skeptical of science, and the other was marginal to the great social questions of the time. For C.P. Snow, the polarization and lack of communication between the two groups could be fatal to the Western World. The 21st century has also revealed polarized cultures of believers and non-believers, not only in the sense of religion, but also science. This belief and disbelief involves great problems of our time, including climate change. In 2017, shifting political winds pretend to divorce science from the processes of human beings making choices that become policy and law. This suggests the schism of 1959, the C.P. Snow problem, has re-emerged. The authors of the present article are a legal scholar and a physical scientist who value their respective disciplines and find any retreat from science-based decision-making in law and policy alarming. In this complex world where policy makers and lawyers can only respond to the weal and woe of life informed by science, we advocate a multi-method approach. Drawing on the tools of distinct, yet interrelated disciplines, we illustrate the problem and stakes in the context of the Arctic.

First Page

97

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