New Scientist asked several prominent people for an update on C.P. Snow's Two Cultures: Science and Art: Still Two Cultures Divided? I finally got around to reading Two Cultures a few months ago. What I liked best was Stefan Collini's historical introduction (which takes up about half the book and is worth the price).
Collini is the first respondent in New Scientist's article:
C. P. Snow intended to call his lecture "The Rich and the Poor" - and regretted not doing so. This title points to what remains valuable about the essay now. Helping the world's impoverished majority meet their basic needs remains an obligation of richer societies, and applied science is a vital tool.
In other ways, though, Snow's lecture is superficial and misleading. Despite its subsequent reputation, it does not make useful distinctions between types of enquiry or discipline, making a thin contrast between "physicists" and "literary intellectuals" (mostly modernist poets and novelists, not scholars in the humanities). It also identified a rather outdated element of English cultural attitudes and snobbery, rather than a true divide between disciplines. It makes better sense to talk of "two-hundred-and-two cultures" than of "two cultures". [...]
The more damaging influence of Snow's lecture has been to encourage the prejudice that natural science is the only reliable source of "objective" knowledge, and to support the misguided belief that science and technology are undervalued in the UK and so should receive preferential treatment.
Update: Seed Magazine has a similar feature about Two Cultures, but theirs is video because Seed is all hip and youthful: Are We Beyond The Two Cultures?