Document Type

Editorial and Commentary

Publication Date



It has been twenty years since C.P. Snow first presented the concept of "The Two Cultures"; referring to the "culture" of scientists and the "culture" of literary intellectuals (mainly writers), Snow said (1969):

... constantly I felt I was moving among two groups- comparable in intelligence, identical in race, not grossly different in social origin, earning about the same incomes, who had almost ceased to communicate at all, who in intellectual, moral and psychological climate had so little in common ...

In some ways, "Two Cultures" goes far to characterize the current state of affairs surrounding those whose scientific endeavors involve the use of animals and those who oppose such use. On the other hand, Snow carefully drew attention to the errors of simply dividing people or ideas into two groups ("Two is a very dangerous number."), and it is indeed an oversimplification to do so in this discussion.


This paper is modified from a presentation given at the Eleventh Annual Laboratory Animal Medicine Conference, "Ethical Issues Related to the Use of Research Animals," University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, 27-28 April, 1979.