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Bill Thompson on the “Two Cultures Problem”

One of the high points of my atten­dance at Open­Tech 2009 on Sat­ur­day was the after-lunch talk by Bill Thomp­son, whom I would rate as one of the UK’s lead­ing tech­nol­o­gy com­men­ta­tors. He writes and broad­casts fre­quent­ly (such as on BBC World Ser­vice’s week­ly tech­nol­o­gy show Dig­i­tal Plan­et, which I also rec­om­mend high­ly), and is well worth fol­low­ing.

He took as his theme an updat­ed take on the “Two Cul­tures Prob­lem”, after CP Snow’s famous lec­ture of 50 years ago.

From the notes for Open­Tech: “It’s fifty years since CP Snow’s famous lec­ture on the Two Cul­tures – sci­ence and lit­er­a­ture. We seem to have a dif­fer­ent divide these days, between ‘peo­ple like us’ and the rest. What might be done about this?”

Here’s the video I took of Bil­l’s talk – which is the short ver­sion of one he gave last month in Cam­bridge, for which a record­ing is cur­rent­ly unavailable.

Bill Thomp­son on “The Two Cul­tures Prob­lem”: Open­Tech 2009 from Richard Elen on Vimeo.

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Read more of Bil­l’s work at - and you may also find his BBC News | Tech­nol­o­gy arti­cle, A nation of pro­gram­mers? of interest.