[SIGCIS-Members] Science wars quote that scientists can teach English but not vice versa

James Sumner james.sumner at manchester.ac.uk
Fri Oct 21 13:04:18 PDT 2016

Hi Tom

This is in Gross and Levitt's /Higher Superstition/, page 243: "If, 
taking a fanciful hypothesis, the humanities department of MIT (a 
bastion, by the way, of left-wing rectitude) were to walk out in a huff..."


On 21 Oct 16 20:32, Thomas Haigh wrote:
> Hello SIGCIS,
> I was looking for a quote I recall reading in the days of the “science 
> wars,” probably late-1990s, from a scientist saying something like: 
> “If all the English professors got sick and we were called in then we 
> would so an OK job teaching Shakespeare etc. based on what we know and 
> the inherent triviality of the humanities. Whereas if the physics 
> professors got sick then the humanities people would be completely 
> unable to step in, because science is hard.”
> I tried constructing Google searches and doing Amazon’s search inside 
> the book on Sokal & Bricmont’s /Fashionable Nonsense/ and similar 
> targets, but didn’t locate it.
> NB: I’m just looking for the source here, not for people eager to 
> reignite the science wars by arguing for or against the proposition.
> Best wishes,
> Tom
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