October 2012

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‘What, if anything, can science learn from the humanities?

That is the question that a team of biologists, literary critics and historians at the University of Reading set out to answer in

an AHRC-funded project that has generated new insights into the hoary old question of the ‘two cultures’.

A workshop, entitled ‘Cultivating Common Ground: Biology and the Humanities’, was held in July, which introduced practicing biologists to humanities research into biology, and provoked some unexpected responses.

In the scoping study, ‘The Value of the Literary and Historical Study of Biology to Biologists’, the team draw upon the workshop experience and their respective specialisms to argue that the humanities can play an important role in transforming future biological research. To realize this ambition the team is now working together with colleagues from other universities on a pioneering co-disciplinary training programme for young academics as the next step towards bringing biology and the humanities together.’

To view the report please follow this link:

The value of the literary and historical study of biology to biologists a scoping study

CloudCameraPosterA3 One of the AHRC project participants, Dr John Holmes, will be holding a poetry and science event with poet Lesley Saunders next week at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. The event is entitled ‘From Microscopes to Cloud Cameras: The Poetry of Science’ and it will be taking place at 7 p.m. on Thursday October 25th. John will be talking about and reading some modern and contemporary poetry about biology, and Lesley will be reading from her new book of poems ‘Cloud Camera’. There’ll be wine too. Free admission and all welcome!