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Do the math

Today's decision-makers need a better grasp of numbers

By Mark Hannam   June 2009

Fifty years ago in May 1959 scientist and novelist CP Snow gave his famous “Two Cultures” lecture, arguing against what he saw as the divide between literary and scientific intellectuals. Snow worried that their mutual incomprehension made for bad policy, and that not enough was done to harness the benefits of science for the world’s poor. He did not advocate government by technocratic elite, but he thought that politicians were insufficiently educated for their responsibilities. Their scientific illiteracy, he said, made them prone to bad decisions, often on the basis of bad advice.

If Snow were alive today he would…

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