Principe claims that there is a “disconnect” between science and culture. There’s not. Science has, to Principe’s credit, abandoned the “larger picture” of our existence. But culture has, too. Questions such as “what is our place in the universe” aren’t really asked today — and when they are, they’re usually done so ironically.
Scientists — yes — are highly specialized in their fields of study. But people are specializing and segmenting themselves, too. Exemplifying this: look at the “personalized news” craze; nobody reads what they don’t want to, or what they don’t agree with. The world isn’t seen as a “web of connections” anymore; there’s no need to look at science through the same lens.
Additionally, it’s a fundamentally good thing that scientists have narrow scopes. The more time somebody spends studying something specific, the better they’ll get to know the “ins and outs” of it. Modern science is producing new and effective medicines at alarming rates because scientists know, in depth, the chemical processes behind individual organisms and curatives. It’s okay to accept that science is a fundamentally mathematical, “cold” subject. We don’t need to infuse it with the humanities because science isn’t human – it’s impersonal.
Question: Why did it take science so long to adopt chemistry? Besides the associations that it had with “black magic” and scam artists, it seems funny that street-criminals would accept something before a well-taught community of scientists.