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Charles Percy Snow
1905 - 1980

British bureaucrat, knight, Baron of Leicester, and novelist. Snow was author of the Strangers and Brothers series of 11 novels, which are sometimes read as realistic explorations of power and the conflict between science and politics.


Civilization is hideously fragile ... there’s not much between us and the horrors underneath, just about a coat of varnish.

1979 - from A Coat of Varnish
The only ethical principle that has made science possible is that the truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalize false statements made in error, we open up the way ... for false statements made by intention.

1959 - from The Two Cultures
Industrialization is the only hope of the poor ... It is all very well for us, sitting pretty, to think that material standards of living don't matter all that much. It is very well for one, as a personal choice, to reject industrializatin - do a modern Walden, if you like; and, if you go without much food, see most of your children die in infancy, despise the comforts of literacy, accept twenty years off your own life, then I respect you for the strength of your aesthetic revulsion. But I don't respect you in the slightest if, even passively, you try to impose the same choice on others who are not free to choose In fact, we know what their choice would be. For, with singular unanimity, in any country where they have had the chance, the poor have walked off the land into the factories as fast as the factories could take them.

1999 - from The Two Cultures: A Second Look
The sense of the future is behind all good policies. Unless we have it, we can give nothing either wise or decent to the world.