The humanities are a cluster of disciplines dedicated to studying the human condition and the meanings of human life. In an influential 1959 lecture and subsequent book, The Two Cultures, British scientist and novelist C. P. Snow drew a sharp contrast between the humanities and the sciences based on their respective methodologies. He contended that the humanities and the sciences comprised two distinct cultures in modern society and that the breakdown of communication between them was a major obstacle to solving the problems of the world. Snow’s work was widely read and discussed in Great Britain and North America, where the expression  “two cultures” became popular shorthand for the supposed contrasts between two methodological approaches to understanding the world. Scientific methods were understood as designed to screen out the influence of emotion and value; they were seen as quantitative, precise, systematic,  and reliant on observations that could be replicated by any properly situated observer. They produced knowledge regarded as objective in the sense of invariant across time and culture. By contrast, the knowledge produced in the humanities was seen as expressing the distinctive insight and vision of a unique human consciousness, and the methods of the humanities were  recognized as purposely utilizing emotion and value. Although the knowledge produced  in  the humanities is often valued for its universal meaning, it is infused simultaneously with the subjectivity of specific individuals and with the values of specific times and places.