Scalextric C043 McLaren F1 C43 in bluee and boxed super condition
Slot Scalextric SCX 83340.20 Peugeot 406 Esso, mint Used Twice Tim Harford The Undercover Economist
  • MESSY – How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World
    “Every Tim Harford book is a cause for celebration”
    – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Scalextric Chaparral 2F No4 C2916 Boxed Mint Condition THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST STRIKES BACK
    “Every Tim Harford book is a cause for celebration. He makes the ‘dismal science’ seem like an awful lot of fun.”
  • Scalextric C427 Porsche Red with working Lights, mint unused
    – Malcolm Gladwell, author of “The Tipping Point”
  • ADAPT – Why Success Always Starts with Failure
    “Tim Harford could well be Britain’s Malcolm Gladwell... Insightful and clever”
    – Alex Bellos, author of “Alex’s Adventures in Numberland”
    “Economics becomes cool” – The Times
  • The Logic of Life
    “As lively as it is smart, charming, penetrating and wise”
    – Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of “Freakonomics”
  • The Undercover Economist
    Over one million copies sold
    “Like spending an ordinary day wearing X-ray goggles”
    – David Bodanis, author of “E=MC2
Carrera 27363 Mercedes SLR McLaren 722 GT mint boxed used once
Scalextric C63 Lotus in green, super clean, boxed Carrera 27371 Ferrari 512 BB LM 1979, boxed, mint used once

The clash of the two cultures and the challenge of collaboration

But the deepest point of all — buried a little too deep, perhaps — is a practical problem that remains as pressing today as it was in 1959: how to reconcile technical expertise with the demands of policy and politics. In short — have we really had enough of experts?

The historian Lisa Jardine highlights this sentence in Snow’s argument: “It is the traditional culture, to an extent remarkably little diminished by the emergence of the scientific one, which manages the western world.” We didn’t decide we’d had enough of experts in 2016; we made that decision long ago.

Scalextric Caterham R500 C3133 Fully Serviced + Brand New BraidsM B FLY CAR PORSCHE 911S 1 RALLYE MONTECARLO 1970 ref 88134 A-931SCALEXTRIC COLLECTORS C2430W OPEL V8 COUPE SERVICE FIT SET CAR BNIB

As Snow pointed out in a series of lectures he gave at Harvard in 1960, published as Science and Government, grave mistakes can result not only from a vacuum of technical knowledge in politics, but from a monopoly — the single expert, unchallenged. He cited the allied bombing of dense urban areas in Germany during the war, which not only took a terrible toll on civilians, but failed in military terms by sparing industrial targets. The source of the problem was a flawed statistical study by Winston Churchill’s scientific adviser Frederick Lindemann that no one had both the technical skill and the political clout to challenge. It is not enough to give political influence to a physicist or an economist. The corridors of power must ring with scientifically informed debate.

SCALEXTRIC C3314 Chevrolet Camaro 1969CA27582 Carrera Evolution Audi R8 LMS - Twin Busch - No.44 - New & BoxedScalextric Mk1 Escort Festive Slot 2015 Limited Edition UKSCF

None of this is to assert the superiority of a technical education over a classical, literary or vocational one, although Snow sometimes seemed to yield to that temptation. We don’t need a parliament full of chemists any more than we need one full of classicists. We need a mix. Like scientific research, good policymaking is now a team effort. It requires different perspectives and a range of specialist expertise. We all must learn to work with people who see the world very differently. That wasn’t easy to do in 1959. It is no easier today.

Scalextric Digital Mini Coopers 1964 ATCC Legends Limited Edition C3586A BNIBPCS 32 SLOTCAR CHASSIS adjustable x 10 chassis

Written for and first published in the 1 24 Lancia Scuderia Transporter Painted on 3 May 2019.

My book “Fifty Things That Made the Modern Economy” (UK) / “Fifty Inventions That Shaped The Modern Economy” (US) is out now in paperback – feel free to order online or through your local bookshop.

Free email updates

(You can unsubscribe at any time)

Scalextric C2788 Peugeot 307 WRC Pirelli-Bozian No25

Free email updates

(You can unsubscribe at any time)

Scalextric Exin 4053 Alpine Renault in Yellow 2000 Turbo, used but in great cond 21st of May, 2019MarginaliaResourcesComments off
Ninco AMG Mercedes C-Klasse Ref 50106

Is Thanos a good model for economists? On balance, no

Free email updates

(You can unsubscribe at any time)

SCALEXTRIC RANGE PRESENTATION 1999 JAGUAR Fly Panoz GTR-1 Paginas Amarillas (T7) - MIB Very RareUndercover EconomistComments off
Carrera CA27571 BMW M4 DTM Martin Slot Car 1 32 Scale

How to be more creative

I was on the TED Radio Hour this week; they were kind enough to give me both the first and the word on the subject of kickstarting creativity.

Carrera Super Mario Kart Wii Race Set NEW

If you’d like to read more on the subject I would – of course – recommend my book, , which gave me the research base for both of the TED talks and the interviews around them.

But what else?

Perhaps David Epstein’s new book, Range, which sings the praises of broadening your horizons. I’m a couple of chapters in and enjoying it very much: good stories, well-researched. Epstein, an experienced and thoughtful sports writer, points out that what works in sport is actually not a very good guide to what works in life, because in life the rules are unclear, feedback can be patchy, and in general we need the widest possible base of experience. Recommended.

Scalextric BTCC 2016 Honda Civic Type R C3861 - Signed by Matt NealRare - Beatties LIMITED EDITION Mini 40th anniv. C2249. NEW mint boxed.

A very different book is A Mind At Play by Soni and Goodman – the first biography of Claude Shannon, one of the pioneers of modern computer science and the creator of information theory. Shannon’s an interesting subject in part because he’s still underappreciated outside his own field, and in part because his creative arc was complex and frustrating. He seems to spend an awful lot of time goofing around and wasting his talent. Was it wasted time? Or was it fundamental to the process? I’m not sure myself. I’ll write more about this sometime.

And I must recommend (again) Twyla Tharp’s a wonderful practical guide to creativity for anyone in any field at any stage of their career.

Free email updates

(You can unsubscribe at any time)

Slot Scalextric C3308 Jaguar D Type, Briggs Cunningham, Sebring 1956 • MarginaliaResourcesComments off

Free email updates

(You can unsubscribe at any time)

Free email updates

(You can unsubscribe at any time)



Search by Keyword

About Tim

Scalextric TVR C2302 SLN Car Limited Edition of 168

Tim Harford is an author, columnist for the Financial Times and presenter of Radio 4's "More or Less".
Learn More ›

Tim’s Tweets

Scalextric McLaren MP4-12, plain base very rare

Recent Articles

Scalextric Digital Layout with Bridge St8 Xover Corner Credvers & 2 Cars

Popular Articles

Free Email Updates

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new articles by email (you can unsubscribe at any time).

Join 172,667 other subscribers

Scalextric Lister Storm LMP900  No20 C2521 MINT BOXED BRAND NEW VERY FAST.