||'THE IVORY GHETTO" 7 weary acknowledgment of the semipermeability of the gap in our customary attitudes: while education and its external trappings in general carry prestige, ignorance of science carries little or no stigma. In extreme and rare instances, one can even hear boasts of scientific ignorance, sometimes received with indulgent chuckles. No such display of triumphant ignorance would be ordinarily acceptable in connection with other aspects of our cultural tradition. Unfamiliarity with Beethoven is uncommon, concealed and corrected; almost total unfamiliarity with Newton is common, open and chronic. Yet Beethoven and Newton have left works of comparable grandeur, beauty and impact. When I speak of the ivory tower and the ivory ghetto, I'm not thinking of hostile camps. When I speak of the semipermeability of the gap between them, I don't intend to praise or blame. My intention is descriptive. Similarly, in mentioning our customary indifference to scientific ignorance, I'm trying to point out a symptom of the separation of scientist and non-scientist, not a cause of the separation. Many, if not most, people think that scientific thought is either hopelessly inaccessible or so demanding in time and effort as to be beyond the practical range of interest of the non-scientist. This attitude, a product of the communication gap, leads to frustration and from there to indifference. The supposedly unassailable difficulty of science is taken as a fact of life, occasionally regretted, but for the most part shrugged off by scientist and non-scientist alike. We've adjusted ourselves to what appears to be an unalterable status quo. One of the most striking things about this status quo is its paradoxical nature. On the one hand we have scientists and non-scientists in great measure cut off from one another, the vast majority ignorant of and indifferent to the content, methods and goals of science. On the other hand, we see in this majority an almost idolatrous faith in science and admiration for it. There is a widespread feeling that scientific methods can somehow be successfully applied to almost any problem, human or technological. Side by side with the remoteness of science from the majority of educated people this is a paradox. This paradox can be explained in part by the fact that, even though science itself may be relatively unknown, its effects are obvious to everyone. Science and its cousin technology have, practically within living memory, transformed the world at a rate and to a degree unknown in all the previous history of man. It has been said3 that the rise of science and the industrial revolution have had an impact on western civilization as great as, if not greater than, the rise of Christianity. It is hard to name SH. Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science 1300-1800 (New York: The Mac-millan Company, 1960).