Education: The Fuzzies Meet the Techs

Colleges are reuniting the humanities and the sciences

C.P. Snow, the British scientist and novelist, sounded the alarm in the 1950s about the dangers of two cultures: "Literary intellectuals at one pole, at the other scientists." Since then, microchips, satellites and nuclear power have become realities that define everyday life; yet many supposedly well-educated people do not understand how they work. Despite the growing use of computers in classrooms, American universities are still graduating millions of technological illiterates.

What Snow called a "gulf of mutual incomprehension" yawns ever wider, according to Stanford Engineering Professor...