Obviously, because I put www.shakespeare2ndlaw.com on line just one week ago (after being concerned with the problem of separated cultures a teaching-lifetime), I was intrigued by your discussion.

That you are working at/on it so vigorously is vital. The effort, the tension is or will be sensed by your students whatever your next steps are -- and that's success in the arena of good teaching!

You may find www.shakespeare2ndlaw.com unusually profitable as a side-note or a major nugget in one of your courses. An intro to that oft-feared "second law of thermodynamics", it was written for post-college adults who are not in science -- but certainly attractive to first-year non-science college students.

Titled "Shakespeare and Thermodynamics: Dam the Second Law!", www.shakespeare2ndlaw.com strongly emphasizes the human(e) importance of activation energies as "dams" or obstructions to the instant execution of thermodynamic predictions.

(This is where brilliant Tom Stoppard in his sparkling melange of ideas totally screwed up thermodynamics -- "everything is [NOT] cooling down, getting mixed up irreversibly"! Knowing about closed-system thermo from his physicist son, Stoppard didn't talk with a chemist -- or a biologist -- to learn about activation energies, chemical kinetics. As www.shakespeare2ndlaw.com develops: "Chemical kinetics holds time's arrow in the taut bow of thermodynamics for a microsecond or a millennia". Thus, the web site is a unique view for non-scientists of two important chemical concepts that have profound implications for one's view of the physical world, quite at odds with Stoppard's 19th century vestige.)

www.entropysimple.com, also qualitative, non-math, goes deeper into implications of the second law and introduces entropy -- from photosynthesis to cream spreading in coffee -- but it is less appropriate for most first-year students than shakespeare2ndlaw.com.

I hope these can be of use to you -- and that you might forward the URL of www.shakespeare2ndlaw.com to your colleagues in the Discussion group and others in the humanities. It really is an effective bridge to show them that science can play a vital role not only in understanding how the world works but in their philosophy of life. (Or forward to your chemistry people also.... Pehaps you would shock them by their learning from a biologist about humane aspects of chemical kinetics that they have never thought about!)

Best wishes in continuing your excellent approach to good teaching,

Frank L. Lambert Professor Emeritus (Chemistry) Occidental College Los Angeles, CA 90041