The relationship between science and literature has been strained for centuries. Since the modern scientific methods were established in the 17th century, literature has frequently been dismissed as mere entertainment or a distraction from the really important human endeavours and the search for scientific truth. In their responses, literati have countered these assaults with the claims of literature’s superiority over the dry factuality of science; Shelley, for example, wrote that poetry “is at once the centre and circumference of knowledge; it is that which comprehends all science, and that to which all science must be referred” (“Defence of Poetry”). In the late 20th century the quarrels then exploded in the so-called ‘science wars’, which have since been laid to an uneasy rest. The lecture series will address the history of the two fields, the quarrels, but also the interactions, and the various attempts to integrate scientific and literary epistemologies and their respective approaches to external reality and human experience.