The whole point of the original expression is not what it means, but how it sounds.
In Russian just like in English, one could easily express the given idea in a dozen different ways.
However, only this one way is peculiar in that:
- Each of the two concepts is represented very concisely by a single noun that is just descriptive enough to bring the contrast across.
- The two nouns share the same number of syllables (three).
- Both exhibit the same stress pattern (dactyl).
- All the vowels are perfectly assonant ([i]-[i]-[i]).
With that in mind, physicists and lyricists is as perfect a translation as one could possibly hope for. It is really quite remarkable that it exists at all.
Both languages happen to have the same noun pair, ultimately borrowed from the same source, but acquired via very different paths and sent through very different morphological processes. At the end of which, both languages have each noun at three syllables, all sounding as [i], with the stress on the first one.
You have a perfect match for 1, 2, 3, and 4.
And then on top of all that, the meaning is also the same in both languages.
At which point the fact that this question exists at all reminds me of a different Russian saying altogether:
От добра добра не ищут.