Why STEM is Not Enough

In a piece for The Washington Post, Cathy N. Davidson, Paula Barker Duffy, and Martha Wagner Weinberg – all council members of the National Council on the Humanities –  argue for an emphasis on the benefits of a combined education in both STEM subjects and the arts and humanities. Citing many of the speakers at last month’s celebration of the recipients of the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal, the authors emphasize that “science and technology are meaningful when interwoven with all of the other modes of learning. A STEM, without its bloom, quickly withers in the forest of everyday life.”

Read more at The Washington Post.

3 thoughts on “Why STEM is Not Enough

  1. As a retired English Professor at CSU Northridge and a long time advocate of re-connecting the Humanities and Sciences, I am working to that goal as the current President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science–Pacific Division. I sponsor symposia at our annual conferences on such connections. This year at Boise State University, I am gathering papers on Science-Themed Fiction. Last year it was Poetry and Science, the year before that Art Inspired by Science. I, through the AAAS-PD, have just published a monograph on this topic, which formed the basis of an art exhibit at Southern Oregon University in 2010.

    In 2013 at our conference in La Vegas, I am trying to pull together national leaders in the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences to discuss our intertwined missions, and to address our common problems– such as the decrease of majors in our fields, which includes science.

    I would be very interested in joining in your efforts to promote the Humanities, whether linked with science and technology or not, though that I think is the real agenda now. I might be able to attend part of the conference at UCSB this coming Monday. I live in Ventura, CA.

    I have the websites of both the CSUN chapter and the one at UCSB.

    Looking forward to hearing from you and helping promote the humanities,

    Bob Chianese

    1. Being someone who works in hehgir education, I had very conflicting thoughts while I read your post. On one hand, I came from a humanities major myself as an undergrad and was unable to do anything with my degree unless I pursued a Master’s at least. That’s what I did and I truly love my job. However, I now work with college students on a full-time basis and I see this issue popping up all the time. There are definitely some students that are very self-motivated and they get out there. They are truly the successful ones. BUT, that is the minority! Many don’t know what they want to do. Many don’t know what they can do with what they love. And, honestly, why would you want to pursue a major that you are not good at and do not enjoy? What is the point of being unhappy and unsuccessful, both in your classes and in a career? It’s a definite dilemma! And, it is one that I believe needs to be addressed by everyone . . . universities, faculty, staff, AND students.

      1. First, if you have a 3.08 you will not be able to get into UCSB or any UC.However, you will have a few good choices for CalStates which would be toatlly fine.Regardless of what people tell you, there probably isn’t enough difference between the Cal States to make a difference to anyone hiring you for real estate.With that in mind, choose a school by location. I mean do you really want to go to a school in the valley near LA? If that is your thing then CSUN would be fine. I went there and found it very unfriendly and full of local kids that lived with their parents. The faculty was grouchy and the counselors were useless.Here’s a question, where do you want to live? Remember the school is part of the equation but the town and what you’ll do when you are not in class is the other part. This will be home for 4 or more years so you might as well like it.Also, if you really love living with your parents and family and can’t bare to leave then pick something closeby. If you are tired of them and can’t wait to turn 18 and get out of the house, then go to school somewhere else, at least 2 hours away, preferably 6 or more.Best wishes,mike

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