Saturday, November 4, 2023

Quote of the Day (Sean Decatur, on Separating the Sciences From the Humanities)

“In contemporary discourse around education policy and curricula, some feel an irresistible urge to separate the sciences from the humanities, even giving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics its own acronym (STEM) and in many cases placing this clustering in opposition to the ‘liberal arts.’ This is ahistorical—the core of scientific thinking has been an essential part of the liberal arts in their original, ancient forms (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and logic were all considered essential education for free citizens). But, beyond this, separating STEM disciplines from the liberal arts denies the fundamental reality that the effective practice of science depends on the effective communication of scientific ideas, which in turn depends on the skills shaped by the study of the humanities and arts. And in turn the work of a citizen (the ultimate outcome of a liberal arts education) requires comfort and facility with scientific concepts in order to understand the world around us.”— Sean Decatur, President, American Museum of Natural History, “Finding Common Ground for Lifelong Learning,” The Key Reporter, Fall 2023

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