Valued Skills

STEM Leaders Praise the Humanities

“…there are very few, if any, professional careers where an understanding of humanity and training in the humanities isn’t critical.”

Jacque Fetrow, Computational Physicist and Provost of the University of Richmond

Arts and humanities disciplines complement STEM education by teaching students interpretive and philosophical modes of inquiry; by honing communication and writing skills; by fostering multicultural and global understanding; and by cultivating an appreciation for history, aesthetics, and the human experience… These ways of thinking contribute to inventiveness and, in turn, to competitiveness.”

National Science Board

“One of the most important things I tell my class is… that they’ll be much better off in the long run if they take this opportunity to study literature, history, and foreign languages.”

Neal Koblitz, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Washington

“Like canaries in a coal mine, humanists have the moral compass to warn us of impending dangers to our future society. They also possess the skills to imagine realities that we should aspire to have before scientists develop them. There is no doubt that the future will be interdisciplinary and that humanists should play a major role in shaping it.”

Abraham Loeb, Chair of Astronomy Department, Harvard University

"The outcomes associated with various approaches to [integrating arts and humanities into STEM and medicine programs]—improved written and oral communications skills, teamwork skills, ethical decision making, critical thinking and deeper learning, content mastery, general engagement and enjoyment of learning, empathy, resilience, the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings, and indicators of improved science literacy—are encouraging. It is our consensus opinion that integrative approaches in higher education have the potential to benefit graduates in work, life, and civic engagement."

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine