Liberal Arts vs STEM: They need each other


                           In some cultures a liberal arts degree is viewed as superfluous and a waste of a degree. They prefer a degree in a science/ technology rather than a degree in anthropology. I would argue that the liberal arts provide a valuable compass in order to know how to correctly apply advances made in science. Science is a ship. Liberal arts provide the wisdom to guide that ship correctly.  Technology without wisdom is a dangerous proposition. As a person that was a liberal arts major and was forced to switch to a STEM major i can see the value in both.

                           A sociology degree can teach us how man developed societies and culture. A psychology degree teaches us how to identify propaganda and how to guard against cognitive bias. A history degree teaches us how nations were formed. A philosophy degree can teach us how to think logically. A communications degree can teach us how to listen to each other more effectively. A literature degree allows us to pass on the cautionary tales of our ancestors.

                         How can a society not flourish if they are well versed in the previously mentioned disciplines? They will understand how their cultural traditions developed and why social phenomena are so prevalent thanks to sociology. They will be very cautious about giving into propaganda and marketing thanks to their psychology degrees. They will know how to use reason to arrive at a conclusion thanks their philosophy degree. They will be careful not to repeat the mistakes of past societies thanks to their degree in history. The likelihood of misunderstanding between members of society would be reduced thanks to their communication degrees. Finally, their Literature degrees will allow them to understand the human condition more fully.

                      I know this is idealism to the extreme but this illustrates the benefits of learning these subjects. If you actually take them seriously you will grow as a human being enormously. The liberal arts helps you make sense of humanity. When something makes sense it become less scary. You gain wisdom from studying these disciplines. This wisdom can then be transmitted to science and technology.

                     Science is a genie that can grant you any wish. The liberal arts provides the wisdom to make the right choices with that genie. One is not better than the other. They need each other. They compliment each other.

2 Replies to “Liberal Arts vs STEM: They need each other”

  1. I agree that Liberal Arts and STEM need each other to develop. One semester I took Biochemistry and Greek Myths at the same time and often used information in one class help me understand information in the other class. Why choose between taking STEM or Liberal Arts? Take a science major with liberal arts electives and you will get the best of both worlds.

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