Last week we posted an article to our Facebook page from the
Washington Post entitled “We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM
majors with liberal arts training”.
Reading this got me to thinking and a bit of reminiscing
about my own education. Long before STEM meant science technology engineering
and math I was a STEM major. I received my undergraduate degree from the University
of Illinois in 1972 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. That is, I
was a STEM major who received a liberal arts education. The replacement of the
word “education” for “training” is intentional on my part as I value education
far beyond training but I digress. I
focused on science to the greatest degree possible with a biology major and a
chemistry/physics minor. But as a student in the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences I was required to complete requirements which were satisfied by
sequences in social sciences, humanities, foreign language, and rhetoric. I
remember these experiences to varying degrees. Some are fond memories, some
seemed more like torture. Collectively, however, I look back on these courses
as a great well rounded and very rewarding educational experience. I do have
every confidence that I benefited greatly from my non-STEM courses and they
helped me with the skills and the experience to better communicate as a
scientist and the non-scientific responsibilities I also had as a faculty
I remember as well that these courses were very contextual
of the time I was in school.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.