San José State U’s brand is “Powering Silicon Valley,” which emphasizes the STEM fields — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. One of my tasks as Dean of the College of Social Sciences will be to advocate the importance of the social sciences. At my first meeting with department chairs we started to discuss some strategies in which the social sciences complement STEM, and other strategies that focus on questioning STEM’s place at the center of the equation. A page on the “Latin Correspondent” website captures many of the central ideas; perhaps I should ask the chairs to read it before our next meeting? Any additional ideas and/or resources I should share?
Lynne Trulio — July 17, 2015
I liked the "Latin Correspondent" article. It reminded me of a website I consult from time to time for the Campaign for Social Science (http://campaignforsocialscience.org.uk/). This group is mostly UK oriented, but there is much that is useful to us. There might be some good reading material there.
Betty Tseng — August 18, 2015
Here is an article from Forbes Mag on the importance of Social Sciences in Silicon Valley: http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgeanders/2015/07/29/liberal-arts-degree-tech/
I plan on using this to build a strong case to support the Social Sciences!
Walt Jacobs — August 18, 2015
Thanks for the article, Betty!
Jan English-Lueck — September 16, 2015
If you check out the new Executive Orders from the White House, you will find a delightful surprise. Barack Obama has just signed an order pitching the use of the behavioral sciences in service of the American people. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/15/executive-order-using-behavioral-science-insights-better-serve-american. The preamble makes our case for relevance: "A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights -- research findings from fields such as behavioral economics and psychology about how people make decisions and act on them -- can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people."
Walt Jacobs — September 16, 2015
Thanks Jan! I'm going to create a new post about this.
Hien Do — September 22, 2015
Thanks for the posting. It seems to me that one of the critical point that we can emphasize with respect to the importance of a liberal arts education is the idea of participation in a democracy and how one needs to be educated to evaluate the complexities of our modern world. An example of this would be the "dark side" of technology and how it is contributing to the many issues of global climate changes, pollution, declining health, and the never-ending chase for the latest gadget.
Walt Jacobs — September 25, 2015
Excellent points, Hien! See this later post about "technorealism": http://thesocietypages.org/newdean/2015/09/21/the-dangers-of-technophilia/