Why we need to save the humanities in a STEM world

The costs of an instrumental understanding of STEM at the expense of the humanities have been significant, not just in particular societies like India, the US or China, but for the world.

Let me start with a caveat. Though it offers a critique of STEM, this article is not a war cry for reviving a bygone era of glory for the study of the arts. Nor is it another explanation of why the arts are indispensable to human thriving. A degree in the humanities does not make one any more enlightened than a degree in engineering or medicine predisposes one to committing acts of terrorism. Henry Kissinger graduated with a history degree from Harvard, but as Christopher Hitchens compellingly argued in “The Trial of Henry Kissinger”, there is a very …


Rohit Chopra

Rohit is a professor of communication at Santa Clara University. His research centres on global media and culture, online communities and the relationship of media, memory and violence. He is the author or editor of four books, most recently, The Gita for a Global World: Ethical Action in an Age of Flux (Westland 2021). His current book projects focus on disability in global culture and media and media representations of the 1992-93 communal riots in Mumbai. His writing has been featured in Time, The Conversation, South China Morning Post, Scroll, The Wire and The Caravan. You can find out more about him at www.rohitchopra.com.