Humanities and Social Sciences Education Essential to Nation's Future, Reports Commission

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on the findings of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, a large, respected group of artists, academics, and business and government leaders. The Commission presented its report and companion film, The Heart of the Matter, to the team of bipartisan lawmakers who had requested the study: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), and Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI) and David Price (D-NC).

The report emphasizes that the success of the nation rests on ensuring that its citizens are grounded in the history, culture, and philosophy that makes up the principals of the American identity. This message echoes in the film. Featuring actor John Lithgow, producer, screenwriter, and director John Lucas, musician Yo-Yo Ma, filmmaker Ken Burns, and a number of other cultural figures, it demonstrates that humanities and social sciences go to the heart of what makes Americans who we are. Moreover, it argues that that the study of these disciplines must go hand in hand with an education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), to constitute a full education.

The engaging and powerful film appears above.