Promoting Better Education By Gelling Science, Humanities Streams


India’s educational institutions face a challenge of teaching the sciences and the humanities in a co-dependent fashion and understanding that true interdisciplinary study is a quest to combine the best skills of various, at times going against the fields of study.

Calligraphy and technology, art and medicine, environmentalism and marketing, engineering and philosophy, conflict studies and biology, astronomy and religion studies, chemistry and ethics, to are a few important duos in the world in which actions of man result in problems rather than solutions. Steve Jobs’ knowledge of calligraphy and the serif and sans serif types inspired him to create his version of fonts, which are in use, the world over. Art psychotherapy is another such field, which co-relates to medicine, art and psychology.

If the engineer is to be taught philosophy, perhaps Aristotle’s concepts of being, Thiruvalluvar’s notions of governance and planning, or John Locke on identity, or even the Socratic dialectic, they would readily grasp the knowledge of that field and understand the source of knowledge and the results of the acts.


Chemistry, biology, nuclear physics student or IIT graduates are devoured of ethics or humanity teaching. We are unable to understand that the ability to act or create is not everything, but it is also about dealing with morality and consequences of our action. One such example is research in nuclear power, which can be lifeline, providing us with clean energy options or can be the cause of our destruction. In Indian educational institutions, it is hard to find a single course in History, Philosophy and Science on the history or philosophy of science, fields that are according to the evolution of thought.

When Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted, “In school, rarely do we learn how data translates into facts, how facts turn into knowledge, and how knowledge becomes wisdom”. Academics, professors and students of the humanities answered to his tweet by telling him that this is what the entire study of epistemology, philosophy, and much of the humanities focus on.

Gender, caste, sexuality, class, privilege, discrimination, religion are the topics, every student should be in. They should question textbook deletion and omission of information and not accept them without knowing the exact reason. The IITs and the liberal arts schools should work together by engaging in social entrepreneurship and service-learning initiatives, which can be instrumental in bringing about a pleasing change in the world.

Criticism of the right and idealistic structures should be a necessity. There should be an atmosphere for free speech and expression, and the disciplines must come on a single platform, not for the sake of promoting professions, but encourage newer thoughts and question the well-established authors and writers.

Then only, we can be the right promoters of interdisciplinary and world-class learning that most universities pride to be.


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