Science is for liberal arts majors too

Re "Are we losing the tech race?," Opinion, April 20

Michael Teitelbaum presents common-sense advice about majoring in science. He echoes what proponents of the liberal arts have been saying for years: that it is not enough to specialize in one area of expertise, and that science students must gain broad intellectual skills developed through the humanities, arts and social sciences.

However, I disagree with Teitelbaum's assessment that science education for non-science majors should be limited to K-12.

If science is important to an informed citizenry, as he asserts, then surely he should see value in such study throughout one's undergraduate years. Business majors benefit from exploring the science of environmental sustainability, sociology majors should build expertise in the biology of aging, and students in any discipline should develop greater understanding of scientific methods.

College graduates, no matter their majors, need a knowledge of the natural sciences that is enhanced by the breadth and depth of education gained throughout the college years.

Sharon Herzberger


The writer is president of Whittier College.

Teitelbaum may be correct that we have plenty of scientists in certain (though not all) fields. But the larger problem is that we have allowed the non-scientists in the general public to fall into ignorance and superstition.

When too many people refuse to accept evolution, decline vaccinations, deny global warming, believe in the magic of an herbal pill and slurp up the myths of pseudoscience, I fear for the future of the nation.

Until we return to teaching critical thinking in our elementary schools, the situation will be hopeless.

Geoff Kuenning



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