Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Innumeracy of the Intellectuals

Inside Higher Ed posted an article entitled "The Innumeracy of the Intellecuals" and bemoans the basic lack of understanding of math and science on our university campuses. A knowledge of the arts and humanities is often seen as a sine non que of any curriculum, but far too many can slip between the cracks with barely a whiff of math and science.

As someone who pretty much fits the mold of the college student who skated past math and the sciences, it's hard to disagree with his assessment and this passage stung:

Intellectuals and academics are just assumed to have some background knowledge of the arts, and not knowing those things can count against you. Ignorance of math and science is no obstacle, though. I have seen tenured professors of the humanities say — in public faculty discussions, no less — “I’m just no good at math,” without a trace of shame. There is absolutely no expectation that Intellectuals know even basic math.

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