WSU and UI to co‑host arts, humanities and science symposium

WSU cougar logo.

Washington State University and the University of Idaho are teaming up to explore news ways of integrating the arts and humanities with science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).

More than 50 WSU and UI faculty and administrators are expected to attend a joint symposium Sept. 26–27 where they will work together to imagine new pathways for interdisciplinary research and teaching. Registration for the event remains open to any interested participants.

The symposium springs from  the 2018 National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report titled, “Branches from the Same Tree: The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education.” The study establishes the value of integrating more STEMM curricula and labs into the academic programs of students majoring in the humanities and arts, and the value of integrating curricula and experiences in the arts and humanities into college and university STEMM programs. At the same time, the study expresses a growing concern that disciplinary specialization is poorly calibrated to the challenges and opportunities of the present time.

“Meeting these challenges will require new ways of working together, something our two nearby universities are ideally located to support,” said Todd Butler, associate dean in WSU’s College of Arts and Sciences and director of WSU’s new Center for Arts and Humanities. “We will need to make connections across state lines and disciplines to provide students and faculty with the most integrative curriculum possible, setting them both up for success in the future.”

The symposium will celebrate existing cross-disciplinary efforts at the two universities, identify obstacles to this work, and develop strategies for fostering future collaborations. Reflecting a commitment to cross-campus collaboration, the symposium will begin with an evening reception on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m., in the WSU Lewis Alumni Center in Pullman. A full schedule of panel discussions and breakout sessions will then take place at the UI on Friday, Sept. 27, in the Horizon and Aurora room of the Idaho Student Union Building in Moscow.

“This symposium is a great opportunity for WSU and UI faculty to discuss the challenges and opportunities of creating cross-campus partnerships to pursue genuine interdisciplinary work involving the arts and humanities,” said Christopher Keane, vice president for research.

The symposium is sponsored by a collaboration between the WSU Center for Arts and Humanities, the WSU College of Arts and Sciences, the WSU Office of Research, UI’s Office of Research, and UI’s College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.

Contact for information on attending the reception. Registration is encouraged for the event on Friday. A detailed agenda is available online.

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