The fallout of the results of the last U.S. presidential elections includes grim news for the scholarly community of the USA: President Trump proposed to strictly cut the funding of arts, humanities, and many scientific fields (Naylor), instead choosing to further develop the American nuclear arsenal, which already includes thousands of useless, dangerous nuclear warheads requiring costly maintenance. The thought that the President would pay attention to evidence (Science News Staff) appears naïve; however, convincing the public that science and arts are pivotal (The Conversation) might be effective because politicians would risk their popularity when suggesting reforms such as these. There are many ways to demonstrate that sciences, arts, and humanities bring great benefit to society; three of these are explained below.
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Literature, e.g., is crucial for the development of an individual. To be able to express one’s thoughts (or even to have them), one needs a sufficient vocabulary. It is well-known that a person obtains most of their vocabulary by reading books – not professional but belletristic literature, which contains far more vocabulary than any specialized texts. In this respect, literature is critical for human development.
Numerous and heterogeneous public media is a necessary (although not sufficient) component required to allow people to view things from various perspectives, which is pivotal for discerning the truth from lies and not just yielding to lies and demagogy. Thus, public media are an essential component of a democratic society; without them, any type of political propaganda becomes much easier to implement.
Finally, ecology and environmental sciences are crucial if the currently existing flora and fauna of the Earth are to be preserved. If some species die out, it might be difficult to control, e.g., the reproduction of other species, which might cause significant harm to humanity. In addition, global warming (which Trump does not believe) and the melting of polar caps may lead to flooding of large areas of land, which will cause mass migrations and, likely, outbreaks of xenophobia and violence. It would be better to avoid this than wait for evidence that the consequences would indeed be bad.
Thus, arts, humanities, and sciences are all crucial for the appropriate functioning of human society. The social outcomes of their elimination will be most dire, and it is better not to have evidence that such elimination would be worse than experience the fallout of having such evidence.
The Conversation. “Academics Must Work at Building Public Trust in Their Expertise.” The Conversation, 2016, Web.
Naylor, Brian. “Trump’s Budget Plan Cuts Funding for Arts, Humanities and Public Media.” National Public Radio, 2017, Web.
Science News Staff. “A Grim Budget Day for U.S. Science: Analysis and Reaction to Trump’s Plan.” Science | AAAS, 2017, Web.