Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future.I loved Spock.
As for types like my own, obscurely motivated by the conviction that our existence was worthless if we didn't make a turning point of it, we were assigned to the humanities, to poetry, philosophy, painting -- the nursery games of humankind, which had to be left behind when the age of science began. The humanities would be called upon to choose a wallpaper for the crypt, as the end drew near.
Higher educating is defaulting on its obligations to offer young people a quality and broad-based education. This is true in part because the liberal arts and humanities have fallen out of favor in a culture that equates education with training.
Throughout history, the arts and humanities have helped men and women around the globe grapple with the most challenging questions and come to know the most basic truths. In our increasingly interconnected world, the arts play an important role in both shaping the character that defines us and reminding us of our shared humanity. This month, we celebrate our Nation's arts and humanities, and we recommit to ensuring all Americans can access and experience them.