Yes STEM, the acronym for education in science, technology, engineering and math has a twin brother with the acronym, HAMLIT. This translates into education in history, art, music and literature. For years, HAMLIT has been de-emphasized in both high school and college programs where STEM was and is the focus. This approach along with the increased emphasis on STEM education is establishing the mechanism for a continuous roll-out of highly skilled Sci-Tech professionals. So where does HAMLIT come in?
Right now, HAMLIT, is truly facing the classic “To Be Or Not To Be” question, and it looks like “Not To Be” may prevail. STEM and HAMLIT’s parents embodied the classic liberal arts education which was comprised of grammar, logic, rhetoric along with quantitative reasoning which included geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music (Elements of Liberal Education). None of this limited or restricted the immense progress of humankind‘s advances in the sciences along with demonstrated genius in the arts. The Renaissance freed humanity from the captivity of the Dark Ages and laid the groundwork for amazing advances in our understanding of ourselves and all that surrounds us. We celebrated this with enormous outbursts of creativity in art, music and literature. Historians, both as watchers on the sidelines and as active participants in this cognitive evolution carefully recorded the events and failures that accompanied these heady moments of progress. It was this process that led to HAMLIT’s birth.
Yes, HAMLIT and STEM are twins and were born at the same time, but they are not identical twins and STEM in his early years was overshadowed by his more aggressive and eager brother. This did not mean they were distant. In fact, HAMLIT was quite solicitous of his brother and made sure to share his many varied interests with him and thus laid the foundation for STEM’s eventual success and importance.
Humans are an ever-changing landscape, but deep within there is a core in which resides the twins HAMLIT and STEM. Their relative strength varies with each human and with the times, but it is essential that they both be there. Right now, as we recognize the call for expanded explorations into both our solar system and beyond, STEM is becoming more and more dominant. HAMLIT must keep pace. As we have discussed above, HAMLIT fills many creative voids that would remain as such if only STEM were present. As STEM induces new discoveries and theories (explanations) their full meaning will never be realized without HAMLIT’s involvement. In many cases, the absence of HAMLIT could lead to complete misinterpretations of the true meaning of new discoveries. Instead of expanded explorations inspired by those discoveries we find ourselves in pursuit of vacuous willow-of-the-wisps. On the other hand those moments of great joy of finding another “new” in our life comes from HAMLIT’s annals of human history.
The following video can be considered an artistic summary of the relationship between the twins. There is science by virtue of archtechture, there is art by virtue of the images, and of course there is music. Summed together they are a creative outburst of art and science. HAMLIT and STEM jointly moving humankind forward progressively and joyfully through an endless age of enlightenment.
IMAGE CREDIT: Fractals are a natural celebration of the interaction of science and art. Image courtesy of Kaneva - http://tinyurl.com/44sw5pp