Floridians beware! Rick Scott, Florida’s governor, wants to make STEM clones. Unfortunately, this is not an article about some awesome, novel stem cell research. Instead, Scott wants to take money away from liberal arts and put it into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.
Scott specifically discussed taking money away from programs such as psychology and anthropology. His reasoning is to put more cash into the state university system for careers that will directly impact the state’s economy. Also under fire is New College of Florida, the state’s honors college (with an extremely liberal reputation), that focuses on liberal arts education. As a New College of Florida alumnus with a degree in a STEM discipline, it is necessary for me to call out the stupidity of this particular decision. A comprehensive education surrounded by well rounded students results in an equation for success. This much I learned from my liberal arts education. Eliminating the diversity variable would hinder the state university system, not to mention send some of the state’s great non-STEM students elsewhere.
I am definitely an advocate for a larger scientific budget, but not at the cost of variance. It is not the state’s job to dictate a person’s academic major. Creating individuals, not clones, is what college is often about. Here is an opportunity for Floridians to call their legislators to kill Scott’s January agenda.