What matters to you.

Forum Network

Free online lectures: Explore a world of ideas

Funding provided by:

Why Do We Need The Humanities?

In partnership with:
Date and time
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

What kind of society do we wish to live in? Nobel Laureate and physicist, Steven Weinberg once said that science discovers many things but nothing in science can ever tell us what we ought to value. At a time when interest and investment in the humanities is plummeting, and enrolment in STEM subjects is flourishing, we consider the human consequences of such a shift in direction. What good are the arts and why should we care about the past? Martin Puchner, has been grappling with these questions in his latest book "CULTURE: THE STORY OF US, FROM CAVE ART TO K-POP". Historically, humanity has sought to understand and pass onto future generations not just the know-how of life but the know-why. Puchner suggests that the meaning and purpose of existence as expressed in art, philosophy and religion are essential to the focus and purpose of human civilization. Puchner is an author & Harvard Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Patrick Bringley, a writer, spent 10 years working as a museum guard at the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York and he has just published “ALL THE BEAUTY IN THE WORLD” about his many and varied experiences there. What is the function of a place like the MET and what effects does it have on our psyche and humanity? Join the discussion.

Martin Puchner, the Byron and Anita Wien Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University, is a prize-winning author, educator, public speaker, and institution builder in the arts and humanities. His writings, which include a dozen books and anthologies and over sixty articles and essays, range from philosophy and theater to world literature and have been translated into many languages. Through his best-selling Norton Anthology of World Literature and his HarvardX MOOC Masterpieces of World Literature, he has brought four thousand years of literature to audiences across the globe.
Author of_ All The Beauty In the World_