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What’s the difference between STEM and STEAM?

A couple of weeks ago, I came across an interesting article on STEAM versus STEM education.

A debate on the necessity to add arts to the traditionnal scientific disciplines is not a completely new issue but it seems that the divide between arts and sciences within the university is more deeply entrenched than ever before.

With the increasing role of technological innovations in our daily life, the key questions arising in this context are : How can universities train our scientists, technologists and engineers to engage with society ? Why does it become crucial to insert arts (including the humanities) into the acronym for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) ?

Our educational system needs to engage students with issues of ethics and responsibility in science and technology. We should treat required arts and humanities courses not as some vague attempt to “broaden minds” but rather as a necessary discussion of morals, values, ethics and responsibility.

Big data, biotechnology, climate change and other major challenges that lie ahead, are not just technological issues. They contain technological issues but they are not fundamentally technological issues. They are ethical ones because closely intertwined with the world of policy and because of the social impact questions they entail.

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