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Do away with terms Stem and Shape, says AHRC chief

Iamge: Valery Kenski [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

Arma 2022: UK should take a more “holistic” approach to all sciences, humanities and arts

Stem and Shape subjects should no longer be spoken about separately, the chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council has said.

Stem subjects include science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while Shape comprises social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy or environment.

Christopher Smith said there needs to be more inclusion of social sciences and the humanities in the notion of “team science”, which supports cross-disciplinary collaboration from diverse scientific fields to solve complex present-day problems.

“I think it is really important in getting past things like Stem and Shape,” Smith told delegates at the Association of Research Managers and Administrators’ 2022 conference on 15 November.

“I would really love us to not speak of either quite frankly and just speak about the importance of co-creation and creativity together.”

He added he has always believed in a “holistic” view of science which includes all disciplines.

Smith also pointed to the need for an arts and humanities approach to science, and to a scientific approach to the creative subjects.