Responding to comments made yesterday by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in relation to the STEM skills gap, British Academy President Lord Stern said today: "The Minister's choice of language was unfortunate. The UK has an unrivalled reputation for its arts and humanities teaching and research, and the world comes to us for these subjects, as also for our eminence in STEM disciplines.
"The arts and humanities fuel the global success of our creative industries and provide millions of our young people with the training they need to prosper in today's knowledge-based economy. The fastest growth over the past four decades has been in the services sector, and has been dependent on the combined skills that come from the humanities, social science, science, technology and medicine. We walk hand in hand with our colleagues across all research disciplines, because it is the combination of all this expertise which determines our future success.
"The British Academy's project Prospering Wisely shows how the humanities and social sciences contribute to our economy, our culture and our society. Of fundamental importance, they help us understand what it is to be human, and how societies function and occasionally malfunction. They are essential to the UK’s health, wealth and prosperity, and its economic growth."