Why We Need the Humanities
The Annual Elizabeth M. Whelan Lecture
Donald L. Drakeman *88, Distinguished Research Professor, Program in Constitutional Studies, University of Notre Dame; Fellow in Health Management, University of Cambridge; Venture Partner, Advent Venture Partners
Author of Why We Need the Humanities: Life Science, Law and the Common Good (Palgrave, 2015)
Respondents: Bruce Cole, Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center; Alan Charles Kors ’64, Henry Charles Lea Professor of European History, University of Pennsylvania
In Dr. Drakeman's words, Why We Need the Humanities is an argument for the central importance of the humanities in our economic and political lives. Calls to deemphasize the humanities in the expectation that science and technology will give us better lives may actually lead to the opposite result. At the same time, we need humanities scholars to focus even more attention on what we need them to do so that they can most effectively contribute to the common good.
Donald L. Drakeman *88 is Distinguished Research Professor in the Program on Constitutional Studies at Notre Dame, a Fellow in Health Management at the University of Cambridge, and a partner in a life sciences venture capital firm. His writings have been cited in numerous patents, and by the Supreme Courts of the United States and the Philippines. His most recent books are Why We Need the Humanities: Life Science, Law and the Common Good (Palgrave, 2015) and Church, State, and Original Intent (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He has served as a member of the boards of trustees of Drew University, the University of Charleston, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and he chairs the Advisory Council of the James Madison Program for American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Biology, he received an AB from Dartmouth College, a JD from Columbia University, and a PhD in Religion from Princeton University.
Bruce Cole is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the author of fourteen books and numerous articles. Before taking the NEH chairmanship, he was Distinguished Professor of Art History at Indiana University in Bloomington. Under Dr. Cole’s leadership (from 2001 to 2009), the NEH launched key initiatives, including We the People, a program designed to encourage the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture. Dr. Cole has held fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Kress Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, among others. He served as a delegate on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and as a Senate-appointed member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. He served a three-year term on Indiana University’s Board of Trustees, and was appointed by President Barack Obama to be a member of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission in 2013. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by George W. Bush and was decorated Knight of the Grand Cross, the highest honor of the Republic of Italy. Dr. Cole is the recipient of nine honorary doctorate degrees. He earned a BA from Case Western Reserve University, an MA from Oberlin College, and a PhD from Bryn Mawr College.
Alan Charles Kors ’64 is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on French intellectual history and on classical liberal thought. He was editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment (4 vols. 2003). He received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University. He taught seminars at the Folger Institute in Washington, DC and at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes at the University of Paris, and he directed seminars on liberty and limited government for state and federal courts, including the Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. His concern for academic freedom led to his co-authorship of The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on American Campuses (1998), and to his co-founding of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. He served on the National Council for the Humanities. He received more than a dozen local and national awards for distinguished college teaching and for the defense of academic freedom. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2005 and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Professor Kors graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1964, and he received his MA in 1965 and PhD in 1968 in European History from Harvard University.