Humanities for Policy
About Humanities for Policy
It is time to integrate the humanities into policy formation. Without denigrating the important roles science and technology play in policy-makers' decisions, we contend that the humanities also have a significant role in the decision-making process. Many of the areas in which science and technology are so obviously important (e.g., healthcare, defense, homeland security, space exploration, and the environment) intersect with broader societal interests; many questions of policy are not only matters of science and technology, but also of ethics and values, of metaphysics and theology, of aesthetics and culture. By addressing these added dimensions of decision-making, a humanities oriented toward policy opens up new possibilities for decision-makers, broadening their horizons and increasing their available alternatives. Our vision of a policy-oriented humanities also requires that humanities scholars be open to moving in new directions: humanities for policy requires a new policy for the humanities.

About a Policy for the Humanities
The idea of a policy-oriented humanities fights against the current trend in the humanities. Insofar as the humanities have tended more and more toward specialization and so-called 'pure' research, the humanities have become less and less relevant to society, to culture, and to life. We aim to redress the balance: the humanities ought to be meaningful to someone other than a few experts. Indeed, we suggest that a humanities oriented toward policy will not only enliven the debates of policy-makers, but also will reinvigorate the humanities themselves. This suggestion requires the humanities to move in a new direction: hence, it requires a new policy for the humanities. Rather than isolating the humanities from the rest of the world, our new policy for the humanities must realize the potential for the humanities to bridge the gaps between experts, policy-makers, and society as a whole.