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STANFORD, CALIFORNIA | August 30, 2012 – Members of a national commission,
charged by Congress to find ways for the United States to maintain national excellence
in the humanities and social sciences, are coming to Stanford University for a forum
with renowned leaders in the areas of foreign policy, national defense, international
diplomacy, and foreign language study. Created by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences will
be gathering information on best practices, innovations, and ideas to strengthen
and promote the humanities and social sciences in the United States and better understand
how they strengthen our standing in the world.
The forum, The Humanities & Social Sciences for International Relations, National
Security, and Global Competitiveness, will take place on Tuesday, September 4,
2012 at Stanford University.
Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State , William Perry,
former U.S. Secretary of Defense, and Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador
to Afghanistan and Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General, will be join a panel to
discuss these pertinent issues. John L Hennessy, President of Stanford University
and Leslie C. Berlowitz, President of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences,
will provide opening remarks.
Other participants include: George P. Shultz, former U.S. Secretary of State, Stephen
D. Bechtel, Jr., Chairman Retired and Director of Bechtel Group, Robert D. Haas,
chairman emeritus and past CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., and Pulitzer prize-winning
historian David M. Kennedy.
The goal of the Commission is to claim a space in the national dialogue for the
humanities and the social sciences and to recommend specific steps that government,
schools and universities, cultural institutions, businesses, and philanthropies
can take to support and strengthen these areas of knowledge.
“An educated citizenry is the wellspring of a strong democracy,” said Leslie C.
Berlowitz, President of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. “From that citizenry,
our leaders emerge. This forum provides an opportunity to focus on how we can ensure
that Americans develop the skills and competencies required for full engagement
in the international community—the skills and competencies fostered by the humanities
and social sciences.”
Leaders in American foreign policy and international relations will be on hand to
lead discussions with Commission members regarding the United States’ powerful presence
in the world. As one nation in a community of nations, cooperation in a global economy—and
competition—requires an understanding of cultural diversity and sensitivity to different
perspectives. To maintain the nation’s international stature, all stakeholders must
support programs and policies that encourage widespread education about the world
and its peoples.
To advance these goals, the Commission’s report will include a series of recommendations
intended to advance education and training in area studies, foreign languages, and
The Stanford forum is an important part of the Commission’s outreach. Discussion
will provide Commission members with a new understanding of how the humanities factor
into international relations on all levels. Similar sessions on the value of the
humanities are taking place throughout the country this summer and fall.
Members of the Academy’s Commission taking part in the Stanford forum include:
A forum was held in July at the American Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, MA
and focused on the Humanities and Civil Society, centering on K-12 and lifelong
learning, literacy, and cultural economic development. Commission members will attend
future forums scheduled for St. Louis, Miami, and New York.
Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (www.amacad.org) is an independent policy research center
that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current
Academy research focuses on the humanities, arts, and education; science and technology
policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good.
With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by
its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts,
business, and public affairs from around the world.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a steadfast supporter of the humanities and arts
in this country, provided primary funding for the Commission on the Humanities and
Social Sciences. Carnegie Coporation of New York also provided important funding.
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