This old tweet has recently been making the rounds and sparked up some discussion among my Facebook friends:
As someone with a background in both science and the humanities, I am continually exhausted by the antagonism between them. In any given argument I usually side with humanities advocates, because STEM workers are way more likely to be dismissive dicks. But this critique really misses the mark.
All disciplines ought to teach about how knowledge is constituted in their domain. That’s as true for biology and math and computer science as it is for history and philosophy and art.
It’s true that some of the disciplines most likely to discuss knowledge constitution are in the humanities. Philosophy has epistemology, for instance, and there are subfields of history and sociology focused on knowledge constitution. But in STEM we have statistics, and subfields of psychology and computer science concerned with what is knowable and how we know it.
Regardless, I don’t agree that we can or should assign ‘knowledge constitution’ to specific fields. All knowledge is actively constructed and we ought to be teaching people about that process even as we’re teaching the current results of the process. Which is, I think, what Neil Degrasse Tyson is getting at.