Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Humanities or Sciences?

Crossroads image between liberal arts and technology

Are we worried about too much Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or the death of the humanities – or both? At many universities, including ours, we are having the conversations about making science more accessible to undergraduates in exploratory courses; and we are having the conversations about how science researchers can be better at communicating and creativity. We are also having a troubling conversation about how often a web site needs to be redesigned – yes, six years is way too long!

The following articles from many perspectives highlight the dichotomy between the humanities and sciences in higher education today that, hopefully, will inform higher education in the future.

Two excellent articles outline out the case for the importance of both humanities and sciences.

“A broad general education helps foster critical thinking and creativity. Exposure to a variety of fields produces synergy and cross fertilization. Yes, science and technology are crucial components of this education, but so are English and philosophy.”

“Turning to events internal to the intellectual world, we notice that during the last 150 years the humanities became radically eclipsed, even delegitimized, by the phenomenal success of their great intellectual rival, the hard sciences. The latter have rapidly built up an unprecedented edifice of knowledge. It is not only intellectually or theoretically superior to everything before — precise, systematic, and empirically verifiable — but also superior in its practical utility, generating unimagined new technologies for the improvement of human life. Today scientific knowledge is equated with real knowledge, all the rest seeming like folklore. All modern intellectuals suffer from physics envy. But even the extraordinary rise of modern science cannot adequately explain the current fate of the humanities. Empirical science is competent in the realm of measurable facts, but not in the realm of values. The wisdom of life and knowledge of the self that we desperately need come, not from scientific data, but from reflective accounts of the inner experience of being alive as a human being, and especially of being most fully, intensely, and authentically alive. The sciences eclipse the humanities in one way, but render them more necessary in another. By vastly expanding our power for good and ill, the rise of modern science greatly increases our need for self-­knowledge and moral clarity.” Continue reading “Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Humanities or Sciences?”

Web of Science trial for CUA begins June 1

Catholic University of America Libraries researchers have a trial of Web of Science to use from June 1, 2012. Image from Thomson Reuters Web of Science

Web of Science includes Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Web of Science provides “Cited Reference Search” and subject searching through both “quick” and “advanced” searches. Our Web of Science subscription includes citations and references for articles in almost 9000 high quality, peer-reviewed journals published from 2002 to the present. Web of Science provides complete bibliographic data, searchable author abstracts, and cited references. Coverage is in the sciences (more than 6000 journals), followed by social sciences (approximately 1800 journals), and arts and humanities (approximately 1100 journals). For impact factor information about specific journals, users are directed to the index “Journal Citation Reports.”

Please find the CUA trial version of Web of Science from the  CUA University Libraries page:
Go to: Article Databases & More
Go to: Databases by Name and type in Web of Science

Fact sheet for Web of Science
Short tutorials for searching Web of Science

Find more information throughout the trial on the CUA Science Libraries Facebook page.

Twitter Science!

Where do you get your Science news?

According to the PEW report Understanding the Participatory News Consumer,  “92% of Americans get their daily news from multiple platforms.

  • Portable: 33% of cell phone owners now access news on their cell phones.
  • Personalized: 28% of internet users have customized their home page to include news from sources and on topics that particularly interest them.
  • Participatory: 37% of internet users have contributed to the creation of news, commented about it, or disseminated it via postings on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.”

As evidenced by these new titles in the Engineering and Architecture Library and the Physics Library at The Catholic University of America, the Science community is thinking and writing about how people get their science news.

Art of being a scientist : a guide for graduate students and their mentors / Roel Snieder and Ken Larner.
CU: Eng/Arch Library,   Q147 .S64 2009

Communicating science : professional, popular, literary / Nicholas Russell.
CU: Eng/Arch Library,   Q223 .R87 2010  

Digital literacy for technical communication : 21st century theory and practice / edited by Rachel Spilka.
CU: Eng/Arch Library,   T10.5 .D55 2010 

Eloquent science : a practical guide to becoming a better writer, speaker, and atmospheric scientist / David M. Schultz.
CU: Eng/Arch Library,   Q223 .S23538 2009 

Error and inference : recent exchanges on experimental reasoning, reliability, and the objectivity and rationality of science / edited by Deborah G. Mayo, Aris Spanos.
CU: Eng/Arch Library,   Q175.32.I54 E77 2010

Explaining research : how to reach key audiences to advance your work / Dennis Meredith.
CU: Eng/Arch Library, Q223 .M399 2010
If you like your Science news portable, personalized and participatory…READ about it… AND try using your social networking tools to keep up with Science news. 

Twitter Feeds for Science: 

Astro_Mike Mike Massimino, NASA astronaut, mission specialist for STS-125

Discovery News from Discovery Channel U.S. PR. Press site at


IEEESpectrum The latest technology news and analysis from world’s leading engineering magazine.

NASA News from NASA

NatGeoSociety Inspiring people to care about the planet.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History. Author: The Pluto Files, Death By Black Hole. Host: PBS NOVA scienceNOW

NIHSciEd The NIH Office of Science Education develops and sponsors science education programs for teachers, students, and the public.

Scifri Science radio program heard on NPR and create science content for the web. Got ideas? Write @scifri and tweet your questions during the show.

Sheldoncooper Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper is a fictional character on the CBS television series The Big Bang Theory, portrayed by actor Jim Parsons. He portrays a Caltech theoretical physicist.

SteacieLibrary Steacie Science and Engineering Library, York University CA

OR Look at this list and pick your Science area of interest:

100 Amazing Scientists You Should Follow on Twitter

Submitted by: KMH_nowinVA Kimberly Hoffman, Coordinator Science Libraries, CUA