What does the current academic environment surrounding non-STEM fields look like, and why do you think that is? Mr. Kearney I think this is a question that assumes my field of study is non-STEM. I would contest that assumption. Quantitative political science, econometrics, game theory….these are all STEM related pursuits. I would love for more people to understand that. That being said, I also feel that the question must be answered in two different ways. Within my academic community, my field is highly regarded. Political scientists and economists continue to make contributions to the field and we know more now than ever before about human behavior as it relates to these aspects of civilization. Social scientists are key drivers of policies that affect us all on a daily basis. Broadly speaking, however, there continues to be a growing lack of respect for and trust in scientists across the board. We have seen this with people’s beliefs and reactions to the COVID epidemic, for example, or climate change. We are finding that people who are presented with results and findings with which they don’t like are simply willing to label them “fake news” and ignore them. This is particularly problematic in my fields of study since, by definition, our work is political in nature. It is my hope that we can turn the corner on this and return to a world in which we respect the authority of individuals who have dedicated their lives to becoming experts in their fields of study, whatever that field might be. I recognize that some fields, the arts or philosophy for example, are inherently open to interpretation and I do not have a problem with that. It is important that we have interesting conversations about all aspects of life. But I also believe that the more we understand that social scientists are not merely pontificating but rather helping to explain the world around us, the more we can engage in said world and work to make it a better place. Dr. Cross It is no secret that the humanities are best with difficulties. Even before the pandemic, schools were cutting budgets for the humanities, dismissing professors, and even terminating entire departments. My field, Ancient History, has been especially hard hit by low student enrollment and hiring freezes. The most obvious reason for this state of affairs is the relative lack of career opportunities. The most frequent question that I received when I was the Coordinator of Classics at Queens College, CUNY was, “What can I do with a Classics degree?” While it is true that the humanities are not the most lucrative field that one can enter, there are practical applications that one can gain from it that can enhance their professional skillset and give them a competitive edge. Humanities educators, unfortunately, have not always demonstrated this. Dr. Kotlarczyk There are a lot of robust communities of discourse in non-STEM fields.That said, there are at the moment some serious threats to non-STEM fields in America coming in the form of curriculum censorship. The anti-"Critical Race Theory '' and anti-LGBTQ laws passed recently in places like Texas and Florida are the canary in the coal mine for academic freedom in this country. PAGE 23