While the economy is booming in many countries, arts and social science postgraduate students are finding it more and more difficult to get scholarship or any other financial support. By contrast, more funds are favor to scientific areas. This leads to declining enrolment in arts and social science disciplines. The main reason is that some people overly emphasize economic benefits of scientific research, but underestimate the intangible roles of the arts, history, philosophy or anthropology and consider them less useful.
It is a general practice in many countries that universities carry their responsibility of conducting research for the good of their community and sharing their results with the public. If we were to judge the value of a research by its material value, scientific research surely benefit people’s life more directly and visible than the arts. Such examples can range widely from medical breakthroughs which enhance human longevity and public health, to communication technology innovations which convenient the interaction between people and empower the mobility of individuals and businesses. Products, such as cars driven by solar energy, aimed at tackling environmental issues can make the earth a better place for us to live. However, the improved living standards do not necessarily increase the happiness of people as they are by nature emotionally connected to the world around them. That is to say the quality of life does not solely depend on materialism.
Humans are emotional beings and need not only bread to eat but also roses to enjoy. It is the arts that deal with the non-material aspects of life such as passions, values and relationships which significantly influence people’s feelings and judgments. These are ultimately central to people’s behaviors. Another important benefit is that the arts inspire people to see their world from a personal point of view which is usually very unique and creative. And creativity and innovation is a crucial quality for an individual to excel in society and make the best of their life. Other values of the arts include relaxation and entertainment, safe way of channeling energy and passion, enhancing understanding between cultures and races. Social science leads people to reflect on human self and make a deeper comprehension of the society, helping make reasonable and positive decision for long-term issues.
To conclude, research on the arts and social science are as important as science for humans, although they benefit us in different ways. To maintain a healthy and robust society, governments should offer equal financial support in all areas of society.