Strengthening The Humanities And Social Sciences is Goal of Grant to National Commission

Grantees in this story

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has received support from two of the country’s leading philanthropic organizations to help advance the work of the national Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Grants of $277,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and $275,000 from Carnegie Corporation of New York will promote the Commission’s goal of recommending specific steps that government, schools and universities, cultural institutions, businesses, and philanthropic organizations can take to strengthen the humanities and social sciences, which include history, literature, civics, geography, and languages. 

Commission Co-chair Richard H. Brodhead, President of Duke University, said the humanities and social sciences provide the intellectual framework for the nation’s economic, political, and governing institutions. “The humanities are not a specialized taste but the root of the most basic human and civic competencies.”  

The Commission is co-chaired by John W. Rowe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Exelon Corporation, and comprised of national leaders from the full range of humanities and social science disciplines, as well as scientists, engineers, leading business executives, philanthropists, jurists, artists, and journalists. (See the list of Commission Members).  

“We are grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York,” said American Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. “Their support allows the Commission to move forward with its examination of these disciplines. They are critical to the functioning of our democracy, to individual fulfillment, and to our ability to compete in a global economy.”  

The American Academy formed the Commission at the request of a bipartisan group of members of Congress. The specific charge to the Academy is to prepare a report that answers the question: “What are the top ten actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain national excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?”

The Commission is drawing on past Academy research, data from the Academy’s Humanities Indicators, and the experience and expertise of its members.  

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a non-partisan policy research center and international learned society dedicated to intellectual leadership across the nation and around the world. Current Academy projects include initiatives for science, engineering, and technology; international security; American institutions; the humanities and social sciences; and higher education.