It’s a debate as old as the Epic of Gilgamesh (look it up, engineering students): are exact sciences harder than humanities?
A University of Canterbury engineering lecturer seems to think so and has sparked an online debate when the teaching slides surfaced on social media this week.
“If engineering was easy, they’d call it arts instead,” the lecturer’s slide claimed.
Luke Goode, associate professor in media and communication at the University of Auckland, tweeted the image on Wednesday, adding: “Dear Canterbury Uni NZ Arts colleagues: apparently this is how your Engineering colleagues think it’s appropriate to talk about you and your students to their new students.”
Dear Canterbury Uni NZ Arts colleagues: apparently this is how your Engineering colleagues think it’s appropriate to talk about you and your students to their new students. pic.twitter.com/zJMsGonUvg
— Luke Goode (@LukeGoode) February 21, 2018
Goode followed up with a tweet where he says he understands this is probably just intended as “harmless banter” but it’s still a telling sign of “an ideological war on critical thinking coupled with the anti-intellectualism that infects this country”.
“Does this lecturer seriously imagine he or she would find an Arts degree any easier than I would find an Engineering degree? How about encouraging your new students to behave like adults by setting an example?” Goode added.
Twitter was divided on the matter.
Is he wrong though? Only easier degree than Arts is Commerce. UC is renowned for its engineering school, not its Art students. Speaking as a UC grad with a BCom
— Andrew Perry (@YourHomeLoanNZ) February 21, 2018
I graduated with an MA Fine Art (with distinction) & found the engineering quote funny – cause its true. Artists should spend a little less time being offended and a little more time figuring out how to make a living with their career choice. Hard work and a sense of humour helps
— Trevor Jones (@trevorjonesart) February 22, 2018
yes I don’t see the point when people talk like that. I’m a civil engineering student and even though it’s difficult, I’d never make fun of artists, they are amazing! I love drawing but I find it very hard to do! People should know their differences and respect each other
— folivora camis (@cammy_f) February 22, 2018
If art was easy, they’d use better colour contrast with the words “Engineering” and “Arts”.
— Chris Trottier (@atomicpoet) February 22, 2018
As a Liberal Arts grad with an Engineering career the most troubling part of this is a professor labeling an opinion as “fact”
— Stewart Gulliver (@KzooStu) February 22, 2018
I would like to invite that teacher to take a visit to our music department and see how easy 20 credit semesters, having to learn multiple secondary instruments at the same time and prepare for a senior recital on your major instrument is.
— Joshua Hauser (@Joshua_Hauser) February 22, 2018
If engineers were Arts majors, they would know when to use the subjunctive.
— Timothy Anderson (@AndersonBooz) February 22, 2018
I started a physics degree in 1990 and that’s literally the joke we made about engineering students.
— Giovanni Tiso (@gtiso) February 22, 2018
As both an Artists and Engineer, this is complete BS. They are both hard, the difference is that with Engineering you have to follow set logic systems and with art you have to create logic systems from scratch that have never existed before in order to solve abstract problems
— Rome (@__Rome___) February 22, 2018
Source: NZ Herald