The utility of Liberal Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering , Mathematics (STEM)education is one that is generally decided in terms of imparting 'values' to students. The idea is to ensure that the education that they receive and the skills that they acquire prepare them for a responsible life, one that empowers them through accountability. While this might be true, to an extent, in varying degrees; a crucial enabler, one that is a powerful source of agency is the idea that students are not passive recipients of a value system deemed socially appropriate. A liberating functionality and aesthetic emerges when individuals become active arbiters of social coda, when they equip themselves with the ability to interrogate notions of value and excavate the reasons for which they find or do not find favour. The capacity to generate ideas that gain social traction, to understand the context of scientific transaction, the rigor to critique process and detail driven innovation becomes a determiner in the quest for social and intellectual inclusion in our country, a cause which lies at the very heart of Institutions such as ours.
Humanities and Social Sciences, comprising the disciplines of Economics, English, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology is an integral component of academic life at NISER. The courses from these disciplines form part of the required listings for undergraduate Science majors of the Integrated Five year MSc programme. The doctoral programme in the various disciplines under the school is in the final stages of implementation and is all set to commence in the 2015-16 academic year. The School enjoys a high degree of autonomy in designing core and elective courses for the student community that are primarily intended to encourage an understanding of the social substrate that anchors cultures of science. The courses are enhanced by the complementarity of research undertaken by the Faculty. The school actively contributes to its knowledge eco system by working as a resource centre for the neighbourhood. The School's research centers on Networks and Social Media, Institutions and the Psychology of Value, Disability and Impact, Urban Psychogeography, Being and Biopolitics, Ecology and Human Systems, Emplotment and Built Environments and Science-Society interface.