Tech suffers from lack of humanities, says Mozilla head

Considering myself an academic with a social science (MSc, PhD in psychology) and tech (MSc Medical Statistics, Post-doc in genomics) background, I find it highly interesting that Mitchell Baker, head of the Mozilla Foundation (cf Firefox browser), is arguing that hiring employees who mainly come from STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) will produce a new generation of technologists with the same blindspots as those who are currently in charge and poses great risks for the future [1]. She said:

“But one thing that’s happened in 2018 is that we’ve looked at the platforms, and the thinking behind the platforms, and the lack of focus on impact or result. It crystallised for me that if we have Stem education without the humanities, or without ethics, or without understanding human behaviour, then we are intentionally building the next generation of technologists who have not even the framework or the education or vocabulary to think about the relationship of Stem to society or humans or life.”[1]

I can only support her view, and emphasize that a “mutual” understanding of people in STEM and social sciences is crucial today. Politicians with a background in social sciences (economiy, law, politics) have to understand the potential risks in the tech world which is developing at an unprecented speed, but also managers and developers should not only care about fast and robust development of the next cool app or feature, but also about the social implications.