Press Release

Humanities Indicators Receive Obama Administration Support


Fiscal 2011 Budget Calls for Partnership with American Academy to Sustain a Robust Humanities Data Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC – In its Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal for the federal government, the Obama Administration highlights the need for more and better data about the humanities and cites the Humanities Indicators as the model for a comprehensive humanities data infrastructure.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences launched the Humanities Indicators online at in January 2009 and continues to update and expand them.

The Obama Administration’s FY 2011 budget request for the National Endowment for the Humanities includes the following language:

"Collect, analyze, and disseminate statistical information about the condition of the humanities. In FY 2011, the Endowment plans to enter into a partnership with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) – an honorary society in Cambridge, Massachusetts, founded in 1780, that recognizes achievement in the natural sciences, social sciences, the humanities, and the arts – to sustain and extend AAAS's developmental work on the Humanities Indicators project. This project, which is responsive to NEH's legislative mandate to develop a ‘system of national information and data collection . . . on the humanities,’ is making a wide range of humanities data available to researchers, educators, and the general public. These data will equip policymakers and institutional administrators with statistical tools to help inform decision-making about primary and secondary education, higher education, the humanities workforce, levels and sources of humanities funding, public understanding of the humanities, and other areas of concern to the humanities community."

“The American Academy looks forward to working with the NEH to increase and improve access to humanities data for researchers, policymakers, and the general public,” said Leslie Berlowitz, Chief Executive Officer and cochair of the Academy’s Initiative for Humanities and Culture.

Members of the national humanities organizations that collaborated with the Academy to develop the Humanities Indicators plan to work to educate key members of Congress about the importance of empirical data in making decisions about the humanities.




Humanities Indicators

Norman Marshall Bradburn and Robert B. Townsend