Press Release

New Website, Publication & Data Forum Debut on Anniversary of The Heart of the Matter


CAMBRIDGE, MA | JUNE 19, 2014 – One year following the release of its seminal report and film The Heart of the Matter, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences today rolls out three new research tools to help better integrate information on the humanities into the national conversation.

  • is significantly redesigned to provide cleaner, more direct access to a vast repository of data about the state of the humanities. While constantly updated data are now more easily found, retrieved, and explained, the rigor and transparency of the data are preserved.
  • The State of the Humanities: Funding 2014 draws on some of the most recent Indicators to show the array of funding sources, large and small, that underwrite the humanities, and reveal federal, state, and private support to the humanities is still recovering from the recession.
  • The Data Forum (will link to first forum) invites experts to contribute context, perspective, and critiques for new data that generated by the Indicators as well as by other American Academy projects. In the opening forum, experts assess new findings on foundation funding to the humanities.

In the year since the release of The Heart of the Matter, the American Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences has been involved in events across the country with colleges and universities, local and state humanities councils, libraries, and historical societies, all aimed at promoting the value of the humanities and social sciences. Consistent at each venue, were requests for more readily accessible data.

“If we want this national conversation to continue and be productive, reliable, recent data are needed by journalists, scholars, opinion leaders and lawmakers,” said Don Randel, Chairman of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Board of Directors. “People can now find what they need on the website, in this latest funding report, and in ongoing discussions through the Data Forum.

“Over the past five years, the Humanities Indicators Project has helped to change the conversation about the humanities disciplines, from one based in anecdote to one based in data and fact,” said Don Randel, Chairman of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Board of Directors. “This change has been immensely helpful to scholars and policymakers. The new website, publication, and online forum are necessary next steps in the evolution of the project, as we now try to engage a broader public in matters of vital importance to our nation.”

As stated in the opening lines of The Heart of the Matter, “The humanities remind us where we have been and help us envision where we are going.” The tools unveiled today by The American Academy of Arts & Sciences will prove invaluable in documenting trends, identifying needs, and weighing opinions moving forward.

The Academy gratefully acknowledges the financial support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, primary funder of the Humanities Indicators, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities.


The American Academy
Felicia Knight
(207) 831-5676




Humanities Indicators

Norman Marshall Bradburn and Robert B. Townsend