The lessons Gilly and Shillinglaw teach can be applied to scientific research, creative expression – the Hopkins course is cross-listed as an English course – and activities where those subjects overlap, such as communicating science to the public.
“I would hope students could see how humanities and science inform each other. How can you be a thinking scientist if you know nothing of humanistic traditions or literary traditions or history?” said Gilly. “And people who are into art and humanities should be aware of science in today’s world too.”
Every other summer, Gilly and Shillinglaw share Monterey Bay’s interdisciplinary history and culture with 25 high school teachers from around the country who come to Hopkins to attend a Steinbeck Institute. Gilly and Shillinglaw co-direct the institute, which is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. They were recently awarded a new grant for another institute in 2020.