The College of Arts and Sciences provides a liberal arts education of tremendous breadth and depth to more than 25,000 students while advancing research in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. A&S alumni have received the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prizes, and Emmy and Tony Awards, and have been elected to key government positions regionally and nationally. Learn more about the College
The world communicates across generations and cultures through the arts. Our students are the creative artists, audiences and arts advocates of the future. Our degree programs, museums, exhibitions, and artistic performances reflect the dual nature of the arts as both creative endeavors, requiring constant renewal, and as subjects of scholarly research.
The humanities allow us to understand and communicate the range and diversity of human cultural achievement. As the world becomes more connected and interdependent, such understanding becomes imperative. Through their focus on language, literature, film, and the history of ideas, the humanities encourage students to reflect upon their own beliefs and values as they explore those of other peoples and periods.
The natural sciences provide us with methods to investigate and understand ourselves, our world, and the universe, from the subatomic to the cosmic level. As we learn more about our world, we also come to understand our place within it as individuals and as a species. Discoveries in the sciences, often emerging from basic research, transform society as they address everything from disease to global warming.
The social sciences study how and why human communities and societies are organized as they are, behave as they do, and change over time. Drawing on a diverse array of disciplines and using both quantitative and qualitative methods, social scientists are committed to creating, disseminating, and applying knowledge to address significant social problems in local, national, and global contexts. Learn more about the Social Sciences.
Private gifts allow our students and faculty to make new discoveries, create innovative programs and reach out to people beyond the campus to enhance our communities and the world. We hope you will consider lending your support to the College so that we can continue to provide our students with exceptional educational and research opportunities.
Made possible by the generosity of the Leonard P. & Helen M. Kammeyer Endowed Fund, Timeless Discoveries is a documentary produced by Penny LeGate Productions, which highlights major breakthroughs, groundbreaking research, and practical applications revealed by the scientific community at the College of Arts & Sciences. Hear professors and students as they reveal their challenges and discoveries ranging from the Hepatitis B vaccine to advances in solar energy. With 150 years of instrumental research, the film showcases some of the most prominent scientists of the College. View the full documentary on UWTV or below. You can also find individual segments below.
See The Full Documentary Here
Documentary Segment Summaries & Resources
The University of Washington stands proudly as one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning and is now ranked as one of the top 14 universities in the world. With 150 years of rich history from the early beginnings of the Young Naturalists to Nobel-prize winning Hans Dehmelt the University has and continues to value timeless and timely discoveries.
Discovering the Natural World
Former zoology professor Trevor Kincaid is highly respected within the University for his many contributions including saving the state’s dying oyster industry and creating the Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan Island. Today, Tom Daniel and Estella Leopold are both embracing Kincaid’s goal of understanding the natural world in their own respective areas of expertise.
Investing in Curiosity to Provide Medical Breakthrough
Inspired by Dr. Benjamin Hall’s ground breaking discovery of a vaccine for Hepatitis B, Michael Gelb is pioneering the expansion of infant health screening enabling earlier detection of diseases. Breakthrough discoveries of this magnitude wouldn’t be possible without the freedom to do basic research, a core value of the University.
Making Sense of the Universe
With over 35 years of experience, Bruce Balick is striving to open our narrow view of the cosmos though his efforts in astronomy. Research is the foundation of the University and continues to propel students onward today. Evidence of this is the first observatory being built on campus in 1895 and the department’s creation in 1965.
A desire to push beyond the test tube motivates Pradip Rathod and team members to travel to India and Africa regularly to further their research involving malaria. The research network in India is supported by a seven-year malaria grant from the National Institutes of Health, and the team hopes that complementary laboratory activities supported by the Grand Challenge Explorations Award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will also see applications in endemic countries.
Biology professors Dee Boersma and Sam Wasser are building public awareness and altering international policies to preserve wildlife. Their focus and approach are highly specialized but both have managed to educate others about the cost of human consumption. Maintaining biodiversity is no easy task, yet they embrace the idea that the world can change one person at a time.
Research has proven that children learn more in the first five years than any other time period in their lifetimes. For this reason co-founders and co-directors of the Institute for Learning and Brain SciencesPatricia Kuhl and Andrew Meltzoff have devoted their careers to early learning. The couple emphasizes the importance of connecting to children as early as day one since we are born learning.
The Next Generation
David Ginger and Alvin Kwiram have partnered to study renewable energy sources. Currently, the population gets 80 percent of energy from fossil fuels and solar energy is not affordable for all. The duo are working with colleagues in engineering in hopes of finding an alternative. It is challenging to summarize 150 years of achievement but one thing is clear – all future discoveries will be fueled through research.