Month: September 2012

The Social Sciences are Science, and they are Likely to be the Most Important Science of the 21st Century

There is a common and persistent misconception that “science” is only the “hard sciences”, primarily physics, geology, astronomy, chemistry, and biology (and related fields).  This is perpetuated in high school science courses, because when they say “science” they never mean psychology, organizational behavior, political science, sociology, anthropology, or any of the applied disciplines of these such as education, law, management, marketing, etc. The closes that usually exists is “social studies” which is more historically focused than science focused, such that it focuses more on stating what is believed to have happened in the past, then how social scientists, including historians, have come to their conclusions about what happened in the past.  Although this is also can be a problem in the “hard sciences” where some science classes state the “facts” of science, more than they talk about how they were discovered, and why we should believe or not believe them.

Yet, it is the humans of this world and how we operate that has the biggest impact on this planet today and on its future, and specifically on our future as a humanity.   It is how we use the hard sciences in our organizations, cultures, and nations that will determine how the future will be.  Doesn’t this deserve to be something that should be looked at carefully by every voting citizen of this nation and world?  From my experience, education changes slowly, and that which is called “academic” at the K12 level does not generally utilize the scientific academic methodologies of higher education.  Maybe this is partly because they don’t generally recognize the value social science has on their discipline?