Scholars call for new approach to social sciences

October 10, 2014

An article in Times Higher Education calls for a “shake-up” in the social sciences. The article responds to physician and sociologist Nicholas A Christakis’ contention in the New York Times last year that “the social sciences have stagnated” to the point of being “boring [and] counterproductive.” The authors of the article say that, in the UK at least, social sciences departments are, to their detriment, reluctant to embrace new fields of thought; moreover, social scientists have been slow to tackle major topics such as climate change outside of specialist—and often less prestigious—journals. Major journals, the authors say, should follow the example of those in the natural sciences and include more innovative research. They also recommend that journals do more to limit the “puzzling length” of published articles, and to resist the dictates of “fashion” by employing non-academic social scientists as editors. Times Higher Education