"There are two poles of belief about the proper role of social science," writes Geoff Mulgan in this post from the Nesta foundation blog. "One sees a cadre of specialists, based in their own specialist institutions and disciplines, analysing, and interpreting the world and then feeding conclusions into an essentially passive society and grateful policymakers. The other sees specialists in the academy, working much more in partnership with a society that is, itself, skilled in social science, able to generate hypotheses, gather data, experiment and draw conclusions.
"I want to suggest that two powerful winds are blowing which could amplify this second view of social science," he continues, citing data and machine intelligence as one revolution and collective intelligence on the other. To hear more from Mulgan, Nesta's chief executive officer, click HERE.
Michael Todd is an author and Social Science Communications manager at SAGE Publishing and is head editor of SAGE hosted sites MethodSpace and Social Science Space.