Social sciences – Analysis and Comment

Of course, science, technology, engineering and mathematics research are important, but social sciences research creates huge benefits to society in multiple ways. Leo Grübler/Flickr

Focus on STEM risks sidelining social science innovation

Research in the humanities, arts and social sciences is often driven by philosophies of social justice and public benefit, which don't always sit comfortably with commercialisation.
We jump to conclusions that there must be a reason one’s a ‘have’ and one’s a ‘have-not.’ Benjamin Disinger

Life’s not fair! So why do we assume it is?

It's human nature to assume there must be a valid reason for inequalities in society. What's the psychology behind why we believe there's something fundamentally different between haves and have-nots?
Forget the doom and gloom about the humanities: employment and research in the sector continues to rise. Smithsonian American Art/Flickr

Are the humanities in crisis? In Australia, the sector is thriving

There's plenty of hand-wringing about the humanities being in crisis – but is that actually the case? In Australia, the sector is thriving, and policy should be made on that basis.
Tons of social media there for the taking… but is it truly representative of real life? Jürgen Pfeffer

Studying society via social media is not so simple

Behavioral scientists have seized on social media and their massive data sets as a way to quickly and cheaply figure out what people are thinking and doing. But some of those tweets and thumbs ups can…
Old fashioned scandals meet new-fangled complexity. Andy Dean Photography

Will all the ethical social scientists please stand up?

Social scientists have to get better at recognising and responding to ethical problems. Although economists, political scientists and psychologists have not been responsible for the same level of abuses…
Who lives in a house like this? Only the census can tell you for sure. Rob Noble

Scrapping the census in 2014 would be a disaster

The coalition government has already secured its legacy in a torrent of cuts to public services. But it hopes to do more. It also wants to do away with the largest evidence base that is available to inform…
Take your pick. Social scientists have got skills galore. Erich Kesse

‘Lazy’ social scientists? Just what your business needs

A report by the Campaign for Social Science is challenging some tired stereotypes about social scientists. As The i reported, social science graduates are defying the “layabout myth”. The report “What…
How many English people did I conquer again?

We still need the census to tell us who we really are

This week the Office for National Statistics opened a consultation on the future of the decennial national census. Two options are on the table: continuing the census, but with a switch to online collection…
Our impact on the earth has brought on a new geographical epoch – The Age of Humans. AAP/Damien Shaw

Climate change signals the end of the social sciences

In response to the heatwave that set a new Australia-wide record on 7 January, when the national average maximum reached 40.33°C, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a statement that, on reflection, sounds…