Posts Tagged ‘hard science’

I often get into arguments between the importance and validity of social sciences as a SCIENCE and physical/natural science as the ONLY TRUE HARD SCIENCE. While, yes, social sciences are considered “soft,” they are as much sciences as biology, chemistry and physics.

And, while it is (I’m sure) very important to study the hard sciences (many of you have or will be taking at least bio, chem and physics), social sciences are often neglected in the process. Those who are in hard science majors tend to look down at social scientists, and social scientists end up fighting against each other for importance. However, social science works the same way as natural/physical sciences: you can’t master one social science without having experience in other social sciences. And yet, with many social science majors, the importance in having a general knowledge of “The Social Sciences” is forgotten.

Take economics for example (I can’t believe I’m criticizing my favored social science). Econ majors have few to no classes in political science, and are usually not required to take psychology, even though both will play major roles in how the economy works. Political Science majors, similarly, are interested in criticizing politics (or are interested in playing the politics), but don’t even have a clue how macroeconomics works. International Relations majors don’t even understand the first rule of FREE WORLD TRADE.

How fucked up is that?

Besides combating each other, the social sciences still have to prove themselves as “real sciences” in the minds of hard science majors. I don’t even want to think of all the times I’ve had to fight to prove that economics takes as much work as, say, physics or biology. We have to do as much math, take as much data and weed through as much bullshit. Models in biology get rejected as often as models in economics do!

And if any of you silly bio/chem/physics majors even think of saying it’s easier than their major, I dare you to take an econometrics course. That class is so filled up the bum in math.

In any case, I wish social science classes were better taught, more recognized and more appreciated. Not only do they broaden our understanding of the world in which we live in (by providing us insight or an alternative view, or by providing us information which sheds light on a topic), but they are important to being a well rounded individual. I wouldn’t want to talk to an individual who only knew about microbes or atoms. I don’t want to spend all my time during a date making fucking punnetts squares.

Plus, it allows us to develop our own ideas about world/current events, instead of letting the news pass through our eyes and ears.

What I’m trying to say is, social sciences shouldn’t be disregarded, or though of as a “fake science,” because it takes as much effort and work to be a social scientists than as a physical scientists. Sociologists, economists and IR scholars don’t make up ideas out of nowhere. We have our fair share of ethical and unethical experiments, and we modify our models just as science modifies a theory when it is proven wrong.

On a slightly less relevant note, I think economics should be a required course in any college class. If more people applied the idea of opportunity costs to real life, we certainly would be more logical and rational people.


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