After some time in the federal government (and really let’s be honest, a bunch of government happy hours), I have gotten used to hearing some variant on:
“Beth, you’ll appreciate this… you’re a social scientist.”
While it is quite true that I do appreciate a wide variety of topics, the phrasing always made me somewhat curious about what people think I do all day. Particularly when the topics included things like the Kardashian’s use of social media or the latest internet meme.
The social sciences have quite a bit of work to do to better communicate what we do, and natural scientists have consciously worked to communicate about things like climate change. I believe that social science has a lot to offer in that arena.
To that end, I’ve been collecting reports for a while* that I thought I’d put in one place. Suggestions welcome!
- Brookings has some work on public opinion and Climate Change that is a useful discussion of the ways in which different groups look at regulatory approaches to mitigating climate change.
- This article from Stanford Social Innovation Review engages in a discussion about the values and beliefs that underly the discussions around climate science.
- A Pew Study on the differences between scientists and the public highlights some of the key differences in the way that the public looks at climate change (as well as other issues) and how science views their work.
- A report on the relationship between social science and science from the Campaign for Social Science in the UK. The idea that social science is “disciplined curiosity” is engaging.
- World Social Science Report (pdf) is a behemoth, but has a lot in it that is worth reading from some excellent scholars.
- The Anthropologists weigh in on Climate change and Anthropology (pdf).
*I found many of these articles through the excellent AAAS Fellows Social Sciences Affinity Group List Serve