2 replies »

  1. As someone who has spent a good part of a career in journalism interested in/disseminating social science, let me offer a partial answer to the question in the last paragraph.
    1. it’s not ‘popularisation’ (which has a sniff of snobbery and/or epistemological absolutism about it), but application of the rule of thumb news writers apply (which of course is not ideology free) …does this quicken the blood/interest the hard-bitten desk editors/ pass the ‘so what’ test. Economics stuff tends to have a higher ratio of passes because
    2 (subject to empirical analysis) the kinds of things economists are interested in are the kinds of things that intermediaries (who would go out of business if they were too far off the public’s general interests) are excited by ..tax, money, fairness, business, jobs etc. The ‘arena of interest’ also includes gender, family, power – the subject matter more often of the other social sciences – but their output doesn’t hit this spot often enough.
    Here’s a thought experiment. The Institute for Fiscal Studies is supremely successful at subjecting public conversation (especially initiated by politicians) to disciplined analysis and critique, usually economics led. Were there, say, an Institute for Social Policy, in what circumstances and over what output might it command the attention the IFS does.
    And, a question for social scientists, are there enough practitioners of sociology and social policy to step up and do what Paul Johnson and colleagues do with such effect?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *