Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A campaign for social science

Via Church of Rationality I came across this little proposal:
"...I would set up a campaign for social science.
This would be a little different from More or Less or Bad Science, great as they are. Very often, they deal with the abuse of statistics. I’m thinking not just of this, but of fact-free hand-waving. What my campaign would do is insist upon more scientific standards of discussion of social affairs. 
"Now, I don’t know how such a campaign would change politics. I suspect that, very often, it would reveal just how much we don’t know. But it would revolutionize the media. TV and radio would have to drop all those blowhards who just exchange anecdote and hypothesis; in proper science, no-one give a damn abot anyone's opinion - it's the evidence that matters. And it might even reverse the inequality of pay and status between columnists and reporters. "

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