Hard problems in social science explored

Last week Harvard University ran a major symposium on Hard Problems in Social Science. A panel of leading figures from the social sciences gave their views on what the hardest unsolved problems in the social sciences are, from economics through to sociology, their goal being to identify the “world’s ‘hardest problems’ in the social sciences.”

Videos from the event are all available online but only for a limited period of time: the idea is to watch, discuss, then vote on the proposals, and also to submit additional problems for consideration. There are some interesting discussions in the group’s Facebook page, and coverage also appeared earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal.

Promoting the value and impact of the social sciences is something that SAGE is keen to champion – in 2010 we’re running a number of initiatives that celebrate the social sciences, from arranging debates (see A bleak future for social science), to sponsoring conference sessions and streams, to promoting key research and authors that we publish. We would love to hear from you if you took part in the Harvard debate, or have views about the big issues in social science that you’d like to share.

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