Qui a besoin des sciences sociales?

Pourquoi la recherche en sciences sociales est-elle souvent menacée de voir son budget toujours plus entamé que les deux autres grandes branches de la recherche universitaire, les lettres et sciences humaines et les sciences naturelles ? Margaret Thatcher, ancien Premier ministre britannique, déclara même autrefois que les sciences sociales n'existaient pas puisque la société n'existait pas, selon elle. D'autres mettent en avant la restructuration des facultés de sciences sociales des universités. Cependant, le développement des facultés de commerce et de gestion apporte la preuve de la vitalité constante des sciences sociales.

Tout comme il est faux de dire que les sciences sociales prennent pour objet des lieux communs, comme on le dit parfois. Au contraire, les évidences d'aujourd'hui sont les innovations d'hier. Si l'on compare les concepts utilisés pour développer les éditoriaux de la presse quotidienne, on y retrouve l'impact profond - mais nié - des sciences sociales. Cette influence est peut-être regrettable, mais elle existe bel et bien.

Pourtant, où se situent les sciences sociales dans la grande discussion sur la " nature humaine " que les récentes avancées des neurosciences cognitives, de la génétique comportementale et de la psychologie évolutionniste ont occasionné ? Allez donc lire notre site, soigneusement établi et bourré d'informations, consacré à la promotion d'une " troisième culture " qui fait le pont entre les lettres et sciences humaines d'une part et les sciences naturelles de l'autre : www.edge.org. Les chercheurs en sciences sociales y brillent par leur absence.

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