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For some it seems that most of the news about academic social sciences—anthropology, economics, political science, etc—is negative. But in response to the criticism he’s seen, political science professor Matt Grossman argues that, far from crisis, social science is undergoing an unparalleled renaissance of ever-broader understanding and application.
In this week’s episode, Senior Correspondent Steve Scher talks with Grossman about his defense of the current state of social sciences, captured in his book How Social Science Got Better: Overcoming Bias with More Evidence, Diversity, and Self-Reflection. Grossman shares why he believes that social science research today has never been more relevant, rigorous, or self-reflective—he says scholars have a better idea of their blind spots and biases. With insights from the philosophy, history, and sociology of science, he provides new data on research trends and scholarly views, providing a wide-ranging account that asks us to rethink the critiques and acknowledge the path-breaking advances occurring in the social sciences today.
Matt Grossmann is Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University. He is also Senior Fellow at the Niskanen Center and a Contributor at FiveThirtyEight. He has published analysis in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico and hosts the Science of Politics podcast. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including Asymmetric Politics, Red State Blues, The Not-So-Special Interests, Artists of the Possible, and Campaigns & Elections, as well as dozens of journal articles.
Steve Scher is a podcaster, interviewer, and teacher. He worked in Seattle public radio for almost 30 years. He has taught at the University of Washington since 2009. He is Senior Correspondent for Town Hall Seattle’s In The Moment podcast.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.