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June 21 , 2008

The Lively Science

Remodeling Human Social Research


Wonder why studies you read about your world usually dont get who you are and how you really live? Frustrated that “the numbers” dont solve the problem? Does it bother you that policies and programs, more often than not, dont work like theyre supposed to?People, organizations, countriesthey rely on information about real human social lives. Usually they dont have it because they only test what they think they already know in narrow situations of their own design. The results have value, some of the time, but its not nearly enough. We need a human social science that begins and ends in the real worlds of the humans that it claims to be about. One has been around for a couple of hundred years. The Lively Science tells the story of its historical roots and the reasons for its neglect and argues that its time to get on with a science that changes research objects into human subjects and learns who they are and what theyre trying to do before conclusions are drawn.

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