What's Ails the Social Sciences?

+ Something new on remote work

In lieu of a newsletter this week, I’ve got two new pieces set to be published this week. Check them out!

Published yesterday in Works In Progress: What Ails the Social Sciences?

This is basically my take on why the replication crisis seems to have been so severe in the social sciences. The typical explanation for the replication crisis is that bad incentives in science lead to bad work; I argue here that can’t be the whole story because a similar incentive system operates across all the sciences, including ones where no one is that worried about replicability.

So why are things worse for the social sciences? I synthesize a bunch of papers arguing the social sciences suffer from two problems, as compared to the hard ones: a less unified theoretical framework, and less interaction with a community of practitioners.

It’s all original, not a rehash of what you’ve already read if you follow this newsletter.

More generally, this issue of Works in Progress is all about the state of science and looks really interesting.

Second, published (hopefully) later this week will be a new report by me on remote work, coauthored with Adam Ozimek and put out with the Progressive Policy Institute. Stay tuned…

Back next week to regularly scheduled programming.