Doing science: Some reflections on methods

Over the last few months some members of our Institute, especially Bev Gibbs, Greg Hollin and I have had discussions about ‘methods’ in the (natural and) social sciences. In this post I want to dig a bit deeper into methods and perhaps clear up some confusions (or create more!). I’ll focus on four methodological concepts: …

Neo-liberalism: a problem of social science and for society

This is a post by JOHN HOLMWOOD, sparked by some discussions on twitter and on our ‘Making Science Public’ internal discussion list. A recent post by John Field has called neo-liberalism an ‘overworked concept’, much in use in the UK social science, but less frequently elsewhere. He implies that its use is largely normative, and …

Families of climate scepticism I: faulty science?

At last week’s British Sociological Association conference, I presented some initial observations from my research on climate change scepticism. My starting point was that climate change scepticism – or as it is often inaccurately described, denial – is not monolithic. Those people typically labelled as sceptics vary in their arguments. Sometimes may employ many different arguments, some may focus on …

Is there something dehumanising about science?

At the recent launch of Making Science Public, the Rt. Rev Dr Lee Rayfield – a member of our programme’s advisory board and, as Bishop of Swindon and a trained medical scientist, the lead contact on science matters for the Church of England – participated in a late-afternoon panel. He posed an interesting question, which …