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World social science report 2010: knowledge divides
Never before have there been so many social scientists in the world – many more than the 200,000 population of Margaret Mead’s famous Samoa. Never before have the social sciences been so influential: economists run ministries of finance, political scientists staff public administrations and MBAs run corporations. Indeed, social scientists have not just entered boardrooms, but since Kinsey also bedrooms. Never before have social scientists had such an impact on public opinion, in terms of both how the world is seen and how it is acted upon. Terms that were once specialized – for example, ‘comparative advantage’ or ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ – dot the media and have entered everyday language. However, in spite of this impact, humans face crises that tax their understanding and their capacity to cope.