Does social science suffer from ‘physics envy’?

Many social scientists and some humanities scholars suffer from a condition that I like to refer to as ‘physics envy’. The term resonates with Freud’s theory of ‘penis envy’, as he applied it to girls and sometimes even to women. The use of the phrase ‘physics envy’ is appropriate whenever scholars presume that the closer…

Ebola: failures, flashpoints and focus

By Annie Wilkinson, post doctorate researcher, Institute of Development Studies As the worst Ebola epidemic on record shows no signs of abating in West Africa, fear and ignorance are increasingly said to be playing a role in its continued spread. Meanwhile, local practices such as the consumption of bushmeat and deforestation are the go-to explanations…

‘Negotiating Environmental Change’ now available as an e-book

The 2003 book Negotiating Environmental Change: New Perspectives on Social Science, edited by STEPS director Ian Scoones, Melissa Leach (former director) and Frans Berkhout (Interim Director of Future Earth), has been released as an e-book, with chapters available in digital form from Edward Elgar Publishing. The book includes an opening chapter by the editors, as…