Full text: Notes on Social Science Policy

Impact on Society 
Still another contrast appears if we consider the impact on 
society. While science has turned society upside down, the 
social sconces, for a long time at least, seemed to provide 
only incantation. It is a large question, however, - and one 
belonging to social science itself - how much impact ideologies 
have had on the development of society. Some influence can hardly 
be denied. Furthermore, we shall never be able to solve our pro 
blems without the utopia-creating powers of social sciences. 
There is also a more pedestrian side to the question of im 
pact. As mentioned already, the social sciences nowadays offer 
techniques for practical use, 
This is in many ways a major change. We do not believe any more 
that unemployment is beyond control. We know perfectly well how 
to control it. More generally, economic techniques play a suf 
ficiently large role in modern administration to make it prac 
tically impossible for governments to do without the advice of 
trained economists. 
The practical use of social science to governments may perhaps 
be better seen from the following angle: Modern governments try 
to base their decisions on information. The apparatus for pro 
curing information, for processing it and making reasonable use 
of it can be provided by social scientists.

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