***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Ryan Lanham wrote: > ***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** > > Nisbit (1980) argued that a key characteristic of modernism was an idea of a > progressive science. Progressive is a normative word. It implies either > (1) a positive expansion of scope or (2) a scope that is increasingly > correct or "true". > > Does any social scientist with broad-based training really fear physicist's > contribution on (2)? I can't imagine. Is there really some purpose to this sort of jingoistic rhetoric, other than collective ego-stroking? The empirical fact of the matter is that various scientists from outside the social sciences have taken an interest in social networks. Putting aside the occasionally thorny institutional issues (which have been nicely outlined by John Scott and others), it seems to me that our concern should be with advancing the science. Where physicists (or anyone else) can be helpful in this regard, we should make the most of what they have to offer; where they are in error, we should attempt to correct them. In the long haul, the best way to ensure that the field survives is to establish a consistent record of scientific success (strong predictive theories, refined and deployable measurement tools, etc.). Complaining about the current state of affairs (while a fun pastime) does little to bring this about. I would welcome a shift in this discussion towards some more practical topic. Although I share many of the concerns voiced here (as some of you know), I find a lot of the rhetoric a tad parochial (and faintly embarrassing). There's no magic solution to the (very real) challenge of interdisciplinary collaboration, but I expect that results will prove a harder currency than complaints in the grand scheme of things. -Carter _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.