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Carol Weiss observed in the late 1970’s that social science was expected to bring rationality to the untidy world of government: “It would provide hard data for planning and give cause-and-effect theories for policy making, so that statesmen would know which variables to alter in order to affect the desired outcomes.”
To what extent has social science research actually brought rationality to the untidy world of government? Can you describe a policy that you believe has been affected by social science, and a policy that you believe has not been affected by social science? Finally, can you think of any examples of policies that have been wrongfully affected by social science?