- Soft science
Soft science is a colloquial term, often used for
academic researchor scholarshipwhich is purportedly "scientific" however it is not based on reproducible experimental data, and/or a mathematical explanation of that data. The term is usually used as a contrast to hard science. [cite book|url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=SjayHztX8mUC&pg=PA99&vq=%22Hard+science+and+Soft+science%22&sig=TDVtlJbVP_d1DakkD8QegCXvjjQ#PPA100,M1
title=Scientific Uncertainty and Environmental Problem Solving
natural sciences, research which depends upon conjecture (sometimes called hypothesis), qualitative analysisof data (compared to quantitativeanalysis), or uncertain experimental results is sometimes derided as soft science. [For example, in cite journal|url=http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14719874.800-race-is-a-four-letter-word.html
title=Race is a four letter word
quote=Gardner criticises the book's soft science and neglect of alternative explanations.
pages=44] Examples are
evolutionary psychology[cite book|url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=a2TTPKFUXgkC&pg=PA171&dq=%22soft+science%22+%22evolutionary+psychology%22&ei=L2kQSLiJNqSSyQTq2tnHCQ&client=firefox-a&sig=eSRofjfv-E2ml9nbTWvRtYEIYUU
title=Evolution, Gender, and Rape
author=Cheryl Brown Travis
quote=If evolutionary biology is a soft science, then evolutionary psychology is its flabby underbelly] or
quote=Empirically, meteorology positioned itself alongside physics in the "hard sciences", yet theoretically it leans toward the "soft science" of geography.
publisher=New Zealand Science Monthly] . When "soft science" refers to a natural science, it is usually used
pejoratively, mainly due to the term's association with social science, implying that a particular natural science topic described as "soft" does not belong to the field of natural science.
Different approaches to the scientific method can be distinguished by the research they term "soft science" and what they consider "hard." The issue is important to the
philosophy of science(which does not always support the possibility of drawing a distinction between "hard" and "soft") and to science studiesand the sociology of science(which study scientists' implicit perceptions of research and methods).
Certain researcherswho have argued that soft science publications make less use of
graphs than hard science. This view is known as the graphism thesis.
The central science
History of science
Philosophy of science
* [http://www.panarchy.org/boulding/systems.1956.html General Systems Theory] , The Skeleton of Science, by Kenneth Boulding, 1956
* [http://www.columbia.edu/cu/21stC/issue-1.1/soft.htm Soft science] : an analysis of news coverage of the social sciences, from
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