Ken Prewitt, Columbia University

Ken Prewitt
Ken Prewitt.

The Social Sciences: Old Boundaries Give Way – Just in Time

Kenneth Prewitt is on the faculty of Columbia University, where he also is Director of the Future of Scholarly Knowledge and special advisor to the President. Prewitt also has served as professor at the University of Chicago, President of the Social Science Research Council, Senior Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. He has served on numerous boards and advisory committees, and currently is President of the American Academy of Political & Social Science. His most recent book is What Is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans.

 Abstract: For better than a century, the social sciences have occupied an awkward space – not as self-evidently utilitarian as the natural & biological sciences, on the one edge, but then not as illuminating and entertaining as the humanities, on the other edge. Now the edges grow blurry, prompting questions: What new opportunities beckon? What traps lie ahead?