Last week I gave a seminar at UC-San Diego’s Science Studies Colloquium Series. The subject was economics @ Business Week. My previous experience with talking to a science studies audience had been luke-warm, supportive but not enthusiastic.
At UCSD I was greeted with a well attended room. As I spoke, eyes were wide open (even my akward jokes worked). At the end I got a lively and useful Q&A. So, what’s the deal? Is it sunny Southern California that prepares the mind for the history of economics?
Science studies – UCSD is not a department but a subject unit joining sociologists, historians, communication scholars and philosophers. The setup trains the mind for diversity. Michael Bernstein, author of Perilous Progress, was writing about economics before becoming Dean. There are labor and economic sociologists at hand. Charles Thorpe is working on subjects related to neo-liberalism. The unit is headed by Steven Epstein, whose Impure Science is on my “favorites” reading list, and who has just published another award-winning book: Inclusion.
Whatever the explanation, it was well good.