Back from Amsterdam where I attended the Observation in economics and natural sciences, historically considered‘s conference (https://historyofeconomics.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/observer-and-observed/). In the conference, several discussions have focused on whether there was some difference between observations in natural and social sciences (at least for the sake of history).
While opening the Saturday issue of Le Monde, I found an article (reproduced from the NYT) titled: “Physicist Tried to Outwit Wall Street. They Failed”, that put (at least for me) these discussions in an interesting perspective. One of the quotations from the main character, the former physicist turned professor of finance, Emanuel Derman, is interesting. He wrote in his biography: “In physics there may be one day a Theory of Everything; in finance and the social sciences, you’re lucky if there is a usable theory of anything.” I take this quote as representative of what many scientists , who believe that there is a lot of differences between natural and social science, think. The question is: does it matter to us, historians. I do not think so. In the face of history, all sciences are equal!