“In an apparently post-truth era, the social science scholar, by disposition and training committed to rational argumentation and the pursuit of truth, appeals as the ideal bulwark against excessive politicization of facts and expertise. In this article, we look to the experience of four prominent social scientists who have recently left the academy to enter politics with the aim of using their academic expertise to reshape policy. We use these cases to explore fundamental dilemmas derived from a close reading of Max Weber’s seminal vocation essays of a century ago. “- listen to a podcast by Dr John Boswell, Prof. Jack Corbett and Dr Jonathan Havercroft, based on a PSR article: Politics and Science as a Vocation: Can Academics Save us from Post-Truth Politics?
John Boswell is Associate Professor in Politics at the University of Southampton. His research and teaching interests centres around contemporary issues and themes in democratic governance and public policy. My research is generally qualitative and interpretive in nature, and I also have an interest in writing and teaching on methodological matters in this tradition.
Jack Corbett is Professor of Politics, Departmental Research Director at The University of Southampton. His research focuses on how actors manage the dilemmas of democratic governance.
Jonathan Havercroft is Associate Professor in International Political Theory within Politics & International Relations at the University of Southampton. His current research projects include work on the ethical dimensions of international norms, theories of political affect, and the role of agreement in democratic theory and practice.
Dr Eliza Kania, Brunel University London