Abstract

Hernan Mondani

The last decades have seen a steady increase in the number of scholars from the natural and information sciences that become interested in social science questions. In this context, collaboration usually takes the form of either discipline-specific research (e.g. involving physicists using social data and publishing in physics journals) or interdisciplinary partnerships (e.g. between mathematicians and sociologists collaborating from their respective departments). Technical researchers doing social science research from social science departments are still a relatively unusual sight.

This presentation draws inspiration from the author’s personal experiences as an engineer pursuing a doctoral degree in sociology, in order to give a broadened perspective on the challenges and opportunities that this situation entails. Among the topics covered during the presentation, there will be examples and discussions on:

  • ​semantics and the use of analogies in the social sciences,
  • ​models and the various conceptualizations around them,
  • ​​interdisciplinary work in the interface between sociology and physics