A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber by Christian Fleck

By Christian Fleck

From the start of the 20th century, clinical and social medical study has been characterised by way of highbrow trade among Europe and the USA. The institution of the 3rd Reich ensured that, from the German conversing international, at the least, this turned a one-way site visitors. during this e-book Christian Fleck explores the discovery of empirical social learn, which via 1950 had develop into the binding norm of foreign scholarship, and he analyses the contribution of German refugee social scientists to its institution. the most important names are right here, from Adorno and Horkheimer to Hirshman and Lazarsfeld, yet on the center of the ebook is a different collective biography in keeping with unique facts from greater than 800 German-speaking social scientists. released in German in 2008 to nice acclaim, Fleck's vital research of the transatlantic enrichment of the social sciences is now on hand in a revised English-language version.

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Extra info for A Transatlantic History of the Social Sciences: Robber Barons, the Third Reich and the Invention of Empirical Social Research

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11 At the same time, the ‘Notgemeinschaft deutscher Wissenschaft’ (Association for the Emergency Funding of German Science) was reflecting on ‘collective research’ (see Chapter Three). In the autobiography of Friedrich Schmidt-Ott, the éminence gris of German research policies, there is a revealing remark on how this ‘collective research’ used to be initiated: ‘In most cases, proposals were submitted by individual eminent scholars, described and explained in individual memoranda and discussed in special committees which, after endorsement by the expert committee and the steering committee [of the ‘Notgemeinschaft’], were also in charge of supervising their execution’ (Schmidt-Ott 1952: 212).

They rarely acted as social innovators, leaving this part to the recipients of their funds or to one or the other of their foundation officers. Anyhow, in twentiethcentury America, a widespread belief in the sciences prompted these two magnates to transfer part of their fortunes to foundations that in some way or another began to act as institutions for the advancement of science. Carnegie, having risen to become the country’s leading steel industrialist and multi-millionaire, made redistribution his personal philosophy and, since he liked to put pen to paper, preached it at some length.

The two main driving forces were the rapid increase in the number of students in tertiary education and the willingness of private financiers to donate their fortune to the sciences. The basis for both was the belief in the utility of scientific research. The social sciences benefited from this utilitarian and science-friendly climate and, more specifically, from the fact that conditions for innovations to emerge and to impose themselves were more favourable in the United States than in Europe.

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