Socrates: “It amuses me to see how afraid you are lest the common herd of men should accuse you of recommending useless studies.”
J. J. Thomson (discoverer of the electron, in a speech in 1916): “(…) applied science leads to reforms, pure science leads to revolutions (...).”
What are the applied social sciences?
These sciences are most often defined as follows:
- as the application of existing knowledge for resolving practical problems in social life;
- as the creation of quite narrowly specialised knowledge aimed at resolving social problems.
The scientific community at the ISNS UW, the Institute of Applied Social Sciences of the University of Warsaw, defines applied social sciences somewhat differently. For a start, we understand them as the creation of knowledge based on empirical research as broadly understood. Secondly, as the application of existing notions, theories and concepts not only for resolving social problems but also for describing and interpreting social life, both comprehensively and in regard to its most diverse aspects, fragments and layers (which usually leads to significant modifications in these notions, theories and concepts). Our experience shows that this area of science thus defined not only expands the opportunities for collaboration with practitioners, but also contributes to development in the fundamental theories and research.