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Soft Sciences

Entry updated 9 April 2015. Tagged: Theme.

In academic slang and sf Terminology, the soft sciences are in the main the social sciences, those which deal mainly with human affairs – very often the sciences that require little or no hardware for their carrying out. (Most would claim Biology and subsidiary fields – e.g., Clones and Genetic Engineering – as hard sciences [see Hard SF].) Theme entries in this volume which deal directly or indirectly with soft sciences include Anthropology, Ecology, Economics, Evolution, Futures Studies, Intelligence, Linguistics, Perception, Psychology and Sociology. The soft sciences very often work through statistics, and hard scientists have been known to despise them for their lack of rigour and their occasional difficulty in predicting quantifiable results; sociology has been particularly criticized in this context. Sf that deals primarily with the soft sciences is sometimes known as Soft SF. [PN]

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