The Public Honors College

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The Huge Impact Social Science Has on our Lives

Lecture Reveals the “Secrets” Feb. 8
January 19, 2010
Press Release #10-007


Everyone has an idea how science has impacted our day-to-day lives, but how about social science? H. Russell Bernard, of the University of Florida, will describe "The Secret Life of Social Science" at 4:45 p.m. Monday, February 8, 2010, in Cole Cinema at St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM). The lecture is free and open to the public.

"Ask people to tell you about the great achievements of science in the last century and you'll get quick, unambiguous answers: sending a man to the moon, heart transplants, atom bombs, computers, and so on - technological things that have real impact on our lives," said Bernard, professor emeritus of anthropology. "If you ask people to tell you about the great achievements of social science, the response is usually a blank stare. In fact, social science has an enormous impact on our lives - in medicine, in finance, in government, in management, in manufacturing, in military operations. This lecture is about the technologies of social science and how they affect our lives every day." 

Bernard has done field research in Greece and in Mexico, including research on literacy in previously nonliterary languages and on various aspects of social networks. He is best known for his articles and textbooks on research methods in the social sciences. Bernard has been editor of Human Organization and the American Anthropologist, and is currently editor of Field Methods, and is the 2003 recipient of the Boas Award from the American Anthropological Association.

 St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.