The idea of Social Science Works was developed in 2014 by a group of scholars connected to the Humboldt University in Berlin. Like many other social and political scholars they had become increasingly dissatisfied with the ways their disciplines had developed over the last decades as well as with the ways social research is used and abused in our societies. They decided not just to complain about this in academic circles, but also to try to do something about it. Social Science Works was born.
Core ideas behind Social Science Works have been developed in recent academic discourses in sociology, political science and philosophy of science. For a critical overview of these discourses have a look at the academic position paper.
Director and founder of Social Science Works is Hans Blokland. Co-founders are Nils Wadt and Sarah Coughlan. We are assisted by a continuously growing group of associates. They comprise a diverse, international group of young promising scholars, mostly based in Germany, that share the core ideas behind Social Science Works. The associates strive to contribute to the societal relevance of social science and to the quality of democratic decision making.
Since January 2016 Social Science Works is supported by the ZukunftsAgentur Brandenburg (ZAB). We are a part of the project Innovation Needs Courage (Innovationen brauchen Mut), paid for by the European Union and the state of Brandenburg. This project exclusively furthers innovative new enterprises (“innovativer Neugründungen”). In developing Social Science Works we are now advised by a professional coach, business consultant Michael Häfelinger.
In June 2016 we formally grounded Social Science Works gemeinnützige Unternehmer Gesellschaft (haftungsbeschränkt). We formulated a Gesellschaftsvertrag (memorandum of association) that explains who we are, what our goals are, what we do to realize them, and how we take decisions: Gesellschaftsvertrag der Social Science Works gemeinnützige UG 2016. We are registered at the Handelsregister Amtsgericht Potsdam. The Finanzamt Potsdam has declared us “gemeinnützig”, which means that we work for the public cause and are not into profit-making: Gemeinnützigkeitserklärung Finanzamt Potsdam.