Current social science research and writing faces a number of possibilities that seem to be constrained by three major challenges. The first is the limits of the imagination; the second is knowing what kinds of data are now out there; and the third is having the tools to aggregate and mine them.
Julia Adams is professor of sociology and international and area studies at Yale University. She is an historical sociologist, whose works include The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe. She also conducts research on the emergence and consequences of new digital media and formations of knowledge. Adams has served as president of the Social Science History Association, and is currently a member of the SSRC Board of Directors. She codirects the Yale Center for Historical Enquiry & the Social Sciences (YaleCHESS).