On Saturday, April 10, 2010, a dozen “big thinkers” shared their thoughts on the hardest problems in social science. We were fortunate to have the creativity and brilliance of a host of distinguished speakers. They started the discussion, and then an audience around the world continued it on Facebook, resulting in many suggestions for additional "hard problems". Visitors to this website and to the Facebook page were encouraged to complete a survey that asked which problems were the hardest, and which were the most important.
You can watch videos from the event on the Facebook page (don't neglect the three-part discussion that concluded the symposium). Read the symposium history and news coverage, and download a summary of the results.
Speakers included Nicholas Christakis (Harvard), Ann Swidler (UC - Berkeley), Nassim Taleb (NYU Polytechnic Inst.), Robert Sampson (Harvard) standing in for Peter Bearman (Columbia), Nick Bostrom (Oxford), Gary King (Harvard) [slides], Emily Oster (Univ. of Chicago), Claudia Goldin (Harvard), Susan Carey (Harvard), James Fowler, (UCSD) [slides], Roland Fryer (Harvard), and Richard Zeckhauser (Harvard).
Photo by Angela Alberti.