A New Kind of Social Science For The 21st Century" from Edge.org, Nicholas Christakis talks about how Computational Social Science is going to change the social sciences in the 21st century. To quote from the article:
"In the 20th century, there was a tremendous expectation, or appreciation, for the role that the biological and the physical sciences could play in improving human welfare and human affairs. We had everything from the discovery of nuclear power to plastics to, in biology, the discovery of new drugs, beginning with penicillin (which is one of the gigantic feats of human ingenuity ever). We had this phenomenal progress that was made in the sciences, in the physical and the biological sciences.
In the 21st century, the social sciences offer equal promise for improving human welfare. The advances that we have made and will be making, especially in understanding human behavior and its very deep origins, will be translated into interventions of diverse sorts that will have a much bigger impact in terms of improving human welfare than many of the prior examples that I gave."
If you have time, its well worth checking out the whole article or listening to the audio file.
Thanks to Jim Olds for the heads up.