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Welcome from the Social Science Divisional Dean

Robert Williams HeadshotAt a gathering in Princeton, New Jersey in January 1946, someone asked Albert Einstein how it was possible that humankind had been able to unravel the secrets of the atom but had not been able to devise rules or institutions capable of preventing atomic bombs from destroying humankind. "That is simple, my friend," Einstein replied. "It is because politics is more difficult than physics."

Physics is difficult, certainly, but the social sciences present the formidable challenges inherent in trying to understand ourselves and the social systems we have created. Economics, political science, psychology, and sociology--the four disciplines represented in the Social Science Division at Pepperdine University--offer frameworks to guide our efforts, but they do even more: each one aims to solve problems, some of our own creation.

Those of us in the Social Science Division invite you to join us in our studies. We believe the survival and the flourishing of individual human beings and of entire societies depends in large measure on the work that social scientists do. Even if your objective in studying economics, political science, psychology, or sociology is something more immediate than addressing social problems—admission to law school, entry into the world of banking and finance, an advanced degree in counseling—what you study in the Social Science Division at Pepperdine will, we believe, make you a more empathetic person, a more intelligent consumer of information, a more adept communicator, a more proficient researcher, and a better citizen. All of us in the social sciences will help you develop the skills to make a living, but, more importantly, we will help you inculcate the habits of the heart to make a life worth living.

Robert E. Williams, Jr., Ph.D.
Divisional Dean, Social Science Division
Professor of Political Science