Sociologists plan to put subject back on map

October 13, 2000

A group of dissatisfied sociologists from across Europe is to meet up in Paris next week to discuss setting up a European Academy of Sociology.

Sociologists want to restore the reputation of their discipline. Peter Abell, of the London School of Economics, is spearheading the initiative. "European sociology has lost its way. It no longer has a rigorous foundation. We want to put it on a scientific foundation," he said.

The sociologists believe it is not just the methods used, but also the "social theory" that is intellectually flawed. Professor Abell said the academy may offer visiting fellowships to a number of North American sociologists who have maintained their technical standards.

The academy would have about 100 elected fellows from all over Europe, transcending universities that employ fellows in a similar way to the British Academy.

"We're hoping to become the prime reference point for guaranteeing intellectual integrity," said Professor Abell.

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