The Making of “Rethinking the Theoretical Foundation of Economics”

David Sloan Wilson and Dennis J. Snower in Evonomics:

DSW: Greetings, Dennis! I look forward to discussing the backstory of our article. Let’s begin with how we met, which says a lot about the need for paradigmatic change. It was a workshop organized by a major foundation to explore how to go beyond neoclassical economics. The participants were drawn from a number of academic disciplines such as law, political science, and sociology in addition to economics. Each discipline had its own table, so the layout of the room reflected the siloed nature of the disciplines. I was the only person with evolutionary training, so I was assigned to the sociology table. That’s ironic, because sociology is even further behind economics in embracing evolutionary science.

I learned a lot from the workshop, including how much the neoclassical paradigm has influenced law in addition to economics. But by the end I became depressed, as table after table reported that this kind of transdisciplinary endeavor would not be career-enhancing within their respective disciplines. It was clear that the siloed nature of the human-related academic disciplines was not going to break down anytime soon, no matter how much money was thrown at it.

More here.