“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
– George Santayana
An historical social science which includes a synthesis of shared data from all academic fields is essential if we are to have any chance of true progress where it matters. Prediction may then possible and applied with scientific rigour so that safeguards can be established for maintaining its long-term integrity. Needless to say, ponerology must feature as an adjunct to ALL disciplines if we are to make any sense of the human condition. We are writing the history of the future with the choices we make in the present.
A professor of ecology and mathematics at the University of Connecticut, USA and author of War and Peace and War: The Life-Cycles of Imperial Nations (Pi Press, 2006) Peter Tirchin is convinced that history can not only be about focusing on the minutiae but as a science that can “develop unifying theories and test them with data generated by history, archaeology and specialized disciplines.” The professor calls this new branch of science: ‘cliodynamics’, from Clio, the muse of history, and dynamics, the study of temporally varying processes and the search for causal mechanisms.” In his July 2008 article for science journal Nature titled: ‘Transforming history into science: Arise ‘cliodynamics’’ He proposes the collection of quantitative data and the creation of explanations which can be empirically tested from the gathered data: “… rather than on instances carefully selected to prove our pet narratives.” Tirchin reiterates the point: “To truly learn from history, we must transform it into a science.”