Wolfgang Rohe’s response to Prewitt’s “Can Social Science Matter?” affirms that the current moment for social science research is one in which society demands less autonomy and more accountability for knowledge production. Rohe concurs with Prewitt’s account of how this shift happened, and adds that the sheer scale of the research enterprise, and genuine concerns with research quality, are further components of new pressures on scholarship. Rohe concludes that social scientists must both maintain (and improve upon) the process for peer judgments of quality while using their tools as social scientists to develop criteria for evaluating the broader social influence and use of their research.
Dr. Wolfgang Rohe was appointed as executive director of Stiftung Mercator in 2014 and has headed the Science and Humanities Division since 2008. He previously held various positions at two main science organizations in Germany. From 1992 to 2002, he worked with the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) in Bonn, initially in the Department for Collaborative Research Centers and then as head of the Strategic Planning Unit. In 2002, he moved to the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat) where he served as head of the Research Policy Department and since 2005 also as vice secretary general. Wolfgang Rohe holds a PhD in German philology.