Interesting online event — Why Economics? A Virtual Roundtable.
Diane Coyle’s book, The Soulful Science, we highly recommend if you want to know the answer to Why Economics?.
This for me is the heart of the matter. Economics is a science not because it mimics the same specific techniques or equations as natural scientists, nor because it consists of falsifiable statements which would keep Karl Popper happy, but because it tries to model human behavior ior in general statements (or equations) with relatively few variables, and seeks to bring the models face to face with empirical evidence. Its scientific method is similar to the approach taken in other largely nonexperimental experimental sciences such as evolutionary biology or geology. I believe that many of the critics of economics, especially those working in the humanities, simply do not accept that it is appropriate to study human culture and society with this methodology, that is, using models, at all.
Diane Coyle. The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters