Social Scientists seeking an ancient intellectual lineage can find antecedents for economics, sociology, and political science in the work of Plato and Aristotle, but truthfully, the social sciences are parvenu fields. The widespread application of scientific methods to the study of human society—rigorous formal theories, serious empirical testing—occurred only during the twentieth century, mostly since World War II. The youth of the social sciences is exciting: progress is still being made at a ferocious pace, and the contours of these fields are rapidly evolving.
Glaeser, Edward L. "Sciences Still Young." Harvard Magazine, September 2011.