Then Martin Karplus, a Harvard University chemist, interjected, “ “What understanding of the stock market do you really have?”
Economics – “if one wants to call it a science” – seemed unable to explain the oscillations of the market, he said.
“I see these fluctuations and they make zero sense to me,” Professor Karplus declared. “Maybe they make sense to you.”
Professor Fama dismissed the question as unsophisticated, declaring its premise “factually incorrect.”
The hard scientists, more amused than chastened, turned to mocking the economists.
“You’re asking about a very fundamental question, on what the nature of life is,” James Rothman, a professor of cell biology at Yale University and one of the three newly minted laureates in medicine, told one questioner. “I don’t think there’s anyone here — even the economists – who would have an opinion on that for sure.”It's always interesting for me to see hard scientists dog economics -- I think there's a kernel of truth in there (i.e. economics does seem different than physics or chemistry), but it bothers me in the sense that someone has to think about the intersection of society and money and find some principles in there. Oh, well.
Update: It strikes me, after reading Unstable Isotope's comment, that another headline for this exchange is "Chemist Trolls Economist".