As a consequence of returning to school, I am asked several times a day about what my field of study is. This is a touch awkward, as I have never really believed in the ‘science’ part of ‘political science’. I don’t think political phenomena can generally be effectively studied using quantitative methods. Indeed, I would be a lot more comfortable in a discipline with a name like ‘politics, philosophy, and economics’.
Thankfully, I can often dodge the ‘science’ part by saying that I study ‘environmental politics’. Those with a strong interest in academic taxonomy will sometimes persist in questioning until I name a discipline that is formally recognized at this institution, but most people seem content to accept ‘environmental politics’ as a field of study.
There is science involved in this area of research, certainly, but it pertains mostly to how the physical world responds to human choices, not to attempts to understand human interaction and institutions numerically. The interaction between carbon dioxide and electromagnetic radiation can be well-explained mathematically – the relationship between what scientists know and how governments behave, much less so.