The best answer in quite a while to the question, "Why do people look down on social scientists?" comes from Roger Matthews, professor of criminology at the University of Kent. The context is the idea that the removal of lead from gasoline may have played a role in falling crime rates, given that higher lead levels have been linked to aggression at the individual level. Here comes Matthews, as quoted by Dominic Casciani (via):
"I don't see the link," he says. "If this causes some sort of effect, why should those effects be criminal?If you tried to come up with a parody of the daftness of those mushy-heads in the social sciences, could you think of anything better?
"The things that push people into crime are very different kinds of phenomena, not in the nature of their brain tissue. The problem about the theory is that a lot of these [researchers] are not remotely interested or cued into the kinds of things in the mainstream.
"There has been a long history of people trying to link biology to crime - that some people have their eyes too close together, or an extra chromosome, or whatever.
"This stuff gets disproved and disproved. But it keeps popping up. It's like a bad penny."