Harvard’s Alan Y. Wang is a Crimson editorial writer who is a student of economics.

He has some intriguing observations about his field of study.

It seems as though economics is fighting for its right to stay in the exclusive group of fields deemed worthy enough to be called “science,” where subjects such as physics, chemistry, and molecular biology reside comfortably. Some instead opt to call economics, along with psychology and sociology, a “social science”—a vague term, often blurred with humanities, which is neither here nor there. Nevertheless, the underlying implication behind this battle is that to be a “science” is to be credible.

I don’t agree….

…I believe that economics is a crucial field that directly impacts most everyone on this planet, perhaps more so than any other subject. The discovery of the Higgs-Boson made headline news around the world and has been heralded as one of the greatest triumphs of mankind’s collective intellect in history, but the Higgs-Boson has very little bearing, if any, on the daily lives of people. On the on the other hand, ill-timed economic austerity measures in Britain caused a very real, and very noticeable effect nearly immediately, setting the backdrop for the 2011 London riots.

This direct influence economics has on the individual lives of people stems from the fact that economics is, at its heart, a very person-centered and normative field of study. It is unique in the sense that economics fuses quantitative data and modeling with qualitative judgments; unlike in physics or chemistry, economics appends an implied “therefore…” statement to its conclusions. Economists’ findings that expanded insurance coverage increased lifespans and reduced costs lent implicit support to the Affordable Care Act—a law that will affect tens of millions of Americans.

Economics is not a science in the way that physics or chemistry is a science. Yet, this is not something to be lamented. Economics is not, and will never be, at the stage where models can precisely predict the day on which a financial crisis will start before it happens, but this is not due to the lack of legitimacy of the field; instead, it is due to the inherently unpredictable sphere of study in which economics operates. People are not atoms—and this is exactly why economics is immediately relevant.

What this means is that all of us—and the press in particular—should cease treating economics as though it were a science. We need to understand that economics is attempting to neatly model a very messy world.Do not expect clean answers.