I'm having trouble wording this sentence:

Several groundbreaking clinical and social science breakthroughs were made with the help of ...

Social science as a noun can't modify breakthroughs. Is there an alternative?

  • What's the issue? – jimm101 Nov 9 '16 at 3:05
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    @jimm101 social science is a noun trying to describe breakthroughs. – Gunner Stone Nov 9 '16 at 3:09
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    Nouns modify other nouns all the time. Apple pie, house rules, history book, etc. – 1006a Nov 9 '16 at 3:22
  • @medica That's certainly not common usage. Most Universities have a division of social sciences that includes a department of sociology, as well as departments of economics and psychology. – jimm101 Nov 9 '16 at 3:51
  • @1006a so true. I'm posting this from the gun store where I've been shopping for an elephant gun. After I'm done, I'm going to stop at the recreation office and sign up for baseball practice. I hear that they have a new shortstop training program this year. Would you like to go to the sock hop with me tomorrow? They will have lots of pumpkin pie. – Robert Columbia Nov 24 '16 at 0:43

Can you please explain what exactly you mean by "Social science" in this context? Does it, for example relate to, say, a specific discipline? Such as anthropology, or sociology?

In this case, I think you can use something as below :

Several groundbreaking clinical and anthropological breakthroughs were made with the help of ...


If “Social science” is a noun then it can modify “breakthroughs” in the same way that “sociology” would, even though “sociological” would be far preferable. If it couldn’t, why would an adjectival hyphen in “… social-science breakthroughs” not do the trick? Failing both, how unhappy would you be with “social scientific” with or a without a hyphen?

Breakthroughs are not generally “clinical and scientific / social science…” Perhaps “Clinical and experimental”; maybe “Clinical and important”; possibly “Scientific and economic”; perhaps “Scientific and geographic”; maybe “Scientific and oceanic”.

What would be wrong with “Several groundbreaking clinical breakthroughs were made in (the field of) social science with the help of…”, please?

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