WIRED magazine has just run an interview with University of Connecticut’s mathematical historian Peter Turchin. It provides a gentle introduction to the cutting edge research that Turchin and others are doing to better understand the fundamental forces of human social dynamics, and is well worth reading: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/04/cliodynamics-peter-turchin/all/
But, Turchin is more than an individual leader, he is also helping to start a revolution in the social sciences that brings modern mathematical theory on the evolution of culture into anthropology, history, economics and any social science that will have it. He has not only published numerous books on mathematical history, but started an academic journal on the topic called Cliodynamics. Perhaps most importantly, he has recently launched a publicly accessible academic blog called the Social Evolution Forum, which hosts a discussion between researchers in the emerging field of social and cultural evolution that is both opening the topics up to a public audience, and serving as an intellectual meeting place of sorts for that widely dispersed set of scholars.