I’ve recently had work-related chats with two economics academics who broadly fit the “social economist” type: “public good” is the same thing as “economic good”, you just need to figure out a model that can represent all the variables that aren’t expressed in dollars. Smart people trained and motivated to look at the big picture of how systems fit together.
They were both recently retired. It is unclear to me if there are many others coming up the ranks to fill their large shoes. But there really ought to be. More of this sort of person, please, world.
(Related: it’s really neat how you can just ring up these people who have done all sorts of interesting things and they’re quite happy to come and meet you over a cup of tea. Life lesson: don’t be shy about approaching people who know good things.)