I too found inspiration in Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, with the model that a society could be modeled and predictions made.
Never about the individual, but large enough groups.
Colored my thinking in college, with studies in Poli-Sci and "Economics"
Attack From the Left: Paul Krugman's Poison Pen | Newsweek Business | Newsweek.com
Krugman says he found himself in the science fiction of Isaac Asimov, especially the "Foundation" series—"It was nerds saving civilization, quants who had a theory of society, people writing equations on a blackboard, saying, 'See, unless you follow this formula, the empire will fail and be followed by a thousand years of barbarism'."