The Board of the EES were saddened to hear of the passing of one of the truly great figures in the history of evaluation.
Michael Scriven died on the 28 August in California. He was born in Britain and grew up and studied in Australia before completing his PhD at Oxford. However, it was in the United States where he made his best-known contributions to the theory and practice of evaluation, as well as providing leadership and support for, first, the American evaluation community and then our global community of evaluators.
It is hard to underestimate Michael’s contribution. One important aspect of his work was to help define what evaluation, as a trans-discipline, is and what we are doing when we ‘do’ evaluation. This was an open and multi-disciplinary view of our work but was also rooted in logic, rigour and critical thinking. He also helped the evaluation community to step back and take stock of our progress and ‘hard learned lessons’. But this was always with a view to the future and the tasks ahead. He received multiple awards during his lifetime and will receive many and deep appreciations on his passing. One of these is a wonderful response from Michael Quinn Patton and we encourage members and colleagues to view this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MpLHuF20I0
The Board of the EES would like to emphasise the importance of the legacy of this great leader in our field. This will be a living legacy that provides us with a strong foundation for our work to bring judgement, critical thinking and evidence into the public arena.