Friday Funny: disciplinary perspectives on evaluation

Whether we think of evaluation as a profession, as a discipline, or as an activity, evaluation is unusual in its interdisciplinarity. Inspired by spending the previous week connecting with new and old evaluation colleagues across the disciplinary boundaries at the Australasian Evaluation Society conference in Wellington, New Zealand, and the International Summer School on Public Policy Evaluation Research in Lille, France, we have re-interpreted an evaluation joke previously published in Michael Patton’s book Utilization-Focused Evaluation.

Texas Baseball Umpires Association

Three baseball umpires are comparing notes over a few drinks. All of them have other jobs during the week. One is a psychology professor, one is a sociologist and one is an economist.

“When it comes to baseball” says the psychologist, “I calls ‘em as I see ‘em”.

“Really?” answers the economist, “I calls ‘em what they are.”

“Pah!” retorts the sociologist, “They ain’t nothing until I calls ‘em.

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