Impact, theory of change, and the horizons of scientific practice

  title={Impact, theory of change, and the horizons of scientific practice},
  author={Timothy McLellan},
  journal={Social Studies of Science},
  pages={100 - 120}
  • T. McLellan
  • Published 25 August 2020
  • Medicine, Sociology
  • Social Studies of Science
Demands for research to generate impact, along with proliferating institutional regimes for evaluating impact, are a ubiquitous aspect of contemporary scientific practice. Based on participant observation at an agro-environmental research institute in southwest China, this article explores three iterations of a tool for planning and evaluating impactful science called ‘theory of change’ (TOC). Despite their ostensible common grounding in TOC, I show how an impact scientist’s framework, a donor… 

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