UK Evaluation Society Annual Conference 2021 – Our Keynote Speakers

We’re pleased to host three keynote speeches at the UK Evaluation Society Annual Conference 2021. All leaders in their field, our speakers will use their expertise and experience to reflect on our theme of evaluative thinking.


Register here to attend the Conference. 

Tuesday, May 25, 3.30pm (BST) – Professor Thomas A. Schwandt

Professor Thomas A. Schwandt, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA. He has written extensively about evaluation theory and practice. His latest book (co-authored with Emily Gates), Evaluating and Valuing in Social Research, will be published by Guilford Press in Fall 2021. Other works include Evaluation Foundations Revisited: Cultivating a Life of the Mind for Practice (Stanford University Press, 2015); Evaluation Practice Reconsidered (Peter Lang, 2002); Evaluating Holistic Rehabilitation Practice (Kommuneforlaget AS, 2004); with Edward Halpern, Linking Auditing and Meta-evaluation (Sage, 1988); and, with Ken Prewitt and Miron Straf, Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy (National Academies Press, 2012). He has co-edited Exploring Evaluator Role and Identity (with K. Ryan, Information Age Press, 2002) and Evaluating Educational Reforms: Scandinavian Perspectives (with P. Haug, Information Age Press, 2003). He is a recipient of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award from the American Evaluation Association for his contributions to evaluation theory; editor emeritus of the American Journal of Evaluation; member of the editorial board of Evaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research & Practice; and a member of the Evaluation Advisory Panel for the Independent Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Programme. He currently serves as an evaluation advisor.

Wednesday, May 26, 3.30pm (BST) – Professor Trish Greenhalgh

Trish Greenhalgh is Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences and Fellow of Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford. She studied Medical, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge and Clinical Medicine at Oxford before training first as a diabetologist and later as an academic general practitioner. She has a doctorate in diabetes care and an MBA in Higher Education Management. She leads a programme of research at the interface between the social sciences and medicine, working across primary and secondary care.

Her work seeks to celebrate and retain the traditional and the humanistic aspects of medicine and healthcare while also embracing the unparalleled opportunities of contemporary science and technology to improve health outcomes and relieve suffering. Three particular interests are the health needs and illness narratives of minority and disadvantaged groups; the introduction of technology-based innovations in healthcare; and the complex links (philosophical and empirical) between research, policy and practice. She has brought this interdisciplinary perspective to bear on the research response to the Covid-19 pandemic, looking at diverse themes including clinical assessment of the deteriorating patient by phone and video, the science and anthropology of face coverings, and policy decision-making in conditions of uncertainty.

Trish is the author of over 400 peer-reviewed publications and 16 textbooks. She was awarded the OBE for Services to Medicine by Her Majesty the Queen in 2001 and made a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014. She is also a Fellow of the UK Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of General Practitioners, Faculty of Clinical Informatics and Faculty of Public Health.

Thursday, May 27, 3.30pm (BST) – Professor Alison Park and Dr Rachel Iredale

Professor Alison Park was appointed Interim Executive Chair of ESRC in January 2021, having joined ESRC as Director of Research in January 2019.

Prior to joining ESRC she was the Director of CLOSER (Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources), an ESRC-funded collaboration based at UCL Institute of Education. CLOSER brings together leading UK longitudinal studies, the British Library and the UK Data Service to maximise the use, value and impact of longitudinal studies.

Alison’s career prior to joining UCL was spent at NatCen Social Research, where she led research teams that designed, implemented and analysed a wide variety of government and academic studies and evaluations, including Understanding Society, the British Social Attitudes Survey, the National Travel Survey and the Survey of English Housing.

Alison was awarded a CBE for services to social sciences in the 2018 New Year Honours and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Dr Rachel Iredale is Head of Evaluation, with overall responsibility for the evaluation portfolio at the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). She leads the Evaluation Team and provides specialist evaluation expertise to both internal and external stakeholders. A champion of using evaluation for continuous improvement and to inform decision-making, Rachel designs, commissions and delivers the ESRC’s programme of strategic evaluations.

Rachel joined ESRC in 2020 from the Construction Industry Training Board and has worked in a variety of roles involving research and evaluation, including in the Third Sector as Director of Services in a cancer charity and with the NHS as a Senior Research Fellow in the Cancer Genetics Service for Wales. She has a PhD in social policy from University College Dublin and a Masters in European social policy analysis, having spent time studying at Maynooth, the University of Bath and the University of Tilburg. She is also currently an Associate Professor for Public Engagement at the University of South Wales where her main research area is exploring innovative methods, such as Citizens’ Juries, to involve the public in policymaking.

We hope you can join us at this year’s Conference – register here!