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Experimenting society is a phrase associated most often with Donald Campbell. It reflects a vision of

a society that would use social science methods and evaluation techniques to vigorously try out possible solutions to recurrent problems and would make hard-headed, multidimensional evaluations of outcomes, and when the evaluation of one reform showed it to have been ineffective or harmful, would move on and try other alternatives.

An experimenting society is a liberal state committed to science as well as reform and to seeing these two as intertwined. Several volumes commemorating Campbell's contributions to evaluation include this phrase in their titles.

10.4135/9781412950558.n201

Further Reading

Campbell, D. T.Methods for the experimenting society. Evaluation Practice12(3)223–260(1991)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0886-1633%2891%2990039-Z
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