Month: July 2011

How science works

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How Science Works, by James Williams
How Science Works, available now from all good bookshops!

My letter to the Observer was this week’s lead letter for their ‘Big Issue’ series – Responding to a nice article last week on science in the media, I argue for the retention of some form of How Science Works in the new national curriculum. This is essential as my own research is showing – many science graduates do not know ‘How Science Works’  and I think this is problematic in schools where we have to deal with many issues that may be seen as controversial in science.

The letter can be read here:

Of course, sopme may say that my interest is more to do with book sales…



Man and Shed

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Well, ok not quite a shed but a plastic storage unit to store the garden furniture.

That was my Saturday job, put it together and clear some space in the wooden shed for the mower and tools.

I suppose it was a bit like giant Lego for men with a useful outcome. Interestingly, for me, the whole thing slotted together with few problems. No tools needed and no need for more than one person. Mind you given that it is 2m high a stepladder was required to fit the top half and the roof.

I suppose you do feel satisfied when it all comes together and all the pieces fit – indeed all the pieces are actually there!

No, I’m not going to be so sad as to post a picture of the ‘shed’; I’m sad, but not that sad.

Long time no blog

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It’s been a while, work, external examining, writing etc. have all conspired to keep me away from my blog. Still, very few readers, so it’s not been missed!

Must dig up some interesting stories in science and education to blog about. With the summer coming up, there should be some holiday time for me to write-up some thoughts.

Name dropping

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So, over lunch today with the Nobel prize-winning chemist Professor Sir Harry Kroto, we got talking about creationism and religion – who’d have guessed!

How did this come about? Well today we had a science education lecture and Sir Harry very kindly accepted our invitation to talk to trainee teachers, those waiting in the wings as well as some international students and serving teachers. The lecture was organised by Les Simmons who teaches our chemistry enhancement programme. After the lecture we went for a nice pub lunch.

Sir Harry is a fascinating man whose love of science is self-evident. His main aim was the promotion of science and science education.

I think that Sussex is probably the only teacher training institution that can boast a Nobel prize-winning scientist as one of its speakers. It’s not the first time that he has addressed our students and we are profoundly grateful for giving us his time and sharing his thoughts on science and education.