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Honour for science education pioneer

Posted on 1 January 2015

Professor Robin Millar, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Education at the University of York, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List.

He was recognised for his outstanding contribution to science education over 40 years. Robin Millar's most influential work in the area of scientific literacy has its origins in the report he co-authored in 1998 Beyond 2000: Science education for the future. The report addressed fundamental questions about school science and the nature of the science education needed by young people in the 21st century.

These principles formed the basis of a major GCSE school science course, Twenty-First Century Science, developed under Robin Millar's leadership. Following a three-year pilot trial, the course was launched in 2006, and is now studied by around one-fifth of students in England. Beyond 2000 also provided a model for GCSE science courses now studied by all young people.

Robin Millar graduated in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and completed a PhD in Medical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, before training as a science teacher at Moray House College. He taught physics and general science for eight years in schools in the Edinburgh area before joining the Department of Education at York in 1982 as a Lecturer in Science Education. He was promoted to Professor in 1996.

He was appointed Salters' Professor of Science Education in 2006 and led York's Centre for Innovation and Research in Science Education until his retirement in July 2014. He has collaborated with numerous prestigious organisations including the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education in Germany, and the US National Academy of Sciences. He was President of the European Science Education Research Association (1999-2003), and President of the UK Association for Science Education (2012). The OECD invited Professor Millar to join the Science Expert Group for the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) for 2006, and again for 2015.

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