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Dr Berry Billingsley

Equipped with a degree in physics, Berry’s first career was with the BBC creating science stories for Tomorrow’s World, Blue Peter and Science in Action. This prompted what has become a lifetime interest in the impacts of science communication and education on how people think about  the relationships between science and religion. The LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) Research Project was set up in 2009, led by the University of Reading in collaboration with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion. LASAR’s new home is Canterbury Christ Church University where Berry is now Professor of Science Education. For more about LASAR – see www.LASARcentre.com.

Developing school students’ appreciation of the power and limitations of science: Research based intervention study

Birmingham 2016

The science curriculum in England states that students in secondary school should develop an appreciation of ‘the power and limitations of science’ (QCA, 2014). Research suggests, however, that this objective is widely neglected (Billingsley, Brock, Taber, & Riga, 2016; Billingsley, Taber, Riga, & Newdick, 2013). As part of the LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) Project, we have designed three workshops on ‘Robots and Being Human’ which aim to develop students’ scientific literacy, enthusiasm for careers in science and epistemic insight. Building on the success of these biology and AI related workshops we are conducting research to develop further workshops on the power and limitations of physics. In this paper, we present an evaluation of the efficacy of our robotics workshops to raise students’ epistemic insight together with early findings on secondary school students’ reasoning about the power and nature of physics.

Billingsley, B., Brock, R., Taber, K. S., & Riga, F. (2016). How Students View the Boundaries Between Their Science and Religious Education Concerning the Origins of Life and the Universe. Science Education, n/a-n/a. doi: 10.1002/sce.21213
Billingsley, B., Taber, K. S., Riga, F., & Newdick, H. (2013). Secondary school students’ epistemic insight into the relationships between science and religion—a preliminary enquiry. Research in Science Education, 43(4), 1715-1732.
QCA. (2014). Science: Programme of study for key stage 4. London