Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

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Dr. Kostas Kampourakis

Dr. Kostas Kampourakis

University of Geneva, Switzerland

Kostas Kampourakis is the author and editor of books about evolution, genetics, philosophy, and history of science. He is the editor of the Cambridge University Press book series Understanding Life, as well as co-editor of the Springer book series Contributions from Biology Education Research. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Science & Education, and the Springer book series Science: Philosophy, History and Education. His research interests fall within the domains of science education and public understanding of science, and he is especially interested in the teaching and understanding of evolution, genetics, and nature of science. At the University of Geneva, he teaches a science education course to pre-service teachers at the University Institute for Teacher Education, as well as the course Biology and Society to biology undergraduates at the Section of Biology (

Science, uncertainty, and scientific understanding: Why teaching about the nature of science matters

Scientific knowledge is the most solid and robust kind of knowledge that humans have because of the self-correcting character inherent in its own processes. Nevertheless, anti-evolutionists, climate denialists, and anti-vaxxers, among others, question some of the best-established scientific findings, making claims that are unsupported by empirical evidence. A common aspect of these claims is the reference to the uncertainties in these areas of research, because of which their conclusions are ignored or at best questioned. At the same time that the uncertainties in these domains are exaggerated, in other cases such as genetic testing and forensic science the uncertainties are usually overlooked, leading to mistaken conclusions and unreasonable expectations. Therefore, in order to educate future citizens who will be able to understand science, it is necessary to teach students explicitly about uncertainty and other aspects of the nature of science. Teaching the nature of science should become one of the central objectives of all science curricula, and not a marginalized topic. But this requires teachers who are well prepared and confident to teach about the nature of science. This in turn requires reforms not only in school science education, but also in undergraduate science education and teacher education.

Dr. Isabel Martins

Dr. Isabel Martins

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Isabel Martins is professor of Science and Health Education at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro’s Nutes Institute of Science and Health Education, where she coordinates the Laboratory of Languages and Mediations. She taught Physics in Rio de Janeiro secondary schools before getting her PhD in Science Education at the University of London. She has worked at University College London Institute of Education and at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, before moving to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she coordinated the Graduate Studies Program in Science and Health Education. Formerly director of Institute Nutes, she also served as President of the Brazilian Science Education Research Association (ABRAPEC). She is editor-in-chief of the electronic teacher education journal Ciência em Tela, lead editor of the journal Cultural Studies in Science Education (Springer) and has served in editorial boards of leading Science Education journals. She has led and collaborated in several international funded projects, published extensively in refereed journals co-edited academic books and acted as keynote speaker in international conferences. Her research interests concern the recontextualisations of science related discourses in curriculum policy documents, in textbooks, in popular science texts as well as in classroom contexts, and their role in the promotion of scientific literacy research and practice. Recent publications include analyses of science textbooks, of the role of images in science education and communication, and of processes of discursive appropriation of curriculum discourses and science education research in educational contexts.

Articulating sociopolitical, cultural and epistemological dimensions of scientific knowledge: Implications for curriculum development.

Education for citizenship has been foregrounded as one of the main goals for Science Education in both academic research and curriculum policy world wide. In this talk I discuss limits and possibilities of achieving this goal by problematising the very notion of citizenship itself. I will explore relationships between citizenship and democracy, with particular reference to the ways through which they have evolved in Brazil and in other Latin American countries. In addition, I shall discuss the role of science related knowledge for the full exercise of citizenship, in the context of individual and collective decision making in contemporary scenarios where scientific discourse has been undermined by post-truth and fake news. I conclude by arguing for the need to articulate sociopolitical, cultural and epistemological dimensions of scientific knowledge in curriculum development.

Dr. Jongwon Park

Dr. Jongwon Park

Chonnam National University, Korea

Jongwon Park obtained MS degree in physics and a PhD in Science Education at the Seoul National University, Korea. Currently he is Full Professor in the Department of Physics Education in Chonnam National University. He received a number of academic awards including ‘Academic Award’ from the KASE (The Korean Association for Science Education), ‘Distinguished Contribution Award through Research’ from EASE (East-Asian for Science Education), ‘Maximum Citation Award in ‘New Physics’ Journal’ from KPS (The Korean Physical Society), and ‘26th Award of the Excellent Paper in Science and Technology’ from KOFST (The Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies). He served as a ‘Chief Editor’ at JKASE (Journal of the Korean association for Science Education) during 2007-2008, a ‘Chair’ at SEIG (Science Education Institute for the Gifted) in Chonnam National University during 2007-2010, and a ‘Vise President’ at KASE during 2017-2018. He proposed a variety of models to theorize students' scientific learning processes, such as a model of generating scientific hypotheses, a model of scientific creativity, a model of scientific literacy, a model of scientific competency, and a model of the process of thought experiment, suggested synthetic forms of list including a comprehensive list of NOS (Nature of Science) and ten statements describing the nature of scientific observation, and developed various actual teaching strategies to help students discover scientific inquiry problems, design experimental processes, write inquiry reports, and change students' previous misconceptions using deductive reasoning. Currently he is studying the nature of scientific evidence.

Understanding and teaching the nature of scientific thinking (NOST)

Among various types of scientific thinking, this talk focuses on inductive, deductive, and abductive thinking as a scientific thinking. At first, I will introduce 10 statements describing the nature of these three scientific thinking. ‘Scientific law through inductive thinking cannot guarantee the truth of the scientific knowledge’, ‘A confirmation of a hypothesis cannot be logically warranted because the structure of it is fundamentally equivalent to the ‘affirmation of the consequence’ of the syllogism’, and ‘Abductive thinking is used to generate or invent a new scientific hypothesis to explain a new phenomenon’ are the examples of 10 statements. Secondly, to help secondary high school students understand the meaning of each statement, learning activities including teacher’s guide were developed. Learning activities were developed under a scientific context, that is, activities utilized scientific concepts, scientific inquiry, and scientific context familiar to students. Thirdly, the developed activities were applied to gifted middle school students in science. As a result, it was found that (1) students enjoyed the meaning of the NOST (nature of scientific thinking), (2) they conducted scientific inquiry activities in a more authentic way, (3) they responded that the understanding

Prof. Svein Sjøberg

Prof. Svein Sjøberg

Oslo University, Norway

Svein Sjøberg is professor emeritus in science education at Oslo University, Norway. He is educated as a nuclear physicist (cand.real), later in education (MA) and in educational psychology (PhD). He became the first professor in the field of science education in the Nordic countries.

Svein has worked with children's conceptual development, with gender and science education and education in developing countries. His current research interests are the social, ethical and cultural aspects of science education, in particular the impacts and influence of large scale assessment studies like PISA and TIMSS. He has worked extensively with international and comparative aspects of science education through e.g. UNESCO, OECD and the European Union. He has won several international prizes and awards for his research, teaching and promotion of science literacy and public understanding of science. He is a member of editorial boards of several academic journals and book series, has written numerous books and articles, and has supervised many PhD-students in different counties.

Svein has been an active member of IOSTE, also as board member and chair, since the early 1980s. He organized the ROSE project (The Relevance of Science Education) in the period 2002- 2014, with participation from some 50 countries, mainly with IOSTE members as research partners. A revised and updated follow-up of ROSE is currently introduced, under the acronym of ROSES, led by Swedish science educators.

Svein is an elected member of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and represents the Academy in international policy matters regarding science education, for instance in ALLEA (the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities).

Science and technology education for democracy and citizenship: Possibilities and challenges in a globalized and digitized world.

IOSTE was established in 1978, during the cold war, to promote dialogue across cultural and political borders. In contrast to the other associations and organizations in science education, IOSTE has clear value commitments. The IOSTE mission statement spells out the details. Some key phrases:

"IOSTE promotes S&T education for citizenship …for informed, critical, and active participation in democracy … cultural and human values of S&T …promote equity … just and sustainable development … fight against poverty, discrimination and injustice … promote peaceful and ethical use of S&T … encourage cultural diversity and international understanding."

The overall theme for this symposium, the 19th in the row, goes to the essence of what IOSTE is all about. Unfortunately, the IOSTE mission statement is more important than in the last decades. In too many countries, we see authoritarian, often populist and nationalistic and xenophobic governments who threaten and limit civil rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law. Even presidents call the free, independent press "enemies of the state". "Fake news" and "alternative facts" have become new terms in the vocabulary. In some countries, investigative journalists live in danger and academic life is under stress; some institutions are even closed down for being too critical. In some countries, also in the "free world", schools and teachers have to tread carefully, avoid certain topics, being watched by those in power. While cultural and educational diversity is officially celebrated, the reality is often different. International large scale assessments of students' performance, like the OECD PISA-project, promote a global, universal standard for what children should learn at school – and most countries follow suit.

Digital technologies have opened new possibilities for teachers and schools, but these technologies also open for surveillance and data mining. Who knows who owns all the data collected by social media like facebook, and also in school devices Google, Apple, Microsoft? And who knows how such data might be used?

In the presentation, I will explore some of the global challenges that we as educators have to face in our work to prepare the learners for an active life as citizens in democratic societies.