2008 Bragg medal and prize

Professor Robin Millar

The University of York

For outstanding leadership in the teaching, learning and assessment of physics. He has helped to redefine the aims of science education, contributing creative projects that have re-shaped classroom practice, and inspired teachers.

The Bragg medal and prize for significant contributions to physics education for leading and innovative contributions to the teaching of physics has been awarded to Professor Robin Hamilton Millar, Salters’ Professor of Science Education, Department of Educational Studies at the University of York, for outstanding leadership in the teaching, learning and assessment of physics. He has helped to redefine the aims of science education, contributing creative projects that have re-shaped classroom practice, and inspired teachers.

Professor Millar is an exceptional thinker about science education in general and physics education in particular. He is an education researcher who is committed to ensuring that his findings make an impact on the curriculum, and on teaching and learning.

Millar was the co-ordinator of the programme Evidenced-based Practice in Science Education (EPSE). From 2000 to 2003, this research network, based in four universities, set out to improve the interface between science-education researchers and teachers, by developing and evaluating examples of evidence-based practice in science education.

He helped to direct the seminar series that led to the Beyond 2000 report, which he co-edited. This influential document provided the rationale for the new National Curriculum at Key Stage 4 from 2006. Millar put his thinking into practice as co-director of the AS Science for Public Understanding, and the GCSE Twenty-First Century Science projects, as well as a range of Salters’ Science projects.

Millar’s insights into the teaching of challenging concepts and into the purposes of practical work have informed curriculum projects, the National Curriculum, ASE publications for teachers and the National Strategy for Science. He is an inspirational teacher himself, now contributing to the training and professional development of others.