ASERA Emeritus Members & In Memoria

ASERA Emeritus Members

Awarded to those who have demonstrated a sustained, and distinguished contribution to ASERA and ASERA’s aims.

Go to: Guidelines for Emeritus Membership

Ken Appleton

Ken attended ASERA for the first time in 1975 and was a constant participant throughout his career. He also hosted ASERA in Rockhampton in 1988. He found ASERA to be a place where his developing research interest, particularly in inservice science teacher education, and skills were encouraged, and was a fertile place for discussing ideas and research projects. He owes a considerable debt to people like David Symington and Keith Skamp who were valued colleagues that he looked forward to meeting at ASERA. ASERA was also where he met international researchers such as Roger Osborne and Rosalind Driver, going on to take sabbatical periods with them. He served on the Editorial Board of RISE over many years, and contributed regularly to this and other journals.

Malcom Carr

Macolm was a leader in the Science and Mathematics Education Research (SMER) Centre where research focussed on curriculum development within New Zealand. His personal expertise was within chemistry education. The contribution to Technology Education and the Learning in Science Project (LISP) have been major research contribution to the community of ASERA, with Malcolm and his New Zealand colleagues leading the way for many years since the mid 1980s. Malcolm was a constant contributor to ASERA and RISE throughout this time including hosting ASERA at Waikato and on the Editorial Board of RISE.

Deborah Corrigan

Professor Deborah Corrigan is a retired Professor in the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia. She has been the Deputy Dean of the Faculty and more recently Director of an innovative thinktank " Education Futures" at Monash University. Professor Corrigan has been active international researcher in the field of science education, particularly in terms of the relationship between teaching and learning and the evidence base of professional practice. She has been involved with science curriculum development locally, nationally and internationally in the development of science content and performance standards and has also published textbooks for Chemistry and Science teachers including the use of learning technologies in science classrooms. The breadth of her research engagements is well illustrated by her central involvement in both jointly initiating and then editing a series of collections of contemporary research in science education. These books, published between 2005 and 2021, variously focussed on values, curriculum, assessment, professional knowledge, formal and informal education, learners, and STEM/creativity/critical thinking. Professor Corrigan was the editor of RISE from 2012 to 2016. She was a board member of ASERA from 2010 to 2016, a member of the organizing committee for ASERA2014, and participated in conferences from 1992 – 2022.

Peter Fensham

Peter has been a leader of science education research and helped to found the Australasian Science Education Research Association (ASERA), the second oldest body of this kind in the world. He is best known for his seminal paper Science for All in 1985 and the many projects that followed in which he has worked to make that vision a reality in schooling. Peter has been a constant and active participant at ASERA and all its activities, including establishing the Early Career Workshops with Richard Gunstone. He has published numerous articles in RISE and served on its Editorial Board. Peter contributions at ASERA conferences by connecting with as many people has possible has made his contributions highly valued by his ASERA colleagues.

Bev France

Bev first attended ASERA in 1991 at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast and was blown away by the glamour of the setting and with the realisation that famous academics, that she had read as a teacher researcher in London, were present and happy to talk with her about science education research. Together with Mavis Haigh she co-chaired ASERA 1999 in Rotorua and was part of the organising committee (chaired by Sally Birdsall) for ASERA 2019 in Queenstown. 

During this time she has reviewed for RISE, especially  research that involved showing the links between science, [bio]technology and society when they are focussed on SocioScientific Issues. Bev's extensive research on models illustrate how models can enhance and identify barriers to understanding.

Bev considers ASERA her intellectual home and has valued the opportunity to share her research with this valued community that continues to nurture researchers.

Paul Gardner AM

Paul’s academic career began at Monash in 1967 after six years of high school science teaching. In 1970. Monash hosted ASERA’s first conference.  That event sparked off a new project. There he met Greg Ramsey, director of the Australian Science Education Project, and Paul proposed replicating his earlier New Guinea study of students’ difficulties with non-technical language. ASEP funded the replication and published the results. In 1972 Paul reported on this in his first ASERA paper.

Paul subsequently attended several ASERA conferences, but it wasn’t until 1989 that he was actively involved and became editor of RISE for six years.  The small editorial board metamorphosed into an immense review panel, with more than 90 members. Significant changes were occurring in information technology in that period and the appearance of the journal was consequently enhanced.

ASERA conferences had a humorous side.  After dinner speakers would roast prominent colleagues.  In 1994, a theologically confused gentleman wearing an odd assortment of clerical garb told the history of ASERA in Biblical style.  Paul didn’t want to publish the paper – it hadn’t been peer-reviewed –  but, fearing divine wrath, included it in a supplementary section.

Colin Gauld

Colin’s involvement in ASERA began in 1972 when he attended the third conference of the new association in Melbourne and this continued for over 20 years through his publications in RISE and participation in later conferences. He was a member of the editorial board of RISE for 26 years and at present acts as a reviewer of manuscripts submitted to that journal. Colin and Barry Newman hosted a Sydney ASERA conference at the University of NSW where they worked with Austin Hukins, the second professor of science education in Australia. A very fruitful six months was spent in 1984 at the University of Waikato with Roger Osborne and Malcolm Carr investigating, among other things, the effectiveness of a programme to teach students about electric circuits.

Denis Goodrum

Denis has been associated with ASERA since the seventies as a contributor, conference organiser and editor. His contribution to science education is reflected by his leadership in the following national endeavours.

  • Review of Australian science teaching and learning in 2001 (with Leonie Rennie and Mark Hackling) and 2008 (with Leonie Rennie)
  • Development of the Australian Curriculum: Science
  • Creation of the primary program Primary Investigations that gave rise to Primary Connections
  • Development of the secondary online programme Science by Doing

Richard Gunstone

Richard’s research studies have included explorations of alternative conceptions, conceptual change and metacognition. His first involvement with ASERA was the 1974 ASERA conference. He is a past organiser of an ASERA conference (1984, with the late Jeff Northfield), he was a member of the first ASERA Board after incorporation of the Association in 1995 and remained a Board member until 2005, he has been a member of the RISE Editorial Board since 1986, and with Peter Fensham established the ASERA Pre Conference Workshops for Research Students and Early Career Staff.


Mark Hackling

Mark Hackling has enjoyed a long association with ASERA which has provided opportunities to share findings from research studies, establish collaborations with other researchers, and mentor younger colleagues.

Mark’s research has focussed on the pedagogy of investigation work, curriculum development and evaluation, and video-based classroom research. Mark has contributed to three national reviews in science education: The Status and Quality of Teaching and Learning of Science in Australian Schools (2001) with Denis Goodrum and Leonie Rennie; Teaching Science in Australia: Results from the TIMMS 1999 video study (2006) with Jan Lokan and Hilary Hollingsworth; and, The Status of School Science Laboratory Technicians in Australian Secondary Schools. He worked on research informed curriculum development projects including the Australian Academy of Science’s Primary Connections program working with Vaughan Prain, and the WA STEM Learning Project.

Video-based and cross-cultural classroom research conducted with colleagues from Australia, Germany and Taiwan (including Russell Tytler, Joerg Ramseger and Sharon Chen) provided rich insights into effective inquiry-oriented primary science teaching and learning practice and how it is shaped by local context and culture.

Campbell McRobbie

Campbell's involvement with ASERA extended over more than 30 years and included presentation of research papers, organisation of the Mount Gravatt (1978) and Surfers Paradise (1991) conferences,  presenting in the new researcher programs and various management roles. The first conference he attended was in Brisbane in the early1970s.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s it was apparent that the annual conference proceedings were not receiving appropriate international recognition. At the 1994 Lismore conference and after discussion with colleagues, Campbell initiated the establishment of the internationally referred Research in Science Education journal (RISE) instead of the annual conference proceedings and became the manager of the Association from 1995. In subsequent years ASERA was incorporated as a charitable association and RISE was sold to Kluwer International for a substantial sum which provided a base for the financial independence that ASERA now enjoys. Campbell was foundation editor of RISE and continued in that role until 2007- two years after he retired.

Campbell says that his involvement with ASERA was a significant part of his professional life and he enjoyed the collegiality of the members, the quality of research presented at the conferences and in the journal, and witnessing the professional growth of many new members.

Leonie Rennie

Leonie has been involved in science education outside of school for many years and has lead research in national projects to raise science awareness in the community. She has been a constant participant at ASERA conferences, a member of the ASERA Board for many years and has hosted ASERA in Perth. Additionally she has been an active leader in the Early Career Workshops at ASERA over a number of years. Her expertise as an author and reviewer has made her contributions to RISE and its Editorial Board highly valued. Leonie has provided great support for many ASERA participants across the years and her views are highly sought after by her fellow ASERA participants.

Stephen Ritchie

Steve has been a long time ASERA member and active contributor to the Association. He served on the ASERA Board of Directors from 2005-2015. Steve was a long-standing member of the Research in Science Education (RISE) Editorial Board from 1997-2016. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of RISE for five years from 2008-2012, and as Guest Editor for a Special Issue on ASERA, published by Cultural Studies of Science Education in 2009 (Vol. 4, Issue 2). During his career, Steve has made an exceptional contribution to Science Education research nationally and internationally. His career research grants as Chief Investigator total $1.4 million, including $1 million from the Australian Research Council in three ARC Discovery Projects, and one Linkage Grant. Steve’s research has been disseminated widely approximately 120 peer-reviewed books, book chapters, and high-impact journal articles.

Keith Skamp

Keith’s research has focussed on primary science education and is well known for his education text - Teaching Primary Science Constructively. Keith has been an active participant at ASERA for many years and has hosted ASERA in Lismore. He has also been an active contributor to RISE as an author, review and member of the Editorial Board. Keith’s support of colleagues and early career researchers has been highly valued by the ASERA community.

David Symington

David first heard about ASERA from his PhD supervisor, Peter Fensham, and attended the 1972 conference in Melbourne.  After that he became a regular participant and organised the 1980 conference. He is very grateful for the organisation as it brought him into contact with a network of scholars, some of whom are close friends today.  For David, as I suspect for a number of others, coming into tertiary education from teaching science in Victorian country schools, the ASERA conferences provided an important introduction to this area of scholarship.  David believes that the supportive atmosphere of the conferences as demonstrated by the more experienced researchers contributed greatly to the success of the organisation. Since retirement David has continued to contribute to the area in a minor way thanks to the support and encouragement offered by Russell Tytler and his colleagues at Deakin University.

Richard White

Dick’s first involvement with ASERA was in 1970 as a PhD student attending the first meeting of ASERA. From this time he was a constant participant, organiser and contributor to ASERA conferences, publications and Early Career workshops for the next 35 years. He served on the Editorial Board of RISE and has contributed many papers as an author. Dick’s research focused on the psychology of learning science and was well known for his contributions through his book “Learning Science”.


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