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News about Professor John Gilbert

Dear colleagues, I am very sad to let you know that professor John K. Gilbert passed away unexpectedly on 9 February. As most of you will know, John has made an incredible contribution to research, practice and policy of science education over a period of more than 50 years.

Most of this time, he was affiliated with the University of Reading (UK). John has done ground breaking and innovative research in a range of areas including alternative conceptions, models and modelling, visualisation, professional development, context-based education, chemistry education and adult education (the topic of his last book). In addition, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Science Education for more than 20 years, and initiated a separate part B, focusing on communication and public engagement in 2011. Together with professor Sue Stocklmayer (ANU), he was co-Editor-in-Chief of part B to this day. John played a crucial role in the creation of ESERA in 1995. He received the NARST Distinguished Contributions to Science Education through Research Award (DCRA) in 2001.

John has established very productive relationships with colleagues and PhD students all over the world, especially in Australia and New Zealand. A lot of his former students have become successful academics in their own right, and John has continued to work with many of them until today. John’s wisdom, humour and generosity will be greatly missed by the entire science education community.


Jan van Driel  |  Professor of Science Education

Co-Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Science Education  

Melbourne Graduate School of Education

The University of Melbourne


Established in 1995, ESERA aims to enhance scientific
literacy for all through research in science education.

Various professional activities support community building in science education, dissemination of
research findings and professional development of researchers from different career stages.
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