Chris Vennell

University of Otago (New Zealand)

Chris VennellChris has a background in both science and the arts and believes a harmonious union is both possible and desirable.

He has worked in education for the past six years, gradually narrowing his focus to science education, and then to critical science education. To explore this further, he completed a Science Communication thesis looking at the presence of university science teaching content that has a critical bent: he explored the extent to which science teaching encourages viewing science through a sociological and philosophical lens.

His research has galvanised his belief in a harmonious union between science and the arts, and thinks that the first step towards this union is a curriculum that acknowledges science’s underlying human values.

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How does this work contribute to Seeing Science Differently?
This research explored whether undergraduate science students are being sufficiently taught about the human processes involved within science as opposed to just standard ‘textbook knowledge’ of science topics. This research necessarily involved a different view of science—a sociology-focused critical analysis of science is arguably not what many people imagine when they think about ‘science’.