Education expert, consultant and author
During a long and varied career I have directed international university programmes and educational projects; written best-selling physics and chemistry textbooks; advised multinational companies about innovative approaches to CSR (corporate and social responsibility); provided advice to commercial and non-commercial organisations about learning; spoken at international conferences, on TV and on radio about multiple topics, including education, science and technology, often in the context of Russia and the former Soviet Union; and advised on the implementation of a space-weather project in Armenia.
My academic research has been based on understanding the use of online social communities in developing knowledge and expertise among young scientists. In 1993, I established ScI-Journal, the first online space in the world designed to enable and encourage school science students to collaborate and discuss reports of school science practical work with one another, teachers and professional scientists. The site quickly grew to attract contributions from thousands of young people from around the world, especially the US, Canada, Australia and Russia as well as the UK. Its innovative nature resulted in international recognition in the first ever Cable & Wireless Childnet International Awards in 1998.
Drawing on multiple theories of learning together with theories of expertise and status from the sociological literature and methodological approaches from the world of CSCW/CSCL, my interdisciplinary study of ScI-Journal was the subject of numerous papers, book chapters, conference presentations and seminars for international audiences, and formed the basis of my PhD.
I have written extensively for a very wide range of audiences – commercial, technical, academic, young people and the general public. The written word remains one of the most important means of communication, and copy which is clear, concise, correctly written and which has an appropriate and consistent “voice” has immense value.
My publications include textbooks, academic papers and essays, articles, conference presentations, book reviews and online resources, many of which have received outstanding reviews. My pre-university physics textbooks were best-selling titles for over ten years, and I was a leading author of the first guidance for teaching about enterprise and innovation to young people in the UK.