Transforming science education through research-driven innovation

Towards a More Humane Genetics

A webinar hosted by Dr. Brian Donovan, Senior Research Scientist

I know it’s threatening. The thing to remember is that kids are already making sense of race and biology, but with no guidance.

 -Dr. Brian Donovan

Brian Donovan  is exploring the role science education can play in reversing two societal challenges: racist and sexist thinking. His research reveals that the way students learn about genetics can increase their tendency toward both. However, Brian's research has also uncovered an approach to genetics instruction that reduces this tendency. And this summer, Brian and BSCS colleagues Monica Weindling, Dennis Lee, and Awais Syed are working with middle and high school biology teachers across the country to prepare them to implement this approach in their classrooms.

Paul Strode recalls a time when he, like many others, was teaching an oversimplified version of genetics—a version that could contribute to students' misconceptions about the role genes play in human characteristics and abilities. "With Dr. Donovan's guidance, I am now teaching more complex models to help my students understand that genes matter, yes, but so does the environment and a lot of other ‘unknown' factors. Yet there are limits to our knowledge of genetics and it's important to teach what we don't know."

At BSCS, we believe science education is the key to making our world better. So we're grateful for researchers like Brian, who are willing to ask tough questions. And we're grateful for educators like Paul, who are willing to teach tough topics such as race and genetics.

Curious to learn more about this line of work? Please join us October 7, 2021, at 1 p.m. (MT), for a free webinar hosted by Brian.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on external support, we always appreciate donations.

structure of a DNA molecule


Register for Brian Donovan's free webinar on October 7, 2021, at 1 pm MT.


For more information, please contact Lauren Novo.