2020 EARLY CAREER RESEARCH AWARD
Dr. Brian Donovan
The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS)
Dr. Brian Donovan was selected to receive the NARST 2020 Early Career Research Award (ECRA). This honor recognizes Dr. Brian Donovan’s professional accomplishments as the most significant among other researchers nominated for the ECRA this year.
Dr. Donovan’s research has a focus on the cultural, cognitive and social outcomes of science education. His research contribution to the field of science education is on how the teaching of genetics frames students’ conceptions of race. He has established this knowledge, which is both innovative and original, by investigating how learning in school biology shapes beliefs about human identity and how more appropriate biology instruction on human variation can be used to counteract genetically deterministic thinking that is implicated in racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice. Dr. Donovan uses theories from social-psychology and cognitive science to design field studies that employ randomized control trials (RCTs), quasi-experiments, cognitive think-alouds, clinical interviews, focus groups, and video-analysis, and insights from his research have begun to show how biology education affects the development of different forms of prejudice.