NOS Symposium 2016


26th- 28th of October 2016, Hosted by EPI•STEM at the University of Limerick, Ireland

The inclusion of “nature of science” (NOS) in the science curriculum has been advocated for several decades. Teaching and learning of NOS can help students understand how science works and appreciate science as a key contributor to society. Recent curriculum reform efforts including the Junior Cycle Specification in Ireland have included NOS as a key component of the science content. The definition of NOS is being debated within the science education research community. This symposium will bring together researchers, policy makers and practitioners to review recent debates on NOS and discuss the implications for the science curriculum, teacher education as well as a classroom teaching and learning. The symposium will be hosted by EPI•STEM, National Centre for STEM Education based at University of Limerick, Ireland. The programme includes plenary talks, paper presentations, workshops and poster presentations.

Click here to download the conference leaflet
Click here for accommodation & travel details
Click here for registration
Click here to download conference booklet



27th May - Abstract Submission.

27th June - Acceptance Notification.

27th July - Early Bird Registration (150 Euro).

27th September - Late Registration (180 Euro).

The conference fee includes a programme pack, a wine reception, all lunches, tea/coffee/biscuits, a Medieval Banquet dinner at Bunratty Castle and a visit to the Cliffs of Moher.


Download the Abstract and Participation Form here

Symposium booklet available to download here


Opening Introduction

barry_slatteryBarry Slattery
Barry Slattery is a Director of Curriculum and Assessment at the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Ireland where he has responsibility for developments in post-primary STEM Education.

He led the development of the new Junior Cycle science curriculum which was introduced in September 2016. Currently he is a member of the PISA National Advisory Committee and the TIMSS National Advisory Committee. He also a National Coordinator with the Consortium of Institutions for Development and Research in Education in Europe.


Plenary Speakers

Professor Gurol Irzik_DSC9131
Professor Gürol Irzık received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in electrical engineering (1977) and mathematics (1979) respectively from Boğaziçi University. He obtained his PhD degree from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University, Bloomington in 1986. He taught at Bogazici University between 1988 and 2009 and then moved to Sabanci University, where he currently teaches. He was a visiting professor at Duke University, Auckland University, and Istanbul Technical University. He was also a research fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science of Pittsburgh University. He is a member of the European Cultural Parliament. He has published extensively in various areas of philosophy of science and science education. In collaboration with R. Nola, he developed the Family Resemblance Approach to Nature of Science in science education and published Philosophy, Science, Education, and Culture (Springer, 2005).

The title of Profesor Irzik's talk is 'The Family Resemblance Approach to Nature of Science: A Response to its Critics'.
Click here to view abstract


Professor Zoubeida DagherZoubeida Dagher
Zoubeida R. Dagher is a professor of science education and a Faculty Fellow at the Center for Science, Ethics, and Public Policy at the University of Delaware, USA. She is currently President of the International History and Philosophy of Science Teaching [IHPST] Group, serves on the editorial board of Science & Education and has served in the past as elected member to the Board of Directors of NARST: A Worldwide Organization for Improving Science Teaching and Learning Through Research. Professor Dagher received a B.S. in Science Education from the Lebanese American University, M.A. (Education) from the American University of Beirut, Ph.D. (science education) from the University of Iowa, and a prestigious National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship. Professor Dagher has coedited a book on science education in the Arab world (BouJaoude & Dagher, 2009, Sense), and has coauthored a recently published book on reconceptualizing the nature of science for science education (Erduran & Dagher, 2014, Springer). Her research focuses on integrating the cognitive, epistemic and social dimensions of scientific knowledge in science curriculum and instruction.

The title of Professor Dagher's talk is 'The Power and Promise of the Expanded Family Resemblance Approach to Nature of Science'.
Click here to view abstract


EbruKayaAssociate Professor Ebru Kaya
Dr. Ebru Kaya is an associate professor in science education at Bogazici University, Turkey. She received her PhD from Middle East Technical University, Turkey in 2011 and has been a visiting scholar at University of Bristol, UK.  She is the recipient of an award from Science Academy’s Young Scientists Program in Turkey for her research proposal about reconceptualized nature of science. She served as a committee member in NARST Outstanding Paper Award Committee from 2013-2015. Currently Dr. Kaya serves a reviewer for numerous journals including International Journal of Science Education and Science & Education. She has participated in research projects funded by TUBITAK (Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council) and NARST, and conducted professional development workshops for science teachers in Turkey, Rwanda, and Lebanon. She has authored close to 60 publications including papers in journals and proceedings. Dr. Kaya’s research interests include argumentation and nature of science in science education.  She is currently working as a co-author on a book on epistemic practices in chemical education to be published by Springer. Her project entitled Nature of science in science teacher education: A comparative research and development project” has received funding from Bogazici University Research Fund (Grant Number 10621 from 2016-2018).

The title of Professor Kaya's talk is 'From Theory to Practice: Reconceptualized Family Resemblance Approach to Nature of Science in Science Teacher Education'.
Click here to view abstract


UL Prof Sibel ErduranwebProfessor Sibel Erduran
Sibel Erduran is Professor of STEM Education at University of Limerick, Ireland where she is the Director of EPI•STEM, the National Centre for STEM Education.
She is an Editor for International Journal of Science Education and  Section Editor for Science Education. Currently she serves as a Director on the IHPST Council, as Secretary of the Social Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy and acts on the Editorial Board of the Springer International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Book Series. Previously, she acted as the NARST International Coordinator and served on the NSTA Research Committee. She has held Visiting Professorships at Kristianstad University, Sweden and Bogazici University, Turkey.
She received her PhD (Science Education and Philosophy) from Vanderbilt University, MSc (Chemistry and Food Chemistry) from Cornell University and BA (Biochemistry) from Northwestern University, USA.
Before joining Limerick, she was employed at University of Bristol and King’s College, University of London, United Kingdom. She has also worked as a researcher at University of Pittsburgh, USA and taught science and chemistry in a secondary school in northern Cyprus.
Her research interests focus on the applications in science education of interdisciplinary perspectives on science, particularly the epistemic practices of science. Her recent co-authored book “Reconceptualising the Nature of Science for Science Education: Scientific Knowledge, Practices and Other Family Categories” was published by Springer.

The title of Professor Erduran's talk is 'On the Neglect of the Nature of Scientific Knowledge in Science Education'.
Click here to view abstract


Living Bridge