Professor Paul Black
Emeritus Professor of Science Education
+44 (0)20 7848 3166
+ 44 (0)20 7848 3182
I took my first degree in physics, and subsequently obtained my PhD in crystallography at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge in l954. Between 1956 and 1976 I was a faculty member in the Department of Physics in the University of Birmingham (England), but my interests gradually moved from research in physics to research and development in science education. I left Birmingham in 1976 to become professor of science education and director of the Centre for Science and Mathematics Education, at Chelsea College in London, and when Chelsea College merged with King's in 1985 I became the head of the King's Centre for Educational Studies, King's College London (KQC). I retired in 1995, but am still active in research and development work.
I have been a visiting Professor of Education at Stanford University, California. For many years I was involved closely with curriculum development work with the Nuffield Foundation in science and in design and technology, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. I was chair of the government's Task Group on Assessment and Testing in 1987-88, and deputy chairman of the National Curriculum Council from 1989 to 1991. I have served on three committees on the USA National Research Council. I am a member of the Policy Advisory Group and of the Technical Advisory Group of the UK Examination and Qualifications Regulator, OFQUAL. I am currently engaged in research and development work to improve classroom practices in both formative and summative assessment.
Academic qualifications, honours and citations
Elected member of the US National Academy of Education, 2010
Prize for excellence in design for education in science. International Society for Design and Development in Education, 2009.
Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Science Education, Association for Science Education, 2005
Honorary life member and former president of the Association for Science Education
Recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Science Education Through Research Award from the US National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 2004
Honorary doctor of Education Kingston University, 2003
Honorary doctor of the University Open University, 2002
Medal of the International Commission on Physics Education, 2000
Vice-president of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, 1996-98
Chair of the International Commission on Physics Education, 1992-98
Honorary doctor of the University Surrey, 1991
Fellow of King’s College London, 1989
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), 1983
Bragg medal and prize of the UK Institute of Physics, 1973 (with J.M. Ogborn)