IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Q&A with Professor Michael Reiss

Michael Reiss is a Professor of Science Education at IOE.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am Professor of Science Education. Most of my work consists of doctoral teaching, undertaking research and writing up the results of the research for publication.

In addition to my work in Science Education, I also work in sex education and bioethics (e.g. use of animals and the environment).

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I came to UCL in 2001 as Professor of Science Education. From 2001 to 2007, I was Head of one of IOE's schools. I then had two years seconded to the Royal Society as its Director of Education, returning to IOE as Pro-Director for Research.

What's the most important thing you've learned from your students about the subject you teach?

There are certain truths about the world but the way that these are understood and constructed varies hugely across cultures and individuals and gives an endless fascination to education as a field of study.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I take it one week at a time!

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list.

I am very late writing a book about how schools need to take better account of the fact that most of what we learn about science takes place out of schools.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I am a priest in the Church of England; I worked as a psychodynamic counsellor for ten years; I have an art work in MOMA.

What other piece of research outside of your own subject area interests you?

The visual arts and their importance, along with literature, for what it is to be human.

Last updated 28 July 2023.