Staff Profiles


Professor Berry Billingsley

Professor in Science Education

School: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Education Faculty Office

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 921589

Profile summary

Berry Billingsley specialises in Science Education and leads the LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) Research Centre  at CanterburyChrist Church University.

We are developing a national and international research and innovation strategy to open classrooms to Big Questions - and build learners' epistemic insight. See 

The launch of the Epistemic Insight Initiative, 'Big QuestionsDay' was filmed by BBC Breakfast - see:

Berry's interests include Epistemic Insight, young people's engagement in science, artificial intelligence, Big Questions bridging science, religion and the wider humanities and also the communication of science and technology news in the media. Berry's first career was with the BBC where she produced and presented television and radio programmes including BBC World Service's 'Science in Action', BBC TV's 'Tomorrow’s World' and BBC Education's 'Search out Science'.  


Billingsley B and Nassaji M. (2019) Exploring Secondary School Students’ Stances on the Predictive and Explanatory Power of Science. Science and Education. (Open Access)

Billingsley,B., Nassaji, M., Fraser, S., & Lawson, F. (2018). A Framework for Teaching EpistemicInsight in schools. Research in Science Education.  (Open Access).

BillingsleyB, Abedin M and Nassaji M. (2019) Primary school students’ perspectives on questions that bridge science and religion: Findings from a survey study in England. British Educational Research Journal. 


books:Science and Religion in Education, Springer

Research and knowledge exchange

Principal Investigator for the following grants

Evolution on Rural Tour, The Wellcome Trust, 2016, £19,983.

Research to discover the efficacy of science-related activities in raising primary and secondary school students’ understanding of global concerns relating to health and nutrition.  Pearson, 2015, £20,000

Creating strategies for primary teachers to teach evolutionary science and its applications, The Wellcome Trust, 2014-15, £27,903        

Being Human: Discovering and Advancing School Students' Perceptions of the Relationships between Science and Religion, Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF), 2014-17, £613,656

Evaluation of God and the Big Bang, TWCF, 2014-17, £75,400

Research to explore and evaluate the ways in which Exploring Science supports formative assessment, Pearson, 2014, £15,000

The Nature-Nurture narrative and other explanatory models of human behaviour in the Humanities curriculum for secondary schools in England, The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, 2012-13, £20,000

The LASAR (Learning about science and religion) Project, the John Templeton Foundation, 2008-12, £547,000

Teaching Science to students with visual impairment funded by University of Reading in collaboration with Porto University, 2011, £900

Additional collaborative grants:

The contribution of natural history museums to science education, PI Michael Reiss, The Wellcome Trust, 2014-5, £68,076

Teaching and subject expertise

Science education for various undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education courses;

PhD, Ed D and Masters’ supervision

External activities

Royal Society of Biology Primary Curriculum Committee

Editorial Reviewer for a range of journals including
Research in Science Education (Springer),
Journal of Biological Education (Taylor and Francis),
Teacher development (Taylor and Francis),
Curriculum Journal (Taylor and Francis).

Publications and research outputs

  • Billingsley, B., Brock, R., Taber, K. S., & Riga, F. (2016). How Students View the Boundaries Between Their Science and Religious Education Concerning the Origins of Life and the Universe. Science Education, doi:10.1002/sce.21213
  • Billingsley, B. (2016). Ways to prepare future teachers to teach science in multicultural classrooms. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 11(2), 283-291. doi:10.1007/s11422-015-9701-9
  • Taber, K. S., Billingsley, B., Riga, F., & Newdick, H. (2015). English secondary students’ thinking about the status of scientific theories: consistent, comprehensive, coherent and extensively evidenced explanations of aspects of the natural world–or just ‘an idea someone has’. Curriculum Journal, 26(3), 370-403.
  • Billingsley, B., Riga, F., Taber, K. S., & Newdick, H. (2014). Secondary school teachers’ perspectives on teaching about topics that bridge science and religion. Curriculum Journal, 25(3), 372-395. doi:10.1080/09585176.2014.920264
  • Billingsley, B., Taber, K. S., Riga, F., & Newdick, H. (2013). Secondary school students’ epistemic insight into the relationships between science and religion—a preliminary enquiry. Research in Science Education, 43(4), 1715-1732.
  • Taber, K. S., Billingsley, B., Riga, F., & Newdick, H. (2011). Secondary students' responses to perceptions of the relationship between science and religion: Stances identified from an interview study. Science Education, 1-26. doi:10.1002/sce.20459

Book chapters

  • Billingsley, B., Nassaji, M., Costa, A., & Chappell, K. (2016). What do teenagers believe about the soul? Findings from a survey and interview study with upper secondary school students. In N. Spurway (Ed.), Science and Religion Forum 40th Anniversary Book. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge scholar publishing.
  • Billingsley, B. (2013). Students’ Perceptions of Apparent Contradictions Between Science and Religion: Creation Is Only the Beginning Science Education for Diversity (pp. 329-338): Springer.
  • Billingsley, B. (2000). Children's Images of Scientists: Stereotypes. In P. Fensham & R. Cross (Eds.), Science and the citizen for educators and the public (pp. 79-85). Melbourne: Melbourne: Arena

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Last edited: 19/11/2020 13:32:00