Our President

About Sir Professor John Holman

John Holman is Emeritus Professor in the Chemistry Department, University of York, UK, and senior adviser in Education at the Gatsby Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. He is author of the Gatsby Foundation’s Good Career Guidance report and Immediate Past- President of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

He was the founding Director of the National Science Learning Centre from 2004 until September 2010, and adviser to the English government as National Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Director from 2006 until September 2010. 

John was re-appointed a Trustee of the Natural History Museum in 2015, he is Chair of the Teacher Development Trust (from 2014) and a Trustee of the Bridge Group (2018). He has been a member of the ASE since 1972 and an Honorary Member since 2012. He is an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association and has honorary doctorates from the universities of York and Sheffield Hallam.

After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge, John taught in a range of secondary schools and between 1984 and 1990 he directed the Science and Technology in Society (SATIS) project for the ASE. In 1994 he became headteacher of Watford Grammar School for Boys, an all-ability state school. From 2000 to 2004 he was Salters’ Professor of Chemical Education at the University of York. 

John has taught learners of chemistry and science at all levels from 11 year olds to undergraduates and has created curricula and written books for science learners of most ages in the UK and overseas. He is co-author of Chemistry in Context (A level text now in its 7th edition) and Chemistry-3 (undergraduate text now in its 3rd edition), and was the founding director of the Salters Advanced Chemistry programme.

John was named in 2014 by the Science Council as one of UK’s 100 leading practising scientists, and was awarded in 2014 the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Lord Lewis Award and the Royal Society’s Kavli Education Medal.  He was knighted in 2010, for services to education.

You can follow John on twitter @holman_john

Former Presidents of the Association for Science Education


"CAN we make teachers more valued in their profession? IF we could train every parent and teacher in the powers of science and engineering, THEN would our problems be solved?" - Professor Danielle George is Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, and a Professor in the Microwave and Communications Systems research group at the University of Manchester. @EngineerDG


"Let's end short-termism in education policy and trust the frontline" - Sir David Bell KCB, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading and President of the Association for Science Education for 2015.  


Professor Alice Roberts was the President of the Association for Science Education in 2014. Alice is a clinical anatomist, author, broadcaster and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham. www.alice-roberts.co.uk