Brian M. Donovan is a research scientist at BSCS Science Learning. He holds a B.A. in biology from Colorado College, a M.A. in teaching from the University of San Francisco, and a M.S. in biology and Ph.D. in science education from Stanford University. His research explores how genetics education interacts with social-cognitive biases to influence how students make sense of complex biological and social phenomena. By translating this research into frameworks that inform science instruction, curriculum development, and teacher education, Brian hopes to create a generation of researchers, teachers, and curriculum writers who know how to teach about human difference in a more socially responsible manner. Brian’s scholarship in this area has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, including Science Education, The Journal of Research in Science Teaching, PLOS Biology, and Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Currently, he is the principal investigator of a NSF funded project (EHR Core Award #1660985, $1.29 million) that uses experimental, quasi-experimental, and qualitative research methods, to identify the cognitive, social, and educational factors that link the learning of human genetics to reductions in racial bias. Before earning his Ph.D., Brian taught in the Stanford Teacher Education Program. He began his career in education as an elementary and middle school science teacher, working for seven years in San Francisco schools.
First Author Peer Reviewed Manuscripts:
- Donovan, B. M.., Weindling, M., Salazar, B., Duncan, A., Stuhlsatz, M., Keck, P. (in review) Genomics Literacy Matters: Supporting the development of genomics literacy through genetics education could reduce cognitive forms of racial prejudice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.
- Donovan, B. M.., Semmens, R., Keck, P., Brimhall, E., Busch, K. C., Weindling, M., Duncan, A., Stuhlsatz, M., Buck Bracey, Z., Bloom, M., Kowalski, S., Salazar, B. (2019) Towards a More Humane Genetics Education: Learning about the social and quantitative complexities of human genetic variation research could reduce racial bias in adolescent and adult populations. Science Education.
- Donovan, B. M.., Stuhlsatz, M., Edelson, D.C., Buck Bracey, Z.B. (2019) Gendered Genetics: How reading about the genetic basis of sex differences in biology textbooks could affect beliefs associated with science gender disparities. Science Education.
- Donovan, B. M.. (2017) Learned inequality: Racial labels in the biology curriculum can affect the development of racial prejudice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 54(3), 379-411.
- Donovan, B. M.. (2016). Framing the genetics curriculum to support social justice: An experimental exploration of how the biology curriculum influences students’ beliefs about the racial achievement gap. Science Education. 100(3), 586-616.
- Donovan, B. M.. (2015a). Putting humanity back into the teaching of human biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 52, 65-75.
- Donovan, B. M.. (2015b). Reclaiming race as a topic of the United States biology curriculum. Science Education. 99(6) 1092-1117.
- Donovan, B. M.. (2014). Playing with fire? The impact of the hidden curriculum in school genetics on essentialist conceptions of race. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51(4), 462–496.
- Donovan, B. M., Moreno Mateos, D., Osborne, J. F., & Bisaccio, D. J. (2014). Revising the Economic Imperative for US STEM Education. PLoS Biology, 12(1), e1001760.
Book Chapters, Book Reviews, and Curriculum:
- Donovan, B. M., Salazar, B., Weindling, M. (forthcoming) How can we make genetics education more humane? Genetics Education for the 21st Century.
- Donovan, B. M. (2018). Looking backwards to move biology education toward its humanitarian potential: A review of Darwinism, Democracy, and Race. Science Education.
- Osborne, J., Donovan, B. M., Henderson, J. B., MacPherson, A. C., & Wild, A. (2016). Arguing from Evidence in Middle School Science: 24 Activities for Productive Talk and Deeper Learning. Thousand Oaks: CA: Corwin Press.