Chemistry Education Research & Practice
The Gordon Research Conference on “Chemistry Education: Research & Practice” was spawned by a single GRC focused on Science Education in 1992. This foray into education was new intellectual territory for the Gordon Research Conferences. Two chemistry professors, Arthur Ellis (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and Angelica Stacy (UC Berkeley), were present at this meeting. They proposed and co-chaired the first conference dedicated to “Innovations in College Chemistry Teaching” in 1994. Art elaborates on this in his reflections
in the GRC 75th anniversary publication. The conference programs indicate that these early meetings did focus on teaching practices and curricular innovations, the interplay between chemical research and chemistry teaching, and career tracks in chemistry education. The GRC web site lists the programs for these meetings. The second meeting was one-year later, but conferees decided to go to 1.5-year intervals alternating between the east and west coasts to balance travel demands and competing professional schedules. The conference name was changed to its current version at the 2002 meeting chaired by Melanie Cooper. This change reflected the growing number of faculty specializing in chemistry education research, who are interested in research grounded in social, educational, and cognitive theories and in rigorous assessment of curricular innovations and student outcomes. At the 2005 meeting chaired by Stacey Lowery Bretz, conferees decided to move to a biannual schedule in late June on the east coast, alternating with the summer Biennial Conference on Chemical Education. The strong attendance at the 2005 and 2007 meetings and the large number of poster presentations suggest that the Gordon Conference has become a key event for this community of scholars.
What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.