Professor Martin Westwell

Academic Status

College of Science and Engineering

place Biological Sciences (350)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Martin is the inaugural Director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century that supports quality teaching and innovation in science and mathematics education. After completing his degree and PhD at Cambridge University, Martin moved to Oxford University as a Research Fellow at Lincoln College in biological chemistry. A winding career path through the biotech industry and a number of science innovation and science education organisations returned him to Oxford University in 2005 as the Deputy Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind.

BA (Hons) (Cantab.)
PhD (Cantab.)
Honours, awards and grants
Martin has won a number of awards for engaging non‐scientists with science including, in 1999, being named by The Times newspaper as the Scientist of the New Century.
Key responsibilities
Director, Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century
Research expertise
Cognitive psychology and educational practice
Cognitive science
Education systems
Other education
Research interests
ARC Strategic Research Initiative: Science of Learning Research Centre (Chief Investigator)

Evidence informed education policy and practice

  • The effective "translation" of research evidence into decision making and practice in education
  • Innovation informed and suggested by emerging research evidence
Educational neuroscience "the science of learning"
  • Role of cognitive neuroscience in education and the translation into policy and practice
  • Special interest in executive function and  "stop-and-think" cognitive skills
Innovation and authentic improvement (particularly in science and mathematics education)
  • Australian Curriculum implementation - honouring the strategic intent of AC: curriculum implementation and pedagogy
  • Use of technology in education, especially technology as an agent for learning relationships and electronic assessment
  • collaborative approaches in innovation and improvement from early years to higher education
Teaching interests

Martin teaches into the suite of Science Policy and Communication topics, led by Dr Peter Tangney, including (SPOC1702) The Science of Communicating Science and (SPOC2701) The Nature of Science II: Bad Science

Supervisory interests
Cognitive psychology and educational practice
Computers in education, teaching and self education
Curriculum in general and in higher education
Early childhood education
Education policy
Education, computers in
Education, literacy
Education, mathematics
Education, numeracy
Education, physics
Education, primary
Education, science
Education, teaching and learning in higher
Educational assessment
Mathematics education
Numeracy education
Professional education
Public education in neuroscience and science communication
Science education
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Transfer of learning (1), Critical Thinking in Higher Education (1)
Associate supervisor: Science Communication in Science Education (1), Critical Thinking in Higher Education (1), Early Years Education and Development
Expert for media contact
Education - Curriculum
Education - Middle School
Education - Science
Education - Teaching
Education - Year 12
Educational neuroscience
STEM education
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Education - Curriculum
  • Education - Middle School
  • Education - Science
  • Education - Teaching
  • Education - Year 12
  • Science
  • Educational neuroscience
  • STEM education
Further information

Early Childhood Australia: "Supporting brain development" 2016

TEDx talk: "No, no! You are not thinking, you are just being logical" (youtube) 2015

The Conversation: "Virtual distance: technology is rewriting the rulebook for human interaction" 2015

DECD conference: "Strategic Intent: Leading Learning" (youtube) 2013

SA Life Education supplement: "The future of universities" 2017:

Future of Universities (pdf)