Audio Robyn Williams talks about inspiring young scientists, 2008

TLF ID R10264

This is an edited sound recording of the leading science journalist and broadcaster, Robyn Williams, offering advice on how to encourage children to be interested in science. Williams states that the 'greatest challenge' is to exploit and maintain a 'natural' interest displayed in early childhood. He suggests that children need to be told that science is a process of exploration that does not necessarily lead to the right answers. This recording was made in December 2008.

Tags: Biology


Educational details

Educational value
  • This is a brief outline of the approach to science education recommended by one of Australia's leading science communicators. At the time of this recording, Williams (1944-) had been a professional communicator of science to the Australian public for more than 30 years.
  • This recording indicates that Williams regards children as 'natural scientists'. He offers advice on how to overcome what he says can be a loss of interest in science because of a perception of predictability. His call for a sense of fun and adventure through scientific exploration fits with the Australian Science Teachers' Association (ASTA) promotion of inquiry-based interactive teaching. ASTA believes lack of time and training for science teachers causes over-formal lessons.
  • At the time of this recording Williams had been the presenter since 1975 of 'The Science Show' on the ABC's Radio National. The show is one of the longest-running ABC Radio programs. He has also conducted numerous interviews on ABC TV programs with leading scientists across the world and has written more than ten books.
  • In 2008, Williams was the only journalist ever to have been elected (in 1993) as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He had also served as president of the Australian Museum Trust, chairman of the Commission for the Future, and president of the Australian Science Communicators. As well, in 1987 he was named as one of Australia's National Living Treasures.
Year level

4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12

Learning area
  • science
Strand
  • Science/Science as a human endeavour

    Other details

    Contributors
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 20 Sep 2013
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
    • Copyright holder
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
    • Remarks: Copyright Education Services Australia Ltd
    • Content provider
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
    • Author
    • Date of contribution: 2008
    • Name: Robyn Williams
    • Remarks: speaker
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    Learning resource type
    • Sound
    Browsers
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    Rights
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.