John Holman (chemist)

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Sir John Holman

John Stranger Holman

(1946-09-16) 16 September 1946 (age 74) [1]
Education Royal Grammar School, Guildford
Alma mater University of Cambridge (BA)
Scientific career
Institutions University of York
Gatsby Foundation
Watford Grammar School for Boys

Sir John Stranger Holman FRSC CChem (born 16 September 1946) [1] is an English chemist and academic. He is emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of York, senior advisor in education at the Gatsby Foundation, founding director of the National STEM Learning Centre, [2] Chair of the Bridge Group, past president of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), [3] and President of The Association for Science Education (ASE). [4]



Holman was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in 1967. [1]


Holman served as a Headteacher of Watford Grammar School for Boys between 1994 and 2000, [1] [5] and was the British government's National STEM Director from 2006 to 2010 [6] [7] (STEM referring to the academic disciplines of Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). He served as president of the Royal Society of Chemistry from 2016 to 2018, [8] and was a trustee of the Natural History Museum (2011–2019). [9] He is Chair of the Salters' Institute board, [10] was the founding director of Salters' Advanced Chemistry programme, [10] and is the author of numerous chemistry textbooks.

Holman is author of the Good Career Guidance report for the Gatsby Foundation, [11] which is the basis for the English government's national strategy for career guidance in schools: Careers strategy: making the most of everyone's skills and talents. [12] Holman also authored the Good Practical Science report [13] and was the lead author of Improving Secondary Science guidance report for the Educational Environment Foundation (2018). [14]

Awards and honours

Holman was Knighted in the 2010 New Year Honours. [1] [7] In 2014 the Royal Society of Chemistry awarded him the Lord Lewis Prize "in recognition of his extensive influence over chemistry education policy". [15] Holman was named in 2014 by the Science Council as one of the UK's 100 leading practising scientists, [16] and was the 2014 recipient of the Royal Society's biennial Kavli Education Medal, "in recognition of his significant impact on science education within the UK". [17] He was elected President of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society in 2018. [18]

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  2. "Professor Sir John Holman". University of York. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  3. "Presidential plans". 16 July 2016. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  4. "Association for Science Education".
  5. "John Holman – Biography". Department for Children, Schools and Families. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  6. "Sir John Holman". Royal Society . Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Honour for top science educator". BBC News . Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  8. "Our structure". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  9. "The Board of Trustees". Natural History Museum. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  10. 1 2 "Professor Sir John Holman". University of York . Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  12. "Careers strategy: making the most of everyone's skills and talents".
  13. "Good Practical Science". 2017.
  14. "Education Endowment Foundation".
  15. "Lord Lewis Prize 2014 Winner". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  16. "100 leading UK practising scientists". Science Council . Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  17. "Kavli Education Medal". Royal Society . Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  18. Smith, Carole. "A new President for the YPS, 2018". Yorkshire Philosophical Society. Retrieved 4 May 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)