Science is for everyone: Possible futures, possible selves


Lucy Avraamidou
University of Groningen


Who is a scientist? Who aspires to be a scientist? Who can be a scientist? In this inaugural lecture, I invite the audience to think about issues related to diversity and inclusion to science and explore the construct of “science identity”.

Science identity becomes valuable when exploring social and cultural aspects of scientific practice and science teaching and it is connected to goals related to equity, especially in terms of access to educational resources and opportunities to engage with science. Why? Because science is or has to be for everyone.

The term ‘possible selves’ is used to refer to the possibility of becoming scientifically literate and critically utilise scientific knowledge in our everyday lives. What do we eat? What do we wear? What we do with our bodies? What do we do with animals? What we do with plants? What we do with water? What we do with land?

The term ‘possible futures’ is used to refer to more sustainable and socially just futures, affected by developments in science, technology, and society as well as interactions between humans, non-humans, and more-than-humans: people, animals, plants, machines, and robots.

In imagining possible futures, healthier and more balanced relationships with our natural habitat as well as social environments are envisioned. Science education in general, and science identity in particular, play a crucial role in both imagining and shaping such futures.

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Author Biography

Lucy Avraamidou, University of Groningen

Lucy Avraamidou is the the Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching and the Head of the Institute for Science Education and Communication at the Faculty of Science and Engineering. She received her  Ph.D. in Science Education from the Pennsylvania State University in the USA. Upon its completion, she  worked at King’s College London and the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, where she was born and raised,  before joining RUG in 2016. Her research is associated with theoretical and empirical explorations of what it means to widen and diversify STEM participation in school and out-of-school settings through the lens  of intersectionality. At the heart of the account of her work is an exploration of underrepresented groups’ science identity trajectories and negotiations with the use of narrative and life-history methods.



November 7, 2023


Oratie, Inaugurele Rede, Inaugural Lecture, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, University of Groningen, Faculty of Science and Engineering, lucy Avraamidou, 2023