Professor Paul Francis

Australian Award for University Teaching - Award for Teaching Excellence
ANU Distinguished Educator
ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme Co-Chair
Astrophysicist

Paul Francis believes that many of the world's most pressing problems can only be solved by breakthroughs in science: something that will require a new generation of extremely capable scientists. But all too often, students come away from a science degree convinced that science is all about rote learning, and are unable to use their knowledge in any useful context. Unfortunately, most of the world's population does not have access to a high quality university education - if the next Einstein lives in a village in rural Bangladesh, they may never get the chance to develop their brilliance.

Paul is at the forefront of addressing these problems. Over 20 years he has pioneered a whole series of educational innovations, which have dramatically increased the ability of students to apply their scientific knowledge to real-world problems. Most recently, he has developed a series of extremely successful Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which are transforming the lives of tens of thousands of students around the world.

His efforts have been rewarded with the ANU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching in 2000, a Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2006, a nomination for the global edX Educator Award in 2016, and an Australian Award for University Teaching - Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016.