National Teaching Fellow 2010
Although an entomologist by training and persuasion, Adam has a tremendous depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for all aspects of science and he is driven by his passion to nurture scientific curiosity in others. As an entomologist he literally leaves no stone unturned to find ways to inspire and engage his students.
A passionate communicator, Adam links his research activities with his teaching in ways that can help students find their 'inner child' - that part of the mind that constantly questions the world around them. Helping students to unlock their ability to question through humorous exercises like 'Hart's Question Generator', and though field work at home and abroad, Adam gets them to take the most important step down the path to becoming a scientist. His approach is to empower students to discover for themselves, through research projects built into modules from the start rather than standing alone at the end. This is an approach that clearly works - as a student comments, 'Adam is an academic superhero!'
In his work Adam does not see a clear distinction between the lecture theatre, the lab and the world outside the University. From the start of his career he has been keen to engage the public with his research and with science in general and he and his students have benefitted from the synergies that result from linking these activities. From early radio appearances to discuss his own work with ants, Adam has developed a wide range of scientific engagement strands, including his own science slot on BBC Radio Gloucestershire and numerous school projects set up to study ants and bees. His outreach work has led to him becoming Scientific Director of the Bee Guardian Foundation Project, with whom he now carries out research involving his students - a perfect example of the self-reinforcing connections between teaching, research and outreach that Adam's approach encourages.
Reader in Science Communication (Biological Sciences)
University of Gloucestershire