Sarah Brem is an Associate Professor in the School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Northwestern University. Her interest in people's beliefs about biological evolution and evolutionary theory began while she was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at The University of California, Berkeley. Intrigued by people's concerns over how believing in evolution could lead to negative consequences, such as racism and selfishness, beliefs not upheld by evolutionary theory or research, she began exploring the social and emotional factors that affect people's acceptance or rejection of evolutionary theory. This work led to an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation, and the Evolution Challenges project, of which she is lead PI.
Sarah's research focuses on the understanding and use of scientific and technical information. In addition to the Evolution Challenges project, Sarah is currently looking at how people perceive emergent phenomena, of which evolutionary processes are one example. She is also working with the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technology (QESST), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center at ASU, examining scientific misconceptions about photovoltaics and solar energy.
Toth, E.E., Brem, S.K., & Erdos, G. (2009). “Virtual Inquiry”: Teaching Molecular Aspects of Evolutionary Biology Through Computer-Based Inquiry. Evolution Education and Outreach, 2, 679-687.
Schrein, C.M., Lynch, J.M., Brem, S.K., Marchant, G.E., Schedler, K.K., Spencer, M.A., Kazilek, C.J., Coulombe, M.G. (2009). Preparing Teachers to Prepare Students for Post-Secondary Science: Observations From a Workshop About Evolution in the Classroom. Journal of Effective Teaching, 9, 69-80.
Sinatra, G. M., Brem, S. K., Evans, E. M. (2008). Changing Minds? Implications of Conceptual Change for Teaching and Learning about Biological Evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 1, 189-195.
Hahn, D., Brem, S. K., & Semken, S. (2005). Exploring the social, moral, and temporal qualities of pre-service teachers' narratives of evolution. Journal of Geoscience Education, 53, 456-461.
Griffith, J. & Brem, S. K. (2004). Teaching evolution: Pressures, stress and coping. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41, 791–809.
Brem, S. K., Ranney, M. & Schindel, J. E. (2003). The perceived consequences of evolution: College students perceive negative personal and social impact in evolutionary theory. Science Education, 87, 181-206.