Justin Dillon

Prof. Justin Dillon

Keynote Speaker

Justin is Professor of Science and Environmental Education at University College London (UCL), UK. His research focuses on learning and engagement in and out of schools. After studying for a degree in chemistry, Justin trained as a teacher and taught in London schools before joining King's College London in 1989, where he worked as a researcher and teacher educator until 2014. Justin was President of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) from 2007-11 and is President of the UK National Association for Environmental Education. He edits the journal, Studies in Science Education, and is an editor of the International Journal of Science Education.

Title of the Keynote Speech

Rethinking Scientific Literacy in an Era of Pandemics, Conspiracies and Climate Emergencies

Recent events have called into question the extent to which science education has prepared the general public for today's challenging world. Scientists are now more visible in public life however significant numbers of adults and young people do not trust what they say. It is also clear that many people do not have a basic understanding of key scientific concepts or of how science works. It could be argued that science education has failed and that we need to reconceptualise what we mean by scientific literacy. This talk will outline the problem and some possible ways forward.


Prof. David Burslem

Plenary Speaker

David Burslem is Professor of Forest Ecology and Diversity at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He was trained in biology at Oxford University (BA Pure and Applied Biology, 1989) and graduated with a PhD in tropical forest ecology at Cambridge University in 1993. Since 1995 he has held academic positions at the University of Aberdeen including, since 2013, as Professor of Forest Ecology and Diversity. His research and teaching address forest ecology and conservation science, with a focus on responding to the linked crises of biodiversity loss and global climate change.


Dr. Harsha Subasinghe

Plenary Speaker

Dr. Harsha Subasinghe is the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of CodeGen Group of Companies, based in Sri Lanka, the UK and in the USA. The company is renowned for delivering innovative, fully scalable, high performance solutions for multiple industries; travel, education, automobile, transportation, agriculture, retail, energy and health care. With world renowned brands such as TravelBox, Vega, chargeNET, AiGROW, Cloud Smart School. CodeGen is also one of the largest private-sector investors in Artificial Intelligence in Sri Lanka

Ajith Karunarathne

Prof. Ajith Karunarathne

Plenary Speaker

Dr. Ajith Karunarathne is an associate professor at Saint Louis University. His research focuses on the molecular underpinnings of cellular life, photo pharmacology, and cellular photochemistry. Dr. Karunarathne is an alumnus of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, where he completed his BSc special degree in Chemistry. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Michigan State University and postdoctoral training in signal transduction from Washington University School of Medicine in the United States.


Prof. Meththika Vithanage

Plenary Speaker

Meththika Vithanage is a Professor in Natural Resources and the founding director at the Ecosphere Resilience Research Centre, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. She is an Adjunct Professor in the University of Western Australia, Australia, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, India and in the National Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka. She obtained her Bachelors specializing Natural Resources from Sabaragamuwa University, Master’s in Environmental Sciences, University of Peradeniya and Doctorate from University of Copenhagen, Denmark in hydrogeology and groundwater modeling in 2009.