The Science Forum South Africa 2017 will take place during 7 – 8 December at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The key objectives of the Forum remain:
- To create a platform for a vibrant debate on the role of science, technology and innovation in society;
- To promote international science, technology and innovation partnerships; and
- To create a platform for key science, technology and innovation actors, including senior government leaders, academics, scientists, industry, civil society, and students to interact.
Across the world nations increasingly seek to harness the potential of science as an instrument for growth and development. Science is also an integral part of the global effort to advance sustainable development. The interface between science and society and the interrogation of the role of science in society has therefore never been more critical.
Against this background South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Minister Naledi Pandor convened on 8-9 December 2015 in Pretoria, the first “Science Forum South Africa” (SFSA.) The event was designed as a “public science” event open to all interested stakeholders, which provided a platform for discussion and debate on the role of science in South African and African society as well as globally. Following on the success of the first and second SFSA in 2015 and 2016, the third will be held from 7 – 8 December 2017 at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria.
The event provides Africa with its first “open science” event, similar to forums convened with great success elsewhere in the world. The two-day programme brings together more than 1 500 participants for discussion and debate in plenary sessions, short seminars and individual lectures (labelled as “Science talks.” The SFSA also includes an exhibition and public outreach activities.
The Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) fully subscribe to the notion of open science. SFSA is dedicated to igniting conversations about science that will promote open scientific research and innovation. Open science is the movement to make scientific research accessible to all levels of society. This approach first came to the fore in the 17th century when groups of scientists started to share their resources to enhance their work. SFSA wants to contribute to the conversations around the conflict between the desire of scientists to have access to shared resources versus the desire of individual entities to profit from their resources.
It is through conversations about science that the richness of science and its potential benefits can impact society best, especially on the African continent.