Science Forum South Africa: igniting conversations about science
The government of South Africa hosted the first pan-African general science conference, Science Forum South Africa, on 8 and 9 December 2015 in Pretoria. EuroScience Secretary General Dr. Peter Tindemans, who attended this landmark event gives an account of it in EuroScientist, the EuroScience online publication dedicated to science and scientists’ issues across Europe.
Minister Naledi Pandor of Science and Technology of South Africa, a regular guest at recent ESOF meetings, was the driving force behind the Science Forum and recognised in her opening remarks her inspiration by the ESOF, AAAS, AGORA (Japan) and the World Science Forum conferences.
Participants discussed and demonstrated the importance of science, technology and innovation for development and the crucial role of an African science community. The event gathered 1,500 attendees, many from South Africa but also from other African countries as well and quite a few from all over the world. Sir Peter Gluckman, the science adviser to the Prime Minister in New Zealand, Luke Georghiou, co-champion of ESOF2016 in Manchester, and Gordon Bean, the president of ICSU were among them.
Several thematic threads were constantly woven through the fabric of the conference’s presentations and discussions. These included Inspiration, giving young scientists a platform, stressing the need to attract many more women students and scientists, pointing out the vital importance of integrating social sciences and humanities in tacking the many challenges South Africa, Africa and the world as a whole are facing.
Africa wants and needs to be part of the global science efforts. And South Africa leaves no stone untouched to underline that it wants to be a key contributor to and player in this…
Read the full version of the article on Science Forum South Africa 2015 in EuroScientist.