1. Background to SFSA2018
The South African Department of Science and Technology is proud to host the fourth Science Forum South Africa on 13 &14 December 2018 in Pretoria. New to SFSA2018 is the venue of the plenary session at the LC de Villiers Sport Complex of the University of Pretoria on 12 December. The rest of the programme on 13 and 14 December will again be at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
SFSA2018 will, like previous editions, serve as a large, open public platform for debating the science and society interface. It will again provide the opportunity for all interested parties to Ignite Conversations about Science. The organising committee is excited to deepen the partnership with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) to further expand and enhance the focus on Science, Technology, and Innovation on the African Continent and increase the Pan-Africa scientific participation.
2. Strategic Objectives of SFSA
The strategic objectives are:
- To stimulate 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 network platform for key science, technology and innovation actors, including senior government leaders, academics, scientists, industry, civil society, and students.
To achieve these objectives SFSA2018 will focus on:
- A provocative and stimulating programme including several parallel sessions and talks, with the primary aim to Ignite Conversations about Science;
- A rich diversity of participants, comprising scientists, students, public and private sector representatives as well as civil society members;
- Strong international participation, especially from Africa.
3. Focus and Themes for SFSA2018
SFSA2018 will, as indicated above, emphasise Pan-African Science, Technology and Innovation. The following themes will provide the framework for session allocation:
- “Shaping Humanity” the focus in this track will be on how social sciences shape our human experiences and behaviours to improve the quality of life for all human beings, and the world we live in, including a better understanding of what is required to uplift people in a sustainable manner.
- “Preparing people for the knowledge economy” the focus in this track will be on the attitudes, education, experience, and abilities required individually and collectively to succeed in the knowledge economy, with a specific focus on achieving gender and racial balance in an optimal functioning system of innovation.
- “Open science and open innovation for Africa’s development” the focus in this track will be on what the impact will be on Africa’s development if a concerted drive were made to intensify collaboration among all stakeholders in the scientific and innovation enterprise, including through the enhanced dissemination and sharing of research results to maximise impact.
- “Science transforming society” the focus in this track will be on how science, technology and innovation is changing society, how it is contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of all citizens and how we ensure ethical considerations are addressed and science-driven development is equitable and sustainable.
- “A Better World”the focus in this track will be on the sustainable solutions science, technology and innovation can provide to global challenges like poverty, inequality, inclusive development and a secure society, with an emphasis on the value of enhanced international collaboration in addressing these shared global challenges.
- “Innovation shaping the industry of tomorrow” the focus in this track will be on how the exponential pace of progress in science, technology and innovation is disrupting every industry in every country and how the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another.
4. Science Talk Format
- Please remember SFSA, as an open science forum, is not a conventional scientific event (conference, convention or symposium). A SFSA Science Talk is not an academic lecture, or an opportunity to present an academic paper.
- The purpose of all Science Talks should be to Ignite Conversations about Sciencewith a multi-stakeholder audience. The audience will be diverse and will not necessarily have expert technical or subject knowledge of your Science Talk topic.
- All Science Talks will run concurrently with other sessions and/or Science Talks, and participants are free to move between sessions and talks.
- Each Science Talk will last 30-minutes. Although the intention is for one speaker to host the talk, up to three speakers may participate.
- Different formats are welcomed.You are encouraged to develop your own innovative and creative format.The 30-minute limit, and the emphasis on interaction with the audience should guide your final proposal.
- Also consider the use of theSFSAMobileApp and social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) to enhance audience interaction prior and during the Science Talk.
- Please note that the SFSA2018Programme Committee reserves the right to modify session formats and titles before final acceptance on to the programme.
Please read the following guidelines for Science Talk proposals:
The purpose of all Science Talks: To Ignite Conversations about Science.
Deadline for submission of session proposals: 18 May 2017.
All submitted proposals will be reviewed and assessed by the SFSA2018Programme Committee. Please note that the Programme Committee reserves the right to request modifications to proposals prior to final acceptance on to the programme.
The following criteria will guide the SFSA2018 Programme Committee in the selection process:
- A Science Talk is not an academic lecture, nor a presentation of an academic paper, but an opportunity to Ignite Conversations about Science.
- Relevance to the strategic objectives (point 2, above) and focus and themes (point 3, above).
- Quality and originality of proposal to ensure relevance to current debate.
- Igniting vibrant discussions.
- An interdisciplinary approach.
- National, continental, and international topicality.
- Potential to attract media interest.
- An interactive talk (remember the purpose is toIgnite Conversations about Science).
- Limit the length of the talk to ensure enough time for the conversations to ignite.
- Use the SFSAMobileApp and social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) to enhance audience interaction.
- Innovative formats will be welcomed.
5.3 NEW: Youth Focus
- In an attempt to increase the participation of young scientists, SFSA2018 will accommodate a track for under 35-year-old presenters.
- Please indicate if the presenter(s) is/are under 35-year-old.
6. Organisational Aspects
- Science Talk proposers are responsible for the organisation of their talks, including the speaker(s).
- Science Talk proposers are encouraged to do talk-specific marketing. SFSA cannot guarantee an audience for a talk. The open forum nature of SFSA events attracts many participants, but they are encouraged to attend the sessions of their choice.
- An exciting topic, attractively presented (and marketed), with plenty of time for discussions has been proven to attract large audiences.
A full range of conference facilities will be available.
- PLEASE NOTE: SFSA does not have supporting funds available to facilitate forum or session attendance. The involvement of speakers (and participants) must therefore be completely self-financed; including travel, accommodation and any organisational expenses. However, no registration fees, will be charged to participants.
7. Selection Process
- The call for session proposals opens on 12 April 2018.
- The call for session proposals closes on 18 May 2018.
- Proposals will be evaluated by the Programme Committee.
- The Programme Committee may request revisions to some proposals.
- The proposal allocation will be announced on 9 July 2018.
8. Proposal Submission
Submission of Science Talk proposals can be done online HERE
9. Contact information
For more information, please contact;
Director: International Cooperation and Resources
Cell: +2783 634 9124
Tel: +2712 843 6328
Fax: +2786 681 0011