SFSA 2016 pre-event

SFSA 2016 pre-event 2016-10-25T09:03:39+00:00

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On behalf of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), I am pleased to invite you to a Science Forum South Africa Western Cape event. The Department will host a panel discussion to launch the 2016 Science Forum SA. The event details are as follows:

Venue: Cape Town Science Centre
370 B Main Road, Observatory
01 November 2016
Time: 09:00 – 13:00

“Science Forum South Africa” is an initiative proposed by Minister Pandor to organise an ‘Open Science’ type event in Africa with the emphasis being on:

  • Creating a platform for a vibrant debate on the role of science, technology and innovation and society in South Africa;
  • Strengthening South Africa’s strategic international science, technology and innovation partnerships;
  • Creating a platform for senior government leaders, academics, scientists, industry, civil society, and students to interact.

The theme for the 2016 event is “Igniting Conversations about Science.”

Kindly rsvp no later than 31 October 2016 to Professor Thandi Mgwebi, Director of Research at the University of the Western Cape; Science Forum Ambassador, Western Cape, at tmgwebi@uwc.ac.za.

For further enquiries, please contact Mr Francois Davel, Science Forum South Africa, at francois.davel@dst.gov.za.

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Programme Director: Prof Thandi Mgwebi, Director | Research, University of the Western Cape, SAFSA Ambassador, Western Cape

09:00 – 09:10
Opening Remarks and Welcome
Mr Tommy Makhode, Deputy Director General, Department of Science and Technology, South Africa

09:10 – 09:25
Igniting Conversations about Science
Julie Cleverdon, Director: Cape Town Science Centre

09:30 – 10:30
Igniting Conversations about Science – Production by Handspring Company
Remarks: Professor Premesh Lalu

Title of Show: I Love You When You’re Breathing
I Love You When You’re Breathing audiences have the unique opportunity of seeing a puppet deliver a meta-theatrical address to critics and the general public. Using comedy and generous amounts of self-reflexive humour this presentation gives insight into the behind-the-scenes life of a puppet, as an object in the world of international theatre. Often humorous and sometimes irreverent, the lecture looks at what it’s like to be inanimate while also considering the special role of the audience and its part in making meaning.

Tea break

10:40 – 12:00
Igniting conversations about Science | Panel Discussion
Hosted by the DST-NRF Flagship in Critical Thought in African Humanities, Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape

Title of discussion: New Technologies and the Human Condition
The emergence of new digital technologies has significantly altered the lives of millions, increasing access to communication and information. Yet it has also deepened the divides in our world by changing the very conditions of human existence. The question we now face is how these new technologies may be altering the landscapes of knowledge and human existence. We are on the cusp of a new history of consciousness and a re-organisation of memory. New technologies have produced new economies of knowledge, but at the same time they have also resulted in major consequences for the human psyche and for conditions of life. How do we understand the double-edged sword of new technologies, which both enable the conditions of life and threaten to lead to greater proletarianisation, alienation and processes of de-individuation? How are we to approach the new forms of consumption unleashed by new technologies, especially as these converge with the threats of global warming and climate change – or what some call the age of the anthropocene? How can the new technologies be redirected towards addressing the health of the population, rather than the processes that lead to greater alienation and de-individuation? What, in other words, should be our attitude to new technologies in Africa?
Moderator: Professor Premesh Lalu


  • Dr Josephine Musango, School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University
  • Professor Alan Christoffels, Director | South African National Bioinformatics Institute, South African Research Chair: Bioinformatics
  • Professor Roy Maartens, Professor of Cosmology, South African Research Chair: Astronomy and AstroPhysics
  • Professor Jane Taylor, Wole Sonyinka Chair in Theatre Studies, Leeds University, Chair designate: Andrew W. Mellon Chair in Aesthetic Theory and Material Performance

12:00 – 12:10
Summary and invitation to Science Forum South Africa: Mr Daan du Toit and Francois Davel