About the Forum

The Science Forum South Africa 2018 will take place during 12-14 December 2018

The key objectives of the Forum are:

  • 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 network platform for key science, technology and innovation actors, including senior government leaders, academics, scientists, industry, civil society, and students.

The South African Department of Science and Technology is proud to host the fourth Science Forum South Africa on 12-14 December 2018.

SFSA2018 will, like the previous editions, serve as a large, open, public platform for debating the science and society interface. SFSA2018 will again provide Africa with an “open science” event, similar to forums convened with great success elsewhere in the world.

The two-and-a-half-day programme will bring more than 2 500 participants together for discussion and debate in plenary sessions, panel discussions and interactive talks. Exhibitions create further space for future-shaping conversations.

It is through conversations about science that society benefits, especially on the African continent.

Who Should Attend?

The Organising Committee, in support of the SFSA objectives and aligned to open science, would encourage anybody with an interest in science to join us at SFSA2018 to ignite conversations about science.

The forum especially extends a warm welcome to:

  • Academics
  • Civil Society
  • Industry
  • Scientists and Researchers
  • Senior Government leaders
  • Students and other youth

To conclude, everybody with an interest in science, who is willing to engage in serious discussions about science in an interactive and celebrative environment, is welcome to attend.

Attendance is free, including lunch, but SFSA does not provide travel and accommodation support. Online registration, opening from 23 July 2018, is required for planning purposes.

What Is Open Science?

The Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) fully subscribes 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 desire of scientists to have access to shared resources versus the desire of individual entities to profit from their resources.


April 6

Call For Thematic Session And Science Talks Opens

April 26

Call For Exhibitors Opens

June 8

Call For Thematic Session And Science Talks Closes

July 27

Call For Exhibitions Closes

August 3

Thematic Session And Science Talks Announced

August 3

Registration Opens

September 3

Announcement Of Exhibitors

September 24

Programme Announcement

December 10

Registration Closes

December 12

Set-Up Of Exhibition

December 12

SFSA 2018 Opening

December 13

Science Forum South Africa 2018

December 14

Science Forum South Africa 2018

December 14

Science Diplomacy And Exhibition Awards

Main Partners

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) 

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) seeks to strategically develop, promote and manage international partnerships that strengthen the national system of innovation and enable an exchange of knowledge, capacity and resources between South Africa and its international partners, with a focus on supporting STI capacity-building in Africa, and to support South African foreign policy through science diplomacy.

The DST is proud to host the SFSA, with strategic partners, since it sees SFSA2018 as a powerful platform to celebrate and showcase science, technology and innovation in South Africa and on the African continent, in partnership with the international science community.


The mandate of the National Research Foundation (NRF) is to promote and support research through funding, human resource development and the provision of the necessary research facilities in order to facilitate the creation of knowledge, innovation and development in all fields of science and technology, including indigenous knowledge. Acknowledging the important role of science engagement in the National System of Innovation (NSI) and the global community, the NRF  is honoured to be co-hosting the SFSA as a platform for science interaction and to showcase advances in science and innovation to the public, and to steer young minds to careers in science and other fields.

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF)

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) is the official national science academy of South Africa. It represents the country in the international community of science academies where it seeks to develop, promote and manage partnerships that bolster evidence-based research for national, continental and international problems.

ASSAf has been a proud partner of the SFSA since 2015, seeking to ignite conversations about development through itsvarious initiatives and programmes. As a membership-based organisation, the Academy also celebrates the SFSA as a platform that enables it to bring together individuals with a variety of expertise and experience to share ideas and create sustainable partnerships. The Academy is proud to have participated through its scholarly publishing, liaison and science advisory programmes to develop, sustain and strengthen such partnerships.

African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

The African Academy of Sciences is a pan African organisation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation. Its mandate is to pursue excellence by recognising scholars and achievers; provide advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implement key science, technology and innovation programmes that impact on developmental challenges. The AAS joined with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) to create the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA) to set the agenda to serve these goals. The AAS recognises excellence through the election of AAS Fellows and Affiliates. These distinguished researchers represent the most talented and promising men and women in and from the continent. There are 396 Fellows from 59 countries across the globe. Fellows may live in or outside the continent and are elected by AAS Fellows based on achievements that include their publication record, innovations, leadership roles and contribution to policy. The Affiliates are young professionals with the promise to become world class research leaders.


FameLab is one of the foremost science communication competitions in the world, now running in over 30 countries worldwide since its inception at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK. In South Africa, FameLab is made possible by a partnership between the British Council, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement and Jive Media Africa. Its core focus is to develop communication skills, but it also provides a platform to share stories about world-class South African research. FameLab has created in a vibrant network of young scientists engaging diverse audiences, and also engaging with each other, broadening their views of what it means to be working in science. FameLab South Africa is proud to partner with SFSA to showcase inspiring young scientists making a difference to South African society.