Presenter: Prof. Jonathan Jansen
Prof. Jonathan Jansen
Jonathan Jansen is Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Stellenbosch. He was recently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is President of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). He started his career as a Biology teacher in the Cape and holds a PhD from Stanford. He is the author of the award-winning book, Knowledge in the Blood and his forthcoming books include Inequality in South African schools (with Nic Spaull)) and the Politics of Decolonization. His first grandchild is 6 months old and she prefers Tolstoy over Dr Seuss.
Fixing the South African universities: a reflection from university rankings and fees must fall protests
The South African version of decolonization (contrasted, for example, with the Latin American interpretation) came with a distinctive pan Africanist understanding of knowledge, identity and change as it applied to the university curriculum. While much of the critique of knowledge implied the social sciences and humanities, from time to time the question of science (as in the natural sciences) itself was drawn into the political ferment concerning “what knowledge is of the most worth.” This science talk offers a critical examination of the science question in decolonization as articulated through mainly student voices and questions whether the term itself is still useful in the global system of knowledge production where African leadership in international science has significantly eroded classical notions of centre-periphery and in the process, transformed science itself.