In The News

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In The News 2017-10-05T09:46:03+00:00
1712, 2015

Looking back at Science Forum South Africa 2015

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, [...]

1012, 2015

Science and technology can be answer to Africa’s challenges

Despite receiving minimal attention from most governments across the world, the science and innovation sectors had the potential to solve numerous perennial problems, such as water scarcity, Minister Naledi Pandor said at the opening of the inaugural Science Forum South Africa at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria on 8 December 2015. Read More

912, 2015

Science can solve many of Africa’s problems – Pandor

PRETORIA – Despite receiving minimal attention from most governments across the world, the science and innovation sectors had the potential to solve numerous perennial problems like water scarcity, South Africa’s Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said on Tuesday. “Africa cannot advance without investing in science. At present, there are efforts to enhance the status of science and to increase investment in research development and innovation,” Pandor told delegates in her opening remarks at the inaugural Science Forum South Africa taking place in Pretoria. “Unfortunately, science is still at the margins of government attention – seen as less significant than water scarcity, food security and disease burdens. Yet, all of these can be addressed through science.” She said the forum was “not a platform for resolutions or declarations”, but when the two-day summit ends at the CSIR international convention centre in Pretoria, delegates should call on their respective governments and institutions to invest more into science and innovation in Africa. Some of the more than 1,500 delegates included cabinet ministers from African countries, civil society, think tanks and students. Pandor said the summit would prove that Africa was seriously engaged in science and technology. It would also show that the continent was [...]

912, 2015

#SFSA: Businesspeople look for answers

Pretoria - The Science Forum South Africa is primarily about scientists and researchers showcasing the latest science innovations in the country but enterprising businesspeople are also looking to it to figure out what the opportunities of the future might look like. One of these people was a Pretoria businessman, who declined to be named, who attended a session on the Science of Cities and Urbanisation to see how that would help him in planning for his business. The man said he was at the talk to see what ideas he could get and how they could help him when seeking business from the City of Tshwane. At the session, Professor Philip Harrison, from Wits University, said cities were complex and fluid and therefore hard to design and plan for. “The city isn’t an organism in an ecological system that you can look at by identifying variables. “The city is far more complicated. It is an assemblage of things that are not tangible and we might attempt to model aspects of it and we should, but we have to understand the limits of our knowledge,” Harrison said. He said researchers needed to understand economic drivers as an important part in planning. [...]

912, 2015

Science can fix SA ills

Pretoria - Science was perceived to be less significant than water scarcity, food security and disease burdens, yet all of these could be addressed through science. This was according to Minister for Science and Technology Naledi Pandor, in her opening address to the Science Forum South Africa at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria on Tuesday. The minister used her remarks to lobby for governments to support science initiatives. The summit got under way on Tuesday and concludes on Wednesday, with at least 1 500 participants representing 45 countries. The inaugural summit is themed, Igniting conversations about science, and will be characterised by discussions and debates in more than 36 sessions. Pandor said it was going to be difficult for Africa to advance without investing in science. Science was still at the margins of government attention, she said. “It is seen as less significant than water scarcity, food security and disease burdens. Yet, all of these can be addressed through science.” Efforts were being made, she said, to enhance the status of science and increase investment in research development and innovation. Pandor called on participants to lobby for government support to invest in science and technology. There was a need [...]

812, 2015

Let’s talk about science – Pandor

Cape Town - We need to talk about STI. No, not the type nobody wants to share - the type that stands for Science, Technology and Innovation, and is well worth getting excited about. On Tuesday, South Africa’s first Science Forum kicks into gear at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, and the theme is "Igniting Conversations About Science". With this forum, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor is trying to bring science to society. She has gathered some of the most spectacular minds South Africa has to offer - the people whose work is changing the way we understand disease, climate change and the universe. “I thought we should use this forum to introduce the public to science in South Africa and the African continent,” Pandor said. “I’m hoping young people will sit up and take notice, and the media will become more appreciative of what’s happening in science.” Inspired by European open science forums, the Science Forum South Africa will be accessible through a website and a mobile app, and it will also be broadcast on screens in science centres and public places around the country. “Let’s ignite the conversation, and get us talking [...]