Home > News > Other News

Other News


NSTF eNews: Increasing the number of women in SET, discount for SA Innovation Summit, NSTF-South32 Awards, plus more

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 6 July 2018 20:57

  

 

Email: enquiries@nstf.co.za | Tel: +27 12 841 3987

 

Message from NSTF Executive Director

Ms Jansie Niehaus, NSTF Executive Director, has an in-depth look at the challenge of increasing the number of women researchers and women science, engineering and technology (SET) professionals in general – both in South Africa and globally. Read more.

 

 

 

Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng appointed Non-Executive Director of NSTF NPC

The NSTF welcomes Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng as a non-executive director of the NSTF non-profit company (NPC). Prof Phakeng is currently the vice-chancellor designate of the University of Cape Town. She has a PhD in mathematics education from University of the Witwatersrand and a B2 NRF rating.

She has also served as secretary and member of the executive committee of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (2003-2007). She is trustee of the FirstRand Foundation and member of the board of the CSIR. She is also the founder and Board Chairperson of Adopt-a-learner Foundation.

 

Bursary Directory

Find the latest bursaries in science, engineering and technology (SET), sponsored by the Fuchs Foundation.
Recently-added bursaries include those from:

·         CHIETA Bursary Programme

·         South African Women in Science and Engineering (SA WISE) Scholarship

·         Vodacom Bursary Scheme

·         Transnet Bursary Scheme

·         The Investec Bank CSI Bursary Programme

Visit the NSTF Bursary Directory to find information on available bursaries, the different SET careers, and inspiring stories of people in SET.

 

 

2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards – Thursday, 28 June 2018

Announcing the winners: The 20th group of winners will be announced at the prestigious NSTF-South32 Awards gala dinner. (The list of finalists is available online.)
 
Book tables and seats: This is a reminder to book tables and seats at the gala dinner of the 20th anniversary of the NSTF-South32 Awards. This is the ‘Science Oscars’ of South Africa and seating is limited. The theme is the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (2014-2024) as declared by the United Nations. Don’t delay contacting the NSTF at enquiries@nstf.co.za to make your booking.
 
Astronomy tour for the Brilliants students: SAAO and SARAO are providing support for a national astronomy tour for the Brilliants students. The NSTF Brilliants Programme is a youth programme associated with the NSTF-South32 Awards. It is for the most outstanding 2017 matriculants in science and mathematics. (SAAO stands for the South African Astronomical Observatory. SARAO stands for the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory.)

 

 

New NSTF members

The NSTF welcomes its new members:

·         The Association of Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Innovation (ASTEMI) – part of the proSET sector

·         Radmaste Microscience – part of the Civil Society sector

 

Mzansi Bright Sparks

Margaret Jane Mouton is from Gauteng. She is studying BEng Mechanical at the University of Pretoria. She is one of the first-year students who were recognised in the 2016/2017 NSTF Brilliants Programme for top marks in mathematics and physical science in the National Senior Certificate Examinations. 

“An achiever is someone who not only works hard but works smartly and is able to find balance in their lives.”

 

 

Fourth Industrial Revolution discussion forum at the SA Innovation Summit

There will be a Discussion Forum on the 4th Industrial Revolution to coincide with the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town. The full event runs from 12-14 September 2018.
 
Free discussion forum attendance for NSTF members: People who want to attend the NSTF Discussion Forum – but not the Summit – can attend our event free of charge if they are employed by/affiliated to NSTF member organisations.
 
Special NSTF discounts for the SA Innovation Summit: If NSTF members want to attend both the SA Innovation Summit and the NSTF discussion forum, you will get a 5% discount through NSTF. NSTF members have a further concession on the Early Bird ticket special until 30 June! (The NSTF has negotiated a price freeze on the Early Bird offer.) This offer is only valid until 30 June, thereafter the 5% discount will apply if tickets are bought using the discount code published.
 
To book tickets, go to the Ticket Sales link. The promocode is entered right at the end of the registration process when the final price is being processed. The unique promocode: 2018NSTF
 
About the SA Innovation Summit: It is the biggest gathering on the continent of innovation-minded people focused on:

·         Entrepreneurial support and enablement

·         Deal making

·         Showcasing

·         Thought leadership

·         Pipeline creation and introduction

·         Business matchmaking

·         Networking

·         Knowledge sharing

 

 

Getting to know our award winners: Prof Eugene Cloete

When it comes to pioneering water nanotechnology applications, Prof Eugene Cloete has it, quite literally, in the bag. Not only has his patented “tea bag” water purification filter been termed one of 10 world-changing ideas by the Scientific American journal in 2010, but it has the potential to transform the way over 300 million people on the African continent consume previously contaminated water. The “tea bag” water filter uses nanofibres to suck contaminants and bacteria out of water. To use the device, a person simply places the bag in the neck of a water bottle in order to filter and clean the water as it is consumed.

Read more about his work. He is one of the winners of the 2016/2017 Award: Research leading to innovation, by a team or individual through a corporate organisation.  

 

Getting to know our award winners: CenGen

CenGen, a privately-owned company that provides molecular genetic services to agricultural industries, is proof that dynamite comes in small packages. What began as a one-woman business has grown to a team of six focused and highly productive members, whose outputs are comparable with those of far larger research groups worldwide. CenGen is recognised by international role players as an excellent research partner and thus secures significant global funding for its groundbreaking work in the field of molecular genetics. The company’s flagship research project is an attempt to clone the first wheat disease-resistant gene in South Africa.
 
Read more about the work. The SMME (Small Medium and Micro Enterprise) is one of the winners of the 2016/2017 Award: Research leading to innovation by a team or individual through an SMME.    

 

 

 

SET-related policies currently open for public comment

Policies open for comment allow the science, engineering and technology (SET) community to keep track of the changing regulation environment. It is the last chance to comment on a policy.  

·         South African Weather Service Act: Board of South African Weather Service: Nominations invited (by: Monday, June 18, 2018)

·         Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act: Prohibition on use of colistin as farm feeds or stock remedies: Comments invited (by: Wednesday, June 20, 2018)

·         Health Professions Act: Regulations: Registration of forensic pathology officers: Comments invited (by: Friday, June 22, 2018)

·         National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act: List of activities resulting in atmospheric emissions having significant detrimental effect on environment, including health, social, economic, ecological or cultural heritage: Comments invited (by: Monday, June 25, 2018)

·         National Health Amendment Bill: Comments invited (by: Monday, June 25, 2018)

·         International Trade Administration Act: Anti-dumping duties to expire in 2019 unless request is made by Southern African Customs Union (SACU) industry: Comments invited (by: Monday, June 25, 2018)

·         National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act: Regulations: National dust control: Comments invited (by: Monday, June 25, 2018)

·         National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act: National framework for air quality management in South Africa: Amendment: Comments invited (by: Monday, June 25, 2018)

·         Planning Profession Act: South African Council for Planners: Withdrawal of the Board Notice 118 of 2014: Determination of Guideline Professional Fees: Comments invited (by: Saturday, June 30, 2018)

·         Post-School Education and Training Information Policy: Comments invited (by: Monday, July 2, 2018)

·         Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill: Draft (Comment by: Monday, July 9, 2018)

·         Health Professions Act: Rules: Payment of fees for accreditation of education and training offered by education and training institutions: Comments invited (by: Friday, July 13, 2018)

·         Animal Diseases Act: African Swine Fever Veterinary Procedural Notice: Comments invited (by: Tuesday, July 17, 2018)

·         Plant Breeders’ Rights Act: Receipt of applications for plant breeders’ rights: Comments invited (by: Friday, August 17, 2018)

·         Dental Technicians Act: Regulations: Registration and training of student dental technicians and technologists: Comments invited (by: Saturday, August 25, 2018)

 

 

SET-related policy news

Sustainable Development Goals

·         Searching for Science-based Solutions to Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development (IAP)

·         International Partnership in Transforming Innovation to Meet SDGs with New Transformative Approach (NRF)

National Development Plan

·         Government releases its tenth Industrial Policy Action Plan (Polity)

·         Innovation is critical for prosperity across the spectrum (DST)

·         SA has the R&D in place, but it’s not translating into knowledge-based workers (Business Day)

Medicine and health

·         Minister Aaron Motsoaledi: Media briefing on status of healthcare in the country (gov.za)

·         Government update on listeria outbreak: Joint media statement (gov.za)

·         Minister Aaron Motsoaledi: Health Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

Agriculture

·         Western Cape Agriculture releases strategy to sustain honey-bee population (gov.za)

·         Land expropriation without compensation: Public hearings to begin in June (Mail & Guardian)

·         North West Rural Environment and Agricultural Development on strengthening Veterinary Services in the province (gov.za)

·         FAO's how-to guide to transforming food and agriculture (BizCommunity)

·         Minister Senzeni Zokwana: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

Transport

·         Minister Blade Nzimande: Transport Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

Education

·         Minister Naledi Pandor: Higher Education and Training Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 NCOP (gov.za) and Minister Naledi Pandor: Higher Education and Training Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

Environment

·         Environmental Affairs on International Day for Biological Diversity (gov.za)

·         Minister Gugile Nkwinti: Water and Sanitation Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

·         Gauteng environmental management standard adopted (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Minister Edna Molewa: Environmental Affairs Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

·         South Africa working on Climate Change Bill (Polity)

·         Minister Gwede Mantashe: Mineral Resources Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

 Energy

·         Calls mount for energy plans update (ITWeb)

·         SA to add up to R50bn in renewable projects (TechCentral)

·         Thoughts on the optimal electricity-generation mix for South Africa (ee publishers)

·         New report shows that two coal IPPs would cost SA an additional R20 billion (SANGONeT)

·         Minister Jeff Radebe: Energy Media Engagement (gov.za)

·         Minister Jeff Redebe: Public Lecture on energy efficiency and fuel pricing (gov.za)

·         Minister Jeff Radebe: Energy Dept Budget Vote 2018/19 (gov.za)

·         Outcomes of debate: Should Eskom be restructured and if so how and when? (ee publishers)

·         South Africa to release new-look renewables bid window in November (Polity)

·         Can renewables supply 100% of our energy? (BizCommunity)

 

 

 

·         SAIEE / CIGRE Joint Event: The Role of Renewable Energy in the South African Electricity Power System: Johannesburg, 14 June 2018

·         7th International Conference on Engineering Mathematics and Physics (annual research conference): Prague, Czech Republic, 15-18 June  2018

·         The Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA) National Data Workshop 2018: Pretoria, 19-21June 2018

·         Manufacturing Indaba: Johannesburg, 19-20 June 2018

·         Africa Energy Forum 2018: Mauritius, 19-22 June 2018

·         Water Institute of South Africa 2018 – Breaking Boundaries Connecting Ideas: Cape Town, 24-27 June 2018

·         SASBMB-FASBMB Conference – South African Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: Potchefstroom, 8-11 July 2018

·         4th Geo Blue Planet Symposium: France, 4-6 July 2018

·         Southern African Transport Conference: Pretoria, 9-12 July 2018

·         POWER-GEN & DistribuTECH Africa: Johannesburg, 17-19 July 2018

·         Geocongress 2018: Johannesburg, 18-20 July 2018

·         ExtruAfrica 2018 – extrusion, application, education: Potchefstroom, 31 July - 3 August 2018

·         AAAS-TWAS Course on Science Diplomacy 2018: Trieste Italy, 20-24 August 2018

·         The SA Innovation Summit: Cape Town, 12-14 September 2018

·         SciELO 20 Years Conference: São Paulo, Brazil, 26-28 September 2018 – The event will celebrate 20 years of operation, in full alignment with the advances of open science

·         6th International Conference on Ethics Education: Stellenbosch, South Africa, 3-5 October 2018

·         36th Annual International No-Dig Conference and Exhibition: Cape Town, 8-9 October 2018

·         EduTECH Africa 2018 and EduBUILD Africa 2018: Johannesburg, 9-10 October 2018

·         WasteCon 2018: Johannesburg, 15-19 October 2018

·         SA Energy Storage 2018: Johannesburg, 22-23 October 2018

·         29th SAIIE annual conference – Steering the 4th Industrial Revolution: Stellenbosch, 24-26 October 2018

·         AAPG International Conference and Exhibition: Cape Town, 4-7 November 2018

·         SciCOM 100 Conference 2018: focused on research in the field of science communication, Stellenbosch University, 6-7 November 2018

·         13th Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation Conference (2018SAEEC): 13-14 November 2018

·         Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing: Hong Kong, 27-29 November 2018

·         Science Forum South Africa: South Africa, 12-14 December 2018 

·         The Water Show Africa 2019: Johannesburg, 12-13 March 2019

·         Power & Electricity World Africa 2019: 26-27 March 2019

·         The Solar Show Africa 2019: 26-27 March 2019

·         Energy Efficiency World: 26-27 March 2019

 

 

   

Members of NSTF in the proSET (Professional Societies) sector are featured in every newsletter. This month we look at the GSSA (Grasslands), NITheP, IITPSA and SAMF:

·         The aim of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is to advance rangeland ecology and pasture management in Africa. The society publishes research, focuses on translating science into policy and practice, and develops human capacity in the field. It runs congresses and other events. The aim is to provide a forum for transdisciplinary debate, particularly between fields of production systems, biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services. GSSA also looks at assisting decision makers to understand the links between ecosystem services, global change, sustainability and human wellbeing. On the website, you will find further details, including the newsletter and a resources section.  

·         The National Institute for Theoretical Physics (NITheP) focuses on “sustaining a stimulating theoretical physics research and user facility that links South Africa internationally through excellence in research and training thereby supporting scientific innovation, transformation and socio economic development in South Africa”. NITheP is a national facility that leads research programmes and educational opportunities in the field of theoretical physics in South Africa and Africa. It also provides South Africa with the opportunity to become an international player in a truly fundamental field of science. Programmes include bursaries and internships for students. For associates, there are visitor, mobility and research programmes, as well as workshops. There are also outreach programmes. You can find news and events on the website.

·         In the second week of May over 5000 learners wrote the 2018 Computer Applications Olympiad, a project of the Institute of IT Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) They had one hour to answer 20 questions – analysing large Word, Excel and Access (database) files. Eight hundred of them from 183 schools across South Africa qualified for the second round on 6 June. Only 10 to 15 from the second round will reach the Finals on 26 June. This will test their creative skills with big data sets. There will be an Awards Dinner on 27 June 2018 to celebrate these young achievers.

·         A record number of 106 000 grades 8-12 learners from 1 298 schools wrote the first round of the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO) – a project of the South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) on 14 March 2018. There were 23 476 learners from 953 schools who qualified for the 2nd round which was written on
16 May 2018. The top 100 junior and top 100 senior learners will qualify for the 3rd Round on 26 July 2018.

·         The first round of the South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC) – also under the auspices of SAMF took place from 8-11 May 2018. 71 459 Grade 4-7 learners from 715 schools took part. Learners who score at least 50% in the first round qualify to participate in the final round on 1 August 2018.

·         The 26th Pan African Mathematics will take place in Nairobi, Kenya from 23-30 June 2018. The SAMF selected 6 high school learners to represent South Africa at the annual event.

·         Six Capetonians have been selected to participate in the 59th International Mathematical Olympiad in Romania from 3-14 July 2018.

·         Nka’Thuto Edu Propeller, a new NSTF member in the Civil Society sector, launched its offices on 19 April, and now its first official newsletter. The organisation was established by black, passionate advocates of science, education, innovation and entrepreneurship. Its mission is to advance innovation, science and creativity in schools in previously-disadvantaged communities.

SET education

·         Nuclear technology programme for township schools in Gauteng (Times Live)

·         Digital library in a box is helping school-goers boost their science and maths mark (Business Day)

·         Collaboration sees the birth of the STEM Academy at CUT (BizCommunity)

 

 

   

Universities

·         UJ home to new SARChI Chair in the Built Environment (University of Johannesburg)

·         Africa must lead, not follow, the 4th Industrial Revolution (SANGONeT)

·         First ever SARChI NRF Chair awarded to Faculty of Veterinary Science (agriorbit.com)

·         Law’s new chair will help promote environmental sustainability (NWU)

·         AfDB, Aims partner to strengthen, leverage maths, science skills in Africa (Polity)

·         Rhodes’ Centre for Biological Control awarded R68m contract to help control alien plants (Engineering Weekly)

·         Revelations from an online diagnostic arithmetic and algebra quiz for incoming students (SAJS)

·         Wits joins network to expand paediatric care in Africa (BizCommunity)

Language and education

·         It’s time to rethink what’s meant by “mother tongue” education (The Conversation)

Industry development

·         Petco confident in South Africa’s PET recycling resilience (Engineering News)

·         AfDB, Unido sign MoU to improve Africa’s industrialisation (Polity)

·         Small business owner celebrates desalination success story (infrastructurene.ws)

·         AgriProtein aims to break ground on R500m Gauteng fly factory in November (Engineering News)

·         First SA cannabis oil dispensary to open in Durban (SABC news)

·         Helping smallholders participate in the rise of agribusiness in Africa (BizCommunity)

·         Partnership brings first solar powered desalination plant to SA (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Unilever unveils R50m biomass boiler to cut emissions, waste (BizCommunity)

Medicine and health

·         Goodbye to your sweet tooth (Mail & Guardian)

·         Cancer Crisis: Where are South Africa's radiation oncologists? Find out (Bhekisisa)

·         NICD Listeriosis Situation Report – 28 May 2018 (NICD)

·         South Africa’s effort to improve child health is having teething problems (The Conversation)

·         New anti-tobacco products law to be introduced in SA (SABC)

·         Africa hosts very few clinical trials. Why this is bad for innovation (The Conversation)

·         Durban cuts city's only needle exchange programme (Mail & Guardian)

·         UCT engineers design affordable, efficient auto-injector (BizCommunity)

·         Providing healthcare to men who have sex with men is complex but possible (The Conversation)

·         SA leads the way in Aids research and treatment (BizCommunity)

Palaeontology, archaeology and anthropology

·         An ancient four-legged 'fish' has just been discovered, and named after Desmond Tutu (SABC)

Astronomy and space science

·         MeerLICHT telescope inaugurated (SKA Africa)

·         SKA to cost South African airlines (Engineering News)

·         Scientists to use SKA to gain information (SABC)

Environment, climate change and energy
Water

·         Cape enjoys first sip of desalinated water (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Results of cloud seeding study bode well for Western Cape (infrastructurene.ws)

Climate change and environment

·         Africa fights illegal dumping of e-waste (ITWeb)

·         There’s much more to the plastic pollution crisis than carrier bag (Mail & Guardian)

·         UN, CSIR Africa Waste Management Outlook considers African context (Engineering News)

·         Biodiversity suffers as climate warms (phys.org)

·         Household food waste disposal in South Africa: A case study of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni (SAJS)

·         Our oceans are choking on plastic – Researchers (infrastructurene.ws)

·         Floods caused by climate change could wreck Kruger National Park‚ scientists warn (Times Live)

·         Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10 (The Conversation)

·         Over a million tonnes of paper diverted from landfill in 2017 (infrastructurene.ws)

·         The devastating impact of acid mine drainage (BizCommunity)

·         Prehistoric teeth dating back 2 million years reveal details on ancient Africa's climate (phys.org)

·         Climate change impacts fragile river ecosystems (phys.org)

Energy

·         New wind energy projects to fire up W Cape (ITWeb)

·         Sun is king! Government serving up more solar systems to the poor (Times Live)

·         Why nuclear power for African countries doesn’t make sense (The Conversation)

·         Scientists slam renewable energy prophets of doom (ITWeb)

Engineering

·         Decolonising engineering in South Africa – Experience to date and some emerging challenges (SAJS)

Agriculture

·         New app helps farmers obtain info quickly (ITWeb)

·         Better governance can enhance an inclusive and just food system in South Africa (BizCommunity)

·         Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on African swine fever in Northern Cape (gov.za)

·         Opportunities and challenges for research on food and nutrition security and agriculture in Africa (IAP)

·         Economic Performance and Development (EPD) launches high-profile project on farmland reform (HSRC)

·         Keeping tabs on genetically modified crops (BizCommunity)

Ecology

·         Trends in behavioural ecology: Putting South African research in a global perspective (SAJS)

·         Why plants need an identity (The Conversation)

·         More scientists, researchers needed for interdisciplinary plant disease research network (BizCommunity)

·         Scientists stunned by decline of birds during epic Southern African roadtrip (phys.org)

Technology

·         Solving the data science conundrum (MoneyWeb)

·         SA firm in deal to manage solar with drone tech (ITWeb)

·         When big data meets overfishing (BizCommunity)

·         Join the African green movement online (ITWeb)

Data for research and action

·         Understanding and Using Tuberculosis Data (SANGONeT)

·         Gridded birth and pregnancy datasets for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean (Nature)

Science communication

·         White men’s voices still dominate public science. Here’s how to change this (The Conversation)

SET and tourism

·         Sutherland: Wishing on a rising star (Financial Mail)

Opportunities

·         Call for Nominations to the 2019 Young Physician Leaders programme (ASSAf)

 

 

 

·         Young SA students attend prestigious US science fair (ITWeb)

·         CSIR researchers to author global assessments of climate change science and policy (CSIR)

·         World Cultural Council acknowledges NRF Physicist with the World Award of Education (NRF)

 

 

 

Send us your news

The NSTF invites all our members, as well as all SET and innovation role players, to send us information on meetings, conferences and activities of interest to the broader S&T community. Please send us your news by the 20th of the month, for distribution at the beginning of the following month, to enquiries@nstf.co.za
 

Feedback

If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this newsletter, please e-mail the NSTF Secretariat at enquiries@nstf.co.za 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.
The NSTF-South32  Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.
The science bursaries page provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

Disclaimer

The NSTF has taken all practical measures to ensure that the material contained in this newsletter is correct. The NSTF reserves the right to make changes as it deems necessary.

Privacy

Registration details submitted to the NSTF will be treated confidentially and will only be used by NSTF to communicate with its members and subscribers.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: 27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

Last updated Friday, 6 July 2018 18:57

Winners of the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 6 July 2018 19:34

 

 

Winners of the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

 

The NSTF-South32 Awards were held at a prestigious Gala Dinner in Gauteng on Thursday, 28 June 2018. This is the 20th anniversary celebration of the flagship project of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF). To celebrate the event, tributes were made to the 204 NSTF Awards recipients (since 1998) and a special anniversary award to Dr Xolani Humphrey Mkhwanazi.
 
Outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation were awarded and celebrated in the following broad areas under 13 categories:

  • Scientific research
  • Innovation
  • Management and related activities
  • Capacity development in engineering research
  • Environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation
  • Water research and innovation
  • Data management and stewardship
  • Communication
  • Technology transfer, as well as education and training
  • Sustainable energy for all (special annual theme award in recognition of the International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All (#SEforAll) declared by the United Nations)

SA needs to develop new products, technologies and services: As previously stated by the previous Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s science mission is to create wealth thus creating jobs and eradicating poverty. Its success depends on our ability as a nation to develop new products, technologies and services.
 
About the NSTF and the awards: The NSTF is the most representative multi-stakeholder non-profit forum in South Africa promoting SET and innovation. The NSTF-South32 Awards showcase the research and development capacity of our nation. The excellence of the winners supports to South Africa’s advancement and the social upliftment of our people.
 
Why are these awards different? The national NSTF-South32 Awards are the largest SET and innovation awards in South Africa. They are known as the ‘Science Oscars’ and were the first science awards in the country. The focus is on spreading information about SET to the public, which includes the year-long engagement programme with students and learners called ‘Share ‘n Dare’. The NSTF Brilliants Programme recognises the outstanding matric performers in mathematics and physical science, exposing them to the SET network and future opportunities.
 
Award winners: The awards were presented by the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, who is the event’s patron. She celebrated along with almost 700 guests and over 50 different organisations from the broader community. It is an honour to be nominated, it is an outstanding achievement to reach the finals and an exceptional milestone and celebration of excellence to win one of these awards.
 
Ms Jansie Niehaus
NSTF Executive Director and Spokesperson
 
The NSTF and its sponsors congratulate the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Award winners.

 

 

Ukhozi Award

an essential contribution to the NSTF and the NSTF Awards (in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the NSTF Awards)

Dr Xolani Humphrey Mkhwanazi
Director and Chairman: Phathela Investments (Pty) Ltd; Vice-Chairman: Public Investment Corporation; Chancellor: Vaal University of Technology; Chairman: Central Energy Fund; and Non-Executive Director: South32, Gibela, and Murray & Roberts

Lifetime Award

(by an individual over 15 years or more)

Prof Kevin Wall
Independent Consultant; and Extraordinary Professor: Department (Dept) of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria (UP)

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher

through research and its outputs (by an individual up to 15 years as a researcher predominantly in South Africa)

Prof Etheresia (Resia) Pretorius
Head: Dept of Physiological Sciences; Director: Applied Morphology Research Centre, Dept of Physiology, Stellenbosch University (SU)

TW Kambule-NSTF Award: Emerging researcher

through research and its outputs (by an individual up to 6 years in research predominantly in South Africa)

Mrs Wendy Collinson
Project Executant: Wildlife and Roads Project, Endangered Wildlife Trust
 
Dr Musa Manzi
Senior Researcher and Director: Seismic Research Centre, School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Management Award

through management and related SET and innovation activities (by an individual over the last 5-10 years)

Prof Stephen Tollman
Research Professor and Head: Division of Health and Population, Faculty of Health Sciences; Director: South African Medical Research Council/Wits Rural Health and Health Transitions Research Unit, Wits; Principal Scientist: International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health, Ghana

Engineering Research Capacity Development Award

(by an individual over the last 5 to 10 years) Sponsored by Eskom since 2003

Prof Mmantsae Diale
Associate Professor: Dept of Physics, UP
 
Prof Ian Jandrell
Personal Professor: School of Electrical and Information Engineering; Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; Joint leader: High Voltage and the Lightning/Electromagnetic Compatibility Research Group, Wits

NSTF-GreenMatter Award

towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy (by an individual or an organisation over the last 5 to 10 years)
Sponsored by GreenMatter since 2015

Prof Malik Maaza
Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation Nanosciences LABS, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa; Chair: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa (UNESCO)

NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award

towards achieving sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions with demonstrated leadership and impact (by an individual or an organisation over the last 5 to 10 years)
Sponsored by the WRC since 2017

Prof Leslie Petrik
Professor: Dept of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape

Data for Research Award

for advancing the availability, management and use of data for research (by an individual or an organisation)

South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS)
Coordinator: Mr Benjamin Roberts, Human Sciences Research Council

Innovation Award: Corporate Organisation

for innovations and their research and/or development (by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

Sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry

Prof Keolebogile Motaung
Founder: Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd; and Assistant Dean: Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology

Innovation Award: Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME)

for innovations and their research and/or development (by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

SUN Magnetics (Pty) Ltd
Director: Prof Coenraad Fourie; and Professor: Electrical and Electronic Engineering, SU

Communication Award

for outreach and creating awareness (by a team or individual over the last 5 years)

University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC)
Director: Prof Christiaan (Tiaan) de Jager; and Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences
Professor: Environmental Health, School of Health Systems and Public Health, UP

Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Award

including technology transfer, and education and training activities (over the last 5 to 10 years)

The Platinum Incubator
Chief Executive Officer: Ms Sibongile Purity Shongwe

Special Annual Theme Award: Sustainable Energy for All

(in recognition of the United Nations ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’)

Prof Harald Winkler
Director: Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town

 

 

Partners and sponsors:

  • South32 (co-branding sponsor)
  • Business Report and Mail & Guardian (media sponsor)
  • Eskom, GreenMatter, Water Research Commission, Department of Trade and Industry (category sponsor)
  • South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) – (supporting the Brilliants tour)
  • Department of Science and Technology (platinum sponsor)
  • The Carl & Emily Fuchs Foundation (youth outreach sponsor)
  • Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (gold sponsor)
  • proSET, a sector of the NSTF representing professional bodies (prize sponsor)
 

 

 

Send us your news

The NSTF invites all our members, as well as all SET and innovation role players, to send us information on meetings, conferences and activities of interest to the broader S&T community. Please send us your news by the 20th of the month, for distribution at the beginning of the following month, to enquiries@nstf.co.za
 

Feedback

If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this newsletter, please e-mail the NSTF Secretariat at enquiries@nstf.co.za 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.
The NSTF-South32  Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.
The science bursaries page provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

Disclaimer

The NSTF has taken all practical measures to ensure that the material contained in this newsletter is correct. The NSTF reserves the right to make changes as it deems necessary.
 

Privacy

Registration details submitted to the NSTF will be treated confidentially and will only be used by NSTF to communicate with its members and subscribers.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: 27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

 

Media Release: NSTF, SAAO and SARAO collaborate on astronomy tour for 2017 top matriculants in mathematics and science

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 6 July 2018 19:06

 

NSTF, SAAO and SARAO collaborate on astronomy tour for 2017 top matriculants in mathematics and science

 

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) in collaboration with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is proud to reward South Africa’s 2017 outstanding performers in matric in physical science and mathematics.
 
The partnership will see the SAAO and SARAO support a national astronomy tour from
21-27 June for participants selected for the NSTF Brilliants Programme. This programme recognises the top woman and man chosen from each of the nine provinces based on their marks in mathematics and physical science in the 2017 National Senior Certificate Examinations (Grade 12) and their choice for studies in science, engineering and technology (SET)-related courses.
 
The astronomy tour will conclude with the prestigious 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards Gala Dinner in Gauteng on Thursday, 28 June 2018. The Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, as the Awards patron, will officiate at the event which is attended by the broad SET and innovation community and leaders in South Africa and international representatives. The Brilliants Programme coincides appropriately with Youth Month to celebrate the brilliance and potential of South African youth.  The NSTF-South32 Awards celebrates the excellence of South Africa’s SET and innovation professionals and their standing as role models for the youth.
 
The astronomy tour hosted by the SAAO and SARAO will see the Brilliants Awardees visit
4 provinces, the SAAO and Iziko Planetarium in Cape Town, the South African Large Telescope (SALT) outside Sutherland, the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT) and MeerKAT outside Carnarvon, the Boyden Observatory and Naval Hill Planetarium outside Bloemfontein, and the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) outside Johannesburg.

The tour will expose students to new fields of study and careers in SET, bursary opportunities at the SAAO and SARAO, and inspiration through role models in SET and innovation in South Africa. It is also hoped that a visit to the various astronomy tourism sites will inspire the students to promote astronomy and astronomy tourism in South Africa.

Brilliants awardees: The NSTF takes pride in congratulating the 2017/2018 Brilliants Awardees as follows:

 

 

Eastern Cape
(There were two individuals in the top place for women)

Eastern Cape

Ms Mphoentle Piliso

Mr Anathi Mazamisa

Cofimvaba Senior Secondary School

Nkwanca Public High School

MBChB (Medicine)

BSc Eng (Mechatronics)

University of Cape Town

University of Cape Town

Bursary: Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme

Bursary: Office of the Premier, Eastern Cape Province

and

 

Ms Amenta Sibi

 

King Edward High School

 

MBChB (Medicine)

 

University of Cape Town

 

Bursary: Office of the Premier, Eastern Cape Province

 

Free State

Free State

Ms Refilwe Ester Selepe

Mr Siphephelo Brian Tshabalala

Rantsane Secondary School

Rantsane Secondary School

MBChB (Medicine)

BEng Tech (Civil Engineering)

University of the Witwatersrand

University of Johannesburg

Bursary: Free State Department of Education

Bursary: Free State Department of Education

Gauteng

Gauteng

Ms Jacqueline Janse van Rensburg

Mr Siyanda Pikwa

Hoërskool Oos-Moot

Raymond Mhlaba Secondary School

MBChB (Medicine)

BSc Eng (Mechanical)

University of Pretoria

University of the Witwatersrand

Bursary: Gauteng Department of Education

Bursary: Aurecon

KwaZulu-Natal

KwaZulu-Natal

Ms Shenise Singh

Mr Gerhard Karl Rencken

Greenbury Secondary School

Wartburg Kirchdorf School

MBChB (Medicine)

BSc Eng (Mechanical Engineering)

University of the Witwatersrand

University of Pretoria

Bursary: None

Bursary: None

Limpopo

Limpopo

Ms Khani Zanel Siweya

Mr Tshinanga Keith Rantete

Risinga High School

Jonathan Thifulufhelwi Secondary School

MBChB (Medicine)

BSc (Astrophysics)

Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

University of Cape Town

Bursary: None

Bursary: None

Mpumalanga

Mpumalanga

Ms Lane Coetzee

Mr Adriaan Lodewikus Badenhorst

Hoërskool Secunda

Belfast Akademie

MBChB (Medicine)

MBChB (Medicine)

University of Free State

University of Pretoria

Bursary: Mpumalanga Department of Education

Bursary: Mpumalanga Department of Education

North West

North West

Ms Sanam Chitoo Naran

Mr James Murray Louw

Fields College

Hartbeespoort High School

MBChB (Medicine)

BSc (Mathematics)

University of Cape Town

University of Pretoria

Bursary: None

Bursary: None

Northern Cape

Northern Cape

Ms Josefien Engelbrecht

Mr John Kagisho Lecwidi

Hoërskool Douglas

Dr EP Lekhela High School

MBChB (Medicine)

BSc Eng (Civil Engineering)

Stellenbosch University

University of Cape Town

Bursary: None

Bursary: None

Western Cape
(There were two individuals in the top place for women)

Western Cape

Ms Jansie Slabbert

Mr Erin Michael Solomon

Hoërskool Durbanville

Rondebosch Boys' High School

MBChB (Medicine)

Bachelor Architectural Studies

Stellenbosch University

University of Cape Town

Bursary: None

Bursary: Industrial Development Corporation

and

 

Ms Lucy May Wills

 

Westerford High School

 

BSc Eng (Chemical Engineering)

 

University of Cape Town

 

Bursary: Sasol

 

 

 

Role of the NSTF: The NSTF is a stakeholder forum that includes organisations in state entities, business and communities. The NSTF engages with policy issues across various government departments and promotes collaboration and critical thinking among a broad range of stakeholders.

Background on the NSTF-South32 Awards – Today’s research ... tomorrow’s innovation:  To honour professionals in SET and innovation for their sterling work, and to encourage others to follow suit, the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards Gala Dinner will be celebrated on the evening of Thursday, 28 June 2018 with the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, international representatives and the broader SET community in South Africa. The Awards are fully endorsed by the Department of Science and Technology and the Minister of Science and Technology is the official Patron.

For more information on the NSTF initiatives: Visit www.nstf.org.za, www.nstf.org.za/awards and www.nstf.org.za/youth or contact us at the contact details below.
 
NSTF spokesperson: Ms Jansie Niehaus, Executive Director: enquiries@nstf.co.za
SAAO spokesperson: Dr Daniel Cunnama, SAAO Outreach Astronomer: daniel@saao.ac.za
SARAO spokesperson: Mr Lorenzo Raynard, SKA SA General Manager: Communications & Stakeholder Relations: lraynard@ska.ac.za

 
   

 

Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

For more information

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

Finalists announced: 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 1 June 2018 21:01

 

 

 

Finalists announced:
2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards

Recognising excellence and outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology and innovation in South Africa

 

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) is pleased to announce the group of finalists contending for the prestigious NSTF-South32 Awards. This is the 20th year of the annual NSTF-South32 Awards.
 
The 20th year celebration: The NSTF Awards were established in 1998 as a collaborative effort to recognise outstanding contributions to science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation by SET-related professionals and organisations in South Africa. This includes experienced scientists, engineers, innovators, science communicators, engineering capacity builders, and organisational managers/leaders, as well as data and research managers.
 
Our partner: South32 is a metals and mining company that de-merged from BHP Billiton in 2016. It took over the co-branding sponsorship agreement for the annual NSTF Awards.
 
The ‘Science Oscars’: The NSTF-South32 Awards are referred to as the ‘Science Oscars’ of South Africa. They are the largest, most comprehensive, and most sought-after national awards of their kind in the country. They were also the first science awards in South Africa.
 

NSTF-South32 Awards’ theme: The theme for the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards is Sustainable Energy for All. This is in recognition of the International decade of Sustainable Energy (2014-2024) as declared by United Nations. The 20th annual Awards Gala Dinner will celebrate this theme on 28 June 2018.

 

 

New features were introduced for some categories and the criteria as follows:

  • Innovation awards: The Innovation Category has greater emphasis on ‘innovation’. The Research for Innovation Awards is now the ‘Awards for Innovations and their research and/or development’. 
  • Research categories: All research categories are now open to anyone thoroughly experienced in research, regardless of whether they have a PhD. We have also strengthened the focus on further development of outputs towards innovation. 
  • Special Annual Theme Award: This year the NSTF’s special annual theme award is for a contribution to SET and innovation towards Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa.
 

 

A transformed country where SET and innovation contribute to a high quality of life for all who live in South Africa, where the profile of SET professionals is representative of the nation’s diverse population and where the education system is effective, particularly in terms of performance in SET subjects and the promotion of innovation.
 
Realising the vision: The NSTF-South32 Awards is the NSTF’s flagship event and one among other strategic activities through which the NSTF realises this vision. Partnerships for specific awards (such as that with the Water Research Commission, GreenMatter, and Eskom) recognise contributions that have the potential to make a positive impact on South Africa, and on the world.

 

 

It is an extraordinary honour to be an Award finalist; given the quality of the nominations received, the fierce competition that nominees face, and the growing interest from the community over the years.
 
Join the NSTF membership and pioneering partners/sponsors in applauding the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Awards finalists. These comprise individuals, teams and organisations, as applicable, who have made an outstanding contribution to SET and innovation in South Africa under the categories below:

  • Text in italics at the end of the citation of the nominee indicates that a nominee has been nominated under more than one category
  • Listed alphabetical according to surname of nominee or name of team/organisation under each category
 

 

Lifetime Award

(by an individual over a lifetime – 15 years or more)

  • Bradley, Prof John – Honorary Professor, Department (Dept) of Education, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
  • Harvey, Prof Brian – Professor, Division of Pharmacology, Programme Leader: Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, North-West University; Programme Leader: South African Medical Research Council Unit on Risk and Resilience, University of Cape Town
  • Maaza, Prof Malik – Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation (NRF) Nanosciences LABS and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter category and the Special Annual Theme Award
  • Owen-Smith, Prof Norman – Emeritus Research Professor, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Wits
  • Pityana, Prof Sisa – Principal Researcher, National Laser Centre, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Rubidge, Prof Bruce – Director, Dept of Science and Technology-NRF Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences, Wits
  • Stacey, Prof TR (Dick) – Professor Emeritus, School of Mining, Wits and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Wall, Prof Kevin – Part-time Extraordinary Professor, Dept of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria (UP), retired as CSIR Built Environment Fellow and also in the NSTF-Water Research Commission category
  • Xia, Prof Xiaohua – Professor in the Dept of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, UP and also in the Special Annual Theme Award category

TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Researcher

(contribution to research and its outputs over a period of up to 15 years as a researcher, predominantly in South Africa)

  • Fuller, Prof Andrea – Professor: School of Physiology, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); Director: Brain Function Research Group, Wits; Extraordinary Lecturer, Department (Dept) of Paraclinical Sciences, Veterinary Faculty, University of Pretoria (UP) 
  • Hui, Prof Cang – Professor and Dept of Science and Technology (DST)/National Research Foundation (NRF) South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARCHi) Chair: Tier 1: Dept of Mathematical Sciences, University of Stellenbosch (SU); Research Chair: African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS); Core Team Member: DST/ NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, SU
  • Lall, Prof Namrita – Professor and DST/NRF SARChI Chair: Plant Health Products from Indigenous Knowledge Systems, UP 
  • Loots, Prof du Toit – Research Director: Human Metabolomics, North-West University (NWU) 
  • Malan, Prof Leoné – Professor in Neurophysiology, Hypertension in Africa Research Team, NWU 
  • Matsha, Prof Tandi – Professor and Head, Dept of Biomedical Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology 
  • Mellado, Prof Bruce – Professor, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, Wits and also in the Corporate Innovation category
  • Ndwandwe, Prof Muzi Osman – Executive Director, Richards Bay Campus, University of Zululand
  • Nyembwe, Dr Kasongo – Senior Lecturer, formerly Head (2004-2016), Dept of Metallurgy, University of Johannesburg
  • Pretorius, Prof Etheresia (Resia) – Professor and Head, Dept of Physiological Sciences; and Director, Applied Morphology Research Centre, Dept of Physiology, SU

TW Kambule-NSTF Awards: Emerging researcher

(contribution to research and its outputs over a period of up to 6 years in research, predominantly in South Africa)

  • Becker, Dr Thorsten – Senior Lecturer, Department (Dept) of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University; and Visiting Lecturer, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cape Town (UCT)
  • Bezuidenhout, Prof Daniela – Associate Professor, Inorganic Chemistry, School of Chemistry, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
  • Collinson, Mrs Wendy – Wildlife and Roads Project Executant, Endangered Wildlife Trust
  • Fosso-Kankeu, Prof Elvis – Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, University of the North-West and also in the NSTF–Water Research Commission category
  • Manzi, Dr Musa – Senior Researcher and Director, Seismic Research Centre, School of Geosciences, Wits
  • Marakalala, Dr Mohlopheni – Senior Lecture: Division of Immunology, UCT
  • Mpofu, Prof Khumbulani – Professor, Gibela Research Chair in Manufacturing and Skills Development, Tshwane University of Technology and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Musyoka, Dr Nicholas – Senior Researcher in energy materials research, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
  • Yacoob, Dr Sahal – Senior Lecturer, Dept of Physics, UCT

Management Award

(contribution through management and related SET and innovation activities over the last 5-10 years)

  • Jandrell, Prof Ian – Personal Professor, School of Electrical and Information Engineering; and Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; and Joint leader, High Voltage and the Lightning/Electromagnetic Compatibility Research Group, Wits and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development category
  • Motaung, Prof Keolebogile – Assistant Dean: Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology; and Founder: Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd and also in the Corporate Innovation category
  • Tollman, Prof Stephen – Research Professor and Head: Division of Health and Population, Faculty of Health Sciences; and Director: SA Medical Research Council/University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) Rural Health and Health Transitions Research Unit; and Principal Scientist: International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and their Health, Ghana

Engineering Research Capacity Development Awards

(contribution by an individual over the last 5 to 10 years – Eskom sponsors two awards one for a male and one for a female for contributions in Engineering)

  • Booysen, Mr Gerrie Jacobus – Director, Centre for Rapid Prototyping Manufacturing, Central University of Technology and also in the Corporate Innovation category
  • De Koning, Prof Charles – Professor of Organic Chemistry and Assistant Dean, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)
  • Diale, Prof Mmantsae – Associate Professor, Department (Dept) of Physics, University of Pretoria
  • Jandrell, Prof Ian – Personal Professor, School of Electrical and Information Engineering; and Executive Dean, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment; and Joint leader of the High Voltage and the Lightning/Electromagnetic Compatibility Research Group, Wits and also in the Management and related activities category
  • Marx, Prof Sanette – Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering; and National Research Foundation Research Chair in Biofuels and Other Clean Alternative Fuels; and Centre of Excellence in Carbon-based Fuels, North-West University
  • Mpofu, Prof Khumbulani – Professor, Gibela Research Chair in Manufacturing and Skills Development, Tshwane University of Technology and also in the Emerging Researcher category
  • Petrik, Prof Leslie – Professor, Dept of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape and also in the NSTF-Water Research Commission and NSTF-GreenMatter award categories
  • Pityana, Prof Sisa – Principal Researcher, National Laser Centre, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and also in the Lifetime category
  • Stacey, Prof T Richard (Dick) –  Professor Emeritus, School of Mining, Wits and also in the Lifetime category

NSTF-GreenMatter Award: Towards achieving biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and a greener economy

(contribution by an individual or an organisation over the last 5 to 10 years) sponsored by GreenMatter

  • Endangered Wildlife Trust, contribution to the Groen Sebenza Initiative – Head of Resource Development: Ms Alison Janicke
  • Maaza, Prof Malik – Senior Scientist: National Research Foundation Nanosciences LABS and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa and also in the Lifetime and the Special Annual Theme categories
  • Petrik, Prof Leslie – Professor, Department (Dept) of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape and also in the NSTF-Water Research Commission and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development categories
  • Van Wilgen, Prof Brian – Professor, Centre for Invasion Biology, Dept of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University
  • Winkler, Prof Harald – Professor and Director, Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town and also in the Special Annual Theme category

NSTF-Water Research Commission (WRC) Award: Sustainable water management, knowledge generation and solutions

(by an individual or an organisation to be awarded in recognition of demonstrated leadership and impact over the last 5 to 10 years) sponsored by the WRC

  • Fosso-Kankeu, Prof Elvis – Associate Professor, School of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, North-West University and also in the Emerging Researcher category
  • Msagati, Prof Titus – Professor, Research Unit of Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability, College of Science, University of South Africa
  • Petrik Prof Leslie – Professor, Department (Dept) of Chemistry, University of the Western Cape and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter and also in the Engineering Research Capacity Development categories
  • Wall, Prof Kevin – Part-time Extraordinary Professor, Dept of Construction Economics, University of Pretoria; retired as Built Environment Fellow, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and also in the Lifetime category

Data for Research Award: For advancing the availability, management and use of data for research

(by an individual or an organisation)

  • Health Information Systems Program, South Africa: National Program Managers and Database Managers – Director: Ms Christa van den Bergh
  • South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) –  Coordinator and team leader: Mr Benjamin Roberts, Human Sciences Research Council

Innovation Awards – Corporate organisation: For innovations and their research and/or development

(by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

  • Booysen, Mr Gerrie Jacobus – Director, Centre for Rapid Prototyping Manufacturing, Central University of Technology and also in the Engineering Capacity Development category
  • Botes, Mr Willem – Research Lead, Department of Science and Technology/Grain SA Wheat Breeding Platform; and Senior Lecturer, Genetics Plant Breeding Laboratory, Genetics Department, Faculty of AgriSciences, Stellenbosch University
  • Mellado, Prof Bruce – Professor, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand and also in the Researcher category
  • Motaung, Prof Keolebogile – Assistant Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology; and Founder, Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd and also in the Management and related activities category
  • NWU Solar Car Team – Manager: Prof Albert Helberg, North-West University
  • Swarts, Mrs Wilma – Group Head, Marketing and Commercial Services, Lonmin Plc

Innovation Awards – Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME): for innovations and their research and/or development

(by a team or an individual over the last 5 to 10 years)

  • CFAM Technologies (Pty) Ltd – Managing Director and Lecturer, School of Mechanical Engineering, North-West University: Mr Danie Vorster
  • Memeza Team from Memeza Shout (Pty) Ltd – Chief Executive Officer: Ms Thulile Mthethwa
  • SUN Magnetics (Pty) Ltd – Director and Professor, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University: Dr Coenraad Fourie

Communication for outreach and creating awareness of SET and innovation Award

(by a team or individual over the last 5 years)

  • Manxoyi, Mr Sivuyile – Coordinator, Universe Awareness National Project; and Manager, Southern African Large Telescope Collateral Benefits Programme, South African Astronomical Observatory
  • Marnewick, Prof Jeanine – Research Chair, Biotechnology; and Head, Oxidative Stress Research Centre, Institute of Biomedical and Microbial Biotechnology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Medupe, Prof Thebe – Chairperson of National Astrophysics and Space Science programme Consortium, and Professor of Physics, North-West University
  • University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC) – Director of UP ISMC; and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; and Professor, Environmental Health, School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria: Prof Christiaan (Tiaan) de Jager
  • Wits Communication Services – Head and Team Leader: Ms Shirona Patel, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits)

Non-governmental organisation (NGO) Award

(contribution over the last 5 to 10 years to SET including innovation, technology transfer, and education and training activities)

  • Midlands Sustainable Sugar Supply Collaboration (KwaZulu-Natal) – Coordinator: Mrs Janet Edmonds
  • Southern African Association for Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (SAARMSTE) – Committee Chair and Professor of SA Numeracy, University of the Witwatersrand: Prof Hamsa Venkat
  • The Platinum Incubator – Chief Executive Officer: Ms Sibongile Purity Shongwe, Rustenburg

Special Annual Theme Award: Towards Sustainable Energy for All

(awarded according to criteria in any of the other categories but which meet this objective)

For 2018, the award is made in recognition of the ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’ as declared by the United Nations

  • Maaza, Prof Malik – Senior Scientist, National Research Foundation Nanosciences LABS; and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Africa Chair, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter and the Lifetime categories
  • Strategic Environment Assessment Team, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Research Group Leader: Mr Paul Lochner
  • Winkler, Prof Harald – Professor and Director of Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town and also in the NSTF-GreenMatter category
  • Xia, Prof Xiaohua – Professor in the Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Pretoria and also in Lifetime category
 

 

Adjudication: The accreditation and selection processes for the NSTF-South32 Awards are made by an adjudication panel of independent judges. They represent six different sectors of the NSTF membership within which the NSTF operates. This adjudication panel, in conjunction with the Award partners, reviewed the nominations to select the finalists and winners each year. A panel of experts, appointed by the NSTF Executive Committee, also assists the panel by reviewing and validating the final selections.
 
Youth programmes: One of the features that make these awards unique is that youth outreach is an integral part of the awards. Two NSTF Youth outreach programmes are run annually in conjunction with the NSTF Awards. 

  • The NSTF Brilliants Programme identifies and celebrates the top achievers in physical science and mathematics studying in science, engineering and medicine from the previous year’s matric examinations. It exposes these young people to the SET community. Eighteen students (a man and a woman from each province) are recognised as the future leaders and innovators of our nation.
  • Success is not about where you are, but who you have elevated in the process. The NSTF Share ‘n Dare Programme is an output of the NSTF-South32 Awards that profiles award winners as youth role models. Award winners share their experience in the SET field at science centres and universities across the country. They encourage the youth to take up careers in SET. Thousands of South Africans are also reached through community and campus radio station awareness talks.
 

 

The announcement of the winners will take place at the prestigious NSTF Awards gala dinner taking place on 28 June 2018 in Gauteng.

 

 

The patron of the NSTF Awards, the Minister of Science and Technology, presides over the programme. The new Minister, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane confirmed her attendance to participate in the proceedings this year. The event is a glamorous affair attended by the cream of the crop of the SET community. It is the largest event of its kind and is open to the public. Over 600 guests attend the event. The SET community is invited to book tables for their organisations to celebrate the achievements of the nominees and finalists. Contact Ms Kgaugelo Teffo at enquiries@nstf.co.za or call +27 (0)12 841-2632/3987.

 

 

There are two media partners of the NSTF Awards to ensure national public recognition to the winners, as well as to facilitate the communication of science to the broader public. They are:

Business Report (since 2010), distributed through The Star, Pretoria News, Cape Times, and The Mercury
Mail & Guardian (since 2011)

 Both these newspapers carry supplements about the winners the day after the Awards gala dinner (Friday, 29 June 2018). Unique advertising opportunities are available for your brand. Contact Ms Wilna Eksteen at enquiries@nstf.co.za or call +27 (0)12 841-3987/2632.

 

 

Organisations are invited to join hands with the NSTF to widen the reach and impact of the NSTF-South32 Awards and youth programmes. Partnerships are available on new and existing award categories and outreach programmes. Contact Ms Wilna Eksteen at enquiries@nstf.co.za or call +27 (0)12 841-3987/2632.
 
Please forward this email to your colleagues, business contacts and all interested persons to promote the Who’s Who of SET and innovation in South Africa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last updated Friday, 1 June 2018 19:01

Nominations invited for the 2018 ORSSA Student Competition

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 4 May 2018 14:41

As you may know, the Operations Research Society of South Africa each year awards two prestige medals to the winners of its national student competition.  These medals are

  • The Gerhard Geldenhuys Medal for the Best Fourth Year Project, and
  • The Theodor Stewart Medal for the Best Master’s Thesis.

Halls of Fame, featuring past winners of these medals, may be found at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Awards.StudentCompetition.

The medals are awarded at the annual conference which this year takes place from 16 to 19 September at the CSIR International Convention Centre, in Pretoria  (see the conference website at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.ORSSA). Entries to the competition will be ranked by an independent Selection Committee of expert judges not affiliated with the tertiary institutions of nominees, based solely on the written project or thesis submissions, after which the top two entries in each of the underlined categories above will be designated as finalists.  There will be a special finalists' competition session at the conference during which these finalists (or representatives appointed by them) will be required to present their work in order to showcase the quality of the best operational research work by students in South Africa.  Should a finalist neither be able to present their work at the conference nor be able to send a representative to present their work on their behalf, such an entry will be disqualified, in which case the third ranked entry, then the fourth ranked entry and so forth will be designated as finalist, until two finalists in each category have been identified whose work can indeed be presented at the conference.

Nominations for written projects/theses in the above underlined categories are gathered by a Nomination Committee, which acts independently from the eventual Selection Committee. I have been tasked by the ORSSA President to convene the Nomination Committee for the 2018 ORSSA Annual Student Competition.  Supervising Lecturers are hereby invited to submit entries for the above competition categories to Jan van Vuuren, the convenor of the Nomination Committee, at vuuren@sun.ac.za by no later than Friday May 11th 2018.  Students are not allowed to nominate their own work. Each nomination should be accompanied by a completed nomination form (see attached), and include a short statement by the supervisor in question on the degree of independence with which the student conducted the research, as well as an electronic copy of the relevant project/thesis in pdf format on which the following information should appear clearly:

  • The name of the student,
  • The name of the supervisor,
  • The date of submission of the project/thesis, and
  • The name of the University at which the project/thesis was submitted.

It is a requirement that students whose projects or theses are submitted should have qualified for graduation at their respective universities late in 2016 or early in 2017 (i.e. no earlier than May 1st 2017 and no later than April 30th 2018). The finalists will be announced on Friday June 29th 2018 and will be required to register and submit an abstract on their submitted work online (at http://www.orssa.org.za/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Conf.SubmitAbstract) for presentation at the annual conference by July 22nd 2018.  A new set of competition rules, recently approved by the Executive Committee of the Operations Research Society of South Africa, is attached for your information.

 

Yours truly,

 

Prof Jan H van Vuuren  |  BSc(Hons) MSc (Stell); DPhil (Oxon)  |  PrSciNat FORSSA
Professor (Operasionele Navorsing)  |  Professor (Operations Research) 

Departement Bedryfsingenieurswese  |  Department of Industrial Engineering  


Attachments:

AdjudicationRubric2.pdf 214.1K 4 May 18 14:41
NominationForm.pdf 14.0K 4 May 18 14:41

Media Release: SA’s path to sustainable energy for all #SEforAll

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Friday, 4 May 2018 12:46

 

SA’s path to sustainable energy for all

‘Sustainable energy for all’ can seem like a fanciful bumper sticker. Is it even possible? How does one begin to address it?

 

Climate change consequences have forced decision making and driven society to take on global goals to ensure the survival of earth’s inhabitants. And the goals are intertwined with one impacting on the other.
 
‘Affordable and clean energy’ is number 7 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It’s the UN’s ‘International Decade of Sustainable Energy for All’ currently. There is also ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ (SEforALL), a global non-profit organisation launched by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

 

 

Need for ongoing national discussion forum
The topic and the goal are immense – whether one considers it on a global or national level. It’s transdisciplinary and cuts across industries.

There is also an emphasis on developing partnerships to tackle the challenge. At the same time, science, engineering and technology (SET) are positioned as key to finding solutions.
 
Consequently, the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) held a Discussion Forum on ‘Sustainable Energy for All in South Africa’. It ran from 16-17 April 2018 in Gauteng.

 
The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

·         One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to address important issues and engage with government policy.

·         Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders. 

·         Recommendations are put forward to government as part of the SET community’s lobbying efforts.

 

 

NDP’s low-carbon economy
As part of the National Development Plan’s (NDP) aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, a low carbon future is positioned as the only realistic option. While the NDP presents an integrated energy sector with adequate investment in infrastructure, it recognises that trade-offs must come into play.
 
The integrated and diversified energy sector must support economic growth through job creation, export, and R&D for competitive advantage. The focus is on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation but this is balanced with supply security, safety, affordability, and access. These remain relevant in today’s context. While historically policies have focused on minerals and energy, renewable energy is now an integral part of SA’s energy mix.
 
Policy context
South Africa is a signatory to the Paris (COP21) Agreement 2016 – which aims to reduce global warming through each country’s actions – explains Dr Rebecca Maserumule, Chief Director: Hydrogen and Energy at the National Department of Science and Technology (DST). In her presentation, she notes that South Africa’s guiding frameworks include:

·         The NDP with its focus on investments in energy infrastructure, affordable tariffs for needy households, and diversifying energy resources and supply options.

·         The National Climate Change Response Strategy for long-term mitigation scenarios.

·         The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) with its focus on re-industrialisation, support for local beneficiation, and local manufacturing.

·         The National Energy Act and universal access to modern forms of energy services, energy security through guaranteed supply, optimal use of economically-viable energy resources, and addressing constraints on the renewable industry. This includes the Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The latter aims for 42% of electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Research focus areas include clean coal technologies, nuclear energy, renewable energy (eg solar, biofuels, and wind), energy efficiency and energy demand management, and hydrogen and fuel cells research. In most cases, says Dr Maserumule, the research has been in place for over a decade through partnerships with key research institutions.

Systems around sustainable energy
One of the ways to understand sustainable energy is to look at its impacts in various areas. Prof Sanette Marx, DST/National Research Foundation Research (NRF) Chair in Biofuels at North West University, considers three areas: environmental impact, economic impact, and social impact. We can consider something sustainable when it’s equitable, viable, and socially and environmentally acceptable.
 
Broader definition of energy poverty
Prof Roula Inglesi-Lotz, Associate Professor from the University of Pretoria, questions whether energy poverty is only lack of access? Energy poverty impacts not only on lighting – consider heating, cooking, and communications. Access to the latter has a knock-on effect because it affects knowledge transfer such as with internet access.
 
She presents the following definition: “…the absence of sufficient choice in accessing adequate, affordable, reliable, high-quality, safe and environmentally benign energy services to support economic and human development” (Reddy, 2000). She notes that the definition acknowledges the absence of choice and the role of affordable and adequate technology.
 
Renewable energy in waste
SA continues to innovate in the renewable energy space. Take the work done by IDEAS – the Institute for the Development of Energy for African Sustainability – at UNISA.

 

 

Using a transdisciplinary approach, the research focuses on environmentally-responsible chemical conversion technologies, with particular emphasis on sustainable and flexible small-scale solutions and using surplus and underused resources (such as municipal waste and sewerage). This is waste as a resource, not a health hazard.

 

Clean energy in organic waste
Consider a rural family who cooks on a two-plate stove for 2 hours a day (at simmer) and heats up 40 litres/day water to 50⁰C. One cow, with the family’s human waste, could supply this energy.

 

 

Prof Diane Hildebrandt, Director of IDEAS, explains that they have developed small-scale anaerobic biodigesters. These are basically large double-walled bags where you feed in organic waste and slurry comes out on the other end. The slurry overflow has no smell and can be used as a fertiliser. The biodigesters produce biogas while removing pathogens from waste (with consequent reduced health risks). IDEAS is developing a business case to show employment benefits, as well as cost reduction for immediate users and the municipality.

 

 

Developing clean coal technologies
Coal is not environmentally acceptable as such, but we can make it so through clean coal technologies, says Prof Sanette Marx. One of her research areas is hydrothermal liquefaction – a method to produce biochar for creating cleaner coal. The first patent and pilot plant occurred in 2016/17.
 
Prof Rosemary Falcon, currently a Director of the Fossil Fuel Foundation, was the SARChI (South African Research) Chair in Clean Coal Technology at Wits University until she retired last year. She and Dr Samson Bada are part of the DST-NRF SARChI Clean Coal Technology Research group. Part of this is the High Efficiency and Low Emissions (HELE) Programme. It looks at options for environmentally-responsible use of coal.

 

About coal

·         SA is the 7th largest producer of coal in the world and the 7th largest exporter.

·         Coal accounts for the highest foreign exchange earnings in SA since 2011.

·         It’s the largest mining income earner, beating gold, platinum and diamonds.

·         There are over 255 000 direct employees in coal-related industries. It also supports most major towns in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and some in KZN.

(DST-NRF SARChI Clean Coal Technology Research group)

 

 

What about shale gas?
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of debate around drilling for shale gas and its environmental impact. Research from the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Integrated Mineral and Energy Resource Analysis (CIMERA), University of Johannesburg, looks at ‘Questioning the existence of an economic producible shale gas resource in the southern Main Karoo Basin based on results of the CIMERA-Karin drilling project’.
 
One of the aims was to establish the maturity and shale gas potential by direct measurements of gas content. Prof Nicolas Beukes explains that nothing like this had been done before. Everything previously had been speculation including shale gas estimates.
 
After the CIMERA-KARIN Drilling Project with the first true gas measurements, very little to no gas was detected. The conclusion is that shale gas potential looks to be much lower than initially estimated. There are some provisos, such as the project not specifically targeting ‘sweet spots’.
 
Prof Beukes explains that we need to do the science first. We need to answer the question of whether South Africa actually has an economically viable shale gas resource. This will avoid unnecessary environmental concerns and legal battles.
 
Models for SA’s energy mix?
The CSIR Energy Centre has been developing models for SA’s energy mix. Currently, energy is coal dominated with end use being 25% transport, 25% electricity and 50% heating and cooling.
 
CSIR’s Mr Jarrad Wright explains that globally there have been significant cost reductions in renewable energy. Solar PV technology and wind technology, for example, have now become cost competitive. Focusing on electricity, Wright showed that – whether there is a high or low demand forecast for South Africa – there is a gap. This needs to be filled in the least-cost manner and with a reliable and flexible energy supply.
 
Three scenarios were presented:

·         The Draft IRP 2016 Base Case sees the energy mix as ⅓ coal, ⅓ nuclear, and ⅓ renewable energy.

·         The Draft IRP 2016 Carbon Budget Case sees nuclear energy take a 40% share by 2050.

·         The Least Cost Case is largely based on wind and solar PV complemented by flexibility (including existing coal, new gas, hydro and concentrated solar power). This case deploys considerable solar PV and wind – and flexibility – with no new investments in coal or nuclear capacity. The scenario includes a managed system of energy supply.


Speakers that addressed the forum can be contacted through the spokesperson, Ms Jansie Niehaus.

Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site. 

 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

 

Now accepting applications for TechWomen 2018

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 5 December 2017 13:47

TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State that brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program based in San Francisco. During the five-week program, participants engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

The 2018 program will include 100 women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.

Applications are due January 17, 2018. We are looking for women who have demonstrated themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen profession, through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities and education. A full list of the eligibility requirements is available on our website.

You can also check out our Outreach Toolkit with flyers in multiple languages, as well as suggested tweets and social media posts.

Now entering its eighth year, TechWomen continues to be a transformational program for all involved and has inspired women to become active change makers in their communities. We thank you for your support, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Best Regards,

Stacey Chapple

Outreach and Recruitment Specialist

Institute of International Education

530 Bush Street, Suite 1000 • San Francisco, CA 94108

Tel +1.415.362.6520 ext.273

schapple@iie.org • iie.org 

IIE • The Power of International Education

 

Media Release: Evidence for climate change   #Evidence4ClimateChange

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Thursday, 30 November 2017 13:44

Show me the evidence for climate change

Communicating science in a post-truth world

28 December 2017

 

Living in the age of ‘post-truth’ means emotional appeals are more influential than objective facts. Post-truth discourse has become so normalised that Oxford Dictionaries declared ‘post-truth’ to be 2016’s international word of the year.

 

 

No doubt it’s positive to embrace different viewpoints. This allows us to engage is an inclusive manner and build common understanding. However, it creates a complex tension when communicating about science. Especially when the terminology of science, engineering, and technology (SET) is not necessarily understood by the public.

How does one show evidence-based facts in a post-truth, fake news, multiple perspective world? If the public is to learn from scientists, the SET community needs to speak more plainly and clearly. 
 
This comes to the fore with climate change. Making the science clear is an ongoing process and those involved continue to learn and drive the messages around climate change. The SET community can learn from the outcomes.

 

The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

·         One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to make connections.

·         Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders, including government.

 

 

Prof Robert Scholes explained how the current evidence is positioned in his presentation on ‘Show us the evidence for climate change’ at the NSTF Discussion Forum on 17 November 2017 in Gauteng.
 

Present agreed-upon facts – understanding climate

There is consensus among scientists around general climate dynamics. The climate is a complex system with feedbacks, non-linearity, and inertia.

It has behaviours and variations internal to the system, occurring across different periods of time from days to eons. There are also external forces that are natural in origin (such as small predictable variations in the earth’s elliptical orbit around the sun).
 

 

About Prof Robert Scholes

Prof Scholes is one of the top 1% of environmental scientists globally and recognised as a leading researcher within environmental science, systems ecology, savannah ecology, and global change. He is also one of South Africa’s few National Research Foundation A-rated scientists. In 2015, Prof Scholes received an NSTF-South32 award for his contribution to science over a lifetime.

 

 

Collecting and processing climate data

The ‘rigorous’ records of climate go back to the beginning of the 20th century. This represents tens of thousands of weather stations’ data for land, with equivalent data for oceans (from ship logs).
 
Analysis of this vast data set needs to account for various potential biases, such as uneven spatial representation and changes in instruments. In plain speak, there were cases of lots of data from some areas and less data from other areas. This could create misrepresentation in the outcomes unless robust well-tested methods are used to fill the gaps. Scholes explains that analysis has not been about “taking an average” of all the data over time.
 

Analysis of the data – presenting ‘warming planet’ outcome 

The data analysis showed that warming has been observed nearly everywhere over the 20th century. Rainfall trends are weaker and less consistent because rainfall is inherently a more local phenomenon. (See the Synthesis Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – IPCC.)
 

Managing criticism – showing data is robust

The interpretation of the data set came in for a lot of criticism by sceptics in the SET community and vested interest groups, particularly in the USA. Most of the debate was around the processes applied to make the raw data comparable. Had these processes been manipulated to gain a specific result?
 
The critics took the same data and then used different scientific methodologies. Their results were qualitatively the same as the original outcomes, with little varying detail: the world has warmed, virtually everywhere, at an accelerating rate over the period of record. In other words, the conclusions are robust, independent of method. (For further info, see the Hockey Stick Controversy.)
 

Acknowledging uncertainties vs providing facts

Good scientists are careful people. They check and recheck their results, and then let other people check their results. Scientists are obligated to follow rules of evidence, including acknowledging uncertainties. This is often confusing for the layperson as it means a lot of the information comes with ‘ifs and buts’.
 
The IPCC has focused on how to communicate uncertainty in a clear way, using words which are reserved for that purpose only. Scholes says that the IPCC guidelines note that phrases such as ‘with high certainty’ have an exact defined meaning, and accompany all high-level statements.  
 
The public, unused to the concept of scientific uncertainty, can interpret this as the scientists being less confident than they actually are. Or less sure than lay people who never qualify their statements with confidence terms.  Scientists must learn how to deal with this while communicating clearly and accurately. Is it the SET community’s responsibility to explain the scientific process of acknowledging uncertainty? Or does the public need to make more effort to understand the concept?
 

Detection, attribution, and impact – differentiating natural from human causes

Consider that we have a time series of climate observations. The first stage is change detection – is something unusual happening? Has there been a statistically significant change in the system?
 
The next stage is attribution – do we have reasonable statistical confidence that we know why this change has occurred (80-100% certainty)?  Is it accounted for by natural variation, or is there a human-attributable effect as well? Attribution is a more challenging and complex problem because there are usually many causes to any observed effect.
 
Scientists have been able to exclude known causes of climate variation (such as solar and orbital variation, and volcanoes). There is also positive correlation between climate trends with suggested human-induced causes, specifically greenhouse gas concentrations, a necessary but not sufficient condition for establishing the cause.
 
More than 30 groups worldwide have run global climate simulations, providing a reconstruction of what has been observed and an explanation of what has happened. Scholes says they were able to apportion cause to various sources, including anthropogenic (caused by humans) versus natural, and the natural variation only accounts for a small fraction of the total. While there is debate around details, the human influence on climate has been proven.
 
The focus is now on the impact of climate change and what can be done about it. Climate change-related impacts have been detected worldwide in almost every area, from biodiversity and food security to water resources. Attribution specifically to human-caused climate change is work in progress in many cases.
 
A common question is around whether an extreme weather event (like a tornado or tropical storm) can be attributed to climate change. Because climate is the statistical average of weather, Scholes says it’s hard to say any singular event is due to climate change. It needs a sequence of such events to be confidently classed as change. Since extreme events are – by definition – rare, this needs a long record – hundreds of years – to say with high confidence. Currently we don’t have long enough records to make this claim.
 

Is a source trustworthy?

How can the public assess the validity of claims when they receive conflicting information? Scholes sees scientists as brokers in this process. He says it’s about showing people how to separate the legitimate from the misguided, mischievous, and malicious.
 

Following are Scholes’ guiding questions:

·         Does the source of information have qualifications and a track record in the specific field they are commenting on? Several denialists have apparently high credentials or have positions of note but, if you look at their area of research, it isn’t within the debate domain.

·         Do they offer verifiable evidence, or just assertions? Do they publish in peer-reviewed journals? You need to find out if the data is in the public domain and in peer-reviewed journals. Self-references, websites, newspaper articles, and untraceable references are not considered verifiable evidence.

·         Do they repeat long-disproven claims and conspiracy theories? Climate denialists tend to stick to their message regardless of the strength of evidence refuting it.

 
Scholes explained that there is now a move to use ‘deep transdisciplinary’ approaches in order to turn climate concern into action. This sees scientists working with people who have a different epistemology (theory of knowledge or world view). Examples include representatives from various faiths and people involved in indigenous knowledge systems.
 
The idea is that if you want to affect behavioural change, you need to work within the conceptual framework used by the target community. It also recognises that human decisions rest not only on evidence, but also on beliefs and feelings.
 

Taking time and effort to sift through information?

Global warming exists and it’s largely caused by human activities. While these fundamentals have been agreed upon, there is still strong debate among scientists around the details of climate change.
 
There is also lots of ongoing research but this isn’t getting through – across the range of stakeholders including business, civil society, and the public. With the advent of fake news and post-truth, among other things, there is a clear need for people to apply analytical rigour when assessing information. This takes effort and education… so will it actually happen?
 
An option is to look to reputable entities that already do this sifting work. The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988. It provides a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts, as evaluated by thousands of specialist scientists drawn from all over the world, and subject to careful and transparent review processes. You can’t ask for much more.

 

 

Speakers that addressed the forum can be contacted through the spokesperson, Ms Jansie Niehaus.

Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site (www.nstf.org.za). Please send information and comments to enquiries@nstf.co.za.

 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

NSTF Media Release: Investigating SET's role in the SDGs

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Tuesday, 3 October 2017 16:33

  

Investigating SET’s role in the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all by 2030. Research and innovation have a role to play, but where, when and how?

 

First the United Nations organised the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Then came the SDGs, endorsed by South Africa in 2014.

 

 

The SDGs can be grouped into five categories, showing alignment with the National Development Plan (NDP) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063

·         People (social development)

·         Prosperity (economic development)

·         Planet (environmental sustainability)

·         Peace (peaceful and inclusive societies)

·         Partnerships (means of implementation)


The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) brought stakeholders together for a ‘Research and innovation to support the SDGs’ Discussion Forum. This was held from 4-5 September 2017 in Gauteng. South Africa will be reporting on SDG progress in 2019 and it’s imperative that the science, engineering and technology (SET) community understands its role.  

 

The NSTF provides neutral collaborative platforms where issues and sectors meet

One of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) functions is to hold discussion forums, bringing the private and public sector together to make connections. 

Feedback from these discussion forums is given to stakeholders, including government.

This event was conceptualised and planned by the NSTF committee of  Science Councils and Statutory Bodies representatives

 

 


SA baseline measurements: Compared to the MDGs, the SDGs have more goals (from 8 to 17), more indicators/measurements (from 60 to 230), and more targets (from 20 to 169). In his presentation, Statistician-General Pali Lehohla noted that the South African SDG baseline report will be available on Statistics South Africa website on 9 October 2017.
 

 

 

Coordinating role of the Department of Science and Technology (DST): The DST’s Dr Isayvani Naicker says that the DST has a role to play across all the SDGs, particularly around enabling partnerships. This falls in line with the DST mission to develop, coordinate and manage a National System of Innovation. Coordination becomes crucial – What are people doing? Where is the duplication? How can resources be mobilised into the most-needed areas?

SET is seen as enablers for the SDGs: The Presidency is charged with collating and reporting. To reach that point, there is a need for monitoring and evaluation across government departments, business, civil society etc. SET is recognised as an enabler in the successful implementation of the SDGs, and will also help in monitoring and evaluation.

 

Framework around the science agenda
Of particular note is the presentation by Water Research Commission’s CEO Dhesigen Naidoo.

The WRC has taken core SDGs and reconceptualised them into a framework around the science agenda with the aim of creating an inter-related knowledge agenda.
 
Another key point is that not all projects will necessarily fit into the SDGs, nor should the goals be regarded as the ultimate aim – if we want SA to thrive, the SDGs must be exceeded.

Mr Lorenzo Raynard from SKA SA explained that it’s important to evaluate projects against the SDGs but it’s not about ticking boxes. There should be meaningful alignment.

 

 

A Global Innovation Exchange (GIE) has been created. This is a platform for innovators, funders and experts to connect and share relevant information. This includes connecting with complementary initiatives both online and off.  It’s about linking global resources, ease of access, reduced duplication and rapidly deploying the most successful innovations.

Aligned with this, is the South African Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub. It’s in the process of being developed and aims to connect development actors with research and innovations around the SDGs and other African development goals.
 
Moving from the MDGs to the SDGs: According to the UNDP’s Lindiwe Dhlamini in ‘Integrating agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into regional and national development plans and strategies’, there are 3 fundamental differences between the MDGs and the SDGs:

·         The SDGs “include all three dimensions of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental”.

·         “The SDGs are complex and integrated, with the integrated approach implying the need to manage trade-offs and maximise synergies across targets.”

·         “The SDGs should benefit all – eradicating poverty and reducing inequalities. The promotion and use of disaggregated data cannot be emphasised  enough.”

There is a need “to go beyond silos and take an integrated approach to development interventions”. Dhlamini notes that the MDG question focused on which goals lagged and the gaps. The SDGs question is: “What are the actions that will take us forward more quickly across a broader range of interlinked goals?”
 
The importance of partnerships for the goals (SDG 17): The CSIR’s Dr Lorren Haywood explained that SDG 17 is critical for achieving the other SDGs. However, it is often ranked as the lowest priority. She is part of a team conducting research around collaboration. The ultimate aim is to devise a trans-disciplinary evidence-based approach for establishing and implementing partnership relationships.
 
The CSIR’s research to date shows five key clusters of actors needed to achieve the SDGs – United Nations (governance and support from an international perspective), government (enabling and monitoring environment), business (implementation), research and development (knowledge, technologies and innovation), and civil society (advocacy and awareness).
 
Currently there is a lack of partnerships and cooperation between clusters. This is specifically within government (ie between national, provincial and local levels), and between government, the private sector and civil society.
 
Communication, coordination, collaboration and funding are imperative. It’s clear that there needs to be a lot more communication around the SDGs, aligned funding mechanisms, and coordinating activities (from explanations on monitoring and evaluation to reporting frameworks). There also needs to be a great deal more collaboration around common goals. A centralised facilitation agency was proposed.
 
The research institutions play a crucial role in achieving the SDGs and NDP. The state’s budget allocation to such institutions should not continually be cut, but rather increased.
 
Video clips with the full presentations and discussion can be found on the NSTF web site. The NSTF will be reporting back on the SET community’s engagement with the SDGs. Please send information to enquiries@nstf.org.za


Spokesperson: Ms Jansie Niehaus (Executive Director: NSTF)

 

Speakers that addressed the forum can be contacted through the spokesperson. 


Tel: +27 (0)12 841-3987/2632/4995
Fax: +27 (0)12 841-3025
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Web site: www.nstf.org.za
 

 

About the NSTF

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), established in 1995, is a broadly-representative stakeholder body for all SET and innovation organisations in South Africa, which seeks to influence policy formulation and delivery.

The NSTF Awards are unique in SA, recognising the outstanding contributions of individuals and groups to SET and innovation.

The science bursaries page http://www.nstf.org.za/bursary/ provides information on bursaries and bursary providers for science, engineering and related studies.

 

For more information

www.nstf.org.za
E-mail: enquiries@nstf.co.za
Tel: +27 12 841 3987
Fax: 27 12 841 3025

Non Profit Company Registration Number: 2007/029165/08
NPO Registration Number: 92042
Donor tax exemption for all donations to the NSTF

 

Last updated Tuesday, 3 October 2017 14:33

ECSA NOTICE - CPD SCAM

Posted by Lynette Pieterse on Wednesday, 25 March 2015 14:25

ECSA warns professional registered persons off a company which is sending false information on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training courses. The company is copying CPD training courses from other companies’ brochures and attach it to their emails so that it looks legitimate. ECSA also discovered that this company make people pay for CPD courses which do not exist. See attachment for more information.


Attachments:

ECSA NOTICE - CPD SCAM.pdf 269.5K 25 Mar 15 14:25

Viewing page 1 of 2. Records 1 to 10 of 12.