Due to Covid-19 prevalence, the SA Science forum will be hosted physically at the CSIR on the first day and the rest of the sessions will take place on virtual platforms.
The annual three-day summit will feature renowned local scientists, professors Quarraisha and Salim Karim, who will deliver the plenary lecture. The two internationally acclaimed South African scientists are well known for their work on HIV/Aids and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Quarraisha and Salim Karim recently received the prestigious “500 years of the Strait of Magellan Award” in recognition of their pioneering scientific work and contribution to humanity.
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande opened the event followed by messages from the forum’s strategic international partners, including the AU Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor.
Under the theme “Igniting conversations about science” the summit will be hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation. The sessions focused on topics such as the future of transdisciplinarity in research, African histories of technology, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the future of data protection.
The forum will end with a series of panel discussions interrogating the role of science in advancing social justice, which will be the theme for South Africa’s hosting of the World Science Forum next year.
The forum programme will also comprise 32-panel discussions and debates, all interrogating the critical interface between science and society. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the various science, technology and innovation partnership initiatives that the department has led as part of SA’s chairing of the AU this year.
Through the European South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme, there will be a special focus on co-operation with the EU, with several sessions presented by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the Africa-Europe Innovation Partnership.