Let World Take Note of SA ScienceThe leadership of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has been asked to establish a stronger presence at strategic science conferences in the world.
The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, Dr Nqaba Ngcobo says ASSAf cannot hope to meet its goals if it fails to interact with other world bodies responsible for the development of science. “Ensure increased visibility in the strategic international science conferences,” Dr Ngcobo said, in an appeal to the academy’s President, Prof Robin Crew, for ASSAf not to miss the upcoming International Nuclear Conference.
Members of the Committee told Prof Crew to strengthen ASSAf’s alignment with government goals, especially with regards to improvement of rural development and food security. “Make your alignment with the government impact on the lives of the rural poorest of the poor,” they said.
Also appearing before the Committee was theAfrica Institute of South Africa (AISA). Dr Ngcobo asked AISA’s Dr Bhekumzi Hlatshwayo about an allegation that AISA was dominated by foreign researchers who abused AISA’s money. In response, Dr Hlatshwayo said AISA had only five researchers from African countries. “They do not abuse research funds, AISA has strong controls in place,” he said.
ASSAf was inaugurated in May 1996 by former President Nelson Mandela, the patron of the Academy. ASSAf’s mandate encompasses all fields of scientific enquiry.