ASSAf News

General News

Published: 19 July 2018

Royal Society of South Africa cordially invites you to attend a public talk on Time as a Passing Shadow: chronology in Greco-Roman antiquitychronology in Greco-Roman antiquity, as illustrated by a sundial unearthed at Pompeii by John Douglas Hey, MRSSAf.

Published: 09 July 2018

Please be informed that the African Union Commission has launched the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence - 2018 Edition with the continued support of its Development Partners particularly the European Commission.

Published: 20 June 2018

The African Cancer Institute at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, invites you to apply for the above postgraduate degree for 2019. For more information.

Published: 05 June 2018

The IAP for Health has announced the latest Call for Nominations to the 2019 Young Physician Leaders programme (YPL). 

Published: 01 June 2018

The Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2) with Southern African Innovation Summit and  Connected Hubs* is excited to announce that we are hosting a dynamic event at the SA Innovation Summit on 12 September 2018. Save this date!

Published: 02 May 2018

The 3RD BRICS Young Scientist Forum under the theme “Building BRICS Youth Leadership through Science, Technology and Innovation” will highlight the strategic importance of science, technology and innovation as key drivers of youth entrepreneurship and leadership. The thematic discussions will focus on energy, water and social science. The event will take place from 25 - 29 June 2018 in Durban, South Africa.
3rd BRICS Young Scientist Forum 2018 -The Call
3rd BRICS YS Forum 2018 Application Form

Published: 26 April 2018

Concluding the International Forum on “Women and Sustainable Development in Africa”, held from 8 to 10 March 2018, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which was organised by the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC), we, the participants, make the following declaration and call for action to enhance the role of women in sustainable development in Africa.

Published: 05 April 2018

On 14 March, the African Academy of Sciences announced two mobility funds – the Science and Language Mobility Scheme Africa and the Africa India Mobility Fund (AIMF), to encourage collaboration between African researchers and African and Indian researchers, respectively.

Published: 16 March 2018

The Call for Nominations for the 2018 World Data System (WDS) Data Stewardship Award is now open. This annual prize celebrates the exceptional contributions of Early Career Researchers to the improvement of scientific data stewardship through their (1) engagement with the community, (2) academic achievements, and (3) innovations.

Published: 28 February 2018

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) calls for nominations for the 2018 South African Women in Science Awards (WISA).

Published: 28 February 2018

The South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) cordially invites you to a lecture on Decolonising Engineering presented by Prof Mike Muller.

Published: 20 February 2018

The SciELO 20 Years Conference will address and debate – during its three day program – the main political, methodological and technological issues and trends that define today’s state of the art in scholarly communication.

Published: 12 February 2018

Nominations sought TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize in Engineering Sciences

TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) – for the advancement of science in developing countries is inviting nominations for the 2018 TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize.

Published: 12 December 2017

For the remainder of the 21st century and beyond, climate change poses an existential threat to humanity.

Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the world’s nations agreed to keep global temperature rises to within 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. One degree of that rise has already occurred. However, in the recent COP23 meeting held in Bonn, Germany, we are still heading towards 3 degrees rise, and possibly more.

The Paris Agreement also states “Parties should take measures ... to enhance climate change education” (Paris Agreement, Art.12).

“Decisions on how to tackle the effects of climate change need to be based on sound science and rational judgement,” says Krishan Lal (India), co-chair of IAP for Science. “They will also need to be made through the coming years – so it is the younger generation, currently in schools and learning about science, who will need to make those decisions.”

Unfortunately, in many countries, science education is often poor and does not develop the rational thinking or provide the inter-disciplinary study required to learn about climate change.

IAP and its member academies have a long track record in improving science education in many countries through the promotion of inquiry-based science education (IBSE), whereby children learn teamwork and rational thinking through the scientific process of developing hypotheses, designing and carrying out experiments to test them, and evaluating their results to develop conclusions. Currently, however, even the best science education tends to be taught in traditional silos – biology, chemistry, physics, etc., whereas climate change education requires a more inter-disciplinary approach.

The IAP ‘Statement on Climate Change and Education’ recognizes this and, to start the process of revitalizing education, lays out a series of recommendations on how effective climate change education can be promoted in schools around the world.

Among the specific recommendations of the Statement are the wider uptake of IBSE in schools around the world; the need to provide teachers with adequate training and resources; and that the periodic Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ‘Assessment Reports’ and accompanying ‘Summaries for Policy Makers’ can be used as the basis for producing ‘Resources & Tools for Teachers’.

"We believe that climate change is a real threat to humanity, but also could be a formidable opportunity for all of us to modify the current unsustainable way of living, as recently outlined by more than 15,000 scientists in their call to the humanity. During major civilization changes, education has played a capital role to prepare the youth and convey the new ideas. Our goal in releasing this Statement is to contribute to this process,” says Pierre Léna of the Académie des sciences, France, who chaired the working group that produced the IAP Statement.

“We hear everywhere pessimistic statements about the future of our planet,” adds Marie-Lise Chanin, also of the French Académie des sciences, who co-chaired the development of the Statement with Pierre Léna. "but engaging the young generation in this issue and empowering students as ‘agents of change’ will bring hope and optimism.”

The IAP for Science ‘Statement on Climate Change and Education’ will be released on 12 December in Paris, France, at the One Planet Summit, being held under the auspices of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

“This Statement on Climate Change Education builds on IAP’s track record in promoting science education,” says Volker ter Meulen (Germany), the other co-chair of IAP for Science. “And by releasing it during President Macron’s One Planet Summit we hope that it will reach the eyes and ears of governments and decision-makers worldwide and convince them that they need to take both individual and collective action on this existential issue.”

The preparation IAP Statements is led by one of its member academies (in this case the Académie des sciences, France). A working group of experts nominated by IAP member academies is established to develop and refine the Statement. A Statement is released only when it has been approved by the IAP for Science Executive Committee and more than half of IAP members have endorsed its contents. Thus, the contents of this IAP Statement is supported by the credibility and independence of the majority of the world’s academies of science.

Published: 30 November 2017

The South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) is a voluntary organisation comprising fellows elected by their peers on account of their eminence as engineers with proven records of significant contributions towards the engineering profession in South Africa.

Published: 25 November 2017

IAP for Science today issued a statement on ‘Science and Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction’. 


The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which the world’s nations signed up to in March 2015, calls for increased input of science, technology and research to deal with the risks of natural disasters and manage their impacts. Strategies need to be developed to reduce disaster risks before an event, manage the emergency as it happens, ensure effective recovery afterwards, and enhance resilience.

But with population growth and the concentration of populations in urban areas, often with uncontrolled development and poorly-engineered infrastructures and buildings, the impacts of natural disasters are increasing. There is also the question as to whether climate change is exacerbating the frequency and intensity of Atlantic hurricanes, for example.

Indeed, even during the preparation of this Statement, many regions of the globe were hit by devastating natural disasters: mudslides in Sierra Leone and Colombia, floods in Bangladesh, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria that hit various Caribbean islands and mainland America, earthquakes in Mexico and on the Iran-Iraq border, and wildfires in California, to name just a few.

“As this IAP Statement points out,” says Krishan Lal, IAP for Science co-chair from India, “it is the poorest people, especially in developing countries, who are most adversely affected by natural disasters. As a society, we are still failing to invest in the infrastructure and other interventions that will save lives and livelihoods as well as saving money.”

The Statement itself was developed by a team of experts nominated by IAP member academies and led by the Science Council of Japan. As Shigeko Haruyama of the SCJ, who chaired the Statement working group, points out: “Even in a rich and well-prepared country like Japan, we are always learning and always striving to improve our disaster preparedness and responses. For example, the Tõhoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster in east Japan 2011 taught us many valuable lessons. We have tried to integrate these into the recommendations put forward in this IAP Statement.”

The IAP Statement itself gives four key recommendations:

  1. Promote and strengthen the development of a common platform at the national level through which all stakeholders and scientists maintain constant dialogues in local languages, and assist the efforts of the governments and citizens in disaster risk reduction and resilience by creating stronger inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary ties.

    Here the Statement proposes greater use of Earth-observation satellite data; the use of big data technologies; improving the disaster-literacy of people (especially vulnerable groups) living in at-risk areas through education outreach efforts; and developing guidelines for national platforms for the coordination of preparations and responses to natural disasters.

  2. Assign an important role in disaster risk reduction to disaster science, disaster mitigation engineering, environmental science, and social sciences; particularly sociology, geography and economics, health science, earth science, earth observation, and other relevant areas. In collaboration, these areas should create a framework to ensure inter-disciplinary efforts to increase the resilience of local communities to disasters.

Here the Statement proposes developing standard operating procedures for science advice, inputs and communication at the time of disaster emergency situations; providing information that facilitates the investment necessary for building resilient societies; informing citizens of disaster risks by providing impact-based early warning information and mapping of risks; and developing portable and community-usable warning and response systems applicable to numerous localities. 

  1. Promote scientific and technological research at local, national and international levels to establish inclusive, effective and sustainable national platforms to support the efforts in disaster risk reduction and resilience through trans-disciplinary cooperation. 

    Here the Statement proposes more effective use of research data especially from developing countries; building networks and sharing experiences and successes between countries; and developing appropriate metrics so that countries can document and monitor their progress. 

  2. For effective implementation of existing knowledge into the development process and people’s daily lives, we need to create demand-driven science for safety, especially in developing countries where safety is not necessarily a top priority for either the government or the public.

Here the Statement points out that demand can be created by strengthening risk communication and making peoples’ demand for safe housing, safe cities, safe infrastructure, reliable energy, good water management and clean air, a public good; translating the demand for safety into an economic benefit; and implementing building codes, safety standards and land use regulations.

“The Statement provides a series of recommendations and an action agenda to reduce the impact of natural disasters,” confirms IAP’s other co-chair, Volker ter Meulen (Germany). “National governments need to do more to honour their commitment to the Sendai Framework, but academies of science and other scientific institutions can also help by creating hubs that can collate relevant scientific information and make it available to policy-makers in easy-to-understand ways that will assist them in their decision-making.”

The release of this statement is being coordinated by the Science Council of Japan and will be officially launched on 25 November 2017 at the ‘International Conference on Science and Technology for Sustainability 2017 - Global Forum on Science and Technology for Disaster Resilience 2017’ being held in Japan on 23-25 November.

As well as the efforts of the Science Council of Japan, this IAP Statement builds on work of other IAP initiatives. For example, in 2016, IAP was a co-organizer of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Science and Technology Conference on the implementation of the Sendai Framework held in Geneva, Switzerland, on 27-29 January. The meeting brought together more than 700 researchers, policy makers, practitioners and other stakeholders. It also saw the launch of UNISDR’s Scientific and Technical Partnership, to which IAP has signed up as a member.

The preparation IAP Statements is led by one of its member academies (in this case the SCJ). A working group of experts nominated by IAP members is established to develop and refine the Statement. A Statement is released only when it has been approved by the IAP for Science Executive Committee and more than half of IAP members have endorsed its contents. Thus, the contents of this IAP Statement is supported by the credibility and independence of the majority of the world’s academies of science. 

About IAP

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) was formally launched in South Africa in March 2016 and brought together three established global networks of academies of science, medicine and engineering.

Under the InterAcademy Partnership, more than 130 national and regional member academies work together to support the special role of science and its efforts to seek solutions to address the world's most challenging problems. In particular, IAP harnesses the expertise of the world's scientific, medical and engineering leaders to advance sound policies, promote excellence in science education, improve public health, and achieve other critical development goals. 

IAP for Science (founded in 1993 as the InterAcademy Panel) brings together a sub-set of 113 academies from among the 130-plus members of the InterAcademy Partnership.

Copies of the Statement are available for download from: http://www.interacademies.net/10878/31951.aspx

 

Published: 01 November 2017

The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) will be celebrating her 40th year as the ‘‘voice of science’’ in Nigeria. The activities to mark this momentous milestone are scheduled to take place in Abuja, Nigeria from the 14 to 16 November 2017 as part of a week of activities.

Published: 01 November 2017

The TWAS-UNESCO Associateship Scheme enables competent researchers from the developing countries to visit participating centres of excellence in the South for research collaboration.

Published: 19 October 2017

The Royal Society and the National Research Foundation in Singapore (NRF) has established a new Post-doctoral International Collaborative Fellowship for the Commonwealth.

Published: 02 October 2017

The Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) annually connects promising young researchers in mathematics and computer science with the top scientists in their fields. For one week in late summer, the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) invites the recipients of the Abel Prize, the ACM A.M. Turing Award, the ACM Prize in Computing, the Fields Medal, and the Nevanlinna Prize to join 200 carefully selected young researchers.

Published: 20 September 2017

Cape Town is experiencing a water crisis that could have been prevented by taking account of sound technical advice. Ethekwini and Gauteng recently faced similar problems and Gauteng could face even worse problems due to delays in the award of contracts for the next phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

Published: 20 September 2017

You are invited to the Annual Hendrik van der Bijl Memorial Lecture which is arranged under the auspices of SAAE and  the University of Pretoria.  Peter Staude, CEO of Tongaat Hulett Limited, will deliver the 2017 lecture at  17:30 on  Wednesday 27 September 2017 in the  Senate Hall in the Administration Building on the Main Campus of the University of Pretoria.

Published: 24 August 2017

WISWB 2018 will showcase STEM research that is seeking innovative, sustainable solutions to societal problems.

Published: 04 July 2017

The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) - was promoted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a centre of excellence for research and training in genetic engineering and biotechnology for the benefit of developing countries.

Published: 30 June 2017

The Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), The Netherlands, would like to invite nominations from the National Authority and Permanent Representation of Member States to the OPCW to attend this workshop.

Published: 23 June 2017

An Award that serves to reward excellence and exceptional scholarship in all its forms and which carries a monetary value of R1.5 million. The Trust is calling for nominations from South African Universities, Science Councils, Research & Policy Institutes, and other institutions or agencies of similar national standing.

Published: 29 May 2017

To recognise scientists and researchers who have contributed positively to the social sciences and humanities, the Human Sciences Research Council invites nominations for the HSRC Medal for the Social Sciences and Humanities.

Published: 18 May 2017

The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA) invites nominations of suitable candidates for the TWAS Regional Prize. TWAS-ROSSA seeks to honour an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to popularise science, and has developed new strategies that serve the popularization of science and technology in the developing world.

Published: 10 April 2017

The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW) has opened its annual call for fellowship applications. This is an opportunity for those who wish to spend a period of time during the academic year 2018/19 to conduct research as a part of the NIAS community in Amsterdam.

Published: 10 April 2017
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is currently soliciting nominations for the 2017-2018 Mariam K. Chamberlain Award.
Published: 03 April 2017

The Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA) recently launched the TUBA Academy Prizes in three areas - Basic and Engineering sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities and Health and Life Sciences.

Published: 03 April 2017

The African-German Network of Excellence in Science (AGNES) is pleased to announce that the call for applications for the next intake programme: the AGNES Intra-Africa Mobility Grant for Junior Researchers is now open.

Published: 15 March 2017

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) calls for nominations for the 2017 South African Women in Science Awards (WISA). The awards recognise and reward excellence by women scientists and researchers, and profile them as role models for younger women. The awards will be made to women who are South African citizens or permanent residents. 

Published: 13 March 2017

An untold number of researchers, engineers and doctors are among the millions displaced by recent conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. A workshop co-organised by TWAS will explore the lives of refugee scientists – and the expertise they bring to their new countries.

Published: 16 February 2017

International Council of Science (ICSU) released a statement on President Trump’s executive order banning entry to US for citizens of 7 countries.

Published: 16 February 2017

The Young Leaders Programme is linked to the European Development Days (EDD) Conference taking place from 7-8 June 2017 in Brussels.

Published: 13 February 2017

TWAS 2017 Prizes will be awarded to individual scientists who have been working and living in a developing country for at least ten years immediately prior to their nomination, in recognition of an outstanding contribution to knowledge or an

Published: 09 February 2017

The TWAS-DFG Cooperation Visits Programme provides postdoctoral researchers who have obtained their PhD not earlier than 2012 and are from sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, with the opportunity to make a 'Cooperation Visit' to an institute in Germany. 

Published: 07 February 2017

Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy of Science of South Africa invite you to a public lecture by Dr Tessa Dowling, Senior Lecturer of African Languages in the School of Languages and Literatures, University of Cape Town and a director of African Voices, on ‘Thatha machance!” (Take chances!) Safe bets and wild gambles in the study of African languages.’

Published: 03 February 2017

The TWAS 2017 Prizes will be awarded to in recognition of an outstanding contribution to knowledge in the following nine fields of science: Agricultural Sciences; Biology;  Chemistry;  Earth, Astronomy and Space Sciences; Engineering Sciences; Mathematics;  Medical Sciences; Physics and Social Sciences (excluding Economic Sciences).

Published: 02 February 2017

The Nigerian Academy of Science, at its Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Thursday, 26th of January, 2017, has inducted Professor Kalu Mosto Onuoha FAS as its new President.

Published: 13 December 2016

TechWomen is a U.S. State Department-funded professional exchange program that brings over 100 women professionals from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who work in science, technology, engineering, and math, to the San Francisco Bay area and Washington DC for a 5-week mentorship and professional exchange experience, in Sept-Oct 2017. 

Published: 09 September 2016

An International Conference to Celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Enrico Fermi’s Paper on Quantum Statistics.

Published: 13 April 2016

The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa in partnership with The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), which is based in Italy and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of South Africa are pleased to announce the call for fellowship applications for the NRF- TWAS Postdoctoral Fellowships for 2017

Published: 11 January 2016

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has issued an international call for applications for a research chair for mathematics with specialisation in data science in South Africa. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2016. This call is aimed at highly qualified postdoctoral academics from any country who have conducted application-related research in the field of mathematics with specialisation in data science and have experience in training students and doctoral candidates.