B. Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Events

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This community contains non-peer reviewed slide sets (PDF format) and audio/video recordings (MP4 format) from events and presentations during those events, and in which ASSAf participated or where ASSAf was represented. The content of the collections listed have not been peer-reviewed, but it is believed that it can contribute to the academic discourse, and be used in the advancement of science and discussions/decisions around science.

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For enquiries about items in this collection, please contact: louise@assaf.org.za

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Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
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    SA Launch IYBSSD 2022
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2022-08) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Department of Science and Innovation (DSI); National Research Foundation (NRF)
    This roundtable discussion formed part of the launch of the SA International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD 2022). More information can be accessed at https://iybssd.africa/. Programme: 1. Moderator: Prof Himla Soodyall, Executive Officer, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); 2. Opening remarks: Mr Imraan Patel, Deputy Director-General: Research Development Support, SA Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) to accelerate innovation to achieve the SDGs/ Dr Sudesh Sivarasu, Co-chair: South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS); Using science to inspire the next generation of scientists (focus on equity)/ Dr Beverley Damonse, Group Executive: Science Engagement and Corporate Relations, National Research Foundation (NRF); Public engagement of science/ Dr Nnditshedzeni Eric Maluta, HoD and Coordinator: Vuwana Science Resource Centre, University of Venda.
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    Highlights of the 2021 webinar series on reducing poverty and inequality in South Africa post-COVID
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2022) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII); Bureau for Economic Research (BER); SARChI Chair in Social Policy at the University of South Africa (UNISA)
    The Standing Committee on the Science for the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality (SCSfRPI) is a committee of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). In July 2020, the ASSAf Council mandated the committee to focus on poverty and inequality concerning the pandemic and consult interdisciplinary science on reducing poverty and inequality. In response, the SCSfRPI conceptualised a webinar series that delved into the following themes: 1. What to do to reduce poverty and inequality? 2. How to fund interventions to reduce poverty? 3. What must be done if the state is to be capable of poverty and inequality reduction? These clips provide a summary of the discussions during the entire webinar series.
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    Understanding the scourge of predatory journals and conferences in academia
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Presented as part of Science Forum South Africa 2021. This presentation highlights some of the key emerging findings and recommendations of an InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) study “Combatting predatory academic journals and conferences” which will report in early 2022. IAP is the global network of over 140 national academies of science, engineering and medicine who work together on policy issues of vital importance. Predatory journals and conferences are pervading the research enterprise: they are driven entirely by profit and involve some form of deception, such as the false promise of rigorous peer review - a hallmark of academic research. What is more, their tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated and that it is becoming more difficult to distinguish fraudulent practices from low quality or questionable ones. This means that poor science can find its way into the knowledge base and good science can be overlooked when it appears in low credibility journals: if left unchallenged, the implications are profound. The IAP study has been informed by a unique survey of the global research community in which over 1,800 researchers participated. The survey gives a concerning insight into the extent and impact of these predatory practices across the world, what drives them and motivates researchers to use them. By understanding these dynamics and the relative vulnerabilities and exposure to predatory outlets, the survey can help identify the most impactful ways of combatting them. African members of the international working group leading this work provide a preview of the study's findings, including (i) emerging recommendations for key stakeholder communities who play their part in the knowledge ecosystem, such as researchers, research funders, publishers, academic leaders, libraries and indexing services; and (ii) a new spectrum tool designed to assist many of them. An African perspective is prominent in the discussions. The session explores the following key questions: 1. What are predatory journals and conferences? 2. Why are they on the rise? 3. Why are they important? 4. What can be done to curb them? 5. What resources are available to help researchers and others minimise their risk?
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    Crisis and catastrophe: the motor of South African history?
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Annual Humanities Lecture Webinar hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) on 5 October 2021. Presented by Assistant Prof Jacob Dlamini, Princeton University, United States of America. In 1977, R.W. Johnson published How Long will South Africa Survive?, a book that sought to examine the resilience of what the author called South Africa’s ‘White Establishment.’ Johnson challenged the tendency among left-wing thinkers and Afrikaner nationalists to see change in South Africa as being driven solely by the internal dynamics of the country’s history. As Johnson elaborated in a 2015 sequel to How Long will South Africa Survive?the ‘iron law’ of South African history was that international developments have always been more responsible for change in the country; that crises generated by South Africa’s position in the global economy have always been the key driver of political transformation in the country. In my presentation, the presenter built on Johnson’s claim that crisis (and catastrophe) is the motor of South African history. He used his claim to position South Africa as a vantage point from which to imagine a national history not burdened by race, and to tell a South African story that is at the same time a global history of the 20th-century. What happens to conventional accounts of South African history (not to mention global history) when we treat the country as the standpoint from which to examine some of the major crises and catastrophes of the 20th century? That is the question at the centre of this presentation.
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    Women in Science: Prof Helen Rees
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); WITS RHI
    In this video, Prof Helen Rees shares more on her science career as a woman. This documentary formed part of the South African National Science Week from 2-8 August 2021. In commemoration of women’s day held annually on 9 August and women’s month observed yearly in August, ASSAf’s Phyllis Kalele had a discussion with Prof. Helen Rees to talk about her life’s journey from childhood to being a global renowned public health scientist and her views on women and their role in science. Prof. Rees was elected and inaugurated as a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa in October 2006. Her election to membership of the country’s national science academy is confirmation that she has been honoured and recognized as one of the most outstanding and celebrated scholars contributing to scholarly activities in her field of expertise in this country to a significant extent. In addition, Prof. Rees is featured in the ASSAf’s first edition of the Legends of South African Science, a book that introduces Academy Members who rank among the top achievers in the country and that provides a unique collective perspective on contributions by South African scientists and scholars.
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    ICT in Science – Towards empowered South African Citizens
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Science engagement plays a pivotal role in bringing trusted information to the public, however, not all communities are accessible in South Africa and science engagers are in short supply. Alternative ways need to be explored as to how to empower citizens and equip them with knowledge to make informed decisions. Informed and knowledgeable citizens can in turn contribute to a more developed citizenry, where the concept of development involves several dimensions of transformation, including the creation of wealth (that is, rapid and sustained economic growth) and its distribution in a fashion that benefits a broad spectrum of people rather than a small elite (that is, a reduction in social inequality) (Shrum, 2001). This webinar tried to address the following questions: • Can ICT assist in making trusted scientific information accessible to all? • Which challenges does the country face in achieving success in this regard? • Are there any success stories on how ICT has positively impacted on a more scientifically engaged citizenry? • What needs to change if we want to succeed in utilising ICT for increased science engagement?
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    ASSAf Copyright Amendment Bill Workshop, 29 June 2021
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    The genesis of the Copyright Amendment Bill was in 2009, when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) initiated various studies and impact assessments. In July 2015, the DTI published a Draft Copyright Amendment Bill for public comment. The final 2017 version of the Bill was approved by Parliament in 2019 and it was sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for action in terms of Section 79(1) of the Constitution. Section 79(1) states that “The President must either assent to and sign a Bill passed in terms of this Chapter or, if the President has reservations about the constitutionality of the Bill, refer it back to the National Assembly for reconsideration”. The President referred the Bill back to Parliament for review on 16 June 2020, on constitutionality issues. In response to the President’s reservations, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry has invited stakeholders and other interested parties to submit written submissions on certain sections of the Bill by no later than 9 July 2021. The current copyright law is outdated and does not address the digital environment. The Academy of Science of South Africa seeks to take into account the status of the copyright legislation and the anticipated effects of the amendment Bill on different issues and thereafter, provide recommendations to the President. This webinar workshop was hosted on 29 June 2021. Access the YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/embed/LBhJfAKPTN0.
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    Humanities Book Award Ceremony 2021
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Prof Charles van Onselen was awarded the 2021 ASSAf Humanities Book Award for his book titled The Night Trains: Moving Mozambican Miners to and from South Africa, circa 1902-1955. For more than 50 years, privately operated trains travelled by night between Ressano Garcia, on the Mozambique border, and Booysens station, Johannesburg. Their ‘cargo’: human beings, Mozambican migrant workers in their thousands. The Night Trains examines the largely neglected social and political economy of these workers, bringing into focus the human suffering involved in the economic partnership between the mining houses and the railways. This was a partnership in which the brutal logic of industrial capitalism is fully exposed, working to maximise profit at the expense of the health, well-being and the very lives of its immigrant workers. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) awards this prize bi-annually to a scholarly publication that made a noteworthy contribution to developing a new understanding and insight of a topic in the Humanities, Social Sciences or the Performing Arts. This year ASSAf received 35 nominations with the publication dates limited to 2017, 2018 and 2019. Van Onselen is a Research Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria (UP). He holds a B.Sc. and University Education Diploma (UED) from Rhodes University, a B.A. Hons. (Wits), a D.Phil. from Oxford University and a D.Lit. (Honoris Causa) from Rhodes University. Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf (you can add more than one here)
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