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 The content of the collections listed have not been peer-reviewed, but it is believed that it can contribute to the academic discourse, and be used in the advancement of science and discussions/decisions around science.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
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    The threat to leadership in South African universities
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2023-01-27) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    The 10th ASSAf Presidential Roundtable Discussion and the first in 2023, titled “The threat to leadership in South African universities” was presented on 27 January 2023. In recent times university staff have been assaulted and killed on and around campuses across the country, for instance, the killing of Prof Gregory Kamwendo, former Dean of Arts at the University of Zululand, Prof Mohammed Saber Tayob, a CA associate professor at the University of Limpopo, then, Peet Roets, who was the head of Fleet management at the University of Fort Hare, to name but a few. Now this year, the attempted assassination of the Vice-Chancellor of Fort Hare University and the tragic murder of his bodyguard, Mr Mbonelli Vesele, has generated intense public reaction against the perceived lack of response from government, whether it be in bringing the criminals to justice or providing adequate support to university leadership when their very lives are at stake. Prof Jonathan Jansen, ASSAf’s President, moderated the dialogue to get a deeper understanding of why this is happening; if government is doing enough to support university staff; and what these attacks mean for the future of South African universities in general and university leadership in particular. The discussions were led by Prof Nomalanga Mkhize (HoD: History and Political Studies, Nelson Mandela University), Prof Mohamed Saleem Badat (Research Professor: College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal), Prof Themba Mosia (Vice-Principal, University of Pretoria) and Prof Adam Habib (Director: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London). The panellists viewed these developments as a crisis that needs to be handled with extreme caution. The ASSAf Presidential Roundtables on Science, Scholarship and Society, which are hosted by ASSAf and moderated by ASSAf’s President, Prof Jonathan Jansen, are an evidence-based dialogue that brings together experts and stakeholders to address critical issues affecting society at large and are of interest to a broad audience.
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    The threat of academic xenophobia to the future of South African universities
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2022-11-24) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Webinar presented on 24 November 2022 as part of the 9th ASSAf Presidential Roundtable series. The 9th ASSAf Presidential Roundtable Discussion topic is “The Threat of Academic Xenophobia to the Future of South African Universities”. The more visible signs of xenophobia happen on the streets of South Africa and are sometimes violent and disruptive. But universities as institutions have not been immune to what we call academic xenophobia. The dialogue brought together experts to discuss the latest data on African scholars and scientists in South African universities, their experiences on campuses throughout the country, and what can be done to develop a progressive employment regime that is built on the academic values of the modern university. The Panellists included Prof Evance Kalula (Emeritus Professor of Law, University of Cape Town), Ms Nicole Fritz (Director, Helen Suzman Foundation), Dr Precious Simba (Lecturer, Department of Education Policy Studies, Stellenbosch University) and Prof Sakhela Buhlungu (Vice Chancellor, University of Fort Hare). The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) runs these series of ASSAf Presidential Roundtables on Science, Scholarship and Society bi-annually and are hosted and moderated by ASSAf’s President, Prof Jonathan Jansen. The roundtables are an evidence-based dialogue that brings together experts and stakeholders to address critical issues affecting society at large and are of interest to a broad audience.
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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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    Science and war
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2022-03-29) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); Royal Society of South Africa (RSSA)
    In times of war, scientists ask themselves what their role can and should be, in the face of humanitarian disasters, disruption and challenges to our ability to collaborate on a global platform. History shows us that science can do great good, and great harm. Our responsibility now is to seek knowledge for the good of humanity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the response of the academic community to the current crisis in Eastern Europe. It is clear, too, that as part of the greater global society, we acknowledge the severe impacts of all wars against humanity, whether in Europe or the Middle East or Africa. We should embrace fleeing refugees from the Congo or Syria with the same concern as those from Ukraine - only then does international solidarity mean anything at all. There is reason for pause, and to consider the issues that are at stake because of wars: the disruption and destruction of human lives and the halting of progress towards addressing the broadest global challenges – hunger, poverty, climate change, pandemics, inequalities and natural disasters. Scientists across the world should be supported in working together to find solutions, for peace and the greater good.
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    Astronomy in Africa
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Astronomy is one of the most challenging of all scientific endeavours, requiring technologies and skills that are usually beyond the reach of what is currently available. As such it is a field that pushes the boundaries of human capacity and moves us into new realms of discovery, technology and thought. In this talk Kevin Govender and Vanessa McBride reflect on Astronomy in Africa and explore how this continent has become a global player, if not leader, in this field, and what this means for how the world sees us. They touch on the exciting science being done in Africa; the incredible infrastructure both current and planned; the vibrant and growing network of African astronomers; and the opportunities presented by events like the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which is to be held for the first time in Africa in 2024.
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    Pandemic ethics: how have we fared?
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
    Webinar hosted on 4 May 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised profound ethical, legal and social issues set against a backdrop of global health and socio-economic inequities. The ethical issues have ranged from restrictions on personal liberties in the public interest to distributive justice in access to limited resources like ventilators and critical care beds. Many of these ethical debates have been advanced with COVID-19 vaccines - inequitable access, vaccine diplomacy and vaccine nationalism. History will judge us for how we have responded - solidarity and social justice or "catastrophic moral failure"?
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    SALGA-ASSAf seminar on disaster risk management, fire & emergency services capabilities assessment of municipalities
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); South African Local Governments Association (SALGA)
    In partnership with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), ASSAf hosted a seminar to discuss the output of research commissioned by SALGA. The research sought to determine the ability of municipalities – across all municipal categories – to perform functions in relation to disaster management, fire services and emergency services. The work was a “deep-dive” analysis to obtain a detailed understanding of the challenges faced by municipalities, and to describe the essential elements of “best practice” and how the elements interact as a complex adaptive system.
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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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    Webinar: Mechanisms, funding and state capability for poverty and inequality reduction (post-Covid) in South Africa
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); May, Julian; Frye, Isobel; Kirsten, Johann; Adesina, Jimi
    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 will delve into the following themes:
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    Webinar Three of a Three-part Series: What must be done if the state is to be capable of poverty and inequality reduction?
    (Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); SARChI Chair in Social Policy at the University of South Africa (UNISA), 2021) Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf); 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 acclaimed 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 will delve into the following themes:
©The Author/Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)