15 January 2015
The African Doctoral Academy (ADA) hosted 25 doctoral students for a week-long seminar on research-policy-practice during the first week of January 2015. These young scholars, representing 20 nationalities, are part of the Southern African Young Scientists Summer Programme (SA-YSSP) – an initiative of the NRF, DST and IIASA.
The young scientists explored the increasingly important domain of science communication with well-known science communicator Ms Marina Joubert, to assist in communicating not only to the public and media, but also to policy makers and potential funders. In addition, aspects of bridging the research-to-policy-to-practice gap were led by Prof Alice Pell (Cornell University) and Dr Lindiwe Sibanda (FANRPAN) (http://www.fanrpan.org/).
This second seminar (the first hosted during 2014), culminated in a high level Policy Dialogue facilitated by the DST and the NRF, with prominent participants from the science and technology community in South Africa, including Dr Phil Mjwara, Director-General of DST, Ms Malebona Precious Matsoso, DG of the Department of Health, and CEOs of Science Councils (MRC, HSRC, ARC and the WRC). The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President of Botswana, Ms Botshelo Mathuba, represented SADC in these discussions. Sessions focused on strategic policy discussions in the areas of water, food security, energy, health and agriculture.
A high-level roundtable by heads of research councils and government, led by the DG of DST, formed part of the policy dialogue, to determine the future investment strategy of South Africa in systems analysis capacity. Members of South Africa’s National Member Organisation to IIASA also participated, including Prof Mary Scholes, Prof Frans Swanepoel, Prof Julian May and Prof André Roodt (Dean of the SA-YSSP).
The SA-YSSP is an annual three-month initiative that contributes to the establishment, growth and enhancement of high level strategic research networks internationally. Launched in 2011 by Minster Pandor, SA-YSSP develops capacity in systems analysis at the PhD, postdoctoral and supervisory levels through research conducted in the areas of the DST grand challenges, and aligned with current research programmes at IIASA. Hosted by the University of the Free State, this third year of the 3-month course brought together 25 scholars from 20 nationalities.
Last edited: 15 January 2015
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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