Open Call for Applications, The Department of Science & Technology of South Africa Announces A Grant Scheme for 10 International Journalists Wishing to Attend

The 3rd Science Forum South Africa

Pretoria, 7 & 8 December 2017


1. – Purpose


After the highly successful second Science Forum South Africa held in Pretoria in December, 2016, the South African Ministry of Science will host a second meeting themed ‘Ignite Conversations About Science’ on 7th and 8th December 2017 in Pretoria.


The event provides Africa with its first “open science” event, similar to forums convened with great success elsewhere in the world. The two-day programme brings together more than 1500 participants for discussion and debate in plenary sessions, short seminars and individual lectures labelled as “Science talks.” The SFSA also includes an exhibition and public outreach activities.


One of the key aims of SFSA 2017 is to add a stronger science media presence onsite. This includes media representatives acting as high-level panel moderators, participating in the open debates and using SFSA as a platform for self-education, interviews and news gathering.


To encourage this, SFSA 2017 Organisers have decided to facilitate the transport and onsite accommodation of 10 international science journalists from 10 countries. (Note that domestic and international media can request free SFSA participation regardless via the Media Pages on the event site or via the further information details below).


The Forum will again serve as a large, open, public platform for debating the science and society interface. This year’s programme will have a specific focus on the social sciences and humanities, as well as the role of science in Africa’s development.


The programme is structured around five thematic tracks:


  • Shaping humanity – the focus in this track will be on how social sciences shape our human experiences and behaviours to improve the quality of life for all human beings, and the world we live in, including a better understanding of what is required to uplift people in a sustainable manner.
  • Preparing people for the knowledge economy – the focus in this track will be on the attitudes, education, experience, and abilities required individually and collectively to succeed in the knowledge economy, with a specific focus on achieving gender and demographic balance in an optimal functioning system of innovation.
  • Open science and open innovation for Africa’s development – the focus in this track will be on what the impact will be on Africa’s development if there was a concerted drive to intensify collaboration among all stakeholders in the scientific and innovation enterprise, including through the enhanced dissemination and sharing of research results to maximise impact.
  • Science transforming society – the focus in this track will be on how science, technology and innovation is changing society, how is it contributing to the improvement of the quality of living of all citizens and how we ensure ethical considerations are addressed and science-driven development is equitable and sustainable.
  • A better world – the focus in this track will be on the sustainable solutions science, technology and innovation can provide to global challenges like poverty, inequality, inclusive development and a secure society, with an emphasis on the value of enhanced international collaboration in addressing these shared global challenges.
  • Innovation shaping the industry of tomorrow – the focus in this track will be on how the exponential pace of progress in science, technology and innovation is disrupting every industry in every country and how the so-called “fourth industrial revolution” will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another.


In addition to Minister Naledi Pandor, the scientific leadership of South Africa, its pan-African neighbors and numerous civil society actors, confirmed speakers can be seen on the website


Leading scientists, researchers, elected officials, policy-makers and science counselors from all over the world will be joined by more business people, entrepreneurs and innovators, and science and technology communicators than ever before.


Our objective this December is to offer a platform whereby print and audio-visual journalists, editors, bloggers and social media can discuss and report on the latest scientific developments and thinking worldwide.


2. – The scheme


In addition to ample interviewing opportunities, these 10-international media will be provided with:


·         Conference registration;


·         Free accommodation from 4 - 9 December inclusive;


·         Free onsite catering; &


·         Free access to all programme and side-event activities. 


3. – Who can apply?


Journalists irrespective of their gender, age, nationality, place of residence and media (paper, radio, TV, web) are welcome to apply. Media accreditation will be required.



4. – Application procedure


Applications are open from 01 October 2017 12:00 pm CAT  


The deadline for submitting an application is 31 October 2017 12:00 pm CAT.


* On submitting an application, candidates agree to the full acceptance of the ‘terms and conditions’ and to the decisions taken by the Selection Committee.


5. – Selection Committee and decision


·         DST, Communications Department


·         DST, Mr Tommy Makhode, Deputy Director-General: Institutional Planning and Support Department


·         DST, Mr Daan du Toit, Deputy Director-General: International Cooperation and Resources


·         SciCom, Mr Aidan Gilligan Founder & CEO


The selection of candidates will be based on an applicant’s CV and a brief motivation statement of no more than 250 characters about being involved in SFSA 2017.


A list of successful candidates will be posted on the SFSA website on Thursday 6 November 2017. 



6. – Payment conditions


Details of accommodation and the tailored press programmes will be communicated closer to the event.


The initial priority will be organising transport to and from the conference. This will be booked directly by the organisers, not by successful candidates.


Candidates are responsible for researching and organising their own visa applications, if required.


Successful candidates are expected to:


·         Participate in a media session & tour with local media representatives on 5-8 December 2017,


·         Participate in daily media briefings;


·         Publish at least one print or online press article or audio-visual feature in any language about SFSA 2017; in a reputable journal.


·         Complete a feedback questionnaire regarding the scheme.



Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with queries relating to any aspect of the Forum.


Kind Regards,


Richard Bailey
SFSA2017 Secretariat
Tel +27 12 991 6637
Cell +27 82 330 1419
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 




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