On 26 and 27 February 2018, the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, will visit Leiden University as honorary Oort Visiting Professor of Astronomy for Development. She will give a ceremonial lecture on astronomy for development on 26 February and lead an interdisciplinary symposium on science diplomacy and development at the Leiden University Campus in the Hague on 27 February.


The famous astronomer Jan Oort was the Director of Leiden Observatory, the astronomy department of Leiden University, for many years.  He played a pioneering role in many aspects of modern astronomy.


According to Professor Carel JJM Stolker, the President and Rector of Leiden University, Minister Pandor's appointment as the honorary visiting professor for Astronomy for Development was in recognition of her "extraordinary accomplishment in harnessing science and particularly astronomy as a tool for global development and societal benefit."


Minister Pandor said she was honoured by the invitation.


"I am deeply aware of the international standing of this university and most appreciative of the recognition that this invitation represents for the many scientists and astronomers in Africa who are committed to promoting astronomy for development," she said.


Issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology



Lunga Ngqengelele

Media Liaison Officer

082 566 0446