The Netherlands’ Leiden University honours Minister Pandor as an honorary visiting Professor of Astronomy for Development

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) congratulates Minister Naledi Pandor on her recognition by Leiden University in the Netherlands as an Oort Honorary Visiting Professor of Astronomy and Development.


Minister Pandor will be inaugurated as Leiden University’s Oort honorary visiting professor at 17h00 (South African time) this afternoon (26 February 2018).


On Tuesday, 27 February 2018, at 10h00, Minister Pandor will deliver the inaugural lecture, under the theme ‘Science Diplomacy and Square Kilometre Array” at an interdisciplinary symposium on Science Diplomacy and Development.


Professor Jan Oort, whom the Professorship is named after, was a famous astronomer and a long-time Director of Leiden Observatory, which falls under the astronomy department of the Leiden University.


Minister Pandor’s appointment as Leiden University’s honorary visiting professor for Science and Development is in recognition of her inspiring and charismatic promotion of science and astronomy in South Africa, Africa and globally. 


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



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