Science Forum South Africa Day 2

Science Forum South Africa 2021 had an excellent start on Wednesday, 1 December, with a compelling opening session and close to 3 000 participants joining the digital platform throughout the day for the different sessions. The conversations about science continue today – here are some of the highlights:


In Round 4 (09:00 to 10:30), a session in Room 1 will present South Africa's hosting of an Affiliate Centre of the World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The debate in Room 4 will ask the provocative question: "If COVID-19 is the 9/11 moment for global science advice, what needs to happen next?" The session will notably include the participation of the Presidents of the International Science Council (ISC) and the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA). Room 5 will look at the work of the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium, which is significantly shaping policy thinking in the Department of Science and Innovation.


In Round 5 (11:00 to 12:30), we have a debate in Room 4 on global climate change research priorities following COP-26. In Room 5, the pressing priority of exploiting science and technology opportunities to address service delivery challenges will receive attention. Human capability development is an important part of the SFSA programme, and Room 8 will consider "Advancing early career development in the post-PhD phase on the African continent".


Round 6 (13:30 to 15:00) will feature several topical science policy challenges. In Room 2, "Reducing the precarity of academic research careers" will receive attention. In Room 5, "Understanding the scourge of predatory journals and conferences in academia" will be on the agenda, while Room 8 will consider responses to a key societal challenge in "Strengthening agrifood systems – harnessing  research to support food systems policy".


In Round 7 (15:30 to 17:00), wrapping up the day, Room 1 will highlight one of the traditional themes of Science Forum South Africa, "Leveraging South Africa's leadership for the development of astronomy in Africa". Room 8 will take a closer look at how the BRICS science, technology and innovation partnership has responded to COVID-19. And in Room 7, there will be an exciting series of presentations by "Entrepreneurs for social impact innovations".


We invite you all to join the conversation at



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