On 21 July 2022, the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Awards will honour some of the country’s top minds for their outstanding contributions to science, technology, engineering and innovation.
This year the University of the Western Cape (UWC) has three finalists in the running:
- Professor Marique Aucamp from the School of Pharmacy is a shoo-in for the TW-Kambule-NSTF Award: Researcher.
- Electro-chemistry and Sensor Technology expert Professor Emmanuel Iwuoha is in line for the Lifetime Award.
- And Dean of Natural Sciences, Professor Burtram Fielding, has been shortlisted for the Communication Award for an outstanding contribution to science, technology and innovation over the last five years.
“It shows that scientists, not just science writers, have a role to play in communicating complex and important science topical issues to the media and to our communities,” said Prof Fielding.
“As scientists, we have an obligation to communicate our work to a wider non-science audience. Over the past two years, we have seen that the public has lost trust in scientists, and the pandemic discourse was driven largely by non-scientists and fake news. It is our obligation to communicate all science in an objective way and to become a trusted source of information to the public again. All scientists have opinions, based on their expertise, but when we communicate or discuss important issues we need to clearly distinguish between our expert opinion and what the current science is showing us.”
The National Science and Technology Forum bills itself as a “consultative forum and watchdog for influencing the formulation and delivery of science, engineering technology (SET) and innovation public policy in South Africa”.
Since the inaugural awards in 1998, the NSTF Awards have grown exponentially. It is currently the largest science, engineering and technology (SET) and innovation award in South Africa. The ultimate goal of the NSTF Awards is to contribute to achieving sustainable socio-economic growth for South Africa and to improving the quality of people’s lives.