Question NW3367 to the Minister of Science and Technology

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15 September 2015 - NW3367

Profile picture: Terblanche, Ms JF

Terblanche, Ms JF to ask the Minister of Science and Technology

What is the current status of young scientists participating at different meetings of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa related to science policy? (2) How many young scientists have participated in the meetings related to science policy in the (a) 2012-13, (b) 2013-14 and (c) 2014-15 financial years?”


  1. Since 2010, the Academy engages on average at least 100 young scientists in its various activities throughout the year (except in 2013 when ASSAf did not host a Young Scientists’ Conference).

Young scientists are engaged through the following:

    • The South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) and its various activities;
    • The ASSAf annual Young Scientists’ Conference;
    • Workshops, conferences and lectures that the Academy hosts;
    • Nominations to attend regional and international inter-academy network meetings;
    • Serve on ASSAf standing committees (health, poverty reduction, science education);
    • Serve on study panels - The Academy undertakes to ensure that young scientists are engaged within study panels and/or the convening activities that inform the products of the Academy; and
    • The organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World.

2.  The following is an indication of the number of young scientists who participated in meetings during the specified financial years:

  • 2012/13: 263 (includes young scientists’ conference, nomination to IAMP and IAP meetings, and SAYAS membership);
  • 2013/14: 35 (Lindau Laureate, IAP, IAMP, SAYAS and service on ASSAf activities – there was no YSC in 2013); and
  • 2014/15: 130 (Lindau Laureate, IAP, IAMP, SAYAS, service on ASSAf activities, YSC, OWSD fellowship holders).

The drop in numbers can be explained by the fact that there has been much more focus on quality of work for participation in the Young Scientists’ Conference rather than a focus on increasing the number of participants.

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