Vanwyksvlei

Between science and society: Northern Cape communities struggle with the telescope in their backyards

“Will the SKA affect pregnancies in the area?” The question comes in Afrikaans, in a rough voice belonging to someone who has lived a much longer, harder life than this middle-aged man appears to have lived. We’re in Vanwyksvlei, in the Northern Cape. Outside the last light is draining from the timeless Hantam Karoo landscape.…

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On a Quest for great science stories

On Saturday 22 August, SciBraai, Code4SA and the International Center for Journalists hosted the first ever science-themed Data Quest, which produced some great potential multimedia science stories. Held at Code4SA’s Codebridge lab in Cape Town, the event put data nerds, scientists and journalists into teams tasked with sifting through publicly available data to find stories and create interactive data…

Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation winner Dr Askwar Hilonga (left) shown here with head judge Malcolm Brinded of the Royal Academy for Engineering, and the Nanofilter that he invented. Image credit: Rodger Bosch

Tanzanian water filter takes top innovation prize

A new nanoparticle-based water filtration system will soon be saving lives all over rural Tanzania, thanks to the Royal Academy for Engineering’s inaugural Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. At the final leg of the competition in Cape Town on Monday night, Dr Askwar Hilonga of the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science & Technology in…

cosmos

Blind astronomer turns data into beautiful sounds – Scifest 2015

It’s impossible to describe the incandescent beauty of the Milky Way on a clear night, especially if you can get away from the city lights. Nor can you deny the role that stargazing has played in the arts and culture and history of humanity. How terrible, then, must it be to be robbed of this…

March Events – Challenges and solutions in HIV

SciBraai is excited to be promoting local science-, technology- and innovation-related events in the Mother City. This month, these events dive into new technologies and research in the field of HIV diagnostics and care. These talks are aimed at the public, so the academic mumbo-jumbo will be kept to a minimum. You can expect simple explanations,…

Nina Jablonksi talks about primate evolution and facial recognition at the Science Awareness Day, UCT.

Bringing researchers and the public together for science

Forensics, facial recognition, psychiatry and eye health may not seem inherently connected. But they all have two things in common: they are all relevant to the public, and they are all grounded in basic science. These were the topics of discussion at Thursday’s Science Awareness Day, hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST),…

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Science Café Cape Town debuts with a bang

“With great power comes great responsibility.” It is quite remarkable, actually, how often I hear this quote from Spiderman in relation to science and the work that scientists do on a regular basis. Funny, yes; but also accurate, enlightening, and insightful. Those words could all be used to describe the speaker at the inaugural Science…