Anna Coutsoudis: a researcher guided by needs

Anna Coutsoudis was born in Durban on 21 September 1952. Upon completion of her schooling, Coutsoudis enrolled for a BSc degree at the University of Natal, majoring in biological science and chemistry. This was followed by an Honours degree in 1974, where she researched leukocyte antigens in vervet monkeys. Coutsoudis went on to complete qualifications…

How to make a telescope’s control room a happy place

When building a optical telescope, there’s more to consider than just lenses and high-end processors. The human element – the people that will actually work with it – also needs to be considered, for instance when designing the telescope’s control room. Christopher Justin Hendrickse, a lecturer in Product/Industrial Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology…

Hoosen Coovadia: Taking up the crusade for children

Hoosen Mahomed Coovadia, known as “Jerry” to those close to him, was born in Durban on 2 August, 1940. Raised in a Muslim family, Coovadia first attended St Anthony’s, a Catholic school in Durban, and completed his secondary schooling at Sastri College. He credits his mother as having been a great influence in his development.…

Who are the big names in South African science?

Lee Berger (#Homonaledi). Tim Noakes (#banting). Glenda Gray (#MRCpresident). Bob Sholes (#climatechange). Himla Soodyall? Salim Abdool-Karim? Bruce Rubidge? Jill Farrant? Can you place these names, and associate a specific hashtag to each of them? They are among South Africa’s most visible scientists, according to a study published in the South African Journal of Science.   The…

Darrell Comins’ fascination with materials

Darrell Comins was born in Pietermaritzburg on 10 June, 1942. Attending Merchiston Preparatory School and, later, Maritzburg College, he followed what was then the traditional classics course – English, Latin, history, Afrikaans, mathematics and physical science. With a broad spectrum of interests and a strong creative streak, Comins reflects that he could quite easily have…

Our daughter Maya is here and healthy because of veggies, dog walks and a cyborg technology that costs R50 a day

When we decided to have a baby, my HbA1C (a long-term measure of blood sugar control) was 7.2. Not too bad for a type 1 diabetic (T1D), but it should be closer to 6 for a healthy pregnancy. For about 4 months we reduced alcohol, eating out and stress. We exercised and slept more. We…