The Science Inside: What’s up with your cellphone battery?

Did you know that South African researchers at the CSIR had a hand in developing the lithium ion batteries that are used in many cellphones? Find out how these are made. And why your battery runs out so quickly.And how to treat your batter better!        

Meet Paul Kennedy

Paul is a science communicator at ScienceLink and a volunteer at SciBraai, based in Cape Town (info as at May 2015) My work is all about science communication (aka “scicomm”). How I define scicomm: For me, science communication is about covering difficult and complex subject matter in a way that is accessible to the audience…

Meet Marina Joubert

Marina Joubert is a science communication researcher and lecturer at Stellenbosch University (info as at April 2015). What I do: I do research on science communication and also present short courses and academic modules in science communication as part of the academic offering at CREST (Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology) at Stellenbosch…

Fracking in Karoo gets a R108m injection

The R108-million investment in shale gas research, announced in Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s budget speech, was “positive” and showed “government is taking time to investigate”, World Wildlife Fund for Nature’s Saliem Fakir said. Shale gas has been touted as a way to curb climate change and reduce the world’s reliance on coal, but has been…

IBM research lab to work with the cool kids

Multinational research company IBM announced on Friday that it will be opening a research laboratory, in collaboration with the University of Witwatersrand, in the Tshimologong Precinct in Johannesburg. The premises was once a bar, and still has a long bar counter and heavily-graffiti’ed walls, but in a year this will be one of the top information…

February Events – some sense about string theory

SciBraai is excited to be promoting local science-, technology- and innovation-related events in the Mother City. This month, these events get to grips with one of the most complex concepts in physics: string theory! There is also a discussion on how bitcoins work. Don’t worry though, these talks are aimed at the public, so the academic…

Voëls se ‘oerknal’ in reusestudie bepaal

Die “oerknal van voël-evolusie” en die beste stamboom nóg van die diere wat oor miljoene jare strek, is pas bekend gemaak. Honderde navorsers van 20 lande het vier jaar lank gewerk om die genetiese verhaal van­voëls na te vors, wat in ’n spesiale uitgawe van die vaktydskrif Science gepubliseer is. Hulle het 48 spesies van…

SA, UK spearhead R500-million fund for joint scientific research

Scientific partnerships are about “finding things that matter to both our societies”, Professor Robin Grimes, chief scientific adviser in the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, told the Mail & Guardian ahead of the launch of the Newton Fund. Both the UK and South Africa have pledged R500-million over the next four years to the Newton…

SCIENCE VOICES: The sleeping pill that wakes up damaged brains

Between our love for contact sports and our shocking road traffic injury figures, South Africans are at the troubling end of head trauma statistics, writes Petrie Jansen van Vuuren, a MSc candidate at the University of Pretoria. A conservative estimate, based on hospital records from the 1990s, estimates that 170 000 people sustain brain damage…

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),…