The doyenne of seeds: Patricia Berjak

Professor Patricia Berjak was born in Johannesburg on 29 December 1939. After attaining her BSc (Hons) cum laude in biochemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 1962, Berjak moved to Natal, where she spent a year as a teacher before taking up a post at the University of Natal, now known as the…

Quarraisha Abdool Karim: protecting women against HIV

Few AIDS researchers have done as much to help the plight of poor, rural women in South Africa as Quarraisha Abdool Karim. This is her story, as published in the Academy of Science of South Africa’s book “Legends of South African Science“. It is part of a series of profiles about leading South Africans that…

[LISTEN] Young SA scientists forge networks at BRICS

The 2nd BRICS Young Scientists Forum gathered young researchers to share in their academic and policy practices. Scibraai had a chat with them in China. Take a listen. You can find more round-the-fire stories on South African science and scientists on scibraai.co.za.

Take two: recycling tyres

What should be done with the hundreds of millions of tyres that are discarded each year? Itziar Iraola Arregui presents a few ideas in this article from The Conversation Africa. The number of vehicles is growing worldwide and as a result the number of tyres is increasing too. Hundreds of millions of tyres are discarded each year.…

Citizen science crowdfunding project pays off

Learners from the Kayamandi community in Stellenbosch recently practiced their skills as citizen scientists when they had the opportunity to hike in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. In the process, the 31 learners helped to collect samples for an ongoing research project, and learnt how to isolate the fynbos pathogens that they collected. The learners who…

New species named after the man who co-wrote the ultimate Cape orchid book

Bill Liltved, the driving force behind what many people call the “opus” of South Africa’s orchid species, has been honoured by having a newly identified white orchid species from the Kogelberg mountains being named after him: Satyrium liltvedianum. The new species is announced in the latest edition of the South African Journal of Botany which…

[LISTEN] The Science Inside: Radio waves, lost continents and skirt lengths

Want to know more about a cellphone that could charge itself, how to build a radio from scratch or how the SKA radio telescope is to probe the radio waves of distant galaxies? Then listen to this episode of “The Science Inside”, produced by the Wits Radio Academy. Other topics in this show include: * News…