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…

[LISTEN] The Science Inside Genetics episode

  The Science Inside is a weekly show that goes inside the science of major news events. The show is broadcast on Voice of Wits every Monday at 6pm.This week’s edition focuses on genetics. The presenters talk about Japanese researchers’ efforts to genetically engineer hens whose eggs contain drugs that can fight serious diseases including cancer.…

Eugene Cloete: the solution seeker

Few academics can claim being natural entrepreneurs, but Professor Eugene Cloete is one of them. His curriculum vitae features not just his publications in academic journals, but also almost a dozen patents. He considers his “best idea ever” was using an empty teabag, replacing the tea with activated carbon and using antimicrobial nanofibres for microfiltration…

Paul Cilliers understood the nature of complexities

Paul Cilliers passed away in 2011 leaving behind his family, friends and colleagues, and an impressive body of work on the topic of complexity. It is hard to grasp his essence without the help of an interview, but the assistance of documents authored by Cilliers (and authored by others about Cilliers) allowed for a picture…

[New study] SA Super Rugby teams clocked up more kilometers

A study that calculates just how far Super Rugby teams travel was sparked by three Australian academics’ hopes to pick the right side to back in their regular weekend pool. Their findings might however be just the fuel that South African supporters need when next they have to explain their Super Rugby teams’ poor performances.…