Second DST Science Forum South Africa set for December

Johannesburg, 21 Nov 2016
DST Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources, Daan du Toit
DST Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources, Daan du Toit

The second annual Department of Science and Technology (DST) Science Forum South Africa will be staged at the CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, next month, serving as the key end-of-year event for the South African science community.

Following the overwhelming success of the inaugural Science Forum South Africa last year, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor supported the return of the forum as an annual event that raises awareness and brings together the science community and its stakeholders, as well as the broader community, business and public sector.

"Science Forum South Africa is not a niche academic science event," explains DST Deputy Director-General for International Cooperation and Resources, Daan du Toit. "This forum focuses on the role of science in society, and as such, it encourages participation by anyone with an interest in science."

The inaugural event attracted over 1 500 delegates from 50 countries, and Du Toit believes this year's attendance could be even higher. He attributes the forum's success to a number of factors, including the fact that it spans science disciplines, offers numerous tracks focusing on a broad range of topical issues, information is presented in a dynamic and engaging way, and delegates are not charged a registration fee.

"The format proved overwhelmingly successful last year," says Du Toit. "In fact, the Minister joked during the launch event that the true test of its success would be if the seats were still full at the end of the two days. They were."

Modelled on similar scientific community events staged internationally, Science Forum South Africa is the biggest local event taking a holistic approach to science and its role in society. Staged at the end of the year to allow key stakeholders to attend when their work schedules taper off, Science Forum South Africa offers a rare opportunity for extensive networking between professionals in various scientific disciplines. It also allows attendees to explore innovations by over 60 local and international exhibitors in the exhibition hall.

Building on last year's success, Science Forum South Africa 2016 will include new focus areas and expand its impact with a countrywide youth outreach. It will also feature a number of parallel events, including a Science-Business Dialogue at the CSIR, Global Change Conference at UKZN, Next Industrial Revolution workshop at the CSIR, African Open Science Platform: Coordination Through the Creation of Open Science Fora discussion at the CSIR, meetings of the Advisory Committee of the SARIMA Professionalisation Project and on Trilateral cooperation in STI between France, South Africa and trilateral African Francophone countries in Pretoria.

Science Forum South Africa will be staged on 8-9 December 2016, at the CSIR International Convention Centre, in Pretoria, South Africa. To register, go to