Science and tech department marks 23 years of Scifest

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The Department of Science and Technology says Scifest Africa is an opportunity for young people to be inspired by leading scientists.
The Department of Science and Technology says Scifest Africa is an opportunity for young people to be inspired by leading scientists.

Preparation is under way for the 23rd annual science and technology festival, Scifest Africa, to be held in Makhanda (Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape, from 6 to 12 March.

Scifest, which attracts over 60 000 visitors annually, is described as an opportunity to promote the public awareness, understanding and appreciation of science, technology and innovation.

A key sponsor of the event, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), says the event is one of its key science engagement platforms.

According to the DST, this year's Scifest will be held under the theme "discover your element", and will celebrate the international year of the periodic table of chemical elements, as well as several anniversaries in the history of chemistry.

The event will consist of 64 exhibitions and 701 events, presented by 291 contributors from 77 organisations in SA, Africa and the international sector.

Phil Mjwara, science and technology director-general, will give the official opening address at the event.

Scifest 2019 speakers will include Dr Mathabatha Evodia Setati, who won an award for her work in wine microbiology at the DST's 2018 South African Women in Science Awards; Dr Adriana Marais; Dr Daniel Cunnama of the South African Astronomical Observatory; Dr Lotte Lens of Germany's Institute for Heavy Ion Research; and Dr Robert Scerri from the University of California in Los Angeles.

In addition, Lunga Nkosi, silver medallist of the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists in the science communication category, will speak about her latest research on sustainable shark barriers.

To access the official programme to the event, click here.

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