SA women scientists, researchers to be honoured

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Leading South African scientists and researchers will be honoured at this year’s South African Women in Science Awards (SAWiSA) for their participation in research.

Now in its 15th year, the awards recognise and reward excellence by women scientists and researchers, and profile them as role models for younger women.

The 2019 edition of SAWiSA will be held in Port Elizabeth tonight, under the theme "Making the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) work for women”, and hosted by higher education, science and innovation minister Dr Blade Nzimande.

The awards take place as Nzimande’s ministry has officially been renamed to the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), formerly known as the Department of Science and Technology.

“The 4IR is a new era in technological development that blurs the lines between physical, digital and biological systems. It integrates cyber systems and the Internet of things, big data and cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing,” says Nzimande.

According to the DSI, awards in the distinguished women and distinguished young women researcher categories will be for research in the natural and engineering sciences, humanities and social sciences, and research and innovation. The awards in the research and innovation category will be in areas aligned to the 4IR.

Furthermore, the department indicates the DSI-Albertina Sisulu Fellowships and TATA Scholarships will be awarded to currently registered masters and PhD students.

Professor Charlene Africa, deputy dean at the University of the Western Cape science faculty, will deliver an address at the awards event.

Africa holds a PhD (Medicine) from the University of London, and an MSc in Dentistry and BSc Honours in Oral Biology from the University of the Witwatersrand.

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