July 2013
Contents / home
Debates winners in New York
SA learners scoop silver in Beijing
SA scientist impresses in FameLab
Nanotech draws attention in Kenya
SAASTA salutes David Block
Science Centre CEO awarded
Young science brainpower awarded
75 years of coelacanth research
Join in recording the diversity of life
Open your own Science Spaza
The Universe is expanding
"Space Skype" links kids
Coastal and marine science in SA
Internship programme
A scientist for a day
iThemba LABS - advancing knowledge
Ex ZooClub members' success
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

SAASTA salutes David Block - for bringing the stars within our grasp

  Acclaimed astronomer David Block's pioneering discoveries are reshaping astronomical paradigms, and his imprint on human culture is a legacy to all South Africans.
Professor David Block has the uncanny ability to bring the moon and stars within our grasp.

This acclaimed astronomer has been intimately involved in the communication of science, particularly astronomy, to the public for over 30 years. His outreach activities span the complete spectrum from the writing of books, TV interviews (including the BBC), radio interviews, newspaper interviews, public lectures and outreaches to school learners and to their teachers.

For his "outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) through communication for outreach and creating awareness over the last five years", he has received a prestigious NSTF-BHP Billiton award at a ceremony held in Gauteng in June 2013.

SAASTA is the proud sponsor of the category Communication for Public Awareness of the competition. This award is made annually to South African journalists, researchers, writers, educators, academics, specialist science communicators or science centre staff who excel in creating awareness of science, engineering, technology and innovation issues among the public.

David Block is a Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of the Witwatersrand. His pioneering discoveries are reshaping astronomical paradigms, and his imprint on human culture is a legacy to all South Africans.

Read an interview with Prof. Block

The other finalists in this category

The Aqualibrium Civil Engineering Team
Their Aqualibrium water competition is a fun, educational activity that has reached thousands of learners with messages of water quality, conservation, environmental protection, and how civil engineers provide communities with safe drinking water

Professor Michael Pepper
Director: Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Pretoria, and Associate Professor, Department of Human Genetics and Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva
Through his extensive involvement in lecturing, radio, television and print media, and his background in medicine, science, bio-entrepreneurship and law, Michael Pepper has raised public awareness of many SETI issues and their impact on almost every facet of our existence.

Professor Peet van Schalkwyk
Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of the North-West
Peet van Schalkwyk has developed a series of unique computer animations in mathematics and physical science for school learners and tertiary students, which offers valuable techniques to make mathematical and scientific concepts easier to comprehend.