May 2015
Contents / home
Learners to link up with astronaut
Shared Sky, shared wisdom
"Talking science" competition
A meeting of minds
Young scientists take on Australia
Learners unveil project in Beijing
Introduction to crystals
Young Science Communicators' Competition
SAASTA inspires class of 2015
Meet Prof. Nox Makunga
Top young achiever's journey
Wonders of water at Scifest Africa
Learners work with particle physicists
Meet SAEON's new education officer
Light comes out of the darkness
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

A meeting of minds – Ninth SKA SA Postgraduate Conference

SKA SA-supported PhD and MSc students, postdoctoral fellows and senior local and international researchers met in Stellenbosch for the ninth SKA SA postgraduate bursary conference in December 2014.


Delegates to the ninth SKA SA postgraduate bursary conference

At the first postgraduate bursary conference, which took place in 2006, fewer than 50 delegates attended, of whom only 15 were students. In 2014, more than 90 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows gave talks on their research, and 30 more presented their research on posters.

Scientists and the media learn how to speak the same language

The week prior to the conference, a group of delegates had the opportunity to attend a workshop with community radio journalists, hosted by veteran radio journalists Nancy Richards, Kim Cloete and Kim Richards. The workshop was an opportunity for the scientists and the media to learn how to speak the same language.

As one of the community radio journalists commented, "I am not afraid of scientists anymore and now I know that the work of SKA SA is really fascinating. I am going to make sure we talk more about science on my station."

"Translating" science for the general public

 
  From left: Sam Legodi, Tana Joseph, Sphesihle Makhathini and Trienko Grobler kept the audience captive with entertaining presentations on their research
The evening before the start of the bursary conference, 100 members of the public were treated to special talks by delegates at the Cape Town Science Centre. Sam Legodi, Dr Tana Joseph, Sphesihle Makhathini and Dr Trienko Grobler were required to develop articles explaining their research and deliver a 10-minute presentation without using PowerPoint slides. The audience was asked to rate each presenter on the success of their article and presentation in explaining their research focus in the most interesting and engaging manner.

Tana Joseph, who was selected as the audience's favourite presenter, managed to capture their attention by drawing a link between the popular breakfast cereal Pronutro and the study of x-ray binary stars. Tana is an SKA SA-funded postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Cape Town.