Celebrating Poetry in Science Communication

SAASTA has published a collection of 17 poems written by young South African scientists, highlighting the value of poetry in connecting people and ideas, and, thereby, creating a way for people engage with science.

The collection of poems were entries to various rounds of SAASTA’s Young Science Communicator’s competition, which aims to encourage young scientists under the age of 35 to communicate their science and research in creative ways, awarding various modes of communication in the competition.

Through poetry, young South African scientists are finding innovative and creative ways to express themselves and share the importance of their work in solving some of the challenges we face as society. Communicating science and engaging society in research is essential.

Scientists need to find meaningful ways to connect with people and involve people in science. Although science and poetry are very different disciplines, both aim to make sense of the world in different ways and, together, they can create impactful messages and connect science and society. Poetry can also help us connect with people we might not normally engage.

For any further information about the competition, please contact Joanne Riley, Science Editor at SAASTA, at joanne@saasta.ac.za.






YSCC Poetry booklet 2021 can be downloaded here.

The collection of poems includes:

  • “Verlorenvlei Lost – Questions for my father” by Anya Eilers
  • “Chemist Tree” by Tayyibah Tahier
  • “Cytomegalovirus: My Eternal Companions” by Sashkia Balla
  • “An Act of Betrayal” by Isheanesu Chipumha
  • “Water is…” by Lindiwe Nkabane
  • “The Streets Beneath” by Julia Davies
  • “Wonder World – A Picture of an Undefiled World” by Thapelo Mokgadi
  • “A Haiku on the Photo Fermentative Treatment of Industrial Wastewater” by Robbie Pott
  • “As Tiny as I Am” by Tlou Masehela
  • “A Statistical Analysis of a Scientist Haplessly in Love” by Anisha Dayaram
  • “Source of Life” by Gciniwe Sithole
  • “The Nanoworld” by Luke Ugwuoke
  • “Ebony in a Sea of Ivory” by Pamela Akuku
  • “DNA -Why Does It Matter Anyway?” by Amica Muller-Nedebock
  • “Am I Steel Relevant?” by Sinenhlanhla Mchunu
  • “I am Nature; I am Everywhere” by Mabora Thupana
  • “Incubating Hope” by Lili Flax