Message from NSTF Executive Director

Science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation continues to move forward in SA

This year has seen and continues to see a tumult of disruption in our politics and society. It is likely that our readers are very concerned about these developments, including the damage done to state-owned enterprises, and most of us might be feeling powerless to influence the powers that be. Yet the productive work in scientific research, technological development and innovation continues in South Africa. There is so much to take note of and celebrate!

NSTF activities: Despite the challenges and the year having slipped by, the NSTF has done much during 2017 (as usual). Following are some of the activities:

* Discussion forum on the implications of the US President’s actions and policies for science and  scientists

*Discussion forum on science and sustainable tourism

*Discussion forum on research and innovation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, hosted by the Science Councils sector of the NSTF

*Discussion forum on language issues in STEM education, hosted by proSET, the Professional Bodies sector of the NSTF

These discussion events have included presentations by about 50 experts in total, and led to vibrant discussion and debate.

NSTF-South32 Awards: The NSTF-South32 Awards gala dinner gave recognition to 17 top researchers and other top professionals in their fields, who are currently addressing the public and youth on platforms across the country. We are proud to be associated with the cream of South Africa’s science community and to honour them in this way.

SKA SA astro-tour: A wonderful collaboration with and sponsorship from SKA (Square Kilometre Array) South Africa has led to an astro-tour through the Northern Cape for top performers in matric maths and science. They were delighted, inspired and proud to be South Africans.

Bursary Directory: The NSTF Bursary Directory, a one-stop shop of available SET bursaries, providers and career-related news, have featured 56 available bursaries and 106 providers to potential undergraduate and postgraduate students. Over 12 000 web hits are testimony of the connections that the Directory has made possible so far, between the youth and the SET community at large, as well as the inspiration that the role model pages provided. Thanks to the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation that made all this possible.

NSTF annual report: The Annual Report for 2016/2017 will be launched at the AGM on 17 November 2017. You can see and read more about the NSTF and its activities there. (Watch this space.)

Thank you: A big thank you to everyone who has joined, participated, partnered and supported the NSTF this year! It is your Forum, and the team will continue to do everything to make it possible to celebrate achievements, engage with public policies and issues, keep you informed, and inspire the youth of our country.