Science Forum South Africa [fr]
The first Science Forum South Africa was held in the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) International Convention Centre in Pretoria, South Africa, on 8-9 December 2015.
Host of this successful conference, Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor delivered the opening address attended by Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma - African Union Chairperson, Dr Jean Claude Burgelman - Head of Unit Science Policy and Foresight DG RTD from the European Commission, Mr Koji Omi - founder of Japan’s renowned Science and Technology in Society Forum and Prof. Gordon McBean, International Council of Science, among others.
Under the theme, “Igniting Conversations about Science”, this Forum brought together more than 1000 representatives and enabled open debates between all stakeholders on the role of science in society, in South Africa, Africa and globally. "Our key motivation is to foster public engagement on science and technology, to showcase science in South Africa, and to provide a platform for building strong African and global partnerships" said Minister Pandor.
International partnerships and solidarity was also highlighted as a key approach to foster better science in South Africa and the whole continent.
The French Research Institute for Development (IRD) - the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) – the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) Joint office and the French Embassy in South Africa were represented in the Science Forum Exhibition. French - South Africa Science Technology and Innovation cooperation activities and programmes were showcased during the two day’s exhibition with a particular focused on climate change challenges, echoing the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) taking place in Paris. On 8 December 2015 the Ambassador of France to South Africa, Elisabeth Barbier, visited the Science Forum South Africa and attended a Ministerial dinner.
Via an interactive quiz on climate change, the joint office and the French Embassy engaged in constructive exchanges on climate and development issues and raised awareness among young students, and other participants.