Statement from the Science Faculty on the article on Black Students in Biological Sciences

The Science Faculty does not endorse the article on “Why are black South African students less likely to consider studying biological sciences?” that appeared in the South African Journal of Science, Vol 116, No 5/6 (2020). This article, published as a non-peer reviewed Commentary, does not represent the views of the Faculty and UCT. While the challenges of transformation and inclusivity across different levels of study in the Science Faculty are real, the article does not engage with the complexity of the issues in a scientifically rigorous manner. Critical reflection and rigorous research is needed in this discipline, and others, in terms of curriculum, pedagogy and professional practice. Moreover, the article makes disturbing assumptions about all black South African students, including those in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Faculty of Science at UCT. We reaffirm our commitment to transformation, inclusivity and good scientific practice in the Science Faculty and regret that articles like this do not help us achieve these goals. 

Professor Maano Ramutsindela

Dean of Science

4 June 2020



Friday, 3 July 2020
Emeritus Professor Ken MacGregor: 1946─2020

The Faculty of Science mourns the passing of Emeritius Professor Ken MacGregor, who was Head of Department of Computer Science for more than 30 years.  

Publication Date:
Wed, 24 Jun 2020 - 13:45
New study finds more biodiversity in richer neighbourhoods

A unique global study has found that wealthier neighbourhoods in cities have more biodiversity in comparison to poorer ones – a pattern that scientists have called the ‘luxury effect’. However, this study found that this effect is far greater in the more arid regions of the world.  Associate Professor Arjun Amar, from the Department of Biological Sciences, is co-author of the paper published this week in the international journal Global Ecology & Biogeography.

Publication Date:
Mon, 15 Jun 2020 - 12:30
Six UCT researchers are ‘Science Oscars’ finalists

On 30 July 2020, the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) will host its 22nd annual awards event in partnership with South32. This year, six researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) are among the finalists.  Emeritus Professor William Bond, from the Department of Biological  Sciences is one of them. 

Publication Date:
Mon, 15 Jun 2020 - 09:15
The ocean’s genome: protecting and sharing it

The vast array of species that inhabit the oceans has already proven to be an important source of innovative resources, including enzymes for COVID-19 testing and a protein valuable in the fight against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. As World Oceans Day approaches on 8 June, Professor Rachel Wynberg, a member of the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, explains how we can better protect and share the benefits from this biodiversity to ensure it continues to be a resource for future generations.

Publication Date:
Mon, 08 Jun 2020 - 21:00