Imagine a world where children colour in pictures of their favourite scientist, or dress up as a real‑life researcher for costume days at school. Imagine a world where scientists are celebrated as much as Spiderman or the Black Panther. That world is here. University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers and academics are among the heroes of a programme that aims to bring the achievements of scientists closer to children, to inspire their interest in maths and science.
A team of scientists representing three South African universities, including the University of Cape Town (UCT), were pleasantly surprised when their usual studies of the sky revealed a rather unusual find: 20 new, previously unidentified galaxies.
Although it’s widely used in African traditional medicine, modern science is only beginning to appreciate the remarkable pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications of the plant Myrothamnus flabellifolia. This is why designer, Giorgio Armani, chose it as the main ingredient in his skincare range, Crema Nera.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) already shapes our everyday lives and has the enormous potential to both solve complex industrial and social problems and create new and innovative products and solutions. However, many organisations are still grappling to understand the relevance and future impact of AI on their activities, and what they should be doing about it. This is one of the pressing issues to be addressed by the new Master's degree in AI, to be offered by the Department of Computer Science at the University of Cape Town from 2022.
Africa is rich in dinosaur fossils but more scientists and fieldworkers are needed to uncover this “fabulous heritage”, especially women who are still too scarce in the field, said University of Cape Town (UCT) palaeobiologist Professor Anusuya Chinsamy‑Turan. And like other scientific fields, this status must change.
Moved and frustrated by the pain and hopelessness women expressed during the 2019 gender‑based violence (GBV) protests at the University of Cape Town (UCT), student Karabo Malahleha knew he had to do something. Asikhulumeni, a GBV education programme, was born from that moment; it primes high school learners at a key formative stage of their lives. Alex Pottinger, a BSc third year student is a co-director of Asikhulumeni.
Baboons spending more time in their natural habitats and suffering fewer human-caused injuries and deaths is cause for celebration, writes Professor Justin O’Riain, the director of the Institute for Communities and Wildlife in Africa at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Regarded as one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet, South Africa’s Greater Cape Floristic Region is set to be the subject of a first-of-its-kind biodiversity survey conducted by NASA. The collaborative campaign, dubbed BioSCape, will see scientists from the United States (US) and South Africa working closely together to map marine, freshwater and terrestrial species and ecosystems within the region. Dr Jasper Slingsby, a senior lecturer in Plant Ecology and Global Change Biology at the University of Cape Town (UCT) is part of the project team coordinating the rollout.
Professor Kelly Chibale, the founder and director of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D), has been named among 22 rising black biotech leaders in the Timmerman Report, published in the United States (US). Professor Chibale is the only Africa‑based scientist included in the group.