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TWAS-ROSSA/ASSAf Young Scientists’ Conference addresses Women’s Empowerment

Women’s empowerment and the scientific research being conducted across Africa to address gender equality challenges were addressed at the fifth ASSAf Annual Young Scientists’ Conference which was held from 16 – 18 September 2015. The theme of the conference was aligned to the African Union theme, ‘Women’s Empowerment’ and was titled ‘Inspiring change post-2015: The role of science, technology and innovation in empowering women in Africa’.
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Public Lecture: Dr Jane Lubchenco
ASSAf hosted a public lecture by Dr Jane Lubchenco during her recent visit to South Africa. Dr Lubchenco is a world renowned environmental scientist with experience in science, academia, government and conservation. She is a champion of science and of the stronger engagement of scientists in key issues of our time. She was the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009 - 2013. She is a University Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology at Oregon State University and since January this year, has served as the first US Science Envoy for the Ocean. ASSAf Executive Officer, Prof Roseanne Diab, introduced Dr Lubchenco at the lecture that was held on 21 July 2015 at the National Research Foundation. The title of the public lecture was, 'US Experience in Managing Ocean Resource'.
Dialogue on Human Sexuality in Africa
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) recently hosted a dialogue on diversity in human sexuality based on the recently published ASSAf report titled Diversity in Human Sexuality: Implications for Policy in Africa. The study was conducted in collaboration with the Uganda National Academy of Sciences.
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ASSAf Report Addresses Safety in Research
Safe, secure and ethical conduct in life science research in South Africa is assessed in a consensus study on biosafety and biosecurity launched by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) on 23 July 2015 in Pretoria.
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ASSAf at the World Social Science Forum (WSSF)
The World Social Science Forum (WSSF), themed 'Transforming Global Relations for a Just World', took place in Durban from 13 - 16 September 2015. ASSAf was one of a number of consortium partners that supported the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) to host the conference.
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9th National Scholarly Editors’ Forum Meeting focused on Problems and Progress in Scholarly Publishing
The annual National Scholarly Editors’ Forum (NSEF), with the theme 'Problems and Progress in Scholarly Publishing within the South African Context' was held on 9 September 2015. The event was chaired by Prof Robin Crewe, Chair of ASSAf’s Committee on Scholarly Publishing in South Africa, and there were 116 participants, mostly scholarly journal editors.
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Open Access for Book Publishers discussed 
ASSAf’s National Scholarly Book Publishers’ Forum held a workshop on 'Open Access for Book Publishers' on 24 August 2015 at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown. The presenter, Eelco Ferwerda from Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) Foundation gave an overview of the open access (OA) book publishing landscape, discussed OAPEN platforms and services and shared best practices for OA books. Two case studies were presented by book publishers, HSRC Press and SUNMeDIA. The workshop concluded with a discussion on potential opportunities for open access books for South African book publishers.

OWSD plans for the future
The Executive Committee of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World - South African National Chapter (OWSD SA) held a Strategic Planning Meeting from 9 -10 July 2015 at the Southern Sun Newlands, Cape Town. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a five-year strategic plan for OWSD SA. Read more

SAYAS hosts Symposium on Science & Society in Africa
The 2015 Symposium on Science & Society in Africa, organised by South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) was held in Cape Town from 28 - 29 September 2015.
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Gender mapping meeting held
A planning meeting to address Gender Mapping in Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering (SITE) was held at the UNESCO Regional Office for southern Africa, in Harare, Zimbabwe on 21 and 22 July 2015. ASSAf was represented by Ms Dorothy Ngila.
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ASSAf Members honoured with NSTF awards, the flagship project of the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

The following ASSAf Members were winners in their categories at the 17th National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Awards Gala Dinner, held on 9 July 2015:
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Quest: Science for South Africa
ASSAf’s popular science magazine, Quest: Science for Society has embarked on a strategy to forge new relations, initiate links and support a number of initiatives nationally.
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TWAS-ROSSA nominates Young Affiliates
The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA), hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), nominated five TWAS Young Affiliates for 2015.
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SAYAS Members in the News
SAYAS co-chair, Dr Tolullah Oni, has been awarded the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) fellowship. The NEF is working to build a targeted team of 54 young Ambassadors, one from each African country, to participate in the NEF Global Gathering 2016, champion African science, technology, engineering and mathematics globally and become part of the growing NEF community.
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More recognition for SciELO SA
The SciELO SA Collection is evaluated twice a year to ensure that the collection is adhering to the rigorous standards and criteria set by the SciELO Global Network. The collection was evaluated again during September 2015 and a score of 98% was awarded to the collection.
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South African Journal of Science
The September/October issue of the South African Journal of Science is available online in both PDF and EPUB formats. It is a bumper issue that includes amongst others; a commentary on the discovery of a new species of human ancestor – Homo naledi and an analysis on the landscape changes in Kwa-Zulu Natal and how this is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Read the full issue here:

The Science for Society Newsletter is published quarterly by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).
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Editor: Patricia Scholtz