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The National Research Foundation launched its Science for Society Lecture Series in 2012 in an effort to help bridge the divide that exists between science and community issues and to help society relate to how science, research and technology positively impact on our day-to-day lives and on future generations. Through this lecture series, the organisation seeks to showcase the work of NRF-funded researchers and other beneficiaries of research funding in general, addressing real challenges that are facing South Africa today.

Please click here to listen to the NRF Science for Society Lecture Series podcasts.

Value And Values Of Science

Speaker: Professor Craig Calhoun
Thursday, 6 September, 2018
National Research Foundation, Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria, Pretoria
The challenges facing countries with developing economies can be staggering and South Africa is no exception. Current solutions are no longer adequate to meet the multi-dimensional social, technological and economic challenges. In this context, does Science hold the answers to unprecedented opportunities for rapid social progress and what values should support its development?
The National Research Foundation, together with the Human Science Research Council (HRSC), cordially invites you to a public lecture by world renowned social scientist, Professor Craig Calhoun, whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy, and economics. 
In this lecture, Prof Calhoun will explore the value and values of Science in addressing modern socio- economic realities.
Date: Thursday, 6 September 2018
Time: 17:00 for 17:30
Venue: Chief Albert Luthuli Auditorium, National Research Foundation, Meiring Naude Road, Pretoria
RSVP deadline: Monday, 3 September 2018 (RSVP essential) 
For inquiries, contact 
Sam Lekala: slekala@hsrc.ac.za 
Lerato Mpetshwa: lerato.mpetshwa@nrf.ac.za or 012 481 4357

Open Access for the Development of Africa’s Science

Speaker: Professor Ismail Serageldin
Tuesday, 4 September, 2018
National Research Foundation, Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria, Pretoria
The 2016 Dakar Declaration on Open Science in Africa called for urgent action by institutions and governments for open access in order to better Science in Africa. Two years later, the continent is making strides in this direction.
In this lecture Professor Ismail Serageldin - Advocate for Open Science in Africa, Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and Former Vice-President of the World Bank – will share his insights and explore the case for the combined power of scholarly information in the service of the public good in Africa.

Date: Tuesday, 4 September 2018
Time: 17:00 for 17:30
Venue: National Research Foundation, Chief Albert Luthuli Auditorium, Meiring Naude Road, Brummeria, Pretoria
RSVPPLEASE CLICK HERE TO RSVP ONLINERSVP deadline: Sunday, 2 September 2018 (RSVP essential) 

For inquiries, contact
lerato.mpetshwa@nrf.ac.za or 012 481 4357

Sorghum for Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Africa

Speaker: Biography of Professor Gebisa Ejeta
Tuesday, 10 April, 2018
Hall B, Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town


Sorghum is the 5th most important grain crop after wheat, maize, rice and barley. It is a staple food for about 500 million people in more than 30 countries and has significant nutritional qualities. Sorghum is an especially important crop in the arid, sub-tropical and tropical parts of Africa on account of its hardiness, in particular its low water requirement in comparison to maize and its relative drought-resistance.

In recent years, sorghum production in South Africa has declined considerably and for all its potential benefits, sorghum has also received little attention in comparison to other crops.  However, the impact of climate change in South Africa, bringing increasingly high temperatures and more unpredictable rainfall, is renewing interest in sorghum as a crop and its many food and beverage uses.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) cordially invites you to attend its latest Science for Society Lecture, entitled “Sorghum for Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Africa”. Join the conversation as experts in sorghum share their insights and debate the importance of sorghum in Sub-Saharan Africa and its potential role in enhancing food and nutrition security and driving economic development. 
Date: Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Time: 18:45 
Venue: Hall B, Century City Conference Centre, No. 4 Energy Lane, Bridgeways Precinct, Century City, Cape Town
CLICK HERE to RSVP. Please RSVP on or before Tuesday, 3 April 2018
Light refreshments will be served from 18: 00-18:45 
This lecture is open to all members of the public and will be broadcast live on SAfm. Come and join the discussion.
Professor Gebisa Ejeta, Professor of Sorghum Breeding, Purdue University, USA, World Food Prize Winner (2009).
Professor Riette de Kock, Associate Professor of Sensory Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa, SA Women in Science Award – Distinguished Woman Researcher (Research Innovation).
Professor Julian May, Director, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, University of Western Cape, South Africa
Professor Tim Dalton, Director, USAID Sorghum and Millets Innovation Laboratory, Kansas State University, USA, & Agricultural Economist
Professor Gyebi Duodu, Associate Professor of African Grains and Food Bioactives, University of Pretoria, South Africa

The Parental Brain: New Insights from Brain Imaging

Speaker: Professor Morten Kringelbach
Wednesday, 6 December, 2017
Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, 6 Jubilee Road, Parktown, Johannesburg

For many people becoming a parent is one of life’s most rewarding and transformative experiences, yet until recently  little was known about how this experience  changes the brain. In this lecture Professor Kringelbach of Aarhus and Oxford  Universities will share new insights into how fast brain signatures (rapid spread of neural activity) are evoked by the sight  and sounds of babies. He will also talk about how cuteness of infants – as a protective survival mechanism – shapes human  lives. He will speak about cutting-edge research using new technologies in brain imaging that reveal specific areas in the brain that control the caregiving instinct.

Professor Kringelbach’s prize-winning research uses neuroimaging and whole-brain computational models of, for example,  responses to infants, taste, sex, drugs and music to find ways to increase eudaimonia (well-being).

This lecture is part of the Brain Matters Seminars Series, funded by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human  Development and the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS), and supported by the Wits Cortex Club,  and the Southern African Neuroscience Society. The lecture will be presented in partnership with SAfm and the  Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

DATE: Wednesday 6 December 2017
TIME: 17:30 for refreshments, followed by the lecture at 18:30
VENUE: Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, 6 Jubilee Road, Parktown, Johannesburg
RSVP: by 30 November
  Please click HERE to register your attendance


Ending HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Speaker: Biography of Professor John Hargrove
Thursday, 1 December, 2016
STIAS Building, 10 Marais Rd, Stellenbosch