This accolade is awarded to individuals considered to have made extraordinary contributions, of international standard and impact, to the development of science in and for South Africa over an extended period of time, and for the manner in which their work has touched and shaped the lives and views of many South Africans.
Retired Rector and Extraordinary Professor in Education
University of the Western Cape
Professor Brian O’Connell is one of those rare people who dedicate themselves to education and development in their country and who act, not only as role models for educators and communities, but also as initiators and inspirers of institutional change. His colleagues have described him as “driven by a passionate commitment to the development of South Africa and a deep desire to make a contribution to that development”.
Professor Chabani Manganyi is a writer of prominence who has had a distinguished career in psychology, education and government, having held some highly prestigious appointments in educational and academic spheres.
He was born in the district of Louis Trichardt and, after his schooling, studied at the University of South Africa where he completed a BA and received an Honours degree in Psychology in 1964, an MA in 1968 and a DLitt et Phil in Psychology in 1970. His doctoral thesis was on Body Image in Paraplegia.
As part of his doctoral requirements he held an internship in clinical psychology at Baragwanath Hospital and was later appointed as a clinical psychologist there, a post he occupied for three years until he left to take up a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University. He began publishing in the early 1970s.
Very few people can claim to have had a minor planet named after them, and few academics have published papers in the international science journal Nature 66 years apart! That is why it is no surprise that Professor Michael Feast’s significant contributions to the strong positioning of South Africa in astronomy have earned him the 2015 NRF Lifetime Achievement Award.