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AU-EU Summit 17-18 February 2022: A Science Agenda

The AERAP Africa-Europe Science Collaboration Platform will organise side events at the AU-EU Summit on 14-18 February 2022. The purpose of the meeting will be to promote awareness of the contribution of collaborative research and development as a critical aspect of EU-Africa relations and collaborations, in particular in addressing global challenges together.


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Monday, February 14 • 15:00 - 17:00
(REF 141500) Scientists and policy – the role of a civil society forum - Convened by The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), South Africa

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Scientists and policy – the role of a civil society forum

14 February 2022: 16:00-18:00 (Belgian time: 15:00-17:00)

The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF), South Africa, an independent civil society forum, is hosting this side event considering the role of scientists in policy advice, as well as the importance of constructive interaction and discussion between civil society and government on key priority areas. The session will showcase experts in science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa (SA), including researchers in various SET-related fields, to share their insights.

Among the key strategic objectives of the NSTF are:
“To influence and monitor public SET-related policy; and To promote dialogue, among SET stakeholders, between the public and private sectors, and between Government and other stakeholders.”

The NSTF Discussion Forums are one type of platform that provides constructive interaction and discussion with government and stakeholders on key priority areas of concern to the SET community.

Researchers and SET-related professionals are often included in structures and groups that play an advisory role to government. The NSTF membership represents various stakeholders, disciplines and positions and regularly engage with one another from various perspectives and with government on policy-related areas. Excellent SA scientists and related professionals often also make an international impact, by participating in international advisory committees.
The questions are:
•    Are there enough significant opportunities for scientists and professionals to make policy input and reviews?
•    Are there enough such opportunities to participate in international bodies?
•    Are they taken seriously and does their advice make a positive impact?
•    How do scientists and various professionals make their voices heard when they are not asked for their advice?
•    Is it useful to have a civil society forum like the NSTF?
T
he NSTF represents about 120 member organisations. They include statutory bodies and research councils, higher education institutions, companies, non-governmental organisations, and professional societies (the largest sector in the NSTF. Professional and learned societies in SA play an important role as the collective voices of individual scientists, engineers and technologists. The professional societies are, in turn, members of the NSTF. The advisory bodies to the government (e.g. the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)) are longstanding members of NSTF. NSTF regularly brings together researchers, professionals and practitioners from various disciplines and backgrounds to interact, share knowledge, experiences, and evidence-based opinions, as well as comment on government policies related to a particularly relevant topic. The NSTF discussion forums are widely publicised, and media releases are produced to highlight and explain to the public the issues that were discussed. Comprehensive information is made available on www.nstf.org.za , including lists of recommendations.

In this Summit session, NSTF will give you a ‘taste’ of the knowledgeable speakers and experts who participate in the NSTF discussion forums and demonstrate the link with policy implications.
This session will address three themes that NSTF Discussion Forums brought to the attention of the SA public and role-players as follows:
1)    Preparing for pandemics in SA –
2)    The future of plant health in SA –
3)    The energy transition in SA



Speakers
avatar for Jabu Mtswen

Jabu Mtswen

Centre Manager, National Policy Data Observatory, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa
Dr Mtsweni is a Head of Information and Cyber Security Centre at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Research Fellow at University of South Africa, and Technical Leader of the National Policy Data Observatory supporting NATJOINTS, NCCC and Inter-Ministerial... Read More →
avatar for Glaudina Loots

Glaudina Loots

Director, Health Innovation, Dept of Science andInnovation, South Africa
Ms Loots is the Director for Health Innovation at the Department of Science and Innovation in South Africaand as such is responsible for the implementation of the Health components of the Bio-economy strategy for South Africa. She concentrates on enabling research and innovation that... Read More →
avatar for Sue Walker

Sue Walker

Principal Researcher, Agrometeorology, Agricultural Research Council (ARC) –Natural Resources and Engineering, Pretoria; and Professor Emeritus in Agromet, University of the Free State (UFS), South Africa
Prof Walker is a part-time retired Agrometeorology Specialist Researcher at the ARC – Natural Resources and Engineering, Pretoria. She is Professor Emeritus in Agromet at UFS, Bloemfontein, South Africa. She has supervised 21 PhD students and published 105 peer-reviewed scientific... Read More →



Monday February 14, 2022 15:00 - 17:00 CET