The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is delighted to invite participation in its seventh annual Science Forum South Africa (SFSA). The 2021 Forum will take place from Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 December 2021 on the SFSA 2021 digital platform co-hosted with the CSIR International Convention Centre as part of the Tshwane Science Diplomacy Capital initiative. As always, registration is free, and participation is encouraged by all with an interest in the role of science and society. DSI officials are not only invited to participate but also to disseminate the invitation to their stakeholders and partners.
The 2021 Forum will again seek to “Ignite Conversations about Science,” providing a platform for the DSI and its entities to share information on major programmes and initiatives, as well as to obtain input and reaction to new policies and strategies, such as South Africa’s new Decadal Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation. SFSA 2021 will also include a public presentation of the DSI’s 2020 Annual Report, as part of the opening plenary session on 1 December 2021. This presentation will notably highlight the response of the South African National System of Innovation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closing plenary session on 3 December 2021, will focus on the special role of the humanities and social sciences in reinforcing South Africa’s efforts to fight COVID-19.
Science Forum South Africa has a proud record of enabling the formation of new partnerships, both public-private and international, to put science at the service of society. SFSA in 2021 will also remain true to its mission of advancing the pan-African agenda for science and innovation with several sessions focused on regional and continental cooperation. Science diplomacy will continue to be a major focus of the SFSA, with the 2021 programme including several sessions related to international cooperation, for example looking at programmes such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China South Africa), European Union as well as the Sustainable Development Goals partnership frameworks.
The SFSA 2021 programme comprises 56 parallel sessions, which will see South African, African and international panellists debate and discuss, topical science and innovation policy themes, within the context of major societal challenges such as climate change. These sessions will for example focus on topics related to Open Science, Social Innovation and Women and Science. The SFSA 2021 programme also looks forward to and prepare the World Science Forum 2022, which South Africa will host in December 2022 under the theme of Science for Social Justice.
The SFSA 2021 programme is available and registration can be done at: http://www.sfsa.co.za. We look forward to your participation and contributions.