Pint of Science: Bringing science to the public and highlighting African research

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A physicist, a biologist and a neuroscientist walk into a bar. What sounds like the beginning of a joke is in fact how the Pint of Science Festival works. This year, from 14 to 16 May, 26 scientists from varying backgrounds walked into bars at three venues across Cape Town to bring us three nights of TED-styled science talks. Continue reading

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The whys and hows of attracting young children to science in South Africa

This is an article I wrote for the New Age on behalf of Pint of Science South Africa:

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“Why?” It’s the question that drives parents insane. “Why do leaves turn yellow?” “Because the weather is changing.” “Why?” “Because our part of the earth is moving further away from the sun.” “Why?” And it goes on. This inquisitive nature may drive parents to distraction, but the constant search for answers and the never-ending streams of “why” are the very things that should be nurtured in young children in order for the next generation of inventors and scientists to blossom. Continue reading

In the land where the stars twinkle

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Picture of the Trifid Nebula, taken by SALT

Situated close to the small town of Sutherland in the middle of the Karoo is a plateau covered in telescopes. Looking from afar, it almost appears to be a mummy telescope and her babies, since one of the telescopes is significantly bigger than the rest. This telescope is SALT – the Southern African Large Telescope, and at 11m across, it is the largest optical telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. Continue reading

Art, spring flowers, and the discovery of a blue halo

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I have a sketch book, or as it was marketed, a visual journal. I think I prefer the name visual journal – each picture was something I chose to draw, not something that was put in front of me as in art class, and each picture has an added dimension of having a memory attached to it. And, as it turns out, sometimes a picture will end up having some form of scientific relevance too, as happened with my picture of spring flowers. Continue reading