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ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY

Honours roll


Honorary degrees awarded

Current

June 2014

Professor Salim Abdool Karim has held academic appointments at the Universities of KwaZulu-Natal, Cornell, and Columbia, and is has received many honours for his significant scientific contributions to the struggle against AIDS. He demonstrated that tenofovir gel prevents both HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 infection. This was the first microbic study to show efficacy and among the most significant scientific breakthroughs in the fight against AIDS.

Science magazine ranked it among the Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010. In addition, Karim has contributed significantly to research capacity development in South Africa, playing a role in the initiation or creation of five highly productive research centres in South Africa, and has been instrumental in restoring the status of the Medical Research Council as the country’s premier medical research institute. For more than a decade he served as the Principal Investigator of the Fogarty International Centre, which has trained more than 500 South African researchers. Karim currently chairs the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel.

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Dr Bernie Fanaroff's achievements range from his work as a radio astronomer to contributions to the country's liberation through the trade union movement, and latterly, to South Africa's winning bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope. His studies of extragalactic radio sources were pioneering and the Fanaroff-Riley classification of radio sources, developed with Julia Riley while at Cambridge, is still used today.

During the turbulent 70s and 80s Fanaroff devoted 18 years to establishing and building the trade union movement, specifically the Metal & Allied Workers' Union, later the National Union Of Metalworkers, one of the largest and most influential unions in the country. After a nine-year stint with the Reconstruction and Development Programme he returned to radio astronomy as part of the nascent SKA project. His acumen as a leader and his expertise in radio astronomy were crucial to South Africa's winning the bid. The SKA promises to bring massive infrastructure development, create a significant legacy of skills, and attract young researchers in Africa to enter careers in science and technology.

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William Carmichael studied economics at Yale, Princeton, and Oxford. He came to South Africa in the mid-1970s as head of the Ford Foundation's Office for the Middle East and Africa, and in the 1980s led Ford's work in South Africa as vice-president of the Ford Foundation, responsible for its Developing Country Programmes.

His leadership and understanding of the potential of think-tank organisations in repressive societies enabled the Ford Foundation to play and important role in support of a wide range of individuals and organisations working in civil society, both inside and outside universities. Carmichael led a shift from economic modernisation theory to supporting the full set of institutions characterising an open democratic society, and re-focused the Ford South Africa programme to support human rights (including rights to trade unions), transformation of the historically white universities, alternative education programmes such as SACHED, and other dimensions of a society struggling for democracy, including the Legal Resources Centre and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies. Through the generosity of the Ford Foundation and his shared advice and wisdom, Carmichael made a significant contribution to South African universities and broader South African society, particularly in education and law.

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