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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

No Longer At Ease: debating race and identity politics in South Africa

Meridian Debate

Three of South Africa's leading public intellectuals explore a topic that touches on the nerve of national identity politics: race.

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Rarer than rhino and just as prized by poachers

Encephalartos latifrons at Kirstenbosch GardensCritically endangered cycads are disappearing from the wild and botanical gardens, ripped up by the roots to feed the lucrative landscaping market. UCT researchers are using a novel method to help the Hawks combat the theft of these ancient plants.

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Towards a philosophy of measurement in the science teaching laboratory

Prof Andy Buffler

"Parents with young kids, take note: do experiments with your kids that lead to unexpected results, and then don't look too confused yourself." Prof Andy Buffler argues for education by experimentation, and the importance in tertiary science curricula of highlighting the role of observation in the advancement of science.

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Phishing scams: you are the weakest link

Phishing

"Worldwide, higher education institutions are seeing more and more phishing attempts targeting both staff and students," says Kira Chernotsky, director of customer services at ICTS, UCT's Information and Communication Technology Services. Steff Hughes and Yacoob Manjoo offer advice on how to spot a phishing attempt and how best to protect yourself.

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Tipping the scales: SA's kids too fat, too sedentary

Active KidsFor the first time in many generations, children born from 2000 could have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, by up to five years. This is the result of poor diet and exercise habits, attendees at the launch of the 2014 Health Active Kids Report Card heard.

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Top postgrads and supervisors honoured

Research Associateship AwardsUCT's top research postgraduate students and their supervisors gathered recently to receive Research Associateship Awards – annual honours that support the university's strategic objective to be a research-led institution.

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Smallholder farmers pave the way for food security

SKIHow can we sustain the diversity of seeds that feed us? This was the central question at a workshop convened from 4-5 September at Mont Fleur, Stellenbosch by the Seed and Knowledge Initiative (SKI) – a long-term collaboration focused on securing food sovereignty for smallholder farmers in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

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Staff transformation at UCT: a response

EE and TransformationIn his article on staff transformation at UCT, Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price offered his perspective on the employment equity challenges at UCT. In response to this article, a group of UCT academics who identify as black raise a number of concerns and challenge some of the assumptions made about black academic staff at the university.

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UCT looking for exceptional student leaders

Leadership AwardsEach year outstanding student leaders are recognised for their contributions to advancing UCT's vision, mission and values. The university currently invites nominations for individual and team award candidates, who have demonstrated their commitment to the institution in this way.

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UCT team's HIV-monitoring software exported

HIV-monitoring softwareFirst it was rolled out in the Western Cape, then South Africa. Now a software application that monitors antiretroviral treatment – developed by UCT's Centre for Infectious Disease, Epidemiology and Research (CIDER) – is going further afield, and will be used in Mozambique, Malawi, Vietnam and Pakistan.

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UCT up four spots in 2014 QS World University Rankings

UCT StudentsThe University of Cape Town has maintained its upward trend in the annual Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, moving up four places to 141st place for the 2014/2015 ranking cycle. The university was ranked 145 last year.

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UCT statement regarding ANC's attack on the Public Protector

Thuli MadonselaThe ANC's attack on the Public Protector is misguided and directly undermines good governance and public accountability of government, and in particular the President.

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Smuts remembered by students and alumni

Smuts MemorialThe Inaugural Field Marshall Jan Smuts Memorial Lecture – held on 12 September, the 64th anniversary of the former UCT Chancellor's death – was delivered by Prof Bill Nasson, following a wreath laying by Smuts Hall students and alumni at Smuts' statue in the Company's Gardens.

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'The world looks to South Africa for moral leadership'

Navi PillayNavi Pillay, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, delivered the 15th Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture to a packed Jameson Hall on 11 November. In her view, South Africa has done much to promote human rights, but should not rest on its laurels.

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UCT congratulates Opie on NRF Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof Lionel OpieEmeritus Professor Lionel Opie of the UCT Hatter Institute of Cardiology Research has been honoured with a National Research Foundation (NRF) Lifetime Achievement Award.

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GSB conference focuses on design thinking

GSBThe annual UCT GSB Conference on the Business of Social and Environmental Innovation in October will focus on how design thinking can provide answers to complex social, economic and organisational issues.

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UCT Cycling Club conquers 'Everest'

UCT cyclistsA group of UCT cyclists spent 7 September cycling back and forth from Camps Bay to the top of Signal Hill – climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest – as they added their names to the world 'Everesting' hall of fame. Their painful pedaling was not in vain: all money they raised went to a cycling academy in a local township.

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Brazilian contracts pave way for South-South collaboration

Lara Dunwell and Prof Thandabantu NhlapoIncreased scientific and technological cooperation through the funding of joint research projects between UCT researchers and their Brazilian counterparts are set to follow a formal agreement signed recently between UCT and the São Paolo Research Foundation (FAPESP).

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Groundbreaking clinical trial settles question on treatment of TB pericarditis

Bongani MayosiAfrica is open for business when it comes to health research, says Professor Bongani Mayosi, Head of Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town, and lead investigator of an African-led multi-country study.

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UCT professor elected as next President of International Council for Science

Prof Daya ReddyA world-renowned mathematician and current South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics, Professor Daya Reddy from the University of Cape Town, has been named the next President of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

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Student design competition for Rustenburg Slave Memorial

Rustenburg Burial GroundRustenburg Burial Ground, the final resting place for slaves who worked on the farms along the Liesbeeck River in the 17th and 18th centuries, is to become a memorial to those dispossessed of land and freedom in Cape Town's colonial past – and UCT students are being invited to submit proposals for the memorial.

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Research agenda front and centre at launch of 2013 Research Report

2013/14 Research ReportIncreased support for UCT researchers is at the heart of the university's new research strategy, which will go before Senate in the next couple of weeks. Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Danie Visser gave a preview of what is contained in the strategy at the launch of the 2013/14 Research Report.

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UCT researcher honoured at international conference

Freda WaltersUCT student Freda Walters won the prize for the best young researcher at the Oxford Dysfluency Conference earlier this year, for her feasibility study on interventions to prevent the teasing and bullying of children who stutter.

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Engineering responses to global challenges

Harro von BlottnitzIn the face of the global challenges of pollution, resource extraction and climate change, Professor Harro von Blottnitz argues that a holistic 'life cycle' approach, informed by systems intelligence, is essential.

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'Our freedom is shrinking' - Max du Preez

Max du PreezTwenty years after democracy there are alarming signs that our freedom is shrinking, a situation that must be reversed before South Africa "lands on the slippery slope to authoritarianism", said veteran journalist Max du Preez.

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Sharing of tax information potentially perilous

Jennifer RoeleveldThe South African government is able, through its treaty network, to share information about its taxpayers with nearly 100 countries. Professor Jennifer Roeleveld of the Department of Finance and Tax wonders whether this tsunami of information exchange will come crashing down on revenue authorities and taxpayers, or merely lap the tax shores.

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Human rights the focus of upcoming Steve Biko lecture

Navi PillayNavi Pillay, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will be the guest speaker at the annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture in Jameson Hall on 11 September at 18h00.

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