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National Science Week 2011 - “The Role of Science in Economic Development”

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The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, flanked by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize on her right and the Director General of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara on her left, acknowledged the importance of the work done by SAEON. The stand was manned by SAEON's Basanda Nondlazi (right).

- Queen Monedi, Intern and Basanda Nondlazi, Field Technician, SAEON's Node  for Grasslands, Wetlands and Forests

Launched at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville campus, this year’s National Science Week theme was “The Role of Science in Economic Development”.

In her keynote address the Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor said that it was innovation and knowledge – rather than capital and labour – that could be regarded as the drivers of economic growth and societal change in all countries. She emphasised that it was the Department of Science and Technology’s role to catalyse innovation in South African national priorities.

Science is our life; it affects us all on a daily basis.

About 40 organisations were gathered at the event, representing various science disciplines and demonstrating how science works and affects our lives in different ways. There were over 90 exhibitors, 20 schools and wide media coverage by four television channels.

High-level acknowledgement

Among the honoured guests who visited the SAEON stand were the Minister of Science and Technology, who acknowledged the importance of the good work done by SAEON. The Minister was accompanied by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize and the Director General of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara.

Queen Monedi from SAEON’s National Office and Basanda Nondlazi from SAEON’s Forests, Grasslands and Wetlands Node in Pietermaritzburg manned the SAEON exhibition stand and interacted with learners attending the event.

On the SAEON display were environmental science books, information on careers in science, specimens mounted on a scrapbook, and a slide show of the work done by SAEON scientists. A presentation on the importance of caring for the environment for human livelihoods was one of the SAEON stand’s attractions. Visitors and learners also received information on careers in the natural sciences.

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