July 2015

Ms Marina Joubert of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST) at Stellenbosch University (SU), has been named the winner in her category at the annual National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) awards held on Thursday (9 July 2015).

The winners were announced at a gala banquet in Gauteng, where Ms Naledi Pandor, the Minister of Science and Technology and official Patron of the NSTF Awards, presented the awards.

Joubert, a science communication researcher at CREST, won the category: Communication for outreach and creating awareness. She was nominated for her pioneering contribution to promoting and developing science communication as a field of practice and research in South Africa.

Joubert expressed her gratitude for the recognition and said “the NSTF Award for science communication is a new inspiration for me to continue to help promote this field in South Africa”.

She added that science communication is intricately linked to democracy and “requires the strategic and innovation transfer of knowledge, but also constructive dialogue between science, policymakers and the public”.​

A champion for public communication of science and technology for more than 20 years, Joubert has conceptualised and launched numerous science communication initiatives and also designed and presented a range of skills development courses for researchers and communication professionals. She ran her own science communication consultancy between 2005 and 2014 with clients including the SKA South Africa Project, the SA Rooibos Council, South African National Parks and the Bloodhound Supersonic Car project. Joubert is an executive member of the global “PCST” (public communication of science and technology) network and serves on the editorial board of the journal “Science Communication”.

The NSTF Awards in partnership with South32 recognise, celebrate and reward outstanding excellence in Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) in South Africa. The biggest SETI awards in the country, they move beyond academia to include corporates, SMMEs and NGOs. They also take into account capacity building, the commercialisation of the research and the impact on society.

(Author: Alec Basson)