CSIR conference targets science students

2012-09-17 16:27
The CSIR is urging young people to take an active interest in science. (AFP)

The CSIR is urging young people to take an active interest in science. (AFP)

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Cape Town - The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has issued a call to school students and science teachers to help find solutions to real world problems.

The CSIR will host a conference with the theme "Real Problems, Relevant Solutions" and the research organisation hopes to encourage young people with an interest in science to attend.

In 2011, the CSIR was able to secure 14 international technology patents and the organisation said that an infusion of talent could see better results in the future.

"It will definitely help because the more we get - especially the young ones coming in with fresh ideas - that will push the numbers," Tendani Tsedu, media relations manager for the CSIR told News24.

Maths and science education is key to South Africa's development, but only 24.3% of matric learners attained a university entrance in 2011.

Research and development

A researcher at the HSRC said that the state of science research in the country was low and blamed part of the reason on "losses" of science students to management.

"We have to start at the primary level. We have few matriculants doing maths and science; getting into university, but when they get there, they go to several fields - they go to management - and we have a small pool remaining as researchers, and that is the problem in this country," Dr Neo Molotsha, operations manager of the Centre for Science Technology Indicators (Cesti) programme at the HSRC told News24.

She said that research and development (R&D) action was as important as R&D.

"The government must have incentives, parallel incentives that promote R&D action and R&D at the same time."

The CSIR urged anyone with interest in science to attend the free conference that will be held at the CSIR International Convention Centre from 9 - 10 October. Details are available on the organisation's website.

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