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Science is coming to the people

SPACE buggies, laser beams and climate change are all coming to Port Elizabeth in the form of popular lectures to the public. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and Rhodes University, as hosts of the 60th Annual Conference of South African Institute of Physics, are offering the public an opportunity to attend free lectures by top national and international scientists at the Boardwalk from June 30 to July 2.

"It's all part of a drive to showcase science in a country that's desperate for more scientists," says organiser Prof JR Botha, who holds a national research chair in nano photonics within NMMU's Department of Physics.

Guest scientists experimental nuclear physicist Dr Don Mingay will challenge present climate change thinking, while NASA's Dr Japie van Zyl will share insights on whether there is "life out there" during two evening sessions on Tuesday 30 June and Thursday 2 July respectively (see adjacent articles in the NMMU newsfeed). On Wednesday 1 June, the action moves to NMMU's South Campus where Prof Andrew Forbes of Wits University will highlight the central role of light in modern society with his presentation "Light Fantastic".

This event forms part of NMMU's annual Science Discovery Week for some 300 learners from throughout the province, but other learners are also encouraged to attend. "We believe that these events will get people excited about the possibilities of science," says Prof Andre Venter, whose own faculty offers a number of bursaries to prospective scientists. These bursaries are mainly offered within NMMU's specialist fields of solid state physics, materials, nano science, renewable energy and fibre optics.

Free public lectures:

Pre-booking is essential via Computicket on www.computicket.com for the first two lectures

  • The Conflict in Climate Change by Dr Don Mingay
    Tuesday, 30 June 7pm to 8pm Boardwalk Convention Centre
  • Exploring the Universe: The Search for Signs of Life by Dr Japie van Zyl
    Thursday, 2 July 7pm to 8pm Boardwalk Convention Centre
  • Light Fantastic by Prof Andrew Forbes
    Wednesday, 1 July 9am to 10am South Campus Auditorium at NMMU. Bookings for this lecture with ryan.farrant@nmmu.ac.za

Enquiries: Prof JR Botha on 041 504 2579

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Telephone: 041-504 1111 | Fax: 041-504 2574 / 2731

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