Displaying 1 - 20 of 127 articles

Making the case for state funding of universities. Students via wavebreakmedia/

The value universities add to society

As budgets get squeezed, universities are fighting to prove their worth.
The Large Hadron Collider is playing a key role in enabling the collection of big data. Supplied

The big data challenge and how Africa can benefit

Big data is about processing large amounts of data. It is often associated with multiplicities of data. But the ability to generate data outpaces the ability to store it.
‘There are relatively fewer large-scale research-intensive industries for universities to partner with in Australia,’ says Glyn Davis, vice-chancellor, University of Melbourne. Alan Porritt/AAP

Poor research-industry collaboration: time for blame or economic reality at work?

We can't fulfil Malcolm Turnbull's ambition for an innovative nation without understanding why researchers are struggling to engage with industry.
Computer… or black box for data? US Army

How computers broke science – and what we can do to fix it

Virtually every researcher relies on computers to collect or analyze data. But when computers are opaque black boxes that manipulate data, it's impossible to replicate studies – a core value for science.
Understanding the pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis has won a South African molecular biologist international recognition. Shutterstock

Is South Africa’s research prowess sustainable?

Funding for South African higher education is inadequate considering past inequalities. Even more alarming is the fact that plans for research development and innovation in science remain elusive.
The apparent seesaw in health journalism causes science fatigue in the public mind. David/Flickr

Science fatigue keeps us clinging to bad health habits

The media constantly bombards us with the latest research on a plethora of topics without much nuance on its quality or relevance. So how can we trust science if it can't seem to make up its own mind?
It’s one thing for a country’s academics to produce great research – but what’s the point if ordinary citizens can’t access it? Shutterstock

Why it’s getting harder to access free, quality academic research

South Africans' access to important knowledge and research is incredibly limited. In this time of Open Access, why is this the case – and will it ever change?
The compact fluorescent lamp was primarily developed by private companies such as General Electric, Philips and Osram rather than in publicly funded research institutions. Marcus Williams/Flickr

If we want to promote innovation we need to focus on businesses

Research institutions don't have a monopoly on innovation. In fact, most innovation comes out of business, and it's this sector that needs more attention in innovation policy.
Africa needs women scientists and researchers like the Ivory Coast’s Dr Celine Nobah, pictured here at work. What can be done to develop female researchers? Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters

Clever spending and policies can bring more women to science

Policies at universities and in research institutions can be changed in small and significant ways to boost the space for gender equity within the sciences.
University of Cape Town scientists work in the Drug Discovery and Development Centre. More needs to be done to keep Africa’s scientists on home ground. Epa/Nic Bothma

Closing the research gap between Africa and the rest of the world

If the continent is to grasp the science and technology revolution, then governments should take the lead in both policy formulation and implementation.
Do we need to know that things are certain, or is a little uncertainty still okay? Flickr/jim simonson

Oh, the uncertainty: how do we cope?

The more knowledge we gather in our search for answers to the unknown, the more uncertainty we uncover. But that's not a bad thing.

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