Tag Archives: science

Launch of the African Open Science Platform


During South Africa’s fourth Science Forum, the anticipated vision and strategy of the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) was announced. This pan-African endeavour aims to position African scientists at the cutting edge of data intensive science by stimulating interactivity and creating opportunity through the development of efficiencies of scale, the creation of critical mass through shared capacities, and amplifying impact through a commonality of purpose and voice.

The AOSP was presented by Dr Khotso Mokhele, co-chairperson of the advisory council of the AOSP [and former President of the National Research Foundation (NRF)], and was acknowledged by the Minister of Science and Technology (DST), Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.

The conceptualisation of the AOSP was initiated during the 2015…

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Canada denied visas to dozens of Africans for a big artificial intelligence conference | Science


Black In AI

MONTREAL, CANADA—Dozens of African researchers were denied visas for an artificial intelligence (AI) meeting here last week, even as the Canadian government takes steps to advance the country’s standing in AI and the field aims for greater inclusivity.

Black in AI, a daylong workshop for scientists of African descent held in conjunction with the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), a leading AI conference, had invited more than 200 scientists from Africa to participate. But about half of the visa applications led…

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Africa’s science ‘millionaires’: survey spotlights top-funded researchers


Agriculture is one of the best-funded research fields in Africa.Credit: Joerg Boethling/Alamy

Africa’s research funding system has created few winners: only 2% or so of scientists from just a handful of countries and fields report receiving million-dollar grants, while almost half say they don’t receive any research funding.

The big grants tend to be in fields favoured by foreign funders, such as agriculture and health sciences. That’s because most research in Africa is still financed by agencies based in Europe, the United States and China, says a report published on 6 November, called The Next Generation of Scientists in Africa.

The report is based on a four-year international study jointly funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung foundation in Germany, and the…

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Science history: First among equals


Patricia Bath has achieved an impressive number of firsts.

Overcoming sexism, racism and poverty, she was the first African-American to complete a residency in ophthalmology, at New York University, in 1973. Two years later she became the first female faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California at Los Angeles’ Jules Stein Eye Institute.

She was the first African-American woman to serve on staff as a surgeon at the UCLA Medical Centre, and after her retirement became the first woman elected to the honorary staff there. She is also the first African-American woman doctor to receive a medical patent. In 1988, she invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.

Bath was born in New York, on November 4, 1942.

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More girls, African-Americans enroll in AP computer science. Why that matters.


‘You are role-playing a turtle. You can only move forward and only turn left. Remember, be the turtle.” 

The students listen to their teacher’s instructions and dutifully turn to their laptops, where the challenge awaits. On the screen is a small white box and a small black turtle, and next to it a larger box appears to type in their code. The room fills with clicking sounds and hushed whispers as the students get to work on their challenge: Program the turtle to move along the square path.

Mike Liang, the students’ computer science teacher, walks around the classroom dropping hints. Students cheer quietly as their turtles scuttle across the screen. They are good at this; some have been doing it since the first grade. 

Recommended: In an Indiana river cleanup, businesses and…

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Useful and abundant, African ‘Zam’ palm newly described for science — ScienceDaily


Common sight along road sides in south Cameroon and western Gabon, and growing in hard-to-be-missed dense colonies, it remains a mystery how this locally useful new palm species Raphia zamiana (locally known as “Zam”) has been missed by botanists until now, with its first collection dating to 2012. The overlooked giant has been recently described in the open access journal PhytoKeys, alongside a shy and rare endemic from the same genus.

Curiously, it might have been exactly the large size of Raphia zamiana that has discouraged botanists from collecting and cataloguing this species, according to the multinational team of researchers from the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon, National Herbarium of Gabon, Gabon, the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques — Ville de Genève, Switzerland, the Institut…

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