News & events


The re-emergence of astronomy in Africa – a transdisciplinary interface of knowledge systems

10 September 2012

A joint venture of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Freedom Park Trust, the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf), South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA) and the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA)

We are hereby honoured to invite you to a two-day international conference held by the Human Science Research Council (HSRC) of South Africa, together with partner institutions – on 10 and 11 September 2012 – at the Cradle of Humankind. 

This conference is being held in support of the South African hosting of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) and the promotion of a “Science World Cup” that would bring investment and opportunities in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa as well as the eight other African countries that will host remote antenna stations. 

In order to ensure the strategic participation of the social sciences in the celebration of a revival of astronomy research in South Africa, this conference focuses on  topics related to the social sciences that are in celebration of African astronomy. 

The conference will bring together participants from diverse research fields to deliberate on the re-emergence of astronomy in Africa through the transdisciplinary interface of knowledge systems. Scholars across disciplines and academic backgrounds will discuss the historical use and impact of astronomy in the development of mankind’s understanding of the universe.

Awaiting your anticipated favourable response are the Conference Planning Committee of:

Dr Olive Shisana, Dr Temba Masilela, Dr Hester du Plessis (all HSRC), Dr Andrew Kaniki (NRF), Dr Patrick Matlou (AISA), Dr Xola Mati (ASSAF), Dr Tshepo Seekoe (DST), Dr Leonard Martin (MISTRA), and Mr Lorenzo Raynard (SAASTA)

View the programme.

The conference will be held at the Maropeng Conference Centre which is located inside the iconic Maropeng Visitor Centre in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, an hour’s drive from Pretoria or Johannesburg.

Telephone: +27 (0)14 577 9000

Each person attending the conference is required to complete the registration form and return it prior to 10 August 2012 to the convenor, Arlene Grossberg at E-mail:

Most of the delegates will be staying in the Valley Lodge (4 star)

Some accommodation options in the area are:

Mount Grace Hotel (5 star) 

Whispering Pines (4 star)

Magalies Manor (4 star)

Hornbill Lodge and Legends (6 rooms only) (4 star)

Magaliesburg Country Hotel (3 star)

All matters relating to the programme should be addressed to:

Dr Hester du Plessis

Senior Research Specialist: Science Communication Research 

Research use and Impact Assessment (RIA)

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)


Cell: 083 419 8058

Office: 012 302 2802


All general matters relating to the conference should be addressed to:

Arlene Grossberg 

CPDF Manager

Science Communication

Research Use and Impact Assessment

Human Sciences Research Council,


Tel: 012 3022811    



Please note that accommodation costs only for speakers and chairs participating at the Scientific symposium will be covered. 

All other delegates are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. You may book through Travel Adventure International, please contact:

Yvette Mayime

Travel Director: Travel Adventures International


Cell: 082 593 4385

Fax: 086 680 0352

Tel: +27 (0) 12 460 7421

Our After Hours Number 082 419 6661

Docex 293, Pretoria