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Some 200 young scientists from all over the world will converge on Johannesburg this week for the 8th Annual Young Scientists’ Conference and the 3rd Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academies of Science.

The Annual South African Young Scientists’ Conference on 19 July 2017 is hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) and will deliberate on young scientists’ role in science advice.

There is a growing movement internationally to bring together science advisors to share best practices and form a network to deal with global challenges, such as food security and climate change.

Science is also at the heart of the United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs). However, integrating the best science into the plans of government and others working towards the SDGs, remains a challenge.

This multilateral conference will provide a platform for scientific exchange among senior and young scientists in the area of harnessing the demographic dividend through investments made in young scientists.

Specific themes that will be deliberated upon are the Role of Young Scientists in National Strategies to Achieve the SDGs; Application of a Gender Lens in Addressing the SDGs; and Building Scientific Capacity in Young Scientists to Advance Science Policy.

Some 120 young and early career researchers from universities and research institutions and Africa are expected to attend this event. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Adrian Tiplady, General Manager of Strategy, Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

The 3rd Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academies of Science (NYAS) will take place on 20-21 July 2017 and is hosted by SAYAS and co-organised by the Global Young Academy (GYA).

The meeting will further explore the science advice theme and will focus on how young academies and young scientists, in particular, can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. Some 60 representatives from more than 35 NYAS and young academy initiatives from all over the world are expected to attend.

The meeting under the theme One Health – Health and Development in the Context of an Urbanising Planet and Implications for Science Policy will focus on SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 11 (Sustainable Cities).

Participants will discuss the role of NYAS as a mechanism for national implementation of the SDGs, and how science and technology can be harnessed towards achieving the UN SDGs.

NYAS are academies typically formed by young scientists and scholars at the beginning of their independent careers who have been selected for the excellence of their research impact and commitment to service. NYAS represent the voice of young scientists for the advancement of issues of importance to society and to young scientists.

Date: 19 - 20 July 2017
Venue: Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre, Boksburg

Partners for the Young Scientists’ Conference are:
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA), the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World - South Africa National Chapter (OWSD-SANC) and the National Research Foundation (NRF).

Partners for the 3rd Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academies of Science are:
The National Research Foundation (NRF), The World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS ROSSA), South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), International Council for Science - Regional Office for Africa (ICSU-ROA), IAP for Health, New Zealand High Commission in South Africa and Volkswagen Foundation.

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
ASSAf was inaugurated in May 1996. It was formed in response to the need for an Academy of Science consonant with the dawn of democracy in South Africa: activist in its mission of using science and scholarship for the benefit of society, with a mandate encompassing all scholarly disciplines that use an open-minded and evidence-based approach to build knowledge.

ASSAf thus adopted in its name the term 'science' in the singular as reflecting a common way of enquiring rather than an aggregation of different disciplines. Its Members are elected on the basis of a combination of two principal criteria, academic excellence and significant contributions to society.

The Parliament of South Africa passed the Academy of Science of South Africa Act (Act 67 of 2001), which came into force on 15 May 2002. This made ASSAf the only academy of science in South Africa officially recognised by government and representing the country in the international community of science academies and elsewhere.

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