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Advance the science revolution

- Wits University

Professor Robin Crewe encouraged Science graduates to advance the science revolution and inspire upcoming scientists.

"You have to realise that you are a priviledged minority from whom there are great expectations. You are expected to drive a skills revolution on the continent.

You will need to pursue the development of your career, to ensure that the natural sciences make a significant contribution in both the private sector and in public institutions."

These were the words of Professor Robin Crewe during his address to Science graduates at the Faculy of Science graduation ceremony today.

About Professor Robin Crewe

Professor Robin Crewe is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria. He is the past-president of the Academy of Science of South Africa, the former chair of the Network of African Science Academies and the past chair of the Board of the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

Professor Crewe studied at Natal University in Pietermaritzburg before proceeding to the University of Georgia, in the United States, where he completed his PhD in Entomology in 1971, with distinction.

For a period of ten years, from 1986 to 1996, Professor Crewe served as the Director of the Communication Biology Research Group in the then Zoology Department of the University of the Witwatersrand where a major focus of the work of the group was the study of honeybee chemical communication systems.

He has extensive experience in University administration including serving as the head of the Department of Zoology and as Dean of the Science Faculty at Wits, Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and subsequently as Vice-Principal of the University of Pretoria for a period of 10 years. Professor Crewe has made significant contributions to professional societies and organisations.

His current research is focused on chemical communication and social organisation in honeybees and ants, particularly with respect to worker reproductive regulation. He is a member of the Social Insects Research Group which he founded.

The French Government granted him the Ordre National du Mérite with the rank of Chevalier in 2006. Professor Crewe is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a Fellow of the World Academy of Science, a founding member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and a fellow of the African Academy of Science. He received the Gold Medal of the Zoological Society of South Africa and the Gold Medal of the Academy of Science of South Africa for meritorious service. He is also a fellow of the Southerns Beekeeping Association.

Professor Crewe is a council member of the World Academy of Sciences and the Network of African Academies of Science and is currently the co-chair of a study called “Harnessing Science, Engineering and medicine to address Africa’s challenges” which is exploring the role that the Academies of Science in Africa can play in advising their governments and the African Union on meeting the Strategic Development Goals of the UN and the implementation of the Science Technology and Innovation Strategy of the AU.