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Ideas on the edge


Research, news, opinions, interesting people and inspiring initiatives

  • The latest issue of Wits’ research magazine, Curios.ty, explores the subject of capital.
  • Wits scientists have reported that a South African child who received antiretroviral treatment as an infant has suppressed the HI virus for nine years. Professor Caroline Tiemessen (BSc 1984, BSc Hons 1985, PhD 1993) led the key laboratory investigations.
  • Read more about the work of Professor Shabir Madhi  (MBBCh 1990, MMed 1999, PhD 2004), into a vaccine to protect women against stillbirth and infant death.
  • Missing miners: watch a video about Wits-developed technology for tracking miners trapped underground.
  • After 20 years of excavation and preparation by Professor Ron Clarke (Phd 1978) and his assistants, the Australopithecus fossil Little Foot is revealed in her entirety. Read more and watch the video.
  • Science education shouldn’t be geared only for people who want a career in science. It should prepare everyone to function effectively in a science-driven future, say Wits lecturers Prof John Bradley and Peter Moodie in this article in The Conversation.
  • Professor Himla Soodyall (MSc 1987, PhD 1993) introduces Because Science is Fun: Stories of Emerging Female Scientists in South Africa.
  • Read about the life and work of palaeoscientist Professor Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan (BSc 1984, BSc Hons 1985, PhD 1991).
  • What’s your experience of studying in your second or third language? Please share it with us.
  • Molecular biologist, HIV researcher and PhD student Thulile Khanyile (MSc Med 2015) talks on Metro FM about education and the marriage of science and business. Her organisation Nka'Thuto Edupropeller prepares learners for science expos and educates them about business concepts. She is also involved in Black Science, Technology and Engineering Professionals (BSTEP), an advocacy organisation. In this video series, she shares some of the lessons she has learnt on her journey. What happens when you fail at university? How do you prepare for opportunities? How do you maintain self-belief until others see your value? Read more about her here.
  • Do you have “new collar” skills? IBM is investing millions to provide free skills development programmes for young Africans. IBM Digital-Nation Africa is a cloud-based learning platform which has material for everyone, from digital beginners to start-up businesses. Find out more here or watch the Creamer Media video.
  • Wits is offering two new Master’s degrees that deal with Big Data, namely an MSc in e-Science and an MA in e-Science.
  • Professor Imraan Valodia, Dean of Commerce, Law and Management, discusses the idea of a wealth tax.
  • Meet Mbali (BA 2017) and Enhle (BA 2015, BA Hons 2017) Khumalo, sisters, social entrepreneurs and co-founders of MbalEnhleSis. They’ll also show you how to tie a head wrap stylishly.
  • Sci-fi novelist Jason Werbeloff (BA 2006, BA Hons 2008, PhD 2014) and Cecilia Kok (BA 2010, LLB 2012), head of research and advocacy projects at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, wrote a piece questioning the reasons often given for being “proudly South African”.
  • Mary Metcalfe (MEd 1990) talks to Tim Modise about building better relationships between schools and communities.
  • Listen to psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist Prof Mark Solms (BA 1984, BA Hons 1985, MA 1987, PhD 1992) talking about “The Neural Mechanisms of Dreams” at a Brain Matters seminar. Note that the video’s sound comes in a little late.
  • Professor John Burland (BSc Eng 1958; MSc Eng 1962; honorary DSc Eng 2007) designed the solutions that stabilised the Tower of Pisa and Big Ben. He told CNN about it here.
  • Drought has been hard on the aardvark, according to Prof Andrea Fuller (BSc 1995, BSc Hons 1996, PhD 2000) and her research team. These conditions could become the “new normal”.
  • The sungazer lizard is also threatened by habitat destruction. PhD student Shivan Parusnath (MSc 2014) explains his research into the population’s genetic structure in a video.
  • Should artisanal mining be legalised?
  • Listen to Wits Radio Academy’s podcasts on science, business, law, health and society.
  • Melusi Ncala (BEd 2012, BEd Hons 2013, MA 2015), who works as a researcher for Corruption Watch, writes about the idea of “home”.
  • Trudi Makhaya (BCom 2000, BCom Hons 2001, MCom 2003) calls on her generation – the “silent cohort” – to build South Africa.
  • Podcast: Learn about the assistive technology that helps blind students.
  • The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra has been relaunched at the Linder Auditorium on Wits’ Education Campus. Appropriately, the launch concert opened with the Triumphal March from Verdi's opera Aida.
  • Do you know about the work of Right To Care? Founded by Professor Ian Sanne (MBBCh 1990), the non-profit organisation provides prevention, care and treatment services for HIV and associated diseases.
  • Surgeons for Little Lives is a non-profit organisation that helps children who need life-changing surgery. It is chaired by Professor Jerome Loveland (MBBCh 1996).
  • The Tshemba Foundation recruits healthcare volunteers to provide medical care to rural people in the Hoedspruit area and training to local healthcare providers. Read more about the Witsie connection, including Neil Tabatznik (BA 1972) and Godfrey Phillips (BA 1973).
  • Kasi Career Expo connects students in disadvantaged areas to recruiters, funders and mentors. The project director is Mahlako Mahapa (BA Hons 2013, MA 2014).