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Witsies win at Science Oscars

- Wits University

Professor Alex Quandt and the Wits Communications team have won in their categories at the NSTF-South 32 Awards, dubbed the ‘Science Oscars’.

Wits NSTF WinnersThe prestigious annual awards, hosted by the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) and global resources firm, South32 recognise excellence and outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology (SET) and innovation in South Africa. 

At a gala event in Johannesburg on 27 June 2019, Quandt, a physicist, and Shirona Patel, Head of Wits Communications were named winners.

Alexander Quandt in the Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials in the School of Physics won the Special Annual Theme Award.

Wits Communications Services won the Communication Award for outreach and creating awareness of SET and innovation, by a team or individual over five years. The award recognises a communicator who has made an outstanding contribution to SET through a substantial impact in terms of public awareness of SET. Nominations come from (i) professional science communicators employed as journalists, writers, and presenters in science communication institutions and (ii) professionals in other fields, such as lecturing, SET management and research but who make communication about SET part of their lives.

Accepting the award Patel said the Wits Communication Services team is committed to inspiring curiosity, creating new knowledge, making research accessible and impacting on society through innovative science communication.

This is the second award for the team this year. Their communication campaign to share the science with the public about the world’s first HIV Liver transplant performed by Wits medical specialists them a bronze award in the Health category of the Prism Awards.

Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Adam Habib shared his excitement: