During  the  apartheid  years  South  Africa  developed  a  science  and  technology  system  geared toward self-sufficiency in all spheres of the economy. This covered weapons of mass destruction, aerospace  and  armaments,  synthetic  fuels,  energy,  food  security  etc.  While  not  described  as  a national system of innovation, the main elements of such were in place, from standards through to human resource development and science promotion. However this was for minority interests, by minority interests. This paper  discusses how the situation has changed  since  the  inception  of democracy, and how the new priorities of national development are dealt with. Emphasis is given to the wider promotion of public understanding of science and technology, and lessons that may be drawn from recent initiatives in these fields.


 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Transforming the South African science and technology system toward national development from sectional to general needs

Michael Kahn   University of Cape Town and Ministry of Education

During  the  apartheid  years  South  Africa  developed  a  science  and  technology  system  geared toward self-sufficiency in all spheres of the economy. This covered weapons of mass destruction, aerospace  and  armaments,  synthetic  fuels,  energy,  food  security  etc.  While  not  described  as  a national system of innovation, the main elements of such were in place, from standards through to human resource development and science promotion. However this was for minority interests, by minority interests. This paper  discusses how the situation has changed  since  the  inception  of democracy, and how the new priorities of national development are dealt with. Emphasis is given to the wider promotion of public understanding of science and technology, and lessons that may be drawn from recent initiatives in these fields.


 

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