The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is delighted to invite participation in its seventh annual Science Forum South Africa (SFSA).   The 2021 Forum will take place from Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 December 2021 on the SFSA 2021 digital platform.  As always, registration is free, and participation is encouraged by all with an interest in the role of science and society.

The 2021 Forum will again seek to “Ignite Conversations about Science.”  SFSA provides a platform for the DSI and its entities to share information with the public on its major programmes and initiatives, as well as obtain input and reaction to new policies and strategies, such as South Africa’s new Decadal Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation.   The Forum also has a proud record of enabling the formation of new partnerships, both public-private and international, to put science at the service of society.   SFSA in 2021 will also remain true to its mission of advancing the pan-African agenda for science.

SFSA 2021 will include the first public presentation of the DSI’s Annual Report as part of the opening plenary session on 1 December 2021.  This presentation will notably highlight the response of the South African National System of Innovation to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The closing plenary session on 3 December 2021, will focus on the special role of the humanities and social sciences in reinforcing South Africa’s efforts to fight COVID-19.

The SFSA 2021 programme also comprises 56 parallel sessions, which will see South African, African and international panelists debate and discuss, topical science and innovation policy themes, within the context of major societal challenges such as climate change.  These sessions will for example focus on topics related to Open Science and Science Diplomacy.  The SFSA 2021 programme also looks forward to and prepare the World Science Forum 2022, which South Africa will host under the theme of Science for Social Justice.