Twenty top young scientists selected for prestigious Lindau

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) has successfully nominated 20 top young scientists from South Africa to attend the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to physics later this year in Lindau, Germany.

ASSAf, as the official partner of the Lindau Foundation and with funding from the Department of Science and Technology, annually nominates young scientists to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings which are designed as a forum for young scientists from all over the world to have an in-depth exchange with Nobel Laureates. South Africa is also this year’s host country and will have the opportunity to present itself as a research nation on the International Day during the meeting week.

The South African young scientists are: Tariq Blecher, Rhodes University/Square Kilometre Array (SKA); Stive Djiokop, Nelson Mandela University (NMU); Jake Gordin, University of Cape Town (UCT); Thandi Gumede, University of the Free State (UFS); Arthur Harrisson, University of Pretoria (UP); Julia Healy, UCT/ South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO); Jan Louw, Stellenbosch University; Genevéve Marx, NMU; Itumeleng Monageng, UCT/ South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO); Francis Otieno, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); Valentine Saasa, UP/Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); Michael Sarkis, Wits; Hester Schutte, North-West University (NWU); Katekani Shingange, UFS; Sinenhlanhla Sikhosana, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN); Kimeel Sooknunan, UCT; Tanita Ramburuth-Hurt, Wits; Johannes Thiersen, NWU; Nicole Thomas, University of the Western Cape (UWC)/ SARAO; Danielle Venter, NMU.

They will join 580 young scientists from 88 countries who will participate from 30 June to 5 July 2019, along with 42 Nobel laureates in this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have been held annually at Lindau, Germany, since 1951.

Successful participants are outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral students under 35 years of age, in the field of physics, which is the focus of this year’s meeting. Key topics will be cosmology, laser physics and gravitational waves.

They were selected after a multi-stage international selection process. The selected young scientists may expect a six-day programme with numerous lectures and panel discussions. Many see the chance to present their own research work at one of the master classes or at the poster session as a special opportunity.

Prof Himla Soodyall, Executive Officer of ASSAf, was pleased that 20 South African young scientists (ten females, and ten males) will be attending this year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.  “These scholars will serve as ambassadors for the country in the area of physics and at the International Day that SA is hosting. They have an opportunity to engage with Nobel Laureates and other scholars in their field and I hope that the young scientists will take advantage of these interactions and use the opportunity to build networks for future collaborative research.”