Invitation to a webinar on Science Communication, Information and Ethics – the role of expert scientists in leading discussion and ensuring integrity

The Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy of Science of South Africa invite you to a Zoom Webinar by Prof Stephanie Burton, FRSSAF, President of the Royal Society of South Africa titled Science Communication, Information and Ethics – the role of expert scientists in leading discussion and ensuring integrity. 


In an information-driven world, where people seek information to guide life-changing decisions, and in a time when a global pandemic has raised many questions and created a need for understanding for all sectors of our community, it all too easy to believe everything one reads on the internet. It has never been more important for researchers to be presenting their knowledge as timeously and openly as possible. As a scientific community, we present science as a public good, and we have a responsibility to communicate new knowledge. This brings with it the responsibility to ensure that the information presented is true, ethically derived, and honestly discussed.  The talk will address aspects of research ethics and integrity in the context of the current times, and the implications for scientists practising their research activities, and publishing new knowledge – publishing practices in an increasing electronic environment, research data management in the digital era, confidentiality and personal information, and national and international regulations. The need for training will be covered – developing awareness of the broad and philosophical aspects of ethics, of ethical practices in research and science broadly, and becoming conversant with the necessary practical aspects of ethical research.

About the speaker 

Professor Stephanie Burton is Professor in Biochemistry, and Professor at Future Africa at the University of Pretoria, as well as the immediate past Vice-Principal for Research and Postgraduate Education at UP, having served in that role from 2011 to 2020.  She is the President and a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa , Vice-President of the Academy of Science of South Africa, a Research Fellow for Universities South Africa and the Chairperson of the Future Earth Regional Office for Southern Africa.

Stephanie holds an MSc in Organic Chemistry (1990) and a PhD in Biochemistry (1994) from Rhodes University. Her academic career started in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Rhodes University, and then as Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town. She served as Director of Postgraduate Studies and Director of the Biocatalysis and Technical Biology Group at Cape Peninsula University of Technology before her UP appointment. Her research interests are in sustainability, applied biochemistry and biotechnology, and she has published widely and supervised numerous postgraduate students. She also has a strong interest in research capacity development, and research ethics and integrity, and she serves on several national bodies related to research and doctoral training. She is recognised for her leadership in managing research strategy and performance,  postgraduate training, innovation activities, open science and science communication initiatives and internationalisation programmes.

Hosts:- Royal Society and ASSAf

Date and Time: May 12, 2021 05:00 PM

Platform: Zoom

Zoom Meeting –

Meeting ID: 753 3365 5324

Passcode: Za7X7W