The Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy of Science of South Africa invite you webinar on ‘What is research capacity and can it be built’ presented by Professor Leslie Swartz FRSSAf, Stellenbosch University and South African Journal of Science.
Abstract: ‘Capacity building’ is commonly presented as an unproblematic good in research practice. Donor funds often require ‘capacity building; researchers who ‘build capacity’ are portrayed as contributing positively to development. Drawing on years of work in which I have claimed to build research capacity, I problematise the concept, asking questions about what capacity is and how we measure it. Is ‘capacity building’ no more than a form of virtue signalling? How do we know if capacity has been built or not? What can be built and what cannot? A disability studies approach may help us develop a contextual politics of the concept of research capacity.
About the Speaker:
Leslie Swartz is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at Stellenbosch University. He holds a PhD in psychology from UCT and PhD in English from Stellenbosch University. Much of his research focuses on disability rights and access. As an experienced journal editor and current Editor-in-Chief of South African Journal of Science, he devotes a lot of time to research capacity training, with an emphasis on training in academic writing. He publishes widely and has earned a number of awards for his work. He holds an A rating from the National Research Foundation, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa.
Date: Wednesday 28 February 2024