State of Science in South Africa

ASSAf is ideally positioned to provide regular assessments of the state of science in South Africa, given its ability to draw on the expertise of its Members and its reputation as an impartial and credible voice.


Water is a fundamental concern of virtually every nation, playing a diverse and often inter-dependent but vital role in the individual and collective lives of its entire citizenry.

STEM Education

ASSAf established a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Standing Committee in 2008 to provide strategic direction to the Academy’s role in the STEM education field.

Poverty Reduction

ASSAf originally constituted its Standing Committee on Science for Poverty Alleviation (CSfPA) in 2006 to contribute to one of the five new national missions outlined in South Africa’s Research and Development (R&D) Strategy.


ASSAf’s Membership embraces the full disciplinary spectrum and includes many Members from the broad Humanities and Social Science (HSS) disciplines. ASSAf is committed to ensuring that the HSS disciplines are a focus of attention.


Given the critical importance of health issues for South Africa, health forms a strong focus of ASSAf’s activities. A Standing Committee on Health, established in 2011, provides strategic direction to the Academy.

Environment and Health

Recently, ASSAf commenced activities which can be broadly categorised under the theme of environment and health.


Energy is an important driver of economic development. ASSAf has established energy as a core focus area and is building a substantial portfolio of activities.

Climate Change

Climate change is currently one of the most critical global issues facing the world. ASSAf’s activities in this area are selected to complement research efforts of climate scientists in South Africa.

Biosafety and Biosecurity

ASSAf established a Standing Committee on Biosafety and Biosecurity in 2009 to raise awareness of biorisks and promote the conduct of safe science.