“The MeerKAT image has such clarity. It shows so many features never before seen, including compact sources associated with some of the filaments, that it could provide the key to cracking the code and solve this three-decade riddle,” said Farhad Yusef-Zadeh of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, one of the world’s leading experts on the mysterious filamentary structures present near the central black hole but nowhere else in the Milky Way.The MeerKAT is also likely to attract international astronomers because the instrument offers a view of the sky not available in the northern hemisphere.The total cost for the MeerKAT instrument is R4.4bn, including the development of the testbed platforms and bidding for the SKA, said Esterhuyse.”
Awards do not only acknowledge success; they also recognize many other qualities, such as ability, struggle, effort, internal motivation, but above all – excellence. On behalf of the African Open Science Platform, we wish to congratulate the winner of the 2017/2018 NSTF-South32 Data Award:
SASAS (South African Social Attitudes Survey)
Read media article at https://mg.co.za/article/2018-06-29-00-raising-the-public-voice
“SASAS is a series of surveys that has been conducted annually by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) since 2003. It is a nationally representative survey series that measures the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of South Africa’s diverse population and shares these with policy and decision makers, as well as with the informed public. As such, SASAS shines a light on the public landscape and reveals the strands that make up the country’s social fabric.
“In 2002, we decided to create a new survey that drew on international standards and practices relating to the measurement of public opinion,” explains Benjamin Roberts, the co-ordinator of SASAS and a research specialist in the democracy, governance and service delivery research programme of the HSRC.
“We had wide-ranging consultations with local scholars and international experts to create SASAS – particularly with the designers of the British Social Attitudes Survey and the European Social Survey.” “
About the Data Award
The NSTF under the guidance of a team of experts continues this category introduced last year, which is meant to encompass the work of an individual or a team (including for example researchers/scientists, data scientists, data stewards) to be rewarded for the generation, preservation and sharing of a valuable scientific resource in the form of a data set/ or data collection process for a data set, that is of national interest or for the public good, and that is openly available to be re-used and / or re-packaged in products that are of public good and interest, or that could be integrated into products that contribute to the development of South Africa.
Read more at http://www.nstf.org.za/awards/
Africa is home to crustal rocks that span the earth’s geological history and host enormous mineral wealth, but it has remained for the most part relatively under-explored. However, new technologies for exploration and extraction, combined with modern data processing techniques, could change all that.
Great to learn that there is more adoption for openness among researchers, and support for open access journals! For a list of trusted high quality open access journals, see the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Editors can further explore using PKP OJS to host African journals (PKP OJS is open source software, and used by journals worldwide – code open for African developers to install and also contribute/give back to the community). It would be great to see African journals publishing and managing African research to address African problems and find African solutions, complemented by research done elsewhere in the world, and aligning with research elsewhere, in an online, open and transparent environment. PKP OJS also has a Dataverse Plugin to upload data sets in support of research articles – making the research data openly available for others to build on existing research, what AOSP is further promoting.
In a presentation by Jean-Claude Burgelmann on the implementation of a European Research Cloud (endorsed by EU Ministers), one of the proposed actions included researchers being reimbursed for APCs when publishing in OA journals listed in DOAJ.
It is indeed interesting times, and very exciting to monitor progress in terms of openness throughout the research lifecycle.
Scientists and subscription journals tussling for power/Fatima Arkin
“A recent controversy triggers long-standing debate over subscription vs open- access journals. Fatima Arkin reports.
Scientists are getting more and more interested in open-access journals. They see the advantages: more citations of their work, and a favourable eye from publishers, especially those based in Europe, who face political pressure to veer towards open access.
But two years shy of a deadline set by the European Union to make all publicly funded scientific papers in the region open-access, some publishers continue to introduce new subscription-based journals — and in the process, face pushback from the global scientific community.”
In order to support Kenyan farmers, the Kenyan Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) developed the AgroWeather Tool. The farmers still rely heavily on traditional methods to understand weather predictions and those do not allow them to mitigate the risks brought about by climate change. The Agro-Weather Tool is a web and mobile-based information system that incorporates climate information and good agricultural practices for farmers. The tool has been developed to help farmers better manage weather risks, maximize productivity and minimize the environmental impact of farming practices. In further support of the farmers in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, KALRO also developed KALRO Knowledge Hub and mobile applications.
Read more at http://www.fao.org/3/i9235en/I9235EN.pdf
Many smallholder farmers start off and manage their agribusiness ventures through trial and error basis. They hit the ground with gusto with no concrete information on farming, which leads to costly blunders. But hopefully that problem is being solved. KALRO (Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organisation) has launched 14 agribusiness apps to help farmers make informed choices even as they undertake their agribusiness ventures.
Launched during the just-concluded East Africa Farmers Digital conference, KALRO’s ICT Director Boniface Akuku said the organisation has realised most farmers run their projects without expert knowledge. To address that problem, the research body is on a mission to digitise the agricultural value chain.
“Ours is to ensure we give farmers research based information to ensure they run their projects with success. Have you noticed that most large scale farmers are doing well but small scale ones are struggling. The reason being while the big players are operating using data, the small holder farmers are operating blindly because they have no access to key information on how to farm.”
The organsation therefore hopes to solve that problem and ensure farmers have access to key information through ICT tools, said Akuku. The apps give step by step information on how to manage avocado, banana, garlic, spider flower and cassava farm. It touches on critical aspects from planting to harvesting and marketing. The other apps address fall armyworm reporting and mapping, grey leaf spot disease resistant maize varieties and maize lethal necrosis disease control.
The digitization of agricultural value chain in Kenya will give farmers easier access to markets, accurately predict weather and let them enjoy quality seeds, said Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture and Irrigation Mwangi Kiunjuri.
“We are digitizing our agriculture to help ease agricultural processes, boost electronic commerce and provide open data for future use,” Kiunjuri said during the opening of the East African Digital Conference in Nairobi.
This email to invite you to nominate candidates for the Top 50 most influential Africans in workplace eLearning. This list of Africa’s leading thought leaders, opinion formers and practitioners in eLearning in the workplace in both the corporate and public sectors is scheduled to be published shortly before this year’s eLearning Africa conference, which will be held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 26th to 28th September. This list, which will be published under the ‘Bob Little’ brand, should draw worldwide attention to the eLearning activities going on throughout Africa.
If there is anybody you think should be considered to be on this list, please feel free to nominate them using the form at the end this message which you can send by return email.
Eligibility/ Judging Criteria
The selection/ eligibility criteria for names on the African Workplace eLearning Movers and Shakers List will be the same as for the ‘main’ List. That is:
People named on the List will be influential within the workplace e-learning sector both within their country and the continent. Those who are influential on a wider geographic scale will tend to rank higher than those who are influential “only” on a national level.
Although academics can be named on this list, they should be considered only in so far as their work influences those in the corporate world in Africa.
The list is compiled on the basis of a person’s perceived current influence on the workplace online learning industry – as a practitioner, commentator, facilitator and/or thought leader. In today’s social media influenced age, this tends to give social media users, especially bloggers, a greater “international profile” and “thought leader influence” than, say, practitioners. Nonetheless, the judges will try to take account of the work and influence of “pure” industry practitioners, including those who are active “behind the scenes”. These people have a significant, if often unseen, influence over the industry.
When considering who you will nominate for this List, please consider which online learning practitioners, commentators, facilitators and/or thought leaders most inspire and influence you – and your colleagues.
If you need further guidance, please view the main Corporate eLearning Movers and Shakers’ List.
For the sake of continuity – and credibility for both lists – it would be good to reflect this in the Africa List. However, the Africa List should focus on those who’re influential in eLearning across the continent of Africa, rather than those from Africa who’re influential on the world stage.
To produce the List, please complete the template ‘entry form’ below.
Please supply the required details of as many people as you feel meet the criteria to be included on the List.
Please note that you cannot nominate yourself. However, your name could be on the List if another ‘nominator’ includes you on their list. The Nomination Form is attached and please copy – and complete – this template for each person you want to nominate. You can nominate as many (different) people as you wish – but, please, only submit one nomination per individual nominee.
Please return these nomination forms to me, via email, by June 30. I will forward them to Bob Little. Then he and his team will validate the nominations, carry out further research and then produce the Movers and Shakers’ List for Africa.
I am very grateful for your help with compiling this List of the Movers and Shakers for Workplace eLearning in Africa, which I believe will help highlight these people on the world stage of eLearning.
A Workplace eLearning Movers and Shakers’ List for Africa
I would like to nominate – for inclusion in the Workplace eLearning Movers and Shakers’ List for Africa, 2018:
|Name of nominee:|
|Country of origin|
|Country in which they currently work (if different)|
|Nominee’s Job Role:|
|Nominee’s LinkedIn profile reference:|
|Nominee’s other social media outlets:|
|Why do you believe that this person should be on the List?|
|Any other relevant information:|
I look forward to hearing from you.
With kind regards,
Founder and Director
View more information – click here.
The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin), in partnership with the Biodiversity Institute of the University of Kansas in the United States, would like to invite prospective students/researchers to enroll for the Masters’ Program in Biodiversity Informatics. Please find attached more information.
Inquiries: Prof Jean Ganglo Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor of Forestry and Plant Sociology
Director of the Laboratory of Forest Sciences
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin)
Node Manager of GBIF in Benin
BP 1493 Calavi, Benin
Tel: 00229 66 36 37 70 / 00229 94 57 89 15