oa CSIR Science Scope - Editorial

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN :



The CSIR was est ablished 70 years ago in 1945. While this may appear to be a venerable age, we are - in the South African context - still something of a newcomer. By comparison some of our educational institutions have been around for quite a bit longer (the University of Cape Town is 126 years old, Rhodes University is 111 and even the upstart University of the Witwatersrand has been around for 93 years) as have some of our key industrial and developmental institutions - Eskom is 93 and Transnetis 99. Therefore, we may be justified in thinking that the CSIR is but a stripling, 70 years young and only now entering into our full maturity as a national institution. As with many long-lived South African organisations, we have something of a chequered history - apartheid and the systems that supported it have cast a long shadow over the CSIR's many scientific and technical accomplishments during its first half-century. It is perhaps emblematic of modern South Africa that we are able to reconcile this duality- that we can proudly reflect on the scientific achievements of our predecessors while recognising the fundamental injustice of the system within which those achievements took place.

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