oa South African Journal of Science - Innovation : Shaping South Africa through science, Sarah Wild (Ed.) : book review

Volume 112, Issue 7-8
  • ISSN : 0038-2353
  • E-ISSN: 1996-7489



If you have ever wondered how the innovation sector in South Africa has transformed since 1994, Innovation, by Sarah Wild is an extremely informative and interesting publication on the topic. The book is not an academic monograph nor is it a textbook for students. Rather it presents a diversity of the innovations underway in South Africa, along with their challenges and their potential to benefit humankind, in a very easy to read style that avoids unnecessary jargon. One striking value of Wild's style is that in many cases a chapter (describing a single innovation) can be read in under 10 minutes. Pre-1990, science, technology and innovation in South Africa primarily focused on the military-industrial complex and labour-intensive commodity production. Wild's collection of 30 concise articles, based on personal interviews and encounters over the last decade, suggests that this situation has changed significantly. She highlights five areas of South African society in which transformation is taking place in the application of science, technology and innovation: environment, energy, health, industry and education.

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