The Society’s Annual Dinner, Induction of Fellows and Medal Awards was held on the evening of Tuesday, 15th September in the banqueting room at STIAS (Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study). It was attended by 89 people including a number of Fellows of long standing, amongst others, Professors Michael Feast (1982) Friedrich Hahne (‘91), Anton McLachlan (‘92), Doug Rawlings (‘93), Cesareo Dominguez (‘96), Pieter Steyn (‘96), Dieter Heiss (‘98).
MC Professor Don Cowan, (Past President, ex officio) warmly welcomed all those present and noted special guests : Prof Vivienne Lawack, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of the Western Cape and Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice Rector (Research and Innovation) at the University of Stellenbosch.
Don referred to the recent identification of Homo naledi at the Cradle of Mankind and observed that the Society Fellows had had a long connection early hominins, Robert Broom, Raymond Dart, Ron Clarke, Phillip Tobias, Francis Thackeray and Lee Berger.
The following Fellows were inducted by President Professor Francis Thackeray and Vice President, Dr Margaret Avery: Igor Barashenkov (2008), James Andrew Graham Cooper (2013), Dudley Shallcross (2013), Quarraisha Abdool Karim (2014), Claude Carignan (2014), Conrad Matthee (2014) Milton Shain (2014), Brian van Wilgen (2014), Willem Heber (Emile) van Zyl (2014)
After the main course the John FW Herschel Medal for 2015 was presented to Professor Michael William Feast FRSSAf, Astronomer and Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town and Senior Research Associate at SA Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) by Professor Cesareo Dominguez. This was followed by the presentation of the Meiring Naude Medal for 2014 to Thomas Scriba, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town and Deputy Director, Immunology at South African TB Vaccine Initiative by Councillor Professor Marilize le Roes-Hill.
Councillor Professor Mike Davies-Coleman introduced the dinner speaker, Dudley Shallcross FRSSAf, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Bristol who delivered a light-hearted but thought-provoking talk “The Scientist in all of us: reflections on science outreach with learners aged 4-90”.
The evening ended with Toasts to the Society and the Country by Council Member Judy Mann and Hon. Treasurer, Pierre Janssen. Thanks to Jo Venter and the staff at STIAS and the guests for making this a memorable evening.