Message from the President of the Royal Society of South Africa

I am delighted to welcome you to the Royal Society of South Africa’s website. We are proud to present this new webpage, as window into our membership and the activities of the Royal Society in South Africa.

The Royal Society of South Africa stands for the promotion of science and the value of science in society. The RSSAf is a society of scholars and experts, whose voices should be heard and whose contributions and leadership should be highly visible. We uphold the principles of leadership and excellence in scholarly activities and we value our independence as a scholarly organisation. We are proud of our openness to debate on topical and scholarly matters.

Never has the role of scientific experts been more important than during the current pandemic. Our scientific discoveries and opinions are critical to a world which needs to understand about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its many and varied impacts, and to receive accurate information, in forms that enable them to understand the results of current scientific research and to make informed decisions about their own lives and well-being. As the Royal Society of South Africa, we recognise the opportunities for learning from the impact of the pandemic, and the potential of new ways of working and doing science.

At present, some of our focus areas are on ensuring effective science communication, providing mentorship to emerging scientists, and ethics and research integrity. There is certainly much for the RSSAf community to report, to discuss, and to debate. We invite you, as our audience and our community, to contact us with ideas and suggestions for discussion on these and other topics, and for activities that would interest you.

As members of our community, reading this website, you will observe that the RSSAf Council is eager to implement some new and more inclusive approaches, and we are eager for your participation.

Please do not hesitate to contact me, or any other members of the Council, to let us know your views and ideas.

Warm regards to you all, and best wishes for your health and safety

Stephanie Burton

President of the Royal Society of South Africa