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SKA scientist receives National Order

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South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom congratulated three South African scientists upon receiving their National Orders from President Jacob Zuma on Freedom Day, 27 April 2013.

The SKA is an international effort to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope (image: Shutterstock)

Prof Glenda Grey, Prof Quaraisha Abdool Karim and Dr Bernie Fanaroff received National Orders for their outstanding contributions to the country, and also for their revolutionary work in science.

“The three scientists, who will have the country’s highest honour bestowed on them, rank among the best in the world. They have demonstrated exceptional professional achievement and commitment to service. As the Department of Science and Technology, we are proud to be associated with them,” said Minister Hanekom.

Dr Fanaroff will receive the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver) for his excellent contributions to astronomy and dedication to putting South Africa on the map with the SKA Project.

The SKA is an international effort to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, which is to be located in Southern Africa and Australia to help better understand the history of the universe. The project constitutes the ultimate Big Data challenge, and scientists must produce major advances in computing to deal with it.

Prof Grey will receive the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver) for her life-saving research into mother-to-child transmission of HIV and AIDS, which has changed the lives of people in South Africa and abroad. Her work has not only saved the lives of many children, but also improved the quality of life for many others living with HIV and AIDS.

Prof Abdool Karim will receive the Order of Mapungubwe (Bronze) for her outstanding work in the field of HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis research, as well as her role in health policy development, which has placed South Africa on the international stage in this regard.

National Orders are the highest awards that the country, through its President, bestows on its citizens and eminent foreign nationals who have contributed towards the advancement of democracy and who made a significant impact on improving the lives of South Africans.

* Image via Shutterstock

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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