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Distinguished South African Minister visits Leiden as Honorary Professor

On 26th and 27th February, the South African Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor will visit Leiden University as honorary Oort Visiting Professor of Astronomy for Development. She will give a ceremonial lecture on Astronomy for Development in the Academiegebouw on 26th February and lead an interdisciplinary symposium on Science Diplomacy and Development at the Leiden University Campus in the Hague on 27 February.

Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor has been South Africa's Minister of Science and Technology from 2009 until 2012 and again from 2014 until now. Minister Pandor is considered an inspirational and charismatic ambassador of science as a tool for development, particularly in the field of astronomy. She has received several awards for her accomplishments, including the Grand Cross of Merit by the German government, the Science Diplomacy Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and honorary doctorates from Stellenbosch University, Nova University Lisbon and University College Dublin.

After Minister Pandor’s ceremonial lecture on "Astronomy for Development", an agreement will be signed to set up a European IAU Regional Office of Astronomy for Development, a joint venture between Leiden University and the European Astronomical Society. This international office will join a network of eight such offices around the world dedicated to using astronomy to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The network is coordinated by a global IAU Office of Astronomy for Development in Cape Town – a joint venture between the International Astronomical Union and the South African National Research Foundation. Astronomy for Development exploits several unique aspects of astronomy to build technological capacity, stimulate inspirational education and foster a sense of world citizenship.

An interdisciplinary symposium on "Science Diplomacy and International Development" will be held in honour of Minister Pandor at the Leiden University College Campus in the Hague from 10pm until 1pm on 27th February 2018. The event is being organised jointly by the European Commission Space Awareness project, Leiden Observatory, the Leiden African Studies Centre, the Leiden University Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs and the Leiden University Hague Campus. To attend, please register for the symposium of 27 Februari at www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/pandorhague.

[1] Ceremonial lecture is by invitation only, for the symposium registration is required.


Preliminary programme of Tuesday 27 Februari (subject to change)

Chair, Prof. Judi Mesman, Dean, Leiden University College, The Hague

10.00 – 10.15 Introduction
10.15 – 11.00 Science Diplomacy and Square Kilometre Array Prof. Naledi  Pandor,
  South African Minister of Science and Technology
11.00 ----coffee---
11.30 – 11.45 AWTI Report on Science Diplomacy Dr.Sjoukje Heimovaara
  Member, Government Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (AWTI)
  President-commissaris, Royal Santen
11.45 – 12.00 NWO and Science Diplomacy Prof. Wim van den Doel
  NWO Executive Board, Chair of Social and Humanities Domain
  Professor Contemporary History, Leiden University
12.00 – 12.15 Square Kilometre Array and Technology Transfer Prof. Carole Jackson  
  Director Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON)
12.15 – 12.30 IAU Astronomy for Development Programme Dr. Pedro Russo
  Assistant Professor, Astronomy and Science Communication, Leiden University
12.30 – 13.00 Discussion
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