Award for Editor-in-chief of Science in Africa


Janice Limson receiving the NSTF trophy from president of the National Research Foundation, Dr Khotso Mokele.Dr Janice Limson, founder and editor-in-chief of Science in Africa was one of the winners at the recently held National Science and Technology forum awards for "Outstanding contribution for science, engineering and technology".

The NSTF awarded the prize to Limson for her development of the online science magazine, Science in Africa. She is currently actively engaged in research in the neuroscience research group at Rhodes University. Science in Africa represents an important part of her commitment to both showcasing African science to Africa and the rest of the globe and towards improving the public understanding of science. Science in Africa has been running for a year and a half and is a monthly online magazine which showcases scientific achievements and progress from Africa in an understandable way to the general public. The magazine has received over 1, 3 million hits and is widely read in over 70 countries.

She firmly believes that scientists have an important role to play in nurturing a culture of science in South Africa through communicating and publicizing important research focuses and developments to the general public.

The National Science and Technology forum awards is now in its fourth year and acknowledges the most outstanding contributions from individuals and organizations in the field of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in six categories.

The awards were presented this year by the President of the National Research Foundation (NRF), Dr Khotso Mokele, on behalf of the Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. The award ceremony at the Sandton Hilton in Johannesburg on 3 May 2002 was well attended by several dignitaries from government, industry and tertiary education.

Nominations were received from stakeholders late last year and were 50% up over the previous year. Nominees and winners in the six categories honouring both individual scientists and organisations included Prof H Christo Viloen, Univ of Stellenbosch who drove the SUNSAT micro-satellite programme and Prof Christopher Vaughan and Prof Gerhard de Jager of UCT for their contributions to the field of medical imaging and Prof Mike Bruton of the MTN ScienCentre.

Nothing works without team-work, believes Dr Limson: "The NSTF award is thanks to the efforts of many people including Rhodes University PhD student Garth Cambray who is co-editor of Science in Africa, Jenny Marais who is the magazine's Science Granny, Science Journalists including Christina Scott of the SABC, colleagues in the public understanding of science programmes in South Africa and importantly the many scientists and readers globally who are fundamental to the success of the magazine." She firmly believes that great science happens in Africa but science needs to be heard, it needs to be accessible and it needs to be understandable. Visit to find out why they have a winning formula.

Janice Limson may be contacted at 083 248 0100 or by e-mail  at


May 2002