The operational environment
All three nodes are actively involved in the sharing of knowledge amongst researchers within the CBTBR through lab meetings held at least weekly. Journal Club meetings, held weekly at the three sites, also provide an opportunity to share broader-based scientific issues and ideas within the field of biological sciences within and beyond our own institutions. Team members, staff and students also attend numerous local and international conferences, often as invited speakers, where we shared our work with the international community. We have had even more meetings than in the past with health authorities, such as W and E Cape Departments of Health, to share with them our findings and the implication of these. Team members also advised international organisations, such as the TB Alliance and the WHO.
Knowledge translation to stakeholder groups
CBTBR members were involved in numerous public awareness activities countrywide in 2015:
Public awareness, public engagement, and publicity
- Dr. Malherbe was interviewed live for 20 minutes on Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) as well as on Khoisan Community Radio Station on 14 August 2015, regarding TB research, the work of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, and Tuberculosis in general. RSG invited him for a follow up discussion 2 weeks later, where he explained what biomedical research is and what one would need to study to go into this occupational direction.Dr. Chegou was interviewed by “The Naked Scientists”, UK, related to new tests for the rapid diagnosis of TB disease at the point-of-care in resource limited settings, on the 19 October 2015, in Geneva.
- Prof. Miller wasfeatured in an article on research group in SU Research Show case 2014.
- Prof. Miller did an article in The Conversations, an online magazine.
- Prof. Miller was interviewed by Business day newspaper.
- Taime Olivier was featured in new voices in Science talk.
- Prof. Miller was interviewed in an article on inaugural speech in SU news online.
- Prof. Miller did an interview with International elephant Foundation newspaper, and was published online.
- Prof. Sampson did an article with an online newspaper called The Conversation on 15 May 2015.
- Prof.Sampson did an article on TB proof blog on 17 July 2015.
- Prof. Sampson participated in a profile piece: FMHS annual publication 2015.
- Caroline Pule did radio interviews about Biomedical research, specifically TB research been done at Stellenbosch University Centre of excellence/DST and NRF.
- Caroline Pule was featured in an article by Science stars magazine under the burner “Motivation about Science careers.”
- On 28 September, Prof. Mizrahi presented a talk at the College of Health Sciences, UKZN, entitled, “Joy, luck, adventures and obstacles: lessons from my journey” at the WILL (Women in Leadership and Leverage) workshop. WILL is an innovative leadership development program with an emphasis on emerging and established women researchers.
- Dr Joanna Evans assisted with conceptualizing and facilitating the Biology Workshops conducted by the Eh!Woza public engagement programme, with the aim of educating learners aged 15 – 17 from Khayelitsha, Cape Town, about the intricacies of biomedical TB research, specifically TB drug discovery.
- Prof. Warner participated in a series of workshops in 2015 that were aimed at equipping Postdoctoral Fellows at UCT with the skills necessary to supervise postgraduate students. These workshops were held in July (13-14) and September (17-18) at Mont Fleur, Stellenbosch.
- Prof. Warner and several members of the UCT node contributed to a series of interactive workshops organized by MMRU alumnus, Dr. Anastasia Koch, and which aimed to expose learners from Ikamva Youth to current research programmes at UCT around HIV and TB through lectures, tutorials, and practicals.
- Members of the Wits node participated in the University open and exhibition days. They created and manned an exhibit to profile the work done at the CBTBR.
- In March 2015, Prof. Kana served as a judge for the 2014 (to be awarded in 2015) edition of the Discovery Health Journalism Awards. He reviewed health related journalism in different categories, including television, radio, print media and trade publications. He provided feedback to journalists regarding reporting style and made recommendations to improve health reporting in these sectors. Prof. Kana was also invited to attend the awards function on the 27th May 2015, where presentations were made to the journalists with winning entries.
- Prof. Kana participated in the following interview/profile pieces, Television: South African Broadcast Services – SABC1 (30 min profile show for the youth); MNET: Mela (45 min profile show); Radio: South African Broadcast Services, Panel interview on TB (World TB Day)
- Members of the Wits node, together with members from other nodes participated in radio interviews, broadcast in the 9 official languages of South Africa. These interviews profiled the work done in the CBTBR and were also targeted at attracting school children to careers in science.
- Prof. Kana from the Wits node participated in a press conference with Section 27 and TAC where it was announced that Johnny Clegg will be partnering with TAC to raise money for TB awareness. His address to the press highlighted the role that civil society has to play for implementation of the post-2015 WHO strategy. Johnny also handed over a cheque for R 100 000 to TAC to kick-start TB awareness and charged the commercial sector to follow suit.
- Prof. Kana delivered a 30 min public lecture at the National Institute for Communicable diseases this morning. The theme was “The New Post-2015 Global TB Strategy? The End Game” Venue: PRF auditorium, NICD/NHLS, 1 Modderfontein Road, Sandringham, Johannesburg. Chair: Lucille Bloomberg. The title of his presentation: Differential bacterial growth states in active TB disease
- Prof Corfield has continued her involvement in communicating biomedical and biotechnological science through a variety of approaches to a broad audience, ranging from primary and secondary school learners and their teachers, the “man on the street”, medical students and genetic counsellors to members of neighbourhood watches, community policing forums and the SA Police Services. Since 1998, she has encouraged many other scientists and postgraduate students to take part in public engagement and has received support and encouragement for this work from different stakeholders – including outreach funding from the CBTBR and the MRC, the DNA project and the Public Understanding of Biotechnology initiative (PUB) of SAASTA (SA Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, division of the Department of Science and Technology), as well as pro deo work on behalf of her own brand Scibiolosa. The following activities occurred in 2015. She gave DNA Project workshops which focussed on the science of DNA profiling and its application in forensics and crime prevention to relevant mainly adult audiences. She presented her flagship workshop on the science of DNA and its applications in genetics to second year MBChB students as an introduction to the medical genetics module and to genetic counsellors to help them talk to their patients and families in assessable ways. She has used the popular Murder Mystery genre to promote understanding of various sciences, including forensics, space travel and astronomy, to high school learners at Scifest 2015 and at the Zululand Science Centre. She designed and presented a two- day Advanced Biotechnology workshop on behalf of SAASTA/PUB for science centre facilitators from across South Africa. She organised an SAWISE (SA Women in Science and Engineering) Women’s Day event for high school girl learners at the CT Science Centre with the theme “The Science of Health and Beauty”, speakers came from SU and UCT, also included was Valerie’s workshop entitled “HIV comes to the Party”. She has also given talks on “a Careers in Science: one scientist’s journey” to high school learners at the Zululand Science Centre and on “Career Challenges Women Face” at an SAWISE event. Other activities include NRF Ratings workshops given to the Universities of Stellenbosch, the Western Cape and the Free State, and Research Capacity Development workshops at SARIMA, SU and UFS.