Dear Associates and extended NITheCS family,

I am delighted to announce that 2 April 2024 marked the official birth of NITheCS, a new entity on the South African Science, Technology and Innovation landscape.

Many steps have been taken to reach this point, and the stakeholders who have been involved in the process can jointly celebrate the achievement of this significant milestone with us. I will provide more details in the next few weeks about the process we are following.

International recognition of NITheCS
In recognition of our collective efforts and innovative approaches, NITheCS was in the spotlight at the March meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), held in Minneapolis, USA. The session, sponsored by the Forum on International Physics and Forum on Education of the APS, with Dr Christine Darve of the European Spallation Source presiding, emphasised international collaboration and interdisciplinary education.

Representing NITheCS, I delivered a talk titled ‘Education across continents: the NITheCs way’ on 6 March. This centred on the foundational principles of NITheCS and our concerted efforts in bridging continents through education and research. I also outlined our institute’s contributions toward advancing the eight interdisciplinary scientific fields we support.

I believe our participation at the APS presentation underscored NITheCS’ commitment to create an inclusive and collaborative environment that transcends geographical boundaries. It also highlighted NITheCS’ growing recognition as a brand in academia and a model for global scientific collaboration and education.

Despite the long weekends in March and April, our programme of colloquiums, seminars and other major events continue unabated.

Our scientist of the month is Dr Adriana Marais. Read more about her in this newsletter and also on our website. Also look out on social media for reminders of events as well as notes about UNESCO/UN special days, scientific snippets and science-related anniversary snippets.

Wishing all our readers a rewarding April in the service of science and the communities where we operate.

Francesco Petruccione