"The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an excellent tool to drive development in South Africa", stated Naledi Pandor, the South African Minister of Science and Technology and currently the Minister of Higher Education. "Big science projects like these are an ideal platform to train young people with skills that are crucial for the development of the future."
Published by the editorial team, 28 February 2018
Pandor visited Leiden University on 26 February to give a ceremonial lecture for her appointment as honorary Oort Visiting Professor of Astronomy for Development. She also led an interdisciplinary symposium on Science Diplomacy and Development on 27 February.
During the symposium, director of ASTRON prof. Carole Jackson, presented the ways in which the SKA will push the boundaries of what is currently possible in radio astronomy and in Big Data, and how this unique instrument demands innovation. "With the SKA we will be looking for the extremes in the Universe. Therefore, we need tremendously sensitive instruments that can process far more data than we currently have to deal with. But we cannot just go and buy these instruments. We have to build them ourselves. We have to innovate to make discoveries with the SKA happen. And these innovations will benefit humanity far beyond radio astronomy alone."
Text: Iris Nijman