South African Young Academy of Science

WWMYA 2017

3rd Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academies of Science 2017

Meeting Report

The 3rd Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academies of Science (3WWMNYAS) took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 20 to 21 July 2017, hosted by SAYAS and co-organised by the Global Young Academy (GYA).

The meeting focused on the question of how young academies and young scientists in particular can contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It brought together more than 60 representatives from more than 35 National Young Academies of Science (NYAS) and young academy initiatives from all over the world.

The meeting under the theme “One Health–Health and Development in the context of an Urbanising Planet and Implications for Science Policy” focussed on SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 11 (Sustainable Cities).

Participants discussed the role of NYAS as a mechanism for national implementation of the SDGs, and how science and technology could be harnessed towards achieving the UN SDGs. The meeting resulted in an action plan on how NYAS can cooperate successfully both on regional and global levels to impact the SDG process using science and innovation. The Conference Statement will be published here soon.

NYAS are academies typically formed by young scientists and scholars at the beginning of their independent careers who have been selected for the excellence of their research impact and commitment to service. NYAS represent the voice of young scientists for the advancement of issues of importance to society and to young scientists.

Dr Sahal Yacoob and Dr Karen Cloete, the SAYAS Co-Chairs noted the importance of SAYAS hosting this meeting saying “we hope this gathering gave impetus to reaching consensus on how young scientists and early career researchers can contribute to achieving the SDGs through a multi-disciplinary approach”.

One of the major aims of the GYA is to support the establishment and development of NYAS and similar bodies, to cooperate with them and provide opportunities for networking. Overall, 33 NYAS and more than 10 similar bodies now exist worldwide, many having been established with the support of the GYA and its members.

The meeting comes at a dynamic time for the NYAS network which continues to grow with more young academies being established all over the world. This is with the establishment of up to six young academies expected in the next few months.

Find the Programme: Access here.

Find the Meeting Statement: Access here

Find the full Meeting Report: Access here


Science Engagement

Science engagement and outreach is an important component in not only sharing scientists’ research and outcomes but also engaging with young learners in order to encourage interest and uptake in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

SAYAS had the opportunity to partner with Jive Media and meet Science Spaza science club members in the East Rand township of Tsakane, near Brakpan on the East of Johannesburg on 21 July 2017.

We hosted 50 learners from two independent science clubs, the African School of Excellence Science Club and the Yael Science Club (Isaac Newton school in Johannesburg).

Hands-on activities are the hallmark of the Science Spaza experience, and soon the air was thick with paper planes, while the young scientists tried to explain and understand the scientific principles at work. The activities served to break the ice and set the scene for an invigorating discussion between the two generations, which proved to be competitive too at times, but all in good spirit.

The Science outreach formed part of the activities during the 3rd Worldwide Meeting of National Young Academies of Science, which took place in Johannesburg from 20 to 21 July that was hosted by SAYAS and co-organised by the Global Young Academy (GYA). See report here 


For any queries regarding the 3rd Worldwide Meeting of Young Academies 2017, contact:
Edith Shikumo at the SAYAS Secretariat on:
Anna-Maria Gramatte at the GYA on:


Financial support for the meeting was provided by the following partners: the GYA, the National Research Foundation (NRF), the World Academy of Sciences Regional Office of sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA), the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World – South Africa National Chapter (OWSD-SANC), South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), International Council for Science – Regional Office for Africa (ICSU-ROA), IAP for Health, New Zealand High Commission in South Africa and Volkswagen Foundation.



Organising Committee Members

Name Organisation/ Affiliation
Dr Sahal Yacoob SAYAS Co-Chair
Dr Karen Cloete SAYAS Co-Chair
Prof Tolullah Oni SAYAS Member /GYA Co-Chair
Prof Esther Akinlabi SAYAS Member
Dr Makondelele Makatu SAYAS ExCo Member
Dr Nosiphiwe Ngqwala SAYAS ExCo Member
Ms Edith Shikumo ASSAf Liaison Officer/SAYAS Secretariat
Mr Stanley Maphosa ASSAf Intl. Liaison Manager
Ms Anna-Maria Gramatte GYA Project Officer
Dr Mari-Vaughn Johnson GYA Member/Immediate past GYA Co-Chair
Dr Sojinu Olatunbosun Samuel GYA ExCo Member
Mr Kholani Mbhiza TWAS-ROSSA Secretariat
Dr Moritz Riede GYA Co-Chair