Author Archive | jiasjobu

Human Rights Webinar

The International International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (HR Network) has released a resource guide entitled Engaging with Human Rights in the National Academy Context.

To accompany the release, the HR Network has produced a webinar that hightlights key themes addressed in the guide.

Speakers from several national academies participating in the HR Network shared their views on the relevance of human rights for national academies and discussed different ways in which academies regularly engage with human rights in the course of their work. They include Prof Peter Vale, director of JIAS, and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. The other speakers are:

  • Abdallah S Daar, a Executive Committee Member of the HR Network
  • Martin Chalfie, Chair of the Committee on Human Rights of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
  • Esther Mwaikambo, Past President of the Tanzania Academy of Sciences
  • Hans-Peter Zenner, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

The HR Network is an international consortium of honorary societies in the sciences, engineering, and medicine with a shared interest in human rights.

Created in 1993, it advocates in support of colleagues suffering human rights abuses, promotes the free exchange of ideas among scientists and scholars, and supports the independence and autonomoy of national academies and scholarly societies worldwide.

To access the webinar, click here.

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Workshops on High Ability and Talent Development

On 5 and 6 October 2018, the South African Institute on High Ability and Talent Development will hold two workshops at the University of Johannesburg.

The workshops are aimed at finding, engaging,  challenging and elevating advanced, talented and highly able learners.

This is a collaborative project between the Faculty of Education (UJ) and the University of Central Florida (UCF), Orlando, USA, in partnership with the Department of Educational Psychology in the Faculty of Education (UJ), the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Studies (JIAS), and the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH). The coordinators are Prof Juliet Perumal (UJ) and Dr Gillian Eriksson (UCF).


DAY 1: 5 October 2018, 08h30-13h00

DAY 2: 6 October 2018, 08h30-16h15

VENUE: School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH), Bunting Road Campus, UJ, Auckland Park

INVITATION: To download an invitation, click here.


Advance registration is required, without cost. Very limited registration will be available on the day if space permits.

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Seminar on ‘The relativity of Bugs Bunny’

On Tuesday 6 November 2018, Prof Steven Karataglidis, a theoretical nuclear physicist at the University of Johannesburg, will lead a seminar at JIAS on ‘The Relativity of Bugs Bunny’.

DATE: Tuesday 6 November 2018.

TIME: 16h230 for 17h00. Refreshments will be served.

VENUE: JIAS, 1 Tolip Street, Westdene, Johannesburg.

RSVP: by 30 October to Reshmi Singh,

Prof Karataglidis is a theoretical nuclear physicist in the Department of Physics at UJ. He obtained a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1995, and worked in various locations before settling in South Africa in 2006. An avowed devotee of Chuck Jones since his childhood, he was the unofficial, unpaid, cartoon unhistorian of the Chuck Jones Gallery of Santa Fe which living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 1999 to 2002.

He has commented as follows on the seminar:

‘You would be surprised where the applications of physics sometimes appear. I will present an overview of one of the most startling applications (or not, as the case may be) of the Laws of Physics, and of the influences that drove me and a number of my more enlightened colleagues to become physicists. Come prepared for some interesting discussions, as well as some fun.’


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Seminar led by Prof Alan Chan of NTU Singapore

On Tuesday 9 October 2018, Prof Alan Chan, Vice President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore, led a seminar at JIAS entitled ‘Science and Technology for Humanity: A Report from Singapore’.

Prof Chan reported on the activities of the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH), a newly established Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence at NTU, Singapore.

An initiative of the NTU’s new President, Prof Subra Suresh, its purpose is to address the social challenges arising from rapid technological change, notably those manifested in the course of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

To this end, the NISTH propels research and public discourse on the social context of scientific and technological innovation, as well as the consequences of technological interventions in society.

It champions interdisciplinary research on science and technology studies, and works to bring together academia, non-profit organisations, government and industry in navigating the complex course of social development.

This seminar was of particular interest to the UJ community as it focused on aspects of the 4IR – notably its implications for the human experience – which has become a dominant theme at the university. It also provided academics at UJ with an opportunity to explore the possibilities of collaborating with the NISTH.

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Trevor Manuel to open Colloquium

THE Colloquium on Digital Finance in Africa will be opened on 22 October 2018 by Mr Trevor Manuel, former South African Minister of Finance.

His keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion on ‘The Impact of Digital Finance on Africa’s Growth’.

The panelists will be Mr Nnamdi Oranye, founder of Disrupting Africa and fin-tech author, and Mr Stephen Mwaura Nduati, an international technology consultant. The discussion will be chaired by Prof Saurabh Sinha, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg. A reception will follow.

DATE: Monday 22 October 2018.

TIME: 16h30 for 17h00. Reception at 19h00.

VENUE: UJ Arts Centre Theatre, Auckland Park Kingsway (APK) Campus, University of Johannesburg.

INVITATION: To download an invitation, click here.

RSVP: By 12 October 2018 to Emelia Kamena,

ACCESS: Kindly use the main entrance to the Auckland Park Kingsway Campus in Kingsway Avenue, Auckland Park, and produce a copy of the invitation.

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Lecture on Mandela as a lawyer

Nelson Mandela as attorney in the offices of Mandela and Tambo. Picture: Jurgen Schadeberg

On 25 September 2018, JIAS and the UJ Faculty of Law, in partnership with the UJ Library, hosted a public lecture entitled ‘Mandela as a Lawyer’.

The keynote speaker was Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, and the discussant was former Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs.

For an edited video of the event on the UJ YouTube channel, click here.

For full-length videos on the UJ YouTube channel, click on the links below.

Part 1:

Part 2:

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JIAS is expanding

No 5 Tolip Street, Westdene, which has been purchased to expand the JIAS complex.

The University of Johannesburg had purchased a property next to the existing JIAS complex in Tolip Street, Westdene. Following renovations, this property will be used to house the JIAS administrative staff, and also to provide more parking. The existing administrative building at no 1 Tolip Street will be used to create more accommodation.

According to Prof Peter Vale, Director of JIAS, the purchase has resulted from rising levels of activity at JIAS over the past five years. ‘We are grateful that the UJ administration has recognised this, and has decided to expand our capacity. This bodes well for JIAS going into the future.’

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Fourth panel discussion on work and the future

Prof Babu Paul of the University of Johannesburg.

On Wednesday 12 September 2018, JIAS hosted a panel discussion on ‘Work and the Future: Perspectives from Higher Education’. This was the fourth and final in our series of high-level panel discussions on work and the future.

Panelists considered the implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for tertiary institutions. Specifically, they discussed whether universites should only teach science and technology, whether the humanities have a future, and the extent to which universities should collaborate with industry.

The panelists were Prof Babu Paul of UJ, Prof Ruksana Osman of the University of the Witwatersrand, and Prof Robin Crewe of Pretoria University.

For more information about the panel series, click here.

Prof Ruksana Osman of Wits University.

Prof Robin Crewe of the University of Pretoria.

The discussion in progress.

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Third panel discussion on work and the future

M D Ramesh, president and regional head of Olam International.

On Wednesday 5 September 2018, JIAS hosted a panel discussion on ‘Business Perspectives on Work and the Future’.

This was the third in our series of four high-level panel discussions on work and the future. The fourth and final discussion, entitled ‘Perspectives from Higher Education’, will take place on Wednesday 12 September 2018.

Business leaders at the cutting edge of technological change served on this panel. Besides offering industry-specific views, they explored ways in which business and society can prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The panelists were M D Ramesh, President and Regional Head, Olam International; and Yolisa Kani, Head of Public Policy, Uber South Africa. The discussion was moderated by Prof Saurabh Sinha, UJ Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Yolisa Kani, Head of Public Policy, Uber South Africa.

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Prof Marwala delivers distinguished lecture in Singapore

Prof Tshilidzi Marwala.

ON 30 August 2018, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg, delivered a lecture on ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Society’ at the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NTSH) at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. The lecture formed part of the NISTH’s Distinguished Lecture Series.


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by making systems as well as machines intelligent and connected. The underlying technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution include artificial intelligence (AI) as well as blockchain. Artificial intelligence is a paradigm where physical and social phenomena are programmed to solve complex problems. AI enables machines to learn, adapt, evolve and optimise, and has had a profound impact in diverse fields such as engineering, medical sciences and social sciences. In this lecture, Prof Marwala explored applications of the fourth industrial revolution technologies to engineering, social sciences and medical problems. The implications of these on society as well as the underlying costs were also explored.

About Prof Marwala

Tshilidzi Marwala is Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg. Previously, he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the same university. He progressively held the positions of Associate Professor, Full Professor, the Carl and Emily Fuchs Chair of Systems and Control Engineering, as well as the SARChI Chair of Systems Engineering at the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. Before then, he was Executive Assistant to the Technical Director at South African Breweries, and a post-doctoral research associate at the Imperial College (then University of London).

Prof Marwala holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University (USA) in 1995, a Master of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pretoria in 1997, and a PhD specialising in Artificial Intelligence and Engineering from the University of Cambridge in 2000.

He is a registered professional engineer, a Fellow of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), the Academy of Science of South Africa, the African Academy of Sciences and the South African Academy of Engineering. He is also a distinguished member of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery).

His research interests are multi-disciplinary and include the theory and application of artificial intelligence to engineering, computer science, finance, social science and medicine. He has supervised 47 Masters and 28 Doctoral students to completion. He has published 14 books on artificial intelligence, one of which has been translated into Chinese, more than 300 papers in journals, proceedings, book chapters and magazines, and holds four patents. He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Systems Science. His writings and opinions have appeared in the magazines New Scientist, The Economist and Time Magazine.


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