The BBC World Service is hosting its first ever Festival of Science at one of Africa’s oldest universities, the University of Makerere in Kampala, Uganda.
The festival, from Sunday 24 to Thursday 28 March 2013, will showcase some of the most significant international scientific research and explore how African scientists have contributed to the global science agenda.
Scientists from around the world and Africa are attending the week-long festival in Freedom square, in the grounds of the University of Makerere, including:
- Peter Piot, Director of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and former UN AIDS chief
- Tejinder Virdee, of CERN one of the world’s leading physicists. Kenyan born Virdee led the search for the Higgs Boson particle
- Professor Justin Jonas, Dept. Physics & Electronics, Rhodes University. Jonas is working on the square Kilometre Array, Africa’s largest space project
- Dr. Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu, Ghanaian born senior robotics engineer from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California
Audiences are invited to join the BBC World Service’s flagship programmes broadcasting daily live. They will each be discussing the changing nature of scientific endeavour and exploring how African science can contribute to the global agenda. As well as questioning if Africa could become a new hub of global science.
Vera Kwakofi, BBC Africa News Editor, says; “I’m excited that the BBC is leading this conversation about science on the continent through the Festival of Science in Uganda. Our growing audiences in Africa are passionate about innovation, technology and learning. This festival will provide a unique opportunity to showcase new innovations and their potential applications in everyday life. The BBC is proud and delighted that some of Africa’s leading scientists who work on globally defining projects such as the CERN and the NASA Mars Rover projects will join us to share their experiences and help to inspire a new generation of African scientists.”
Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service, says: “For us Africa is increasingly a key partner in the world of science and this festival is a chance to show that connection and build on it.”
The flagship news and current affairs programme, Newsday, will be broadcasting live every morning with Alan Kasujja anchoring the show from 0600–1130 local time (0300–0830 GMT).
Focus On Africa, presented by Audrey Brown is carrying cutting edge interviews and material from the University grounds 1800-1830, 2000-2100 local time (1500-1530 GMT, 1700-1800 GMT).
World Have Your Say, hosted by Ros Atkins will be holding live debates at 1400-1500 local time (1100-1200 GMT) from the University and surroundings, inviting university students and others to participate.
Each day there will also be a special hour long Science programme recorded with a live audience at the university 1200-1300 local time (0900-1000GMT) with scientists from Africa and abroad in discussion.
- Sunday 24: Where is Science in Africa?
- Monday 25: The ‘wow factor’ – Cutting edge science in Africa
- Tuesday 26: Health in Africa – How far is African science helping fight global disease
- Wednesday 27: Agriculture – What can African science do to help feed Africa?
- Thursday 28: The Future – Can Africa become a centre for global excellence in Science?
The monthly BBC World Service Africa Debate will be recorded on Thursday 28 with a live audience asking the question: “Can Africa set the science agenda?”