Public Understanding and Popularization of Science

2 May 2014 - 09:15

The World Academy of Science (TWAS) have awarded their Regional Prizes for the “Public Understanding and Popularization of Science” to five researchers from different regions of the developing world who have worked creatively to popularize science. This year’s winners are from Argentina, Bangladesh, the Philippines, South Africa and Egypt.

 The TWAS Sub-Saharan Africa prize was awarded to UCT’s Prof. Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, a paleobiologist and the Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.  Besides authoring two academic books, Chinsamy-Turan has written several popular articles, and a popular children’s book, “Famous Dinosaurs of Africa”, and has given numerous talks to raise awareness of Science.  She also served as the Chair of the Advisory Board of Scifest Africa, the continent’s biggest science festival, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Cape Town Science Centre. Both her research and her efforts in communicating science with the public were celebrated by the South African Woman of the Year Award in 2005. She has also served as the director of the Iziko Museum’s Natural History Collections. She is a fellow of the University of Cape Town, the Royal Society of South Africa and has been a TWAS fellow since 2009.  In 2012 she discussed her research on the extraction of biological information from fossil bones at the TWAS General Meeting in Tianjin, China.

At a gathering of international scientists in Nairobi on Wednesday, 13 December 2013, The African Academy of Science (AAS) which hosts the TWAS Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS-ROSSA) presented Prof. Chinsamy-Turan with the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional prize for the Public Understanding and Popularization of Science. 


Prof. Berhanu Abegaz, Executive Director, AAS & Coordinator, TWAS-ROSSA (Regional Office of Sub-saharan Africa) who made the award said “….the award was proof that the region could also produce world class scientists in all fields of science and was an inspiration to young scientists in Africa”.


TWAS website:

AAS website: