All too real: race thinking and thinking about race in post-1994 South Africa

The project is to work towards completion of a book under the working title of ‘All too real: race thinking and thinking about race in South Africa’. The data has been collected and the arguments developed and tested over years of teaching, researching and publishing, individually or in collaboration. While the transition to a democratic … [Read more]

Global Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services – Challenges and Opportunities

This project has the aim to complete and finalize a large global initiative in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (SCBD). The project has a UN-mandate and will result in an output of two products:  the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook – Action and Policy and CBOI – Scientific assessments and analyses … [Read more]

Mobile telephony and acute injury care

In the context of a collaboration between Stellenbosch University (SUN) and Karolinska Institutet (KI) the project aims to facilitate the diagnosis and care of burns patients in resource poor areas, building on modern information communication technologies like camera phones. A five-year project is under development that will take place in the Western Cape Province. The … [Read more]

When solar current is cheap, plentiful and lasts all night through…what then of coming energy systems in Africa?

Organic photovoltaic systems now give more than 10% conversion efficiency from sunlight.  Further developments can make this form of electricity competitive with fossil based electricity in sun rich latitudes. To make electricity available when the sun is down is critical for use of the technology. New materials are needed for a scalable electrical storage, matching … [Read more]

An Evolutionary Cybernetic Theory of Semiosis

In recent years, particularly in the emerging field of biosemiotics, it has been proposed that semiotics – the study of signification processes – could bring a paradigmatic shift in our scientific conception of life, and consequently in scientific biology in general and beyond. Most if not all semiotic notions, however, derive from studies in logic … [Read more]

Reparations for Victims of Apartheid

In spite of the increasing recognition in international law of the need for reparations for victims of serious human rights violations, the overwhelming majority of victims of Apartheid has not been compensated by the South African government and has not had access to legal avenues for the payment of such reparations. The issue of reparations has been described … [Read more]

Biological Laws: Analogies and Allometries

The question of whether there are laws in ecology is important. If there are no ecological laws, this would seem to distinguish ecology from other branches of science. It could also make a difference to the methodology of ecology. If there are no laws, ecologists would be in the business of merely supplying a suite of useful models. These models would need to … [Read more]

Socioecononomic health inequalities: measurement, explanation and policy evaluation

The main purpose of this project is to identify and quantify the major causal mechanisms that drive the changes in socioeconomic health inequalities in Sweden. Specific aims are as follows: 1) To model the causal relationships between health, income, employment, lifestyle and diseases; 2) To utilize new decomposition techniques for mobility indices akin to those … [Read more]

Money from nothing: popular economies and indebtedness in South Africa

This project explores the over-indebtedness of South African consumers, set against the longer history of exploitation of South African black people by the forces of capitalism, and interrogates how these currently manifest themselves in an allegedly ‘neoliberal’ social order.  With upward mobility much aspired-to but seldom attained, householders must spend money they have not yet … [Read more]

Information and Codes in Biochemistry

Biochemists traditionally accept the view that life is an extremely complex form of chemistry (the “Chemical paradigm”), a view which implies that genetic information and the genetic code are but metaphorical concepts because they cannot be described by physical quantities. Wächtershäuser, for example, claimed that: “On the level of nucleic acids it is quite convenient … [Read more]