Elie Metchnikoff: A Passionate Scientist

Elie Metchnikoff, Nobel laureate in Medicine and Physiology in 1908, is the father of innate immunity, the rapid, but non-specific defense against infection. He observed the uptake of bacteria by specialised phagocytic white blood cells, especially macrophages (big eaters), and appreciated their significance in preserving health as well as causing disease when activated (the “angry … [Read more]

The Porcupine is a Monkey

The aim of the work I would undertake while at Stellenbosch would be to complete the argument of a new book, whose title is The Porcupine is a Monkey. The title comes from an ingenious experiment undertaken by the eminent Anglo-American neuroscientist Marcel Kinsbourne. He and a colleague investigated the difference between the cerebral hemispheres, … [Read more]


After focusing almost exclusively on the instrumental medium for forty years, I will use the forthcoming STIAS artist residency as an opportunity to concentrate on the voice – and the choir in particular. A projected large-scale choral work for double choir, tentatively entitled ‘Voices’, will draw on a wide range of texts in several languages, … [Read more]

Challenges and opportunities for the transport sector

The issue of sustainable energy supply is a global problem for pursuing future endeavours in the energy area. In countries such as China and India there is a tremendous growth at the moment, which is envisaged by an ever growing demand for vehicles. Hence, one of the grand challenges of society is to meet the … [Read more]

The Death Drill (a novel)

During the stay at STIAS research and writing on the historical novel ‘The Death Drill, inspired by and based on the sinking of the SS Mendi, a battle ship carrying members of the South African Native Labour Corps, will be continued. The ship sank in the early hours of 21 February 1917 after colliding with the … [Read more]

The Boxing Economy of the Eastern Cape

What is the link between the national formal economy on the one hand, and on the other, local community based economic and leisure cultures, which may have been largely self-sustaining but interminably precarious? What goes with the working title of “the boxing economy of the Eastern Cape” seems one such local economy. For over three … [Read more]

The provision of ecosystem services and poverty alleviation

How society chooses to use land and allocate resources drives economic development and environmental quality. This research aims to improve understanding the links between policy and management decisions, changes in ecosystems and the provision of ecosystem services, and improved human wellbeing. Of particular importance is developing better understanding of links between ecosystem services and the … [Read more]

Health transition and injury care and prevention

Apart from making important contributions to morbidity and mortality world-wide (WHO), injuries as a health problem have special characteristics (Byass et al. 2013). Some mechanisms of injury, such as falls, are closely linked to increasing population proportions of elderly people. Others occur less specifically – reflected in the profile of pedestrians involved in road traffic … [Read more]

The State of Mathematical Sciences Research and Research Training at South African Universities

This investigation follows up on two reports that appeared in 2008 and 2009. One was a book commissioned by the South African Academy of Sciences titled “The State of Science in South Africa”. Chapter 3 of the book deals with the mathematical sciences. The second is a report of “Review of Mathematical Sciences research at … [Read more]

Exploring interpretations of the constitution and the bible as “sacred texts” in constructing (un)equal gendered environments

Culture, religion, gender, ethnicity, race and history influence processes of identity formation and social relationships. In a research project on gender violence and attitudes toward the female body data from different contexts will be analyzed: Sweden, a highly secularized society, and South Africa, often described as a very religious society. The objectives are to  Analyze … [Read more]