Nobel Foundation’s Nobel Symposia activities coming to Africa for the first time

20 October 2022

STIAS/Stellenbosch University
Media Advisory
19 October 2022

Nobel Foundation’s Nobel Symposia activities coming to Africa for the first time


The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) in partnership with Stellenbosch University invites members of the media to the official launch of the Nobel in Africa – Nobel Symposia Series.

DATE: Tuesday, 25 October 2022
TIME: 08:00 to 12:30
VENUE: STIAS Wallenberg Research Centre, 10 Marais Road, Stellenbosch.

Nobel in Africa is a STIAS Initiative in partnership with Stellenbosch University, under the auspices of the Nobel Foundation and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences with funding from the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The Nobel Symposium activities were initiated in 1965. Through the Initiative, STIAS will become the first institution outside of Scandinavia to host Nobel Symposia on behalf of the Nobel Foundation.

Nobel Symposia are ordinarily closed sessions where some of the world’s top scientists deliberate on new research discoveries and developments in their field. The first symposium in the Nobel in Africa – Nobel Symposia Series will be held from 24 to 28 October at STIAS in Stellenbosch in the area of Physics, on the topic Predictability in Science in the Age of AI.

The STIAS-SU hosted Physics Symposium has an outreach element to it which involves participants of the symposium delivering public lectures at universities and research institutes countrywide as a way of taking science to a wider audience.

The outreach public lectures are deliberately aimed at university academic staff and students so as to inspire the next generation of scholars on the continent and for the general public to be aware of the latest scientific discoveries.

Ahead of the launch event and the start of the 183rd Physics Symposium, next week, members of the media are invited to participate in the outreach lectures to get a sense of what physics scientists are engaged in.

The Nobel in Africa Symposia Series seeks to celebrate science and to share breakthroughs with the South African and African continent’s scholarly, public and private sectors, in conversation with internationally renowned and celebrated scientists and world movers. The aim is to provide an international forum to promote the sharing of innovative, high-level scholarship and to demonstrate the importance of scientific research for the future of the continent and the world.

STIAS has a special focus on Africa and a long-term commitment to nurture future generations of scholars and intellectual leaders on the continent. Our ethos is to foster ongoing dialogue between Africa’s brightest minds and their global counterparts.

The 183rd NOBEL SYMPOSIUM: Physics Outreach Programme 2022

Several public outreach lectures will take place before and after the Physics Symposium. See the full outreach programme below:

18 Oct, 17h00 – 18h30, University of the Western Cape
Cosmology: A Golden Era – Yin-Zhe Ma (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

20 Oct, 13hoo – 14h00, University of Cape Town
The Quantum Universe – Viatcheslav Mukhanov (LMU, Munich)

20 Oct, 18h00 – 19h30, Stellenbosch University
The Mystery of Black Hole Entropy – Erik Aurell (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

21 Oct, 16h30 – 19h00, Nelson Mandela University
Rise and take your position – Thifhelimbilu Daphney Bucher (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
Universe – Neil Turok (University of Edinburgh)

21 Oct, 11h00 – 12h00, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)
Entanglement: From Theory to Quantum Computers – Francesco Petruccione (Stellenbosch University)

24 Oct, 16h30 – 18h00, Stellenbosch University
How Quantum Physics Democratised Music: A Meditation on Physics and Technology – Sir Michael Berry (University of Bristol)

31 Oct, 13h00 – 14h30, University of KwaZulu-Natal
UniverseNeil Turok (University of Edinburgh)
Learning the shape of the protein universe – Armita Nourmohammad (University of  Washington)

31 Oct, 18h00 – 19h50, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Complexity in Science – Mogens H. Jensen (University of Copenhagen)
Predicting the future: an old problem from a modern perspective – Angelo Vulpiani (National Institute for Nuclear Physics, Rome)

1 Nov, 10h00 – 12h00, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Fluctuation relations – Erik Aurell (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Why it is difficult to find something if you do not know what you are looking for? – Luca Gammaitoni (NiPS Lab, University of Perugia)

2 Nov, 16h00 – 17h00, University of the Witwatersrand
Learning the shape of the immune and protein universe – Armita Nourmohammad (University of Washington)


The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) is based at the historic Mostertsdrift Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. It was established by a decision of the Stellenbosch University Council in 1999 and in 2007 became an autonomous research organisation registered as a section 21 (not-for-profit) company. STIAS provides a fellowship programme that advances cross-disciplinary research. Modelled on similar institutes internationally, STIAS is the first of its kind in Africa and provides a creative space for the mind. Here, leading researchers and intellectuals from across the globe are supported to think innovatively and to pursue sustainable strategies to the challenges facing the world, with a special reference to, but not limited to Africa.

To indicate attendance at the launch and to arrange for interviews contact:
Noloyiso Mtembu
Spokesperson: Nobel in Africa Initiative
Email: [email protected] or call 082 389 3370.

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