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Issue 1, September 2014

PUB - Public Understanding of Biotechnology
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Forthcoming Events

International Conference on Emerging Biosensors and Biotechnology (ICEBB)
The ICEBB 2014: XI International Conference on Emerging Biosensors and Biotechnology aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Emerging Biosensors and Biotechnology. It also provides the premier interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns, practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted in the field of Emerging Biosensors and Biotechnology.
Date: 6-7 November 2014
Audience: Academic scientists, researchers and research scholars
Location: Cape Town Lodge Hotel, Cape Town
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13th International Symposium on the Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms (ISBGMO)
The ISBGMO is a biennial, international meeting organised under the auspices of the ISBR, which has previously been hosted in Germany, Canada, China, France, Korea, New Zealand, Argentina and the USA. It brings together academics, technology developers, regulatory authorities, non-government organisations and other credible stakeholders involved in all aspects of biosafety and offers a unique opportunity to share information and experiences and engage in open and meaningful dialogue on biosafety research, risk analysis, policy and regulatory matters. The goal of the symposium is to advance the standing of biosafety research around the world and shape the ways in which GM technology is applied and regulated. It will be the first time that the ISBGMO is hosted in Africa and we estimate that it will be attended by approximately 450 delegates from at least 50 countries. The ISBGMO 2014 conference theme is "Advancing ERA of GMOs to Address Biosafety in a Global Society".
Date: 9-13 November 2014
Audience: Academics, technology developers, regulatory authorities, non-government organisations and other credible stakeholders involved in all aspects of biosafety
Location: Westin Hotel, Cape Town
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7th International Symposium On Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures and Materials (MAM-14)
MAM-14 is an IUPAC sponsored conference which will be held for the first time in Africa.  Three Nobel laureates will grace this occasion and over 30 countries will participate in this conference. Selected papers will be published in two high impact factor journals. The conference will cover topics as diverse as functional materials, nanobiotechnology, biomedicine and industrialisation of nanotechnology.
Date: 23-27 November 2014
Audience: Engineers, academic scientists, researchers and industry experts
Location: Emperor’s Palace Hotel, Johannesburg
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Science Communication Masterclass with Jenni Metcalfe
Jenni Metcalfe is the director and owner of Econnect, a Brisbane-based science communication consultancy, and has worked and taught in the field of science communication around the world for more than 25 years.
The masterclass will cover the following essential skills for science communication professionals:

  • Where it all starts: How to plan communication into science
  • How to prepare and motivate researchers for mass media engagement
  • Weaving social media into the science communication fabric
  • Being a science communicator: roles, options, challenges
  • Bridging the gap between theory and practice: What's happening in science communication research and how can we use this new knowledge
  • Dealing with controversial topics: Communicating contentious science and risk
  • Unleashing the power of storytelling in science communication
  • Proven guidelines for popular science writing and effective media releases
  • Video and digital storytelling as science communication tools
  • Science communication ethics

Date: 3-4 December 2014
Audience: People who work at the interface between science and society – media officers, public relations professionals, and research managers
Location: Plant Sciences Auditorium, University of Pretoria, Pretoria
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Essential Series of Biotechnology Short Courses at DNAbiotec
DNAbiotec® runs the Essential Series of Biotechnology short courses aimed at addressing key biotechnology issues and technologies. The hands-on approach adopted by the Essential Series not only provides delegates with valuable knowledge, but also empowers them with learned skills by applying the principles mastered during the theoretical sessions to practical sessions in the laboratory. The Essential Short Course Series™ is presented by the senior scientists in DNAbiotec®, with more than a decade of experience in the techniques on offer.
All courses qualify for Continued Professional Development (CPD) points, and CPD certificates will be issued for all the sessions attended during the course. Upon completion of the course each delegate will receive a certificate of attendance for the course.
All courses are hands-on, except for Essential Good Lab Practice.

  • Essential PCR™ | 30 September - 2 October 2014
  • Essential qPCR™ | 7-10 October 2014
  • Essential DNA Sequencing™ | 14-17 October 2014
  • Essential Good Lab Practice™ | 22-24 October 2014

Audience: Scientists, lab managers, technicians, researchers
Location: Pretoria
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Young Science Communicator's Competition:
SAASTA’s Young Science Communicator’s Competition is running this year and is calling all young scientists to communicate.
Look out for the entry form on
This year’s competition includes four categories, to suit every form of your creative expression. The categories are newspaper or magazine articles, radio scripts, viral videos, and then an open category where your creativity is the limit.
Entries close 5 January 2014

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Department of Science and Technology & NRF SAASTA The PUB Programme is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and is implemented by SAASTA. The mandate of PUB is to promote a clear, balanced understanding of the potential of biotechnology and to ensure broad public awareness, dialogue and debate about biotechnology and its current and potential applications. For more information visit or contact, Tel: 012 392 9300 or Fax: 012 320 7803.

The articles in this newsletter have been reviewed by independent experts through SAASTA’s Scientific Editorial Process. For more information please visit

The PUB newsletter is an initiative of the Public Understanding of Biotechnology (PUB) programme.
The newsletter is developed by ScienceLink.

NRF | SAASTA Department of Science and Technology