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Public & Inaugural Lectures

An Inaugural Lecture is an auspicious occasion for the University to acknowledge the appointment or promotion of new, full professors, introduce them to the academic and non-academic community of the University, and to provide opportunity for engagement with the greater community.

The presentation of an Inaugural Lecture is a significant milestone in the academic career of a full professor and provides a platform to share past research and introduce new ideas to a diverse academic and non-academic audience.

The abstract and/or full text of each lecture as well as the CV and a news piece are available for download from the bulleted list below each Professor's name. The video of each lecture has been published on our YouTube channel and can also be accessed below the bulleted list.
 

Prof Mike Roberts
Faculty of Science
Lecture title: BIG THINKING. BIG SCIENCE. CAN AFRICA GROW INTELLECTUAL AND RESEARCH CAPACITY TO FIX ITS DEVELOPMENTAL CHALLENGES?  OCEAN SCIENCE AND MARINE FOOD SECURITY AT NELSON MANDELA UNIVERSITY AS A TEST CASE

Date: 31 October 2017

In this lecture Prof Roberts talks about an increasing poor population, over-exploitation, habitat destruction, and a changing ocean whcih threaten ecosystem health and therefore food security and livelihoods. The oceans are warming, there is a decline in ocean productivity, poor coastal communities have low adaptive capacity as fishing is the only existence they know. The combination of these factors acting at a regional scale with relativity slow rates of change, and limited information, are leading to a humanitarian disaster of significant proportions — scarcely acknowledged by governments and international commissions. 


 

Prof Johan van Niekerk
Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment & Information Technology
Lecture title: ALICE IN CYBERLAND

Date: 5 September 2017

In this lecture Prof van Niekerk talks about the use of the Web has brought many benefits to humans, its adoption and diffusion has also had many undesirable and unanticipated consequences. This lecture will focus on these undesirable consequences. The lecture will firstly provide a broad overview of the current degree to which the use of cyberspace has been adopted worldwide, and more specifically in Africa and South Africa. 

 
 
 

Prof Louise Stroud
Faculty of Health Sciences
Lecture title: THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN UNIVERSAL AND UNIQUE CONTEXTS IN SHAPING CHILD DEVELOPMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Date: 24 August 2017

In this lecture the revision of the Griffiths Scales of Child Development, or Griffiths III as it is now known, was described. Additionally a suggested plan for the future or “what next” phase in the interplay between universal and unique contexts in shaping child developmental assessment specifically using the Griffiths III was described and proposed.

Prof Sebenzile Masango
Faculty of Arts
Lecture title: DEMOCRATIZATION OF STATE INSTITUTIONS AND PROCESSES: A CRTICIAL INGREDIENT FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

Date: 27 July 2017

Prof Masango's inaugural lecture is presented from a South African perspective. The democratic values which are enshrined in the country’s constitution play a tremendous role on the manner in which public administration operates as well as social cohesion. State institutions are also bound by this reality.


 

Prof Chantal Rootman
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Lecture title: RESEARCH IN FINANCIAL SERVICES: PROFESSING A WAY FORWARD

Date: 11 July 2017

In her lecture, Prof Rootman addressed the importance of Financial Services Providers (FSPs) to the South African economy, specifically towards GDP growth, employment creation and employment transformation, dealing with some of the unanswered questions that clients have in this industry. Her extensive research within the field of marketing shows that the focus of research among FSPs relates to relationship marketing.

     

 

Prof Sylvan Blignaut
Faculty of Education
Lecture title: TWO DECADES OF CURRICULUM TRANSFORMATION: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Date: 29 May 2017

In his lecture, Prof Blignaut revisits the implementation of a new curriculum in South Africa’s schooling system and provides a brief overview of why curriculum change is so complex and fraught with difficulties. 
 

     


 

Prof André Mukheibir
Faculty of Law
Lecture title: Transformative constitutionalism and reconciliation: Balancing the interests of victims and beneficiaries

Date: 8 September 2016

Twenty-two years into democracy, has our much-lauded constitution transformed what was a very unjust and unequal society into something better? Prof Mukheibir looks at South Africa's constituion to discuss what difference it has made.
 

     

 

Prof Jonathan Makuwira
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Lecture title: Water Under Troubled Bridge: The (Ir)Relevance of Development Studies Pedagogies in African Universities 

Date: 18 August 2016

The relevance of universities as educational institutions in the modern era has, over the past decade, come under intense scrutiny for various reasons. In the development studies field, most of its content has been defined by the disjuncture between the emphasis on Western epistemology at the expense of local contexts; imported theoretical viewpoints at the expense of indigenous viewpoints.

Prof David Bell

Faculty of Science
Lecture title: Natural Systems and Human Affairs

Date: 2 August 2016

The presumption that Nature obeys deterministic laws and that an understanding of Nature is best arrived at by delving ever more deeply into the character and interactions of its fundamental constituents have dominated modern science. Nevertheless, many of science’s discoveries now point to a world underpinned by chance and uncertainty, with fundamental materials and behaviours incomprehensible in familiar physical terms. The study of complex systems narrows the gap between these profound but confusing implications of fundamental physics and world of everyday human experience.

 

 

Prof Shelley Farrington
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Lecture title: Family Business: A Legitimate Scholarly Field

Date: 26 July 2016

The lecture provided some background to family businesses and highlighted their prominence and contributions worldwide. Given these contributions it is only fitting that academia recognise the importance of studying these businesses. Over a period of only 30 years, the field of family business has progressed significantly in terms of interested scholars, publication activity, numbers of journals and topics covered, as well as theories and methods used.

 

Prof Janet Cherry
Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences
Lecture title: Social Structure and Human Agency in the Age of Climate Change

Date: 30 May 2016 

The lecture deals with the relationship between social structure and human agency. This is not a new problem for social scientists, and the motive for Prof Cherry's intellectual enquiry over the past thirty-five years has not changed; it is how to respond to the injustices of our society, with a profound belief that a different social order is possible.