The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology notes the imminent retirement of Dr Bernie Fanaroff, Project Director for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in South Africa and Africa, at the end of this year. The Committee also welcomes the announcement by the Department of Science and Technology that Dr Fanaroff will remain a strategic advisor for the SKA South Africa Project from 1 January 2016 to December 2017.
Chairperson of the Committee, Dr Bevan Goqwana, commended the immeasurable contribution and hard work of Dr Fanaroff in leading the team that successfully constructed the Karoo Array Telescope and won the bid to bring the biggest global astronomy project, the SKA, to Africa.
In 1974, a Cambridge university graduate, Dr Fanaroff made a breakthrough in the classification of radio galaxies with a British astronomer, Dr Julia Riley. Dr Fanaroff and his team’s hard work and successes related to the SKA international science project put South Africa on the world map and proved South Africa as a world-class research destination and host for the technology development.
Dr Fanaroff’s public service passion was displayed when he left Wits University as a lecturer to join a trade union. He also worked in the Office of President Nelson Mandela, was a Head of the Office for the Reconstruction and Development Programme and was the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Safety and Security.
“Dr Fanaroff is not only a universally acclaimed and renowned astronomer and scientist, he has dedicated more than 20 years of his life in fighting injustice against workers and served as a government official,” said Dr Goqwana. The Committee is happy to have worked with Dr Fanaroff, who has received number of accolades for his work including honorary doctorates from many universities and the highest order of Mapungubwe.
The Committee is looking forward to working with the incoming director of SKA – Dr Rob Adam. The Committee expressed its confidence in Dr Adam and believes he will lead the SKA team to even greater success in its deep space and cosmos exploration to investigate the origin of galaxies, structures, planets, and stars.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS