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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Mineral named after UFS professor
2017-09-29

Description: Mineral tredoux Tags: International Mineralogical Association, tredouxite, Prof Marian Tredoux, Department of Geology, Barberton 

Tredouxite (white) intergrown with bottinoite (light grey),
a complex hydrous alteration product. The large host
minerals are nickel-rich silicate (grey), maybe willemseite,
and the spinel trevorite (dark grey).


More than five thousand minerals have been certified by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). One of these minerals, tredouxite, was recently named after an academic at the University of the Free State (UFS). 

Tredouxite was named after Prof Marian Tredoux, an associate professor in the Department of Geology, to acknowledge her close to 30 years’ commitment to figuring out the geological history of the rock in which this mineral occurs. The name was chosen by the team which identified the new mineral, consisting of Dr Federica Zaccarini and Prof. Giorgio Garuti from the University of Leoben, Austria, Prof. Luca Bindi from the University of Florence, Italy, and Prof. Duncan Miller from the UFS. 

They found the mineral in the abovementioned rock from the Barberton region in Mpumalanga, in May 2017.

In the past, a mineral was also named after Marie Curie
With the exception of a few historical (pre-1800) names, a mineral is typically named either after the area where it was first found, or after its chemical composition or physical properties, or after a person. If named after a person, it has to be someone who had nothing to do with finding the mineral.

Prof Tredoux said: “As of 19 September 2017, 5292 minerals had been certified by IMA. Of these, 81 were named after women, either singly or with a near relation. Marie Curie is named twice: sklodowskite (herself) and curite (plus husband). Most of the named women are Russian geoscientists.”

Another way to assess the rarity of such a naming is to consider that fewer than 700 minerals have been named after people. Given that there are by now seven billion people on the planet, it means that a person who is granted a mineral name becomes one in 10 million of the people alive today to be honoured in such a way. To date, over a dozen minerals had been named after South Africans, three of them after women (including tredouxite).

It contains nickel, antimony and oxygen
The chemical composition of tredouxite is NiSb2O6 (nickel antimony oxide). This makes it the nickel equivalent of the magnesium mineral bystromite (MgSb2O6), described in the 1950s from the La Fortuna antimony mine in Mexico.  

“This announcement is of great academic importance: the discovery by the Italian team of a phase with that specific chemical composition will undoubtedly help me and my co-workers to better understand the origin of the rock itself,” she said. She also expressed the hope that it may raise interest in the Department of Geology and the UFS as a whole, by highlighting that world-class research is being done at the department. 

The announcement of this new mineral was published on the International Mineralogical Association Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification website, the Mineralogical Magazine and the European Journal of Mineralogy.

 

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