Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

Humour a powerful tool to address serious issues
2017-12-06


 Description: Michelle Malan  Tags: Michelle Malan  

Michelle Malan received a Dean’s medal from the Faculty of Humanities at the mid-year
graduation ceremonies for her Master’s degree.
Photo: Jóhann Thormählen

People, in most contexts, are more open to engage in serious issues such as politics and economics if it is presented in a humorous way. This makes humour a very powerful tool to address burning issues in our society.

These are some of the findings in the research of Michelle Malan, a part time lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Language Practice at the University of the Free State (UFS). 

How comedians and cartoonists use humour
The basic premise of her research, titled The Intersemiotic Translation of Humour, was to see how comedians and cartoonists take news stories and translate it into humour. She received the Dean’s medal for the best Master’s degree in the Faculty of the Humanities at the mid-year graduation ceremonies in June 2017.

“More specifically, I explored how the medium constrains potential meaning-making in cases of intersemiotic translation in which humour is constructed,” she says.

Cartoon vs a comic television show
According to her the medium in which a message is given, in this case comedy, definitely influences how one is able to form meaning from it. “For instance, a cartoon (visual medium) would have a different meaning-making potential than a comic television show.”

She also notes that one must understand the workings of humour, which includes the mediums in which it is presented, so that the intended humour does not do more harm than good. 

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept