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23 October 2020 | Story Andre Damons | Photo Supplied
Prof Johan H Meyer and Prof Hussen Solomon.

Two scholars from the University of the Free State (UFS) are among 31 of the country’s leading scholars and scientists who were inaugurated as new members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)

Prof Johan H Meyer from the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics and Prof Hussein Solomon from the Department of Political Studies and Governance were inaugurated as members of the ASSAf during the annual award ceremony that was held virtually on 14 October 2020.

Looking forward to make a contribution

Prof Solomon says he is humbled to be included into the ASSAf family.

“Earlier this year, Prof Neil Roos asked if he could nominate me for ASSAf. This was done in March, after which I heard nothing until last week. What it means to me is an acknowledgment of my cumulative academic career spanning 31 years. I look forward to making a contribution via ASSAf towards the next generation of scholars and scholarship in SA,” says Prof Solomon.

Humbled and honoured

Prof Meyer says he was asked by the top management of the UFS to apply for membership, but his inclusion came out the blue.

“I feel humbled by this inclusion – to be welcomed in a community that is regarded scientifically significant. I never expected to be selected, but I am nevertheless satisfied with the contributions I could make, in particular to the mathematical community. I feel honoured, and trust that I will be able to live up to it for several years to come,” says Prof Meyer.

Serve as role models for younger academics

Prof Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Rector: Research and Internationalisation, said this honour was bestowed upon the two researchers whose work has been judged by their peers to have significant international impact. 

 “We are very proud of the two outstanding researchers who were selected as members of the Academy of Science of South Africa during 2020. They continue to serve as role models for our younger academics in natural science and in the humanities and social sciences who are striving to produce the highest quality research that is relevant to a local and international audience.”

As the official Academy of South Africa, ASSAf honours the country’s most outstanding scholars by electing them to membership of the Academy. ASSAf members are drawn from the full spectrum of disciplines. New members are elected each year by the full membership of the Academy is in recognition of scholarly achievement. Members are the core asset of the Academy and give of their time and expertise voluntarily in the service of society. The 31 new ASSAf members bring the total membership of ASSAf to 597.

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