7 December 2023

Prof. Nelius Boshoff and Dr Similo Ngwenya, respectively an Associate Professor and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CREST, travelled to Germany and the Netherlands for three academic engagements. On the 21st of September 2023, the two co-presented at the Freie Universität Berlin. Their presentation focused on the relationship between open science and international collaboration in Africa. They had productive interactions with delegates from several institutions, including the Berlin Center for Global Engagement of the BUA, the Robert Merton Center for Science Studies of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and the Perivoli Africa Research Centre at the University of Bristol. On the 22nd of September, they had meetings with Stefan Skupien to discuss the progress of an upcoming book production.

Boshoff and Ngwenya proceeded to Leiden to attend a research project meeting at the CWTS at Leiden University, held on the 25th and 26th of September 2023. The project explores geographical and epistemic inequalities in science, with an empirical focus on forest research, utilising both bibliometrics and qualitative methods. It is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is a collaboration between TUM, CREST at Stellenbosch University, CWTS at Leiden University, and the Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI). This meeting at CWTS was the second gathering of project partners to provide feedback on the respective work plans of the group teams, theorise, and conceptualise new manuscripts for submission.

The project team members then attended the 27th International Conference on Science, Technology, and Innovation Indicators, where they hosted a special session titled “Researching (in-) equity, diversity, and inclusion in science through bibliometric, mixed-, and multi-method studies.” The title of the project team’s contribution in the special session was “Researching inequalities in global forest science: insights from a multi-method study.” Another contribution came from Ismael Rafols (CWTS, Leiden University), who spoke about challenges in analysing epistemic diversity and inclusion of research topics relevant to marginalised communities. Dr. Dorothy Ngila from the National Research Foundation (NRF), Director of Knowledge Networks and SGCI Strategy, Planning, and Partnerships (SPP), in South Africa, served as the discussant.