14 February 2022

The establishment of a new DSI-NRF Research Chair in Science Communication at Stellenbosch University in January 2015 significantly developed the field of science communication in South Africa and the continent and made important contributions under the leadership of Professor Peter Weingart, the renowned scholar of the sociology of science, now retired. Professor Mehita Iqani, an expert in media, communications and cultural studies, has been appointed as the new Chair holder from January 2022.

We invite applications for two postdoctoral fellows who will work closely with the Chair and the rest of the team at CREST to advance knowledge and analysis in the broad themes that have been identified for the second cycle of this chair, summarized as “science communication for social justice”. Under this research agenda, the focus will be on action-research best practice science communication projects, with a special affordance to the possibilities offered by creative modalities, and communications research on social justice issues to which science is central, specifically: 1) climate and the environment, including topics such as urban sustainability, renewable energy and activism; 2) health and happiness, including topics such as vaccine cultures, eco-anxiety, waste and pollution; 3) equity and inequality, integrating race and gender in the scientific public, ethical consumption and rural communities.

Anyone who has completed a PhD in the last five years may apply. A completed PhD in the fields of media and communications, the applied arts, critical cultural theory, strategic communication, or science and technology studies will be a recommendation, though we will give due consideration to any critical social sciences or humanities scholar who can demonstrate a clear engagement, either in past research or in proposed new projects, with the science communication aspects of any social justice issue. We welcome candidates with interdisciplinary interests.

Applicants should send a completed application form (request this from mvn3@sun.ac.za) and comprehensive curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and the names and contact details of two referees, to Marthie van Niekerk at mvn3@sun.ac.za. You must also request both your referees to forward confidential reports by the closing date to the same email address.

The fellowship will be awarded for an initial period of two years, renewable for another two-year term. The position is located at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Your application must be submitted before/on March 18, 2022.