Dr François van Schalkwyk is a postdoctoral research fellow at CREST. He holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Stellenbosch University. His doctoral thesis was done under the supervision of Prof Peter Weingart on the topic of the use of science by non-scientists (using the case of the anti-vaccination movement) in online communication networks.

François serves on the editorial board of the journal Learned Publishing. He has authored or co-authored 14 journal articles, 13 book chapters and written or edited 4 scholarly books. Selected publications include Research Universities in Africa (with Nico Cloete and Ian Bunting), ‘African university presses and the institutional logic of the knowledge commons’ (with Thierry Luescher), ‘Transformation impossible: policy, evidence and change in South African higher education’ (with Nico Cloete, Milandré van Lill and Tracy Bailey), and two publications from his doctoral thesis ‘Communities of shared interests and cognitive bridges: the case of the anti-vaccination movement on Twitter’ (with Jonathan Dudek and Rodrigo Costas) and ‘The amplification of uncertainty: The use of science in the social media by the anti-vaccination movement’.

François has worked on several research projects, including on research universities in Africa; on university-community engagement; on data flows in several African countries; on open government data, open contracting and social inclusion; on open data intermediaries; and on scholarly publishing in Africa. The focus of his current research on (1) the health of the South African university system, (2) the organisational communication of science, (3) science communication during the Covid-19 pandemic, and (4) science-society interactions in online communication networks.

In addition to his academic interests, François is a trustee of the not-for-profit, open-access scholarly-book publisher African Minds.