People – nature relationships

Scene setter

21 Sep: What are the chances that the science informing how the world thinks about global tipping-points comes out of Africa?

A study reported by the BBC earlier this year found that of the 100 most cited climate research papers over the past five years, fewer than 1% of the authors were based in Africa, and of the total 1 300 scientists involved, 90% were affiliated with academic institutions from North America, Europe or Australia.

Lee Berger Homo-naledi

07 Sep: Naledi gift keeps on giving, says Lee Berger

“We’ve had a major breakthrough in the Rising Star cave system,” says Professor Lee Berger, one of the world’s most prolific human fossil finders. “We’ve been on an expedition for the last six weeks,” he says, and he is about to go back for a week as we do the interview. His Twitter post makes it clear he’s bursting with enthusiasm: “it’s as exciting as 2008, 2013, 2020 and the last 5 weeks!” For a palaeonthologist who has made some of the most significant fossil finds of the last three decades, including Australopithecus sediba in 2008, something extraordinary has clearly happened. “The discoveries we’ve made were right in front of our eyes, they’re extraordinary”, but he’s not letting on yet what he’s found or what it means. “I’d have to kill you if I do,” he jokes.

Jennifer ward oppenheimer

19 Aug: Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant shortlist announced

The six finalists who are in line to win this year’s $150 000 USD Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Research Grant have been selected. The top three will be announced on August 31, during the OGRC Tipping Points webinar which will host a discussion between the finalists on their research objectives in the context of the range of pressing environmental issues facing Africa. Register here to join the webinar.