For the uninitiated, photonics is an exceptionally wide field, but basically it is the science and the application of light in all its various forms, including the generation, transmission and processing of light in various applications.

Probably the best-known application for the man in the street is your smartphone. Look…


Patrick Soon-Siong

Patrick Soon-Shiong was born in the South African city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, on July 29th, 1952.

His parents had fled from China to escape the Japanese army occupation during the Second world War.

Unfortunately, there is no record of either the primary…


It’s probably safe to assume that most people consider Doctor Chris Barnard performing of the world’s first successful heart transplant the highlight of South Africa’s contribution to international medicine.

That’s not entirely true, but it certainly did focus on the quality of medical science on the tip of Africa.

Christiaan…


Ryan Sandes was born in Cape Town South Africa, in March 1982.

He attended the South African College Schools, in Cape Town, and later studied at the University of Cape Town, receiving a BSc degree in Construction and an Honours in Quantity Surveying.

Although he played a number sports while…


Karen van den Oever

The world record for the deepest cave dive by a woman is back in South African hands!
On October 25th, 2004 Verna van Schaik set the world record in South Africa’s Boesmansgat Cave, reputedly the 3rd deepest freshwater cave in the world, by diving to a depth…


A Breath of Life for Covid Patients

As the Covid pandemic batters countries around the world, even those with the best and most advanced medical technology are battling to stem the tide of Covid deaths.

One of the biggest problems medical staff encounter, is finding sufficient ventilators to help those…


World’s First Successful Heart Transplant

When Professor Chris Barnard performed the world’s first successful heart transplant at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on December 3rd, 1967, the world was astounded that such a high tech, record-breaking event would first be performed by an unknown surgeon at an unknown…


I wonder if the Pretoria-born engineer/entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is so rapidly changing the world, knows that he can thank another Pretoria-born South African for helping him make his dreams a reality?

Elon Musk is a visionary whose unique concepts are changing the world in which we live, and nothing…


No ship’s captain worthy of the name wants to sink his ship, or run it aground, but he should keep Nick Sloane’s number in his cell phone just in case.

Nick Sloane grew up in Durban, South Africa, and early on in his career, he was working for Cape Town-based…


On May 29th, 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Shera Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest and are therefore recognised as the first climbers to conquer the world’s highest peak.
But their success did not bring an end to the mystery of whether they were indeed the first to reach…

Mitch Launspach

A South African who believes that South Africa’s contribution to the world is under-rated, and intends to make sure the world is aware of this before he dies!

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