Inaugural lecture by Professor Green and other updates

14 May 2024

Dear colleagues and students

Professor Lesley Green will present the third of four lectures to be held in May 2024 as part of the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Inaugural Lecture series on Tuesday, 14 May 2024. Read more about this and other recent developments on campus.

1. Inaugural lecture by Professor Green

Professor Green will deliver her lecture titled “From Homo Economicus to Homo Sedimenta: Learning from the Failed Impact Assessments for Cabo Delgado’s Offshore Gas Projects, Mozambique” in Mafeje Room, Bremner Building, on lower campus at 18:00 SAST.

In 2011, offshore gas was found in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. Multiple violent events followed as the construction site progressed. The project was halted in 2022 when TotalEnergies declared force majeure. In a study of almost 5 000 pages of environmental and social impact assessment documents, Professor Green asks why the conflict was unforeseeable and makes the case that those in the environmental sector are relying on 21st century technologies to answer questions posed in 18th century disciplines. In the United Nations’ International Decade of Sciences for Sustainable Development, 2024 to 2033, universities have the opportunity to build a peer-reviewable, accountable Big Picture Scholarship: a “meta-disciplinary” approach that builds habitability. In this lecture, Professor Green will look at how we might respond to this.

Professor Green is professor of Earth Politics and director of Environmental Humanities South (EHS) at UCT. Now in its 10th year, EHS has hosted students from 19 African countries and supports the emergence of an African ecopolitics. She is a former Fulbright scholar at the Science and Justice Research Center at the University of California at Santa Cruz; Mandela Fellow at Harvard; Rockefeller Humanities Fellow at the Smithsonian, and Cheney Fellow at the Leeds Global Food and Environment Institute. Her research focuses on justice-based environmental governance sciences in Southern Africa. She was recently awarded a US 4.4 million grant by Science For Africa, for a five-country project along Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, to develop an African critical zone social science scholarship, in partnership with five African universities and the Human Sciences Research Council.

The last UCT Inaugural Lecturer scheduled for May will be delivered by Professor Horman Chitonge on 22 May 2024.

2. A call to all faculties to submit case studies of high-impact

The Research Office calls faculties to submit high-impact case studies arising from research and/or teaching in their departments. The primary objective of the call is to illustrate the profound and positive influence that UCT has on addressing societal challenges. This aligns with UCT’s Vision 2030, which seeks to “unleash human potential to create a fair and just society”.

UCT aims to inform the public, stakeholders, and the global community about its valuable contributions to creating positive change.

For more exposure, Universities South Africa (USaF) will publish selected case studies on its website, and actively promote the image of societal benefit arising from the work done by South African universities.

The Research Office requests three cases from each faculty, which may be submitted to Sonwabo Ngcelwane by Friday, 31 May 2024.

3. ICTS schedule maintenance on Sunday, 19 May

Please note that Sunday, 19 May 2024 will be an ICTS scheduled maintenance slot from 06:00 to 17:00. Aside from PeopleSoft – which will be available from 09:00 onwards – do not expect any other on-premise ICT services to be available for the duration of the slot. Cloud-based services (including Amathuba, email, Microsoft 365 services, and ServiceNow) are not impacted and can still be accessed.

Please remember to consult the scheduled ICTS maintenance slots page before planning any teaching, conferences, meetings, etc that require ICT services. 

For more information, see the article on why ICTS schedules regular monthly maintenance slots.

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