The Royal Society of South Africa (RSSAf) has honoured two Stellenbosch University (SU) scientists, Prof Bert Klumperman and Prof Guy Midgley, with the highest honour that can be bestowed on a Fellow of the RSSAf.
Prof Bert Klumperman, a world leader in polymer chemistry, was awarded the 2018 John F.W. Herschel medal for his outstanding contributions in the field of kinetic and mechanistic investigations of polymerization reactions, and the application of polymer science to nanomedicine. Prof Klumperman is a distinghuised professor at SU, where he holds the NRF/DST South African Research Chair in Advanced Macromolecular Architectures.
The RSSAf commended Prof Klumperman for his active role in the national and international scientific community, as well as his multidisciplinary approach to research, a key criterion for the Herschel Medal.
Prof Midgley, an internationally acknowledged expert in the field of biodiversity and global change science, is the first recipient of the new Marloth Medal. He is recognised for his outstanding contributions in the multifaceted field of fundamental ecology, applied ecology and policy.
Prof Midgley was also commended for his skills in connecting many concepts across disciplines and between spatial and temporal scales, as well as his achievements as a director at the South African National Botanical Institute (SANBI) and his work for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2007 he was a member of the international team who shared the Nobel Peace Prize for producing the fourth global climate change assessment for the IPCC.
With the introduction of the Marloth Medal, the RSSAf wishes to emphasise and celebrate the pioneering contributions of the Prof Hermann Wilhelm Rudolf Marloth (1855-1931) and his son, Dr Raimund Hilmar Marloth (1904-). Both father and son were Fellows of the Society in 1908 and 1957 respectively, and left generous bequests to the Society. With this medal, the RSSAf inter alia wishes to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of a discipline through writing, service to science, nurturing younger professionals and fostering the public understanding of science.
The medals will be conferred at the RSSAf's annual dinner and awards evening to be held in September 2018.
On the photo above, Profs Guy Midgley (left) and Bert Klumperman. Photo: Anton Jordaan