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Dr Margaret Blackie (SU Teaching Fellow 2020) recognised for her contribution to chemical education
Author: Claudia Swart
Published: 07/09/2020

​​​Dr Margaret Blackie, Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science and SU Teaching Fellow, was recognised by the South African Chemical Institute (SACI)​ for her outstanding contribution to chemical education over the past five years. 

She is the recipient of the Institute's Chemical Education Medal.

Dr Blackie says she appreciates the fact that SACI recognises contributions to education in chemistry and science: “It is a tremendous privilege to be the recipient of this award. And I am deeply grateful to my mentors and collaborators. I have learnt so much along the way from working with others."

Dr Blackie recently co-authored two chapters in a book Building Knowledge in Higher Education, covering topics such as the decolonisation of the science curriculum and the gap between first year students' theoretical understanding of key concepts in chemistry and their ability to transfer that knowledge into other domains, such as medicine and engineering.

​Dr Blackie is a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science. She has been at SU since January 2010. She holds a PhD in synthetic chemistry from the University of Cape Town.

Dr Blackie's research interests include medicinal chemistry, higher education and Ignatian spirituality. She has published academic papers in all three disciplines. She teaches courses and has supervised postgraduate students in both chemistry and theology.

Her interest in education stems from doing a postdoctoral fellowship under Prof Jenni Case at the Centre for Research in Engineering Education at the University of Cape Town in 2009. She is currently working on a major international collaboration following chemistry and chemical engineering students through their degrees in South Africa, the UK and the USA.

Dr Blackie holds a teaching fellowship (2020 to 2022). The primary aim of her research project is to give academic staff in STEM disciplines access to the analytical resources available in the suite of tools that comprises Legitimation Code Theory (LCT).

An article written by Dr Blackie and Dr Hanelie Adendorff (Senior Advisor, Centre for Teaching and Learning) was recently published in the Mail and Guardian:
It is possible to decolonise science.