Page 4 - University of Pretoria RESEARCH REVIEW 2016
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 2 | UP Research Review 2016
The University of Pretoria prides itself on being a research leader in Africa, and each year the innovative work of some of our emerging and lead researchers are showcased in a Research Review.
Aligned with areas of research strength where the University has distinguished itself, the focus in 2016 continued to be on ‘research that matters’ in thematic areas that demonstrate our commitment to engage with societal issues and, by so doing, to contribute to a better future. The University’s areas of strategic focus are featured in this Review, with its theme-based structure aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2030, the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – the Africa We Want, and Our Future – Make It Work and South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030. Whether the frameworks are global, regional or national in scope, the message is clear: UP investigates, discovers and innovates through research that matters.
There is growing recognition in the science community that universities as public institutions should contribute to the growth, development and wellbeing of societies and that new ways of doing science to effectively address complex problems are needed: from deliberately taking as point of departure the problem itself to frame different dimensions to the investigation, to what has more recently come to be referred to as convergence science that cuts across disciplinary boundaries and makes possible a new synthesis of methods, theories and approaches.
Six themes structure this Review, each framing our focus on research in and for Africa. While texts foreground many problems and challenges, there are strong signs of hope and possibilities for change: be it through research findings, or in substantive policies and guidelines, or through the visible monitoring of accountability. Clearly manifest and woven through each theme is the role and contribution of young scientists, and each theme, especially the theme on Human rights, foregrounds women and children as central to societies’ wellbeing and to our sustainable futures.
A few examples are chosen to illustrate this sense of hope and renewal through science: Theme 1—Development and the economy shows the centrality of leadership legitimacy and authenticity in African research on leadership, and in another example, the centrality of networks and relationships in resilient organisations. Theme 2—Human

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