A Short History of the S2A3


The Association founded from British Association for the Advancement of Science. First President was Sir David Gill. Some other presidents include Gen J Smuts [1925], Hon Jan H Hofmeyr [1929], Dr Robert Broom [1933], Dr SM Naude [1956] and Prof DM Joubert [1979/80].



The publication Report of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science is published.



The British Association visited South Africa. To commemorate the visit a fund for the South Africa Medal [Gold] was established.



The recipient of the first South Africa Medal [Gold] was Sir Arnold Theiler. Since then the medal has been awarded more than 80 times. Recipients have been among others, Rudolph Marloth, Robert Broom, Austin Roberts, Meiring Naude, Phillip Tobias, Bob Brain, Govert van Drimmelen and Jacques Sellschop.



The Report was renamed to the South African Journal of Science / Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Wetenskap. In this journal South African scientists published the results of their research. The journal still exists, but there is no longer a connection with the S2A3.



The second visit by the British Association took place, during which the British Association Medal [Silver] was introduced in order to give recognition to younger scientists for their achievements. It is now awarded to the most outstanding scientist under the age of 40 nominated for this award.



The first recipient of the British Association Medal [Silver] was Miss Nellie Paterson. This medal has been awarded more than 40 times.



The S2A3 Merit Certificates were established. These certificates were awarded to any person who had made a valuable contribution either to science or to the Association.



The introduction of the young scientists' EXPO, of which the S2A3 was one of the initiators.



The Bronze Medal was introduced. This medal is awarded annually to the best masters student at each South African university or university of technology that wishes to make the award. It was originally sponsored by Gencor in 1981. The sponsorship fell away completely when Gencor was taken over by Billiton. Currently the award is sponsored by the S2A3 and is known as the S2A3 Bronze Medal, changed in 2008 to the S2A3 Medal.



A trust fund was received from the estate of the well known Dr Marloth. This fund sponsors the annual Marloth Brochure Commemorative Lecture and the Marloth Brochure.



Founding of the International Federation of Associations for the Advancement of Science and Technology [IFAAST] with S2A3 as a founder member. This organisation is no longer functional.



The Craib Fund was established as a result of the bequest from Dr Craib. The interest from this fund is made available each year for Mammal Research. The first recipient was Professor John Skinner of the Mammal Research Centre at the University of Pretoria in 1992. He continues to receive this grant annually.



In 1998 the S2A3 Bronze Medal was introduced for technikons as well as for universities. This award is sponsored by the S2A3 and is made to the best masters student in a scientific discipline at the discretion of each institution. The aim of the S2A3 is to encourage and give recognition to science students at masters level.  The student does not necessarily need to obtain a distinction for the degree. However, the authorities concerned should base their choice of winner on the high standard of original research work done by the candidate and the quality of the masters dissertation. Only students who have successfully completed a Masters Degree involving the completion of independent scientific research and an approved full dissertation in a scientific direction, are eligible for this award. Course work in any form is not accepted by S2A3 for this award.



The dictionary of South African Scientists was initiated by Professor Cornelis Plug, a natural scientist, Professor in Psychology and member of S2A3. The project was initiated to coincide with the Centenary celebrations of S2A3 in 2002



The S2A3 celebrated its centenary.



At the first S2A3 Council Meeting held in 2008 the Council Members decided to change the name of the S2A3 Bronze Medal to “S2A3 Medal” for original research at Masters level in order to avoid any misconceptions regarding the status of this award.