The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies (CENIS) was established on the 1st of January 1995 as a research centre within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Stellenbosch. CENIS was established with the explicit aim to:
- Undertake and promote interdisciplinary studies in social sciences research;
- Conduct and promote research in the "meta-fields" of the methodology and sociology of the social sciences;
The renaming and repositioning of CENIS as the Centre for Research on Science and Technology (CREST) in 2003 consolidated this change and signified a fundamental commitment to research issues in the field of the social and ethical study of science and technology. The new name of the Centre, with its focus on public research and development (R&D) and its social consequences, was launched at a function in Stellenbosch on Thursday 25 September 2003, with Dr Ben Ngubane, then Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology as the guest speaker.
Science, Technology and Inequality is one of CREST’s research themes, and CREST was in one sense the origin point of the ResIST project when Peter Healey and Susan Cozzens worked with Johann Mouton and his colleagues in September 2003.
Four CREST staff are engaged in ResIST, concentrated in three areas of Work Package 2 where the Centre has specific expertise:
First, as part of the contextualisation of the brain drain phenomenon between South Africa and the UK, Dr Frank Teng-Zeng at CREST will write a background paper on the larger diaspora of African scientists. In this regard, he has already written a number of related papers and reports and will also call on the most recent available studies in the field.
Second, in understanding the context, history and dynamics of the Medical and Health Sciences in South Africa, CREST will call on a long track-record of research of the South African science system. Prof Johann Mouton and Mr Nelius Boshoff have both done numerous studies which map the SA science system. In addition Nelius is currently finalising his PhD which is a study on scientific collaboration with a peculiar focus on the medical and health sciences in SA. As part of this study, he has worked extensively on the history and structure of R&D in the field of health sciences.
Third, CREST also has a track record in the field of scientific migration studies. One of our researchers, Tracy Bailey, conducted a study on brain drain in South Africa which involved both theoretical and extensive secondary analysis of primary data. Although Ms Bailey is currently not a staff member of CREST, she is available to assist on this component of the project.