Two researchers at the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Potchefstroom were recently honoured by the South African Academy for Science and Arts.
The objectives of the Academy as a multidisciplinary organisation are the promotion of science, technology and literature in Afrikaans and the arts, as well as the promotion of the use and the quality of Afrikaans, primarily within South Africa.
Over the years the Academy has become known for regularly awarding literary prizes (of which the Hertzog Prize is the best known) and other prestigious prizes, its publications, the work of its language commission on the standardisation of Afrikaans, and the many technical dictionaries and terminology lists compiled by members and published by the Academy.
Albert Strating Prize for Preventive Medicine
The prize was awarded to Prof Hanlie Moss, research director of the focus area for Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation, for her outstanding contributions to branches of preventive medicine that can be regarded as a material contribution to the promotion of the health of the community and the prevention of disease.
Epidemiological studies reveal that physical activity can serve as an important modality in the promotion of health. To Hanlie Moss this field of research is a passion, and her scientific focus and diligence, as well as the practical application of research results, are bearing fruit. Among other things she did outstanding work with mentally impaired persons, for which she received international recognition.
Prof Moss says that the award is a great compliment to her because it acknowledges the importance of the role of physical activity in preventing lifestyle diseases. Inactivity is currently the fourth biggest cause of death in the world. “We carry out quite a number of exercise intervention projects and research in the local communities. It is very satisfying to see that community members are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of exercise and that there is a greater need for more similar interventions. The holistic value of regular physical activity in the prevention of lifestyle diseases is still undervalued in South Africa. It is one of the cheapest methods of intervention in preventive medicine,” says Prof Moss.
Junior Kaptein Scott Commemorative Medal (Botanical Sciences)
This medal can be awarded annually for the best dissertation submitted for an MSc degree at a South African university (alternately for zoological and botanical sciences).
The medal was awarded to Ancia Cornelius, a student at the NWU. The title of her dissertation is “Health clinic gardens in North-West Province, South Africa, as complex social-ecological systems”.
Prof Hanlie Moss