As announced on July 17, our 2025 conference will be held in Pretoria, South Africa. In the lead up to the conference we will be bringing you snippets of news about the destination. Today we focus on the country and its science, possible field trips and a bit about a host venue.

The host country

South Africa has a robust science community focused on both research and the practical application of science findings. Almost every possible field is covered, from astrophysics to palaeoanthropology to agriculture, as can be seen in a quick scan of some of the organisations and institutions operating in South Africa: the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) and many more. South African scientists work closely with the international science community, with several of our climate scientists having worked on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, to name just one example. 

The conference will be hosted at the CSIR International Convention Centre (CSIR ICC), situated in Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa, in the greater metropolitan area of Tshwane. Tshwane is renowned for its nature attractions, and concentration of research and academic institutions – a naturally spectacular city and home to a high concentration of renowned academics, researchers, and diplomats from almost all countries around the world.

The application to host the WCSJ 2025 in South Africa was submitted by the South African Science Journalists Association (SASJA), in collaboration with the Science Diplomacy Capital for Africa (SDCfA), and with support from the National Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), City of Tshwane, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement, the Gauteng Tourism Authority and all of South Africa’s universities.

The SDCfA is a joint initiative by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research that promotes science collaboration across Africa and beyond by leveraging and connecting technology innovation with humanity.

The CSIR ICC hosts numerous leading South African, African, and global science-related business events each year, such as the Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) and is the ideal venue for science-related business events given its location in South Africa’s education and research-rich capital city.  

“Our history, location and track record of hosting scientific business events mean we are well-resourced to offer the SDCfA suitable facilities and services. We look forward to hosting the 13th World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ). and it is exciting to see our country and our continent rising onto the global stage in this arena,” concludes Bronwen Cadle de Ponte, CSIR Conferencing and Accommodation Group Manager.

Beyond the conference

One possible field trip for delegates to enjoy is a visit to the Origins Centre at Wits University in Johannesburg, with its extraordinary treasure trove of ancient rock art offering insights into the origin of the San and Khoekhoe people. Anyone with an interest in palaeoanthropology will be fascinated by this extensive exhibition or the alternative, a trip to the Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng where so many of South Africa’s important fossils were found (such as ‘Little Foot’ and ‘Mrs Ples’). It’s an engaging interactive experience which takes a deep dive into human beginnings, what makes us human, and our footprint on the earth today.

We look forward to bringing you further articles about the conference, the scientific field trips and leisure tour options that will be on offer for WCSJ2025!

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