Inside our latest issue: Quest Vol. 18 No.1

Science in the News
View our latest issue here

The Internet is probably the largest network of all time that connects not only computers but people from all over the world. The architecture of the Internet was based on the concept of ‘a network of networks’. The way it draws together networks and data provides a capability so powerful that it can be used to search for almost absolutely everything.
Networks and networking are intricately linked concepts. A network like the Internet is a collection of computing devices connected via a communication medium to exchange information and resources. Networking is the entire process of creating and using networks made up of hardware, software, wired and wireless technology. Networking in science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics and innovation (STEAMI) is about communication as we strive to solve global challenges in collaborative, interdisciplinary ways.

This issue’s theme is Networks and Communication. Recently, there were plans for seismic surveys, that look for oil and gas, to take place off the Eastern Cape coast. Our first theme article looks at how public engagement must be well executed to ensure equality and inclusivity for all affected and interested parties for such a sensitive issue.
In biometeorology, we see connections and networks between the biosphere, the atmosphere and life on Earth. Biometeorology and its interdisciplinarity hold great promise for supporting Africa’s preparedness against the impacts of climate change.

Communicating with vulnerable groups has been and continues to be a critical issue during the Covid-19 pandemic. People with disabilities experience challenges that make daily tasks and adhering to Covid-19 rules difficult. We explore these difficulties and call for just, practical solutions.
‘Nudge theory’ is a type of behavioural linguistics that gently guides people to alter their behaviour. A non-subtle example is the spatial distancing circles placed on supermarket floors to help us remember to social distance. But nudge theory can be used in climate change communication too – read the article to see how!
Research translation is the process of rewriting science into text that can be useful to the public. Several articles transform scientific research into text, graphics and charts that help people relate to key messages. Look at the chart on page 25 to see how sewerage is telling us where the next Covid-19 outbreak might happen.
In conclusion, we acknowledge with gratitude Sue Matthews, the immediate past Editor of Quest, for her commitment to timeous delivery of each issue, as well as very interesting and visually pleasing content.

Caradee Y Wright (Quest Guest Editor) with support from Susan Veldsman and Tsepo Majake (ASSAf) and Joanne Riley (SAASTA).