Christina Scott

Seeds to sorghum to sex: Women scientists do well

A young Zimbabwean scientist who has been championing the resurrection of a traditional African grain, sorghum, won a R100 000 fellowship at the second annual Women in Science awards in Johannesburg this week. It's a welcome boost after five lonely years of study, when a series of supervisors abandoned her by emigrating, and petrol queues, inflation and food shortages became a fact of life in Harare.

From shepherdess to scientific star

The story of Sharpeville-born, Lesotho-raised Tebello Nyokong suggests that sometimes adversity is the best career counsellor. Nyokong won the Science and Technology category in this year's prestigious 2004 Shoprite Checkers/SABC2 Women of the Year Award for her research in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Yet her path, from childhood, was strewn with obstacles.

Home-grown number cruncher

Mathematicians have a reputation of being socially awkward creatures whose obscure work does not necessarily have a lot to offer the real world. However, Dr Gareth Witten is practically a party animal. He speaks understandable garden-variety English, plays beach volleyball and, last but not least, is using his skills for something extremely relevant: the fight against Aids.

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