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South African scientists upped the ante when four local scientists were inducted as fellows into The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) — an immensely important science organisation that recognizes the best scientific practice from across the developing world.

Making the list for 2018 are scientists Felix Dapare Dakore, an agrochemist identifying grain legumes needed for overcoming protein-calorie malnutrition in Africa; Jennifer Ann Thomson, whose work in molecular biology has contributed to developing maize that is resistant to maize streak virus and is also drought-tolerant; climate-change scientist Robert John Scholes, who has done major work on the ecology of African savannas, interactions between the global C-cycle and biodiversity; and Shabir Ahmed Madhi, whose research findings have seen the prevention of major causes of under-5 childhood death from pneumonia, diarrheal disease and early-infant sepsis.

Africa, as a whole, did particularly well this year, seeing 10 scientists from across the continent made fellows for their work — half of them women — that the TWAS says achieves “the pinnacle of scientific excellence”.

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