Beverley Damonse PhD
Beverley is the Group Executive of Science Engagement and Corporate Relations at the National Research Foundation of South Africa.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa promotes South African research interests across the country and internationally, and together with research institutions, business, industry and international partners, builds strategic linkages between research communities for mutual benefit. 2019 is the 20th year of NRF’S existence, in the same year that South Africa celebrates 25years of democracy. We are the home of exciting global radio and optical astronomy infrastructure such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and Southern African Large Telescope (SALT). The objectives of our initiatives are to expand the scientific research and innovation capacity of South Africa and improve South Africa’s international research and innovation competitiveness while responding to social and economic challenges. The NRF is in the process of reviewing and realigning its science engagement mandate since we consider public engagement with science as one of the key pathways to impact.
As a geeky student I majored in Microbiology and Plant Pathology. Many years later I completed a PhD in Education Policy studies, thus solidifying experiences in science research, education and engagement and a move into policy development and implementation. The combination of the various professional experiences over the years has grown to include stints in international relations, transformation strategies, including issues of gender and diversity, as well as corporate communication. Lifelong learning is a lived motto.
I am a keen hiker and in addition to beautiful hikes in my country, I have summited Mount Kilimanjaro, trekked to Everest Basecamp, completed part of the Camino De Santiago and most recently enjoyed a hot summer Tour Mount Blanc trek through parts of France, Italy and Switzerland. The Machu Picchu Trek remains on my to do list.