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Research council revives merit medals after more than a decade

South Africa’s Medical Research Council revived its tradition of awarding merit medals last week by bestowing ‘lifetime achievement’ platinum awards on two national researchers.

Shabir Madhi, director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, and Eric Bateman, a clinical scientist from the University of Cape Town, accepted their awards at a dinner on 30 October in Cape Town.

The MRC awarded the last round of merit awards in 1999. The decision to bring them back signals the organisation’s willingness to reward excellent research performance, MRC’s president, Salim Abdool Karim, said.

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