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Palaeosciences underfunded in South Africa, MPs told

Palaeontological research is under-funded in South Africa despite being an area of research strength and public interest, MPs from the country heard last week.

During a briefing to the parliamentary portfolio committee on science and technology in Cape Town on 10 June, a Department of Science and Technology official agreed that not enough money was being spent on palaeosciences, although it is a national priority.

The DST’s annual budget for palaeosciences was about R25 million (US$2m), Thomas Auf der Heyde, deputy DST director-general of human capital and knowledge systems, told MPs. The country also spends about R10 million each year on using a synchrotron in Europe to study South African samples, he said, as there is no such equipment in the country.

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