Science and technology in South Africa: regional innovation hub or passive consumer?
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The twentieth century is characerized above all, by an explosive growth in knowledge, coupled with equally striking developments in technology. This has permitted access to knowledge and information on a scale never before experienced. There are, of course, other characteristics of the twentieth century that are less palatable; for example, the overwhelming role of ideology, which led historian Eric Hobsbawm to label the period 1914-1989 the "Age of Extremes."
The advent of the twenty-first century finds the nations of the world still grappling to adjust to changes in circumstance and organization. This article surveys the current state of science and technology in South Africa, with special reference to the role that they should play in shaping the nation's future.