Dr Margaret Blackie, from the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University will present the Department of Chemistry Transformation Committee seminar with a talk entitled, "The opportunity presented by the call for decolonization"

In the wake of the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall protests, the call for a decolonized education remains. Whilst many tertiary science educators have dismissed the call as irrelevant to science education, I argue that it provides a timely and useful invitation to reflection on the purpose of tertiary science education. The project of decolonization is different in STEM fields, because of orientation to knowledge. However the work Maldonado-Torres who writes about coloniality of power, coloniality of knowledge and coloniality of being, shows that there is still much to be considered in terms of power and being. This then affords the possibility of thinking about science education in broader terms. In the talk I present some tools which can be used to enhance science education whilst taking cognizance of the person of the scientist in training.

Margaret Blackie is a Senior Lecturer at Stellenbosch University in the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science. She received her BSc degree in Chemistry from Rhodes University in 1996, followed by her BSc(Hons) and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town, in 1998 and 2002, respectively. She pursued postdoctoral fellowships in medicinal Chemistry with Professor Jacques Brocard at Université des Sciences et Technologies, Lille, France (September 2002 – February 2003) and Professor Kelly Chibale at the University of Cape Town (January 2007 – December 2008), as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in chemical education with Professor Jenni Case at the University of Cape Town (2009). She joined the Department of Chemistry and Polymer Science at Stellenbosch University in 2010 as a lecturer and has won several teaching awards since then. These include the prestigious Distinguished Teacher’s Award at Stellenbosch University and the South African Chemical Institute’s Education medal in 2020. Her research straddles the areas of medicinal Chemistry research (22 peer-reviewed articles) and chemical education (several articles, books and book chapters).