CSI funders salute Professor Berger and WITS
By Tshikululu Social Investments on 9 April 2010
Yesterday’s official announcement of the discovery of Australopithecus sediba is exciting for South Africans and indeed for humanity. For a group of committed South African corporate social investors, the find is a culmination of years of dedicated funding to a remarkable organisation that succeeded in securing the future of paleoanthropology in our country.
The Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, along with the FirstRand Foundation and its Rand Merchant Bank Fund, have contributed to the Palaeontological Scientific Trust (PAST) and its various projects since that organisation’s establishment in 1994.
This funding has included support for research projects, the establishment of learner education programmes in primary and secondary schools, and the founding of the Institute of Human Evolution, the interdisciplinary and interfaculty initiative of the University of the Witwatersrand to which the now-justifiably famous Professor Lee Berger is affiliated.
Just a few years ago, the Sterkfontein research site faced closure, an eventuality that would have meant that Australopithecus sediba would still lay hidden and unknown to science. Thanks to PAST and its partners, Professor Berger and his colleagues face a somewhat different and interesting problem – what to name man’s distant ancestor.
In this, and in all the related work associated with the palaeontological treasures that these scientists uncover, their associated CSI funders salute them.
Read more about the find in local and international news:
- Daily Mail (includes useful diagram illustrating how the find fits into the evolutionary chain)
- The Independent
- Independent Online
- National Geographic
- Times LIVE