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Vol. 27 No. 2
March-April 2005

IUPAC Wire | News and information on IUPAC, its fellows, and members organizations
See also www.iupac.org/news

Piet Steyn Wins One of South Africa’s Highest Science Awards

On 3 November 2004 at a ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, IUPAC Past President Piet Steyn was awarded the 2004 South Africa Medal (Gold) of the Southern Africa Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the highest awards to a scientist in Southern Africa.

Steyn, an expert in the chemistry of toxic fungal secondary metabolites, has also made significant contributions to the management of science in South Africa and abroad. He has served the South African scientific community as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of the SA Chemical Institute, assistant editor for the SA Journal of Chemistry, president of the SA Joint Council of Scientific Societies (1986–1987), founding member of the Academy of Science of SA (1994), and as a current member of the Council of the Royal Society of SA and fellow of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The SA Chemical Institute has recognized his contributions to chemistry with three top awards, the Raikes Gold Medal (1975), Gold Medal (1987), and the Hendrik van Eck Gold Medal (2002). Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns honored him with the Havenga Gold Medal for Chemistry (1992). In 1999 he also received the prestigious Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial University Travelling Fellowship.

Steyn has played a vital role internationally. In addition to serving as IUPAC president, he was president of the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology. His research career was devoted to the isolation, structural elucidation, synthesis, and biosynthesis of mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungi) and to some extent to toxic and medicinal substances from plants. He is the author or joint author of 190 scientific papers and reviews. In 1986 he was rated in the A-category for chemistry by the National Research Foundation.


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