A comparison is made between the process of development of radio astronomy in Kenya and South Africa. We begin by comparing the historical development of the two countries. From our investigation, it can be seen that the two countries have had comparable economic development but have had different social and political development. We then carry out a comparison of the science policy documents developed by the two countries. From this we can see parallelisms in the approach of the countries towards the building of their national innovation systems. We can also see some important differences which set the context for the differential development of the two countries in radio astronomy. We further develop this work by studying the state of astronomy and space science research in the two countries. We further seek to quantify the effect of policy interventions, thus invoking scientometrics. Using algorithmic methods implemented in Python, we scrape science publication data and analyse national productivity of Kenya and South Africa. This is contextualised within global and continental data, and also general scientific data. It can be seen from our work that South Africa dominates radio astronomy in the continent, judging by national production. We can also see that it is one of the main collaboration centers in the world. Kenya has an almost peripheral presence in radio astronomy, which we ascribe to social, political and temporal factors. We conclude by discussing the case of science diplomacy, specifically in the case of radio astronomy in Africa. The presence of exogenous actors, for example the United Kingdom, is also discussed. The emergent issue of the land question in South Africa and Kenya is also discussed.
|Date of Award||1 Aug 2022|
- The University of Manchester
|Supervisor||Kieron Flanagan (Supervisor) & Simone Turchetti (Supervisor)|
- radio astronomy
- science policy