A commonwealth of science
The British Association in South Africa, 1905 and 1929
in Science and society in southern Africa
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The British Association arrived in 1905 to a traumatised country poised uneasily between the experience of high-handed imperial domination and the beginnings of self-government and political renewal. The 1905 visit was intended to confer status on the newly constituted South African Association for the Advancement of Science (S2A3). For politicians like Jan Smuts and Jan Hofmeyr science was both a source of national pride in South Africa's achievements as well as visible proof of its claims to international status. The 1929 meeting provided an ideal opportunity to reflect on South Africa's achievements since the beginning of the century. In 1929, at the invitation of the South African Association, the British Association returned to South Africa. Thomas Holland's clear message was that South Africa was a valued member of the Commonwealth and that the gold mining industry was of pre-eminent significance from both a domestic and an international perspective.

Editor: Saul Dubow

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